Are you done with this week? With this month? With everything?
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.
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-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)
- Grind oats very finely in the grinder.
- Mix ground oats with honey, lemon juice, and tea-tree oil.
- Store in your glass/plastic container in the refrigerator for ~1-2 months.
- Wash your face.
- 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.
- Gently rub the mask onto your clean, wet face and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
- 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.