A friend recently sent me an article with the comment, “This reminds me of you.” When the image loaded of a green monster holed up in a mud cave covered in crumbs and half-eaten snacks with the title “Slobbing Out and Giving Up,” I thought, rude.

How could anyone think I’d let myself go, I thought while jumping into yesterday’s sweatpants after shaking out the Doritos dust.

Slob? Excuse me, I always come correct, I mused while standing over the sink devouring a 2am dinner of croutons and olives.

I may not be #thatgirl, but I’m no monster, I asserted while confirming Yes, Netflix, I am still watching for the third time in a single sitting. 

Maybe it was setting a reminder to shower every other day in case I lost track of time.

Or opening my fridge to find a random assortment of weird snacks, a cat toy, and random condiments instead of real food.

Sometime in between switching from one end of the sofa to the other so as not to leave a permanent butt imprint on the cushions, I had to face reality: I’d gone fully feral.

I’d gone Goblin Mode.

Have you?

Goblin Mode defined.

Some say Goblin Mode is a state of mind; others define it as a backlash to the #Cottagecore trend that dominated early-days pandemic. Still, others consider it a rallying cry against the hyper-consumption of the #ThatGirl aesthetic, where wellness is attained only through a meticulous-grooming-and-organic-diet regime.

At the heart of Goblin Mode is not just a rejection of a perfectly coiffed lifestyle, it’s the full-throated barbaric yawp of acceptance of all the creaky, sloppy, stinky, misbehaved parts of ourselves we’ve suppressed in favor of respectable adulting. 

Consider Goblin Mode a chance to unapologetically reconnect with our weird-selves, where time, etiquette, and strict definitions of proper hygiene simply do not exist.


Reality has entered the chat.

Our inner Goblins are shrieking.

Now I’m not saying the party’s over and we’ve got to return to the old ways. The lockdown has forever changed us

But unless landlords start accepting half-eaten cans of Pringles and dirty socks in lieu of rent, the reality is that we Goblins must emerge from our gloomy dens. At least part of the time.

The Practically No-Effort Self-Care Trifecta

If the thought of pausing Goblin Mode and stepping back into the “real world” results in a full-bodied cringe, fret not. Read on for a few quick, low-energy tips to super basic self-care that feels anything but.

The No-Pedicure Pedicure: Gentle Peeling Foot Masks

When I tell you this is dark magic, believe it. Get cleaner cuticles, smoother skin, and softer calluses by slipping on a pair of these foot masks. 

Stream your favorite show like Bridgerton, and after 60 to 90 minutes, you’re done. Over the next couple of days, the dead, dry skin starts to gently peel away. No scrubbing, scraping or rubbing your heels raw ever again. 

Aloe Vera Gel: One Product to Rule Them All

Aloe Gel is practically magic. While it’s typically relegated to summer sunburns, one bottle of Aloe Gel can potentially replace up to a dozen products. 

It’s great for acne-prone skin. Aside from its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, Aloe Gel contains salicylic acid, a gentle exfoliant that helps unclog pores. But wait, that’s not all!

It’s a tremendous anti-inflammatory that can help relieve the symptoms of eczema. It moisturizes while effectively removing makeup. It’s a great natural shaving gel, a nourishing hair mask, and a pretty decent eyebrow gel. Aloe Gel is basically the Swiss Army knife of self-care.

Micellar Cleansing Facial Wipes: For When You’re Absolutely Wiped

It’s been a long day of serious adulting, and you’re ready to slip back in Goblin Mode. But the thought of a full-scale cleansing routine feels insurmountable. Pssst: it’s ok to cheat without cutting corners on your skincare routine.

Meet your new bestie: Micellar Water Wipes. Just a quick pass to gently lift the icky, sticky day, remove makeup, and keep skin soft, moisturized, and prepped for bed.

Or a  midnight Toaster Strudel sofa buffet; our secret.

Read more about Goblin Mode:

  • I Can’t Shut Up About Goblin Mode (The Cut)

  • We’re All Capable of Going ‘Goblin Mode’ (The Atlantic)

  • 'Goblin mode' is Oxford’s word of the year. What does it mean? (Today)

  • How 'goblin mode' became Oxford's word of the year (NPR)