The women of Morocco have refined their beauty rituals for more than a thousand years, using natural ingredients such as Moroccan rose, lava clay powder found at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, argan oil, and kohl. As they did in the past, women today go to the hamam baths to exfoliate their skin and to use masques made of clay for their face and hair, emerging glowing and refreshed. It is a ritual that is not to be rushed but to be indulged. Relaxation of muscles and joints with massage is as important as the exfoliation and treatment masques. The western concept of a quick morning shower after a workout hardly seems conducive to beauty in the way of Moroccan traditions. Rather than energizing with a cup coffee, they rehydrate after the bath with Moroccan fresh mint tea. The whole experience is calming and yet invigorating.
Traditional Moroccan soaps, masques, oils and fragrances have always inspired designers and cosmetics companies, as they channel the culture and it’s exotic beauty. Now we can create a mini- hamam experience at home using products that are readily available internationally.
Black soap is a staple of the hamam ritual. Elma & Sana Moroccan Black Soap contains black olive oil, paste and eucalyptus essential oil and is 100% organic. It is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Smooth on black soap after steaming in the shower for a few minutes when your body skin has warmed up. Leave it on for fifteen minutes, rinse off and then exfoliate your skin using a kessa glove to remove impurities and dead skin cells, leaving your skin fresh and clean.
Follow with Elma & Sana Ghassoul Moroccan Lava Clay Powder, to treat the cleansed skin and hair. Pronounced “rassool”, ghassoul is an organic natural rock clay made up of magnesium, calcium and potassium. Mix a bit of it with water to make a gentle face masque. It is safe for all skin types and hypo-allergenic, and you can make the paste as thick as you choose. To make a hair masque, mix another portion of the clay powder with a small amount of water. Again, leave it on for fifteen minutes and rinse off.
Argan oil is one of the most traditional of Moroccan skin and hair products and is now in many western beauty brands. This completely natural oil comes from nuts from the argan tree growing in one small area of Morocco, and has been used for millennia to heal flaky, irritated skin, to moisturize, treat acne and burns, and to improve and revive hair. Try 100% organic Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum on fine or curly, wet or dry hair, to impart shine and to tame frizz, leaving behind a light fragrance of bergamot and geraniums.
The eyes are the windows of the soul, so frame them well. Cobalt blue flatters eyes less harshly than solid back in the alluring Clé de Peau Beauté Intensifying Cream Eyeliner. A little practice and you will be able to apply it with ease for a strong eyeliner, or blended with the brush for a smokey effect.
Skin glowing, hair shining and eyes smoking – all you need is the perfect exotic scent. Designers Victor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb Rose Explosion is a sensual, oriental blend of “oud wood”, jasmin, mandarin, Moroccan rose, bergamot, saffron, patchouli and amber.
Exotic Moroccan beauty rituals stem from a great history of using the best natural products available, treating the skin and hair, and relaxing the body. Bring this concept home and create your own Moroccan hamam experience. Don’t forget the soothing fresh Moroccan mint tea. Just the right touch to transport and transform.
Elma & Sana products available at www.drugstore.com
Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum available at www.josiemarancosmetics.com
Clé de Peau Beauté Intensifying Cream Eyeliner available at www.nordstrom.com
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rose Explosion available at www.saksfifthavenue.com