“An oasis, to me, is a space that is intentionally designed to meet my needs, in a 360 experience type of way,” says Deun Ivory, an artist who embodies that ideal through the 501c3 she founded called The Body: A Home for Love, which is in itself an oasis for Black women healing from sexual trauma.
“[An oasis is] curated with things that bring me joy—from the art that's on the walls to the scents that I'm immersed in. It also is this energy of love, this extension of love that you can see, that you can feel, that you can hear. It's something that carries you. That's what I think an oasis is,” she says.
The Body: A Home for Love is a creative wellness brand—”We design experiences that empower, affirm and educate survivors,” says Ivory. “And we curate clinical and creative forms of therapy for women in need of trauma-informed care, healing resources, and community.”
As for how she creates an oasis for survivors, Ivory continues, ”I think that it's an output of love—like the source in which you create from; I create from a space of joy. I want to be able to materialize what joy is. There’s no judgment, it’s just love, support and really holding space for women to embody freedom, to embody self-love and confidence.”
Deun Ivory On Finding Her Own Oasis
To be a fountain of this loving, healing energy, Ivory knows it's imperative, too, to replenish herself—and find her own oasis.
“You know, it's so funny. A friend and I was just talking about how in order to maintain your joy, there's some form of delusion, healthy delusion that you have to carve out for yourself,” she says. “I'm very aware of what's happening in the world, but I give myself permission to live in la la land. Because I have to embrace this idea that to some extent I can control the joy around me, like I give permission around who can get to come into my life and who or what takes up space in my life. And so I think that practicing a healthy sense of delusion, setting boundaries, being intentional and being really intuitive and mindful around what makes Deun light up at the end of the day.”
Part of this intentionality shines through in the space Ivory carves out for self care—it’s about taking care of herself—”and being unapologetic about receiving [happiness] and embracing it,” that gives her strength.
“As women, we’re used to so much emotional labor when it comes to other people,” she says. “When serving other people, you matter too, cause at the end of the day, if you aren't there and you're running on fumes, you can't even do what you want to do. Self-care is very necessary for my joy. Self-care is necessary for my happiness and that's how I show up in the world as a vibrant human being, who other people love.”
The Self-Care Aspect of an Oasis
For Ivory, that self-care looks like many things, from dancing to watching cartoons (“it reminds me of a point in my life when I had no worries when I had no bills and I could just be living out my best life, carefree, you know?”)
“And then also, self-care looks like waking up in the morning affirmed in myself and being unapologetic about it,” she says.
“I used to have a slight knee-jerk reaction when it came to gassing myself up or celebrating myself. Now, it's like second nature for me. I wake up every morning and I say my morning meditations: I am wealth. I am abundance. I am joy. I am aligned with the energy of abundance. I'm attracting everything aligned with my dream life. I'm beautiful. I'm brilliant.
“I have to make sure that that becomes concrete in my life, because throughout life, a lot of people are throwing their ideas and their beliefs at us about who we are. And it kind of sticks to us like paint. So for me, I have to rinse myself off every morning, and I have to nourish myself with these new beliefs.” Ivory tells herself these affirmation while spending quality time with herself, often while doing her skincare routine. It’s an importance practice, because as Ivory says, “I'm telling myself truths that sometimes I can't get from other people.”
Skincare as Self-Care
Self-care and skincare are naturally intertwined for Ivory who uses her morning routine to set the tone for the day—and for her, moisture and hydration are key to feeling best, something she knows is key no matter your skin type. Ivory has normal to oily skin.
“I just know that when my skin is dewy and it's looking all fresh, I'm just glowing. It really started with jojoba oil,” a key ingredient in Ivory’s favorite skincare oil, the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil.
Prior to discovering the benefits of jojoba oil, Ivory dealt with a bout of cystic acne and sought advice from her esthetician whose first rule was not to dry out her acne, but rather, support skin health with hydration and moisture. “Essentially, I found out I was actually doing the right thing [with jojoba oil], so I kept doing it,” she says.
As for cleanser, Ivory stands by the Superfood Cleanser, chockfull of antioxidants from green tea, spinach, and kale, which she recommends to anyone who asks.
“I’m like ‘Y’all, look. Let me tell y’all, use this YTTP cleanser! It will get you together.’ I love it. I'm like a stan for it, obsessed. I have all the sizes, the travel size, and the big size too. I'm like, I need it all.” For hints on how to upcycle or reuse your Superfood Cleanser glass bottles, click here.
After cleansing, Ivory knows the importance of hydration, particularly with pro-grade vegan hyaluronic acid serum, like the Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum.
“When I was doing more research on skincare, I found that when I was trying to heal my skin, it was very instrumental in me doing that,” she says. “It just helped me a lot, like I said, when I was in the process of trying to recover from the cystic acne, the marks, and my skin was really patchy and dry. When I was using a lot of [drying] products, hyaluronic acid fit.”
She knows to add products depending on what her skin needs in that particular moment—because breakouts happen.
“Sometimes if I get a pimple, I'll start using serums focused on hyperpigmentation,” like those rich in vitamin C, like the 15% Vitamin C + Caffeine Energy Serum which helps to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation, even skin tone, and—bonus—visibly firm skin.
Ivory’s skincare awakening and love of jojoba oil comes into play at the end of her routine. “With the Dream Oil, you just seal it all in. It's just like, I'm here, people. I'm glowing, I'm giving goddess radiant energy. I’m obsessed.”
The last step in Ivory’s self-care skincare routine is topping everything with sunscreen—Black Girl Sunscreen is a favorite—before going into the world bolstered by her affirmations and an oasis of self-love.
Shop Deun Ivory's oasis-creating skincare routine here, and watch her in Beautiful People here.