Weeknotes 86 - Don’t have fun
- All the working out has given me what I dubbed “the cylinder” — newly discovered muscle around my core. The cylinder gets involved when I lift objects, walk up the stairs etc. It’s a novel experience.
- Email from my favourite coffee place: “Hope you all doing well out there and ain’t too mad at the 3rd mail out of the week. We gotta hustle to make some money”. Their Lost Highway is a household favourite. We buy it by the kilo and it doesn’t last us long.
- The controversy around the Oatly investment reminded me that I boycotted The Body Shop products after they got acquired by L’Oreal. Curious how that’s going I just checked the list of brands L’Oreal owns and I realised I’ve been unknowingly loyal to them anyway through La Roche-Posay products which have cleared my acne.
- On 28 June I wrote about my face being shiny and smooth. Boy oh boy, if only it had been clear to me back then that the weird smoothness was one of the first signs of over-exfoliation. Later, during the August heatwave, I noticed my skin being really weird. Thanks to googling increasingly elaborate metaphors for my skin’s texture I discovered it was severely dehydrated (you can see what dehydration looks like in this video). I damaged my skin’s moisture barrier. I had to very quickly learn how skin actually works and how to fix it. I read papers on skin function. I scoured Reddit for tips. And I became very embarrassed about all the stupid things I’d been doing because I didn’t fully understand what happens when the skin is washed, exfoliated or moisturised. Luckily I recovered from the dehydration in a few days, but my face isn’t fully healed yet. There’s a very long list of things that cause stinging and redness (including any type of ingredient that can keep acne in check so that’s a spectacular own goal).
- In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have been so cavalier given that in the winter my hands develop open wounds from hand-washing and the rest of the body itches from being so dry. At my lowest point in lockdown I just wanted to feel a bit pampered, like I was doing something nice for my skin while having some fun. I guess the lesson is “don’t have fun” (or more like “don’t have fun with acids”), but there is a whole cultural shift to making skincare feel like fun self-care and it’s easy to get suckered in.
- “The rise of skincare coincided with the corporatization of self-care” writes Constance Grady, and
If you don’t participate in the beauty system, you are ugly and also lazy, and probably unclean and unhealthy and unnatural and not your best self. If you do participate in the beauty system and you let your labor show, you are a gullible fool and also high-maintenance and self-obsessed. And if you participate in the beauty system but don’t quite manage to meet the narrow, exacting standards of patriarchy — if you “don’t … really (whispers) have great skin” — well, then, what are you even doing?
- So impressed with Alice’s weeknotes hitting a two-year mark without ever missing a week. What a champ.