Dry, flaky skin is never caused by a deficiency of skin creams. It's most frequently caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids. That's because essential fatty acids are a big component of the outer membrane that keeps water inside each cell, rather than allowing it to escape to the outside world, leaving dryness behind. Both "Omega-3" and "Omega-6" fatty acids are needed in sufficient quantities to maintain moist skin.
Most individuals with dry skin can get rid of the problem in 4 to 8 weeks if they follow this protocol: First, eat more fish (salmon or smaller to minimize mercury exposure). Secondly, take either 1 tablespoon of fish oil daily, or (no kidding) 3000 milligrams Fish Oil Capsules three times daily, along with Vitamin E as "mixed tocopherols" 400 IU twice daily. The fish and fish oil are, of course, sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. (No, this high dosage doesn't go on forever, just to start!)
There is much more Omega-6 fatty acid in what we eat every day, so less of this supplement is needed, but to start, one 300 milligram capsule of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) should be taken twice daily, until the skin is no longer dry. At that time, both the extra fish oil and GLA can be gradually reduced to normal daily recommended dosages; if the dry skin starts to return, increase again. Everyone finds his/her own "balance point" of how much fish, fish oil and GLA is necessary to maintain moisturization from the inside out.
Although this works for most of us, dry skin can also be due to an undiagnosed thyroid weakness or a hidden non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A weak thyroid prevents the essential fatty acids from being used properly and hidden non-celiac gluten sensitivity prevents the essential fatty acids (and other fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, K) from being absorbed from the intestines, so they can't get to the skin adequately.
Rarely, there's a problem with processing essential fatty acids which can be corrected with 5 to 10 milligrams of biotin (also called Vitamin H), available in all natural food stores.
If you suspect any of these three problems, check with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine. If there are enough essential fatty acids in your body, your skin will rarely be dry, unless you have one of the other health problems noted above. If your skin is dry, the rest of your body cells aren't getting enough essential fatty acids either; your risk of many other health problems developing over time is higher. One such risk is accelerated cognitive decline over time, as brain cell membranes must have enough Omega-3 fatty acids for optimal function. There are many other risks of suboptimal essential fatty acid nutrition, too.
1-300mg GLA 2x daily
1-400 iu E 2x daily
3000 mg fish 3x daily
5-10 mg biotin (maybe)