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Meet Courtney, Our Winter Box Reviewer!

Meet Courtney, Our Winter Box Reviewer! - Sabbatical Beauty

In this series, we have our Winter Box Reviewers introduce themselves and let you know what their skin types and climates are like, so hopefully you can find a "skin twin" in them! Today we're speaking to Courtney! Want first dibs on the Winter Box? Sign up here!


Hey Courtney! We’re so thrilled to have you on as a Winter Box Reviewer! Could you start by telling us about yourself?

courtney k

I usually answer this question with a bunch of boring things about my job, but I’m going to resist (for at least one paragraph) and tell you what I do for fun. When I’m not teaching (dammit), I make jewelry, knit, read feminist literature/theory, read tarot (I’m learning), and try in vain to meditate. I love technology (especially educational technology) so trying out apps for my classroom feels like leisure, but I realize I should probably think of it as work. I have an Australian Shepherd, a tuxedo cat, and a human partner to keep me company.

Now for the boring, money-making part: I’m an overeducated underpaid highway-flying adjunct. I teach English language learners at colleges and universities as well as adults who need additional skills to build up their resumes and find employment. In addition to classroom teaching, I also currently have five tutees, four of which I tutor through video chat on the TakeLessons platform. I am also working on a few online course development projects for various institutions. I love teaching, but I am open to using my skills in a new arena (especially if that arena has benefits).

This January I left my wonderful, full-time, benefited university teaching job in Michigan for the great unknown wilderness of northern CA. I love my new home, but work has been scarce, comically low-paying, and inconsistent. I have been lucky enough to have some form of employment since we arrived, even if it’s just inconsistent tutoring or test proctoring. Of course, the beauty of CA comes at a price (and that price is somewhere around twice what MI’s beauty is worth, apparently).

Awesome. Now could you tell us about your skin type, and the the conditions for winter for you?


My skin is a bit of a changeling, but it’s generally on the dry side. I have had a few minor breakouts in my adult life, but nothing like the hormonal uprising I’ve experienced in 2017. I blame it on the NorCal fog, poverty, & Trump. Today I would describe my skin as combination, where most of my skin is dry with an oilier and more acne-prone beard.

The dry climates I was accustomed to in eastern WA and northern MI required heavy moisturizers during the long winter months. I had accrued quite the collection of dry skin remedies, and I continued to use those products after I moved, causing some pretty upsetting results. Through SB products and community, I have learned how to listen to my skin and use the right products where and when I need them.

My new coastal home is foggy and 40-60º F most days, all year. The winter is characterized by more rain and fewer warm days (but they still pop up and delight us here and there). When I’m teaching, my day includes miles of walking through the redwoods between classes and wondering how I got so lucky.

Great, now tell me about what SB products have worked, and have not worked for your skin, so hopefully some SB folk can find a “skin twin” in you!

I have had success with the following products in the following ways:



  • Maple (with a cotton pad)
  • Birch (with a cotton pad) -- Tester product, not on site site! 

Serums (in this order)

  • APH (wonderful all over)
  • Tea Tree w/Volcanic Ash (for acne after extraction)
  • PSL (on my forehead and smile lines)
  • RWPS (lovely for AM, all over)
  • MARINE (all over PM)
  • Peat (pore-reducing game-changer for your whole face) (not on site yet, will be in the Winter Box)
  • MOAR HONEY II(on acne that has been extracted that I want to heal quickly)


  • Rose & Honey II(all over, but especially in acne-prone areas)
  • Calm (when my skin gets red or irritated for ANY reason)
  • After Sun (after a sunburn)
  • Winter is Coming (for very dry nose or forehead, chapped from wind only)


I have not been able to use Apple Cider overnight in my acne-prone areas because it is too rich for my skin. I have also had limited results with Radiance, GLOW and Bright Eyes, but that may be because my bone structure causes shadows that can’t be treated with skin-brightening. Most of the SB products I’ve received have been beneficial once I figured out precisely how my skin needed each one.

We’re so excited to work with you! More soon! 

Want first dibs on the Winter Box? Sign up here!

Watch Courtney's video about being chosen as a Winter Box reviewer below!