Winter Skincare Favorites

I am one of those lucky individuals who has somewhat sensitive AND acne-prone skin. Figuring out my skin has been a lifelong journey and figuring out my skincare routine has been a task. But I finally feel like I am in a good, manageable place with my skin which I’m aware can change at any moment but I thought I’d share what my winter skin routine looks like right now during the coldest months. I’ve found that skincare can be a form of self-care and when I was able to begin to see it this way it became less of a chore and more of a way to treat myself. Bonus: all of these products can be found on Amazon!

Please note: Although I love and fully recommend these products, this post contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission. Affiliate links help cover the costs associated with this blog.

Prescription Medications:

In addition to what is listed below, I use three prescription medications for my skin: Spironolactone (an oral medication), Benzoyl Peroxide + Clindamycin (a topical medication) and Tretinoin + Clindamycin (a topical medication). I’ve found that to keep my hormonal cystic acne managed, I need to use prescription medications as well as a good cleansing and moisturizing regimen.


Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing CleanserI’ve been seeing dermatologists since I was a teen because of my acne which started at about 12 for me. Every dermatologist has told me to use a simple salicylic acid cleanser. While I’ve tried different things with “cleaner” ingredients, I come back to a cleanser like this time and time again because it’s affordable and just works. I’ve been using this one from Paula’s Choice for about six months and love it. It’s not harsh or drying in my opinion and it’s affordable and available on Amazon which is always a win for a busy mom… 

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Surface Hydration: another thing that every dermatologist has always told me is to use an oil free moisturizer. I am not as anti-oil as I used to be, but I definitely react to products that aren’t specifically non-comedogenic and I tend to breakout when I use products with lots of oil. This moisturizer is simple, fragrance free, which I very much prefer in face products, and super affordable. I’ve been using it for a couple of years and just hope that they never discontinue it! 


Honest Beauty Makeup Remover Wipes: I will not lie to you— As much as they help my life, I suck at routines. That said, keeping a nighttime skin routine is a STRUGGLE for me so I try to keep it as simple as possible. Some nights all I am doing is using these wipes to take off my makeup but it makes such a difference in my skin’s clarity when I take my makeup off vs. sleeping in it. I won’t lie, I think Jessica Alba is super cute and saw her talking about her new Honest Beauty line and decided to give these a shot. I like them a lot but I also really love the Burt’s Bees ones. 

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm: I know that I mentioned that I avoid using heavy, oil-based products, however there are a few exceptions and this is one. My friend Amanda introduced me to this product a few months back and WOW. It smells amazing, feels amazing, and leaves my skin feeling SO good. It’s particularly nice to use if I have a lot of makeup to take off or am having a dry skin day. My skin just feels quenched after using it. It also hasn’t caused breakouts for me.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Surface Hydration: I use this day and night to finish off my routine. It’s the best!


PMD Personal Microderm Classic: I was getting monthly facials for a while until the pandemic began and salons shut down. I decided to invest in some good facial tools, this being one. This device is like an at-home microdermabrasion treatment. It is AMAZING but you have to use caution. While my skin is sensitive, it is on the oilier side so I am used to not really reacting to facial treatments like some people do. SO when the PMD directions suggested starting with the ultra sensitive heads, I went my own way and tried one of the more intense heads. It was a mistake. I wasn’t very skilled at using the device yet and hovered over one area too long and basically wound up with a tiny, circular scab… Ugh. Now I only use the sensitive and ultra-sensitive heads and you know what? They work! It takes a little practice, but one you master it this device is amazing for improving the clarity of your skin. 

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: In addition to investing in some facial tools I invested in some good masks as well. This one is a favorite of mine. I love enzyme masks because they really feel like they are doing something, which I love in a mask. This one is pretty gentle however, making it good for the winter when my skin is overall a bit more sensitive. I usually use this once a week during a bath for about 20 minutes. 

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask: I love using this after doing an exfoliating mask or treatment like the PMD because it’s super soothing and moisturizing. It’s a really nice mask to sleep in too.

Let me know if you try any of these products and what you think!

Xo, Sarah


State of the Blog Address

Hello and welcome to Cats and La Croix! Back in the day this used to be a wine blog where I would wax poetic about my favorite wines after imbibing a little too much. However, today I’m a sober working mom with a bit of a shopping problem who just needs an outlet to run her mouth (er… fingers) and show off her cute outfits.

For those of you who don’t already know me, hi! I’m Sarah. I’m a mom to a two year old, Eliana, who keeps my husband, Matt, and me on our toes. In December 2018, after a decade-long love affair with wine, I quit drinking. What I expected to zap the fun out of life turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I can genuinely say that my life is way more fun now than it ever was when I was drinking. Maybe that’s because I started to deal with the things that drove me to drink: trauma, mental illness and grief, so that I could actually begin to enjoy life unbuzzed. In addition to being a recovering alcoholic, I live with bipolar 2 disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD— all of which I used to be self conscious about but now I own for what they are: simply neurodiversity.

I hope this can be a place where I can share about my favorite things like midsize fashion, beauty products as well as deeper thoughts on issues like mental health, sobriety and motherhood. I won’t lie, I don’t do pre-sets or overly curated Instagram posts and sometimes I go on liberal rants. But if that’s cool with you, then I think you’ll like it here.

The big cosmic joke in all of this is that Cats and La Croix is a much better name for a sober lifestyle blog than a wine blog, ha!