One of my favourite things to do in Morocco is to visit the hammam. A hammam is a steam-filled public spa. You can spend the equivalent of a dollar or two and do all of the work yourself, or you could spend a few dollars more and have the work done by someone else. And let me tell you — these ladies are skilled and they know what they’re doing.
If you ever get the chance to go to a hammam – you will feel *amazing* when you’re through.
If you have no plans to go to Morocco any time soon and you would like to try to duplicate this soothing, yet invigorating ritual at home – keep reading.
You will need just a few things:
- Pure Argan Oil
- A ‘Kiis’ or Moroccan Exfoliating Glove
- Some Beldi/Savon Noir/Black Soap
- Your usual bath/shower essentials
A bit of background information:
Argan Oil is the ultimate beauty treatment for skin, hair and nails. It also has many therapeutic uses. It is made up of unsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E/tocopherols, squalene and sterols. Each of these components is unique and useful for different reasons. Some act as antioxidants, while others help with chronic inflammation.
Black Moroccan Soap is a wonderful body treatment. It is rich and natural and will clean and detoxify your skin while leaving an extraordinarily smooth finish. It is a 100% pure plant product made from olives and is extremely rich in vitamin E. It is a great emollient, exfoliator and moisturizer. It cleanses the skin by removing dead cells and toxins leaving the skin softer than you could ever imagine. Thanks to this high content of vitamin E, it helps to revitalize the skin, acting against dryness, dehydration and aging.
Note: This soap lathers very modestly. Don’t panic when you don’t see bubbles. Also, it is suitable for all skin types and particularly enjoyable for dry and mature skin.
First: Make sure your bath or shower is as hot and as steamy as possible. It is important for your skin to be warm and humid for best results. Apply the savon noir to your face and body in small circular movements. Leave the soap for between five and ten minutes so that the it may assist in unclogging your skin’s pores and starting the cleansing process. Don’t rinse it off!
Second: Now it’s time for my favourite part. For the smoothist skin ever, follow the soap with a thorough exfoliation using the Moroccan exfoliating glove or “Kiis”. This is called gommage.
Rub with great enthusiasm in a vertical motion (not circular) in order to remove all the dead cells. You will see the dead skin peel away. (Warning – it’s rather gross. But very worth it. If you don’t see grey bits of skin, you need to scrub MORE.) Once you finish your gommage, rinse off and you will be amazed and delighted with the result. You will glow with the radiance of the Moroccan sun.
Third: Many Moroccan women at this point will shampoo and condition their hair and do any necessary shaving. Finally, many will lather up with a mild body wash in a scent of their choice. Rinse well.
Fourth: After drying, continue with good massage using pure Argan Oil. (Yes, it’s luxurious and yes you deserve it.) Then sit in a pretty spot for a hot glass of sweet mint tea.
You are now officially Moroccan and gorgeous!
Let me know how it goes.