late winter

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness | Writing Between Pauses

The past winter has been a really difficult one for me, skin-wise. While I've gotten a handle on my acne, I've started to get, well, really dry. There is no other way to say it: my skin has been dry. Really cold temperatures combined with nightly fires in our wood stove to heat our house and it's a recipe for dry patches. My scalp has been the absolute worst; nothing works on how dry it is, but alas, that's another story. 

I sleep with a humidifier every night, which definitely helps, but at a certain point, you have to put moisture back in to your skin. If you're struggling with severe dryness at the end of this winter (spring, and rain, and moisture, is coming--I believe it!), here are the 4 things that have drawn me back from the precipice of "I guess I'm just a scaly monster now".  

1. Pacifica Kale Luxe Moisturizer + jojoba oil

I bought this moisturizer in a rush while I was in Idaho for Christmas. I hadn't wanted to pack my bottle of jojoba oil and, at the last minute, I froze when it came to moisturizer. So I didn't pack anything. Bad plan. Very bad plan. Idaho is notoriously dry and it was very, very cold while I was there (it snowed!). Needless to say, I was dry without hours of arriving in Idaho, so Danny and I ran to Target. I settled on this moisturizer and I have to say, it was serendipitous. 

I am a total believer that jojoba is the supreme moisturizer for my skin. But in the morning, before I put on makeup, I don't really want to coat my face in oil. This moisturizer, cut with a dollop of SPF and two or three drops of jojoba oil, feels absolutely perfect. It keeps my skin soft and non-greasy, even with SPF. It smells quite strongly of kale, which at first bothered me, but doesn't now. It just feels so good! I usually get severe dry patches on my cheeks starting in January and February... none so far! Truly a Christmas miracle.  

2. Dove Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm*

When Dove sent me this Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm, I wondered how I would work it into my skincare routine. I am a pretty solid supporter of Vaseline Cocoa Butter for my evening lotion (sometimes cut with a scented lotion for additional soothing). However, once I tested this out one night, I was hooked. It's less like a lotion and more like a more solid petroleum jelly. The first time I used it, I coated my feet and ankles (the part of my body I struggle with dry, ashy spots), put on socks, and called it a night. The next morning, my feet felt so soft

I now mix a healthy dollop with a pretty good sized dollop of either cocoa butter or Bath & Body Works aromatherapy lotion. It has helped keep my elbows and knees from getting too dry, and my knuckles from cracking. Danny has pretty bad psoriasis and eczema and he's been using it too, to amazing results. 

3. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant* 

At first, I wondered if I should include deodorant in this post--but it's such a bit part of my life, I had to. I struggle with anxiety sweating, to the point where I am almost always sweating out of one armpit, which is quite embarrassing. As a result, I've used some pretty intense deodorants/antiperspirants throughout the years. I always return to Dove. Why? You might ask. 

Because deodorants dry out the skin around my armpit like crazy. I had been using another brand before Dove sent me this deodorant and had developed pretty large patches of dry, flaky skin on the underside of my arm, as well as onto my chest--basically, anywhere that deodorant residue touched, my skin was sapped of moisture. Within a few days of switching to Dove, those spots had definitely reduced in size and severity. Two weeks later and they're completely gone. So if you, like me, struggle with deodorants and antiperspirants causing bad dryness, Dove is the way to go! 

4. Lush Shower Bars 

I love, love, love hot showers. Unabashedly. I am that person in boiling hot water, wondering why my skin is so dry afterward. However, ever since I started using the Strawberry Fields Forever shower bar from Lush, I feel a little less bad about it. As I said in my review recently, this shower bar is basically soap and oil; I use it on my dryest spots to help keep them from getting dry throughout the day. If you struggle with dry skin, especially on your arms and legs, I highly recommend these bars. As well, I think they'd be perfect for pregnancy and using on stretch marks! 

*Disclosure: as usual, an asterisk (*) next to an item indicates that I received it as a sample, for review, or in PR. In this case, I received these items from PR at Dove, but all opinions remain my own. I genuinely love them! To learn more about my disclosure policy, click here

5 Outfits for Late Winter Inspiration

We're at that time of the year where, if you're like me, you've been cycling through the same few tops and jeans. I have 4 outfits that I wear in rotation. That's boring! But as the winter wears on, it's hard to feel inspired, especially if you're saving your money (like I am!) for Spring. 

I thought I'd share some Polyvore sets to help us all be a little bit more inspired with our late Winter style. I went with sets that included items we all probably have (especially if you, like me, are a minor hoarder that has saved multiple years worth of trends). Here we go! 

1. Go Full Christmas

Once Christmas passes, I tend to set aside my fair isle sweaters and beanie hats. I don't know why! I always feel like the time for them is over. But this set is really making me question that decision! A cozy fair isle paired with coordinated beanie & scarf and topped with your usual winter coat is an easy, cute outfit. Totally Instagram worthy, to be honest. 

2. Change the Color Palette

Have you been wearing black for four weeks straight? Listen, me too. That's probably why I'm loving this outfit. I really want a top in this dark, cognac color now! Paired with an olive, military jacket (I am in the firm belief that everyone owns one--mine, embarrassingly, is maternity!) and some leopard print (!!) booties... it's an almost-neutral outfit that just brightens up the late winter, right? 

3. Pretend You're French

The minute I saw this outfit, I swooned a little. That top! That skirt! Add some black tights and maybe replace the heels with your trustiest knee high boots, top with a coat... it's late Winter, but it's not boring. You can also pretend that you're walking through Paris, ala Carrie Bradshaw, and feel very fancy while doing it. 

4. Treat Yourself to Something Lovely

A striped dress is a total staple. A floral print coat? Um, not so much. But let's be real... it's gorgeous. And it's perfect alongside a striped dress, or plain top and jeans. I know I said these outfits only included items most people would have anyway... well, that was a teeny tiny lie. I want to live the life of someone who just happens to have an extremely fashionable coat lying around! 

In fairness, a striped dress paired with a cardigan and a floral print scarf will be just as cute--and just springy enough to get us through February without losing our minds. 

5. Redo Your Denim

Nothing--I repeat, nothing--is as classic as a denim jacket. I love this outfit: the unique denim jacket, the gray jeans, the flowy, pretty top, the suede booties. Totally gorgeous, top to bottom. I don't own a denim jacket like that, but I do own a pair of gray jeans; I do own a floaty top; and I do have some boots that fit the bill. Why did I never think to put them all together before? Rookie move! 

Well, are you feeling inspired? What's getting you through this long, late Winter days?