A Dry Spell

Sure, sure, everyone gets dry skin in the winter. But not only is my skin depleted, my throat is so parched from sleeping that I feel like I swallowed a desert, and my nasal passages are in such discomfort it’s shocking that they recover in only 20 minutes.

How do I find myself in this condition? Daily?

  1. I’m in the Southwest
  2. I live in a box the size of two king mattresses, and the heater is surprisingly powerful
  3. For reasons I don’t understand, I have to turn the heater up to 77 for it to click on, even though it’s a small space and the outside temp is in the single digits


A curly-headed woman, I know better than to expect the shine seen in commercials.

Shiny Hair

Photo from Pantene.com

But since I don’t use a blowdryer, I’m confused by the proliferation of dry ends. Well, actually dry ends AND middles.

Had a haircut this week and the stylist commented that I was “crispy.” That’s not a word I like unless it’s related to fried chicken, and certainly not when discussing any factor of my appearance.

After an email to the woman who cuts my hair back home, I’ve got an affordable, gloppy deep conditioner to use “once or twice a week.” There’s the option to wear a shower cap or not while it oozes for 15-30 minutes. I’ve chosen not to, because see, I’m not a little old lady.


I’ll own the fact that I buy (unnecessarily) expensive products for my face. But it feels sooooo good. The span between Neutrogena and Aveda is drastic. And supple.

face lotions

Photos from Aveda.com

It’s recommended to use the “tourmaline charged hydrating creme” at night. It’s got heft, for a lotion. And I’m reminded of my Grandmother’s use of Pond’s Cold Creme. Not in a good way. Refer to the section above where I don’t want to feel like a little old lady. That said, you could hear my face say “ahhh” like it just had a refreshing drink.

The Pause that Refreshes

Photo courtesy of Bing.com

Arms, Hands, Legs, and Feet

My appendages are woefully ashy.

The left elbow is developing a dry patch that recalls my Sixth Grade teacher, a man with frightening elbows that needed excavation, not mere moisturizer.

Dry elbow

Photo courtesy of Bing.com

The realities of camper life (literally tending to my own plumbing; hand-washing dishes) mean my hands are constantly being washed and then lotioned. But my lotion is evidently not powerful enough for this lifestyle. While buying the magnificent but old lady-ish face creme, I used the Aveda tester of hand lotion. My skin released an audible sluuuuurp. If only I hadn’t blown my budget on my face. 

California Here I Come

I hear there’s water there. Which means humidity, right? Which I’ll gladly take over this barren state.

Just one thing, I won’t be there for at least a month….


How do you wage the battle between Winter and your skin?

17 Responses


Dish washing gloves! 🙂

Debbie – little old lady!


Well here in the humid ATL, I am suffering from the same issues. Crusty was the word that came to my mind. I’ve been thinking for the last week or so that I need to graduate from the drugstore for my face solutions, but I didn’t know where to go. I think I just might try Aveda. My face needs an ahh moment too. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Stay hydrated Paula. It’s good for whatever ails you!

Nancy – Aveda has a frequent buyers program, so its worth registering. And does Vodka count as staying hydrated? JK – I drink gallons of water a day!


Such a harsh, primitive lifestyle you lead – it’s like you’re a pioneer!

Bunya – I’m a pioneer for Jewish women!


Winter can be particularly challenging on hair and skin. I feel I never stop applying moisturizers. Lubriderm continues to be a fav but when desperate I have tried some expensive offerings. Most work but not so much better than the less expensive like olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter based stuff and when I just want to protect against extreme-good ole vaseline! Dish washing gloves slow you down but thwy certainly help.

Regina – vaseline. good to know. it doesn’t make you slippery?


Vaseline -most certainly will make you slippery. : ) Used only for extreme exposure to create a barrier and then removed. Or put on hands or feet, covered with gloves or socks, wore overnight and removed in the morning.


Absolutely! And I love cats and wear purple. Own it, sister!


Glad to know about Aveda. Here’s my two cents: olive oil. No, you don’t smell like a salad, and it’s not as gunky as vaseline.

I tried it after reading the most fascinating book, Extra Virginity, about the slippery business of olive oil scams and how they hurt legitimate olive farmers and oil bottlers. Turns out that much of what we buy in the U.S. is not only NOT olive oil, but also not even from Italy. That being said, the real stuff is worth paying for. It tastes terrific (it’s like wine, with different batches picking up the different characteristics of where the fruit is grown), is a healthy fat and feels good on your face. Had no idea you could use it on your skin.

As for hair, I’m embarrassed to admit this in public, but I bought Wen, a hair product, from an infomercial. It tames the haystack on my head better than anything — any conditioner, any shampoo, anything — I’ve ever used. It goes on like vaseline, does not foam like shampoo, and you swear your hair will be as slick and heavy as raw chicken. But you rinse it out, blow dry it, and miracles happen. Cluck, cluck!

Jeannine – good to know about olive oil. And great to know about Wen! I’ve been so tempted by the infomercial! I get sucked into just about any infomercial. What is it about them that’s so mesmerizing?


Eucerin Calming Cream – best lotion I have EVER used.

I’d leave a comment, but I’m a real life old lady and anything I could tell you would be immediately rejected, since you’re so anti-us.

Only joking. Just wait, my dear, just wait . . . . . . . .

Karen – you are sooo not a little old lady. Don;t talk about my friend that way 😉 “Little old lady” is a state of mind, not an age. And I’ll wait with patience 😉


Catching up on your blog, and I feel your pain! Since being back West, my skin feels itchy and dry! Luckily, I found a coconut body butter at Trader Joe’s that is heaven, not greasy, just awesome and my skin did the same thing when I put it on……….slurp! Still working on the face though.


Danielle, I went with Eucerin on my body and it’s good. Not sluuup, but good. My face: aveda, baby. Expensive, but h.o.l.y. cow! i got a moisturising mask that’s a lot like aloe (I wonder if aloe would work?) and a deep moisturizer. i feel like a new woman!

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