Oatmeal-Honey Face Mask

Are you done with this week? With this month? With everything?

Elmo Rise
Source (and origin). Gif of a badly rendered Elmo from Sesame Street with moving flames in the background.

I’m in a major #LiterallyCannot mood right now, so I’m going to share some self-care thoughts (and a recipe!) with you all here. I don’t want to approach self-care as #selfcare, that you need to buy expensive lotions or bubble baths or drink rosé all day to take care of yourself. Self-care isn’t tied to beauty practices and capitalist consumption. Self-care is about taking time to care for my mind and body because I am important and worthy of love and care even when that is not the message I receive from society at large or specific individuals.

Oatmeal Face Mask 1
Image: tea tree oil, lemon juice, honey, oats, a tablespoon and a lemon. 

For example, on days we’re worn out from work, political nonsense, or emotional labor for others, my partner and I like to have a “sleep-over night”*: we make nutritional-yeast popcorn, put on face masks (including this one!), watch a movie, take a bath, and give ourselves manicures. (If either of us had enough hair left to braid, we’d probably do that, too.) My solo self-care is working out, reading zines, working on this blog, or ranting in my journal. Sometimes it’s making my space more comfortable: cleaning my workspace, organizing the kitchen, weeding the garden. Making myself a nice meal is one of my favorite self-care tactics. It can be “productive” or “non-productive.”

I’m sharing this recipe with you today not because it’s the secret to self-care, but because its cheap, quick, and using it makes my skin feel soft.

Here’s an excellent rant on the gendered marketing #selfcare to white women from Bitch Media.

Oatmeal Face Mask 2
Image: the face mask in a reused glass jar

Oatmeal-Honey Face Mask

Time: ~10 minutes

Yields: ~3 oz (~90 mL)


  • 3 TBSP rolled oats
  • 2 TBSP honey**
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 4-6 drops tea-tree oil***


  • Food processor (small) or spice grinder (I use a decommissioned coffee grinder that can be cleaned easily)
  • Small glass or plastic jar with lid, ~3 oz. (I clean and reuse small glass jars from my lotions)


  1. Grind oats very finely in the grinder.
  2. Mix ground oats with honey, lemon juice, and tea-tree oil.
  3. Store in your glass/plastic container in the refrigerator for ~1-2 months.

To use

  1. Wash your face.
  2. With clean hands, take ~1 teaspoon of face mask out of the jar. If necessary, mix that portion with a little water in your hand until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  3. Gently rub the mask onto your clean, wet face and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Remove with warm water and a washcloth.

*We live together, but when we lived in Japan, my friends and I often would have sleep-overs due to the last of public transportation at night, the distance between our towns, and the legal BAC being so low you couldn’t drive home even hours after a drink with dinner.

**The honey should be runny; if it’s crystallized, it’ll make the mask gummy. If your honey is too solid, you can heat the honey slightly in the microwave to make it more liquid-like and then thin it with a little water.

***Tree-tea oil is good for acne, but if you don’t like the scent or are allergic, you can substitute lavender oil or other essential oils.


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