Some weeks are just tough. They demand a lot of you emotionally and you know you have to keep it together in public just long enough to not burst into tears before retreating to the quiet comfort of home. My best mate's over from Tassie at the moment, playing house barista, cook and cleaner in the last days of a friend's (and her brother's girlfriend's) dying. Said friend is one of the most positive, beautiful and lovely people you can meet. She's been treated to a lot of beautiful handcreams and spritzers lovingly crafted by friends, bunches of flowers and cards, and lots of beautiful company to see her out with love and big, big hearts. It's hard to know what to do. Once you've said your goodbyes, expressed love and go-thee-wells, there's not much more you can do. My bestie needed a break from doing today, and as the house was empty (the steroids she is on has enabled our fading friend to go to the forest to watch her nephews ride a zip line through the Otways) she came to my house just to sigh and de-stress a little. And we cried a little too.
So we got to pampering, playing around with some herbal infused oils and various butters and plants that I had dried, making a body butter, a moisturizing cream, some deodorant and a face scrub. It gave us something to do as we talked about life, death and everything in between, surrounded by the heady scents of our kitchen witchery.
What a fright the husband got to find us both masked up with this face mask. It was fun to giggle and to unwind, helping her steel herself for the sadness to come over the next week. We were nourished and nurtured much by rose, a plant that is our ally in times of grief. Her thorns enable us a protective boundary, whilst the soft flowers allow us tenderness and vulnerability, gently supporting us as we lean into grief.
Although a rose essential oil might add something to this face mask, we didn't feel it was needed - the dried and ground rose petals and hips were quite heady all on their own. Too much of a scent can be overpowering, and it was definitely gentleness we needed today.
Rose Petal & Clay Face Mask
2 tbsps bentontite clay or a clay of your choice
1 tbsp rose petals, ground (strongly scented have better therapeutic qualities)
2 - 3 large aloe vera leaves
Scrape the aloe vera from the leaf and blend with 1 tsp of aloe vera. Any excess will keep for some time due to the preservative nature of vinegar, but ACV is also good for the skin, from acne to circulation, and has a neutral PH so it's perfect for oily or dry skin.
Mix enough of the liquid aloe vera with the bentonite clay and rose petals to form a paste. Spread smoothly onto the skin and allow to dry. Rinse with warm water.
You might also like to add a herbal oil of your choice for drier skin.
Put your feet up, close your eyes and breathe. Rinse, glow and smile - you've got this. We're brave enough for anything. Go give someone you love a hug to complete the treatment.