Drawing on the raw ingredients that are native to the region, the Moroccan approach to beauty is defined by a deep-rooted connection to the rose valleys and rust red mountains that shape its landscape. Since Argan oil, or ‘liquid gold’, established the country as a natural beauty destination, beauty experts around the world started taking notes from the traditions and purifying rituals that have been preserved by the women of Morocco for centuries. In collaboration with the luxury Aman Amanjena hotel in Marrakesh, we share Morocco’s essential beauty secrets and a guide to re-creating the Hammam spa at-home.
THe MOROCCAN HAMMAM : A CENTURIES OLD TRADITION
Part of many Moroccans’ weekly beauty rituals, the Hammam is an intensive detoxification treatment that involves cleansing, steaming, scrubbing and massaging the skin until it glows. Whilst its effect on the clarity of the skin is instantly noticeable, the healing properties of the steam also make the tradition incredibly beneficial for both body and mind, gently easing out any bodily tension and drawing out impurities from the skin. After a long week of commuting or working in the city, this simple practice will help to rejuvenate your skin, reset your body and offer a dose of much-needed downtime. Below, we have created a step-by-step guide to recreating the Hammam experience in the comfort of your own bathroom, along with guidance on the essential oils, balms and soaps that you can choose from.
HOW TO RECREATE THE MOROCCAN HAMMAM
Begin by running a bath or shower, making sure to close any doors or windows to help maintain a high temperature in the room. The steam and the warmth of the room will help to soften your skin and open up its pores, preparing it for a deeper exfoliation. At this stage, apply a few drops of Argan oil to your hair, wrap it in a towel and leave-in throughout the Hammam.
Used by the Berber’s for centuries, Argan oil is undoubtedly Morocco’s most valuable beauty secret. The cold pressed argan oil used in many Moroccan cosmetics is characterised by a concentration of unsaturated fatty acids, (oleic acids, linoleic and linolenic) as well as a high volume of vitamin E. Working to lock in moisture, Argan oil promotes elasticity, protects against stretch marks, fortifies and protects the hair. It also plays a role in anti-aging by protecting the skin against free-radicals.
Pure Argan Oil
Moroccan Beldi Soap
After soaking in a warm bath or shower, massage Moroccan black soap (sabon beldi) into your face and body, leaving it on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Made using olive oil, sabon beldi’s centuries old recipe is naturally rich in Vitamin E, and helps to gently purify and soften the skin ready for exfoliation.
On warm, damp (not wet) skin, using a konjac sponge, washcloth or a Kessa mitt, massage your body in circular motions to remove any dead skin cells. Imported from Morocco’s storied hammams, Giving Beauty’s Kessa mitt gently but thoroughly exfoliates from neck to toes, opening up your pores to stimulate the lymph and circulatory systems. Gently rinse the skin and hair with warm water.
Rose De Mai Body Oil
Jasmine & Neroli Luxury Body Oil
Inflorescence Body Elixir
After intensive exfoliation, soothe and nourish the skin with a rich body oil – rose, Argan and orange blossom are popular choices in Morocco. With its unique ability to increase porosity and encourage beneficial nutrients to be absorbed deep into the skin, we recommend massaging in a layer of rose oil first. Its anti-inflammatory properties will also help to treat the skin following exfoliation.
Try – Orange Blossom oil is well regarded by Moroccans for it’s powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial abilities. With the ability to revive skin at a molecular level, orange blossom oil is best applied in the last stages of the Hammam to maintain moisture and reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Alternatively, enjoy the oil’s uplifting and calming aroma-therapeutic benefits by adding a few drops to your bathtub.
A traditional Hammam ends with a detoxifying, full-body rhassoul clay mask. If you want to avoid a messy bathroom, finish with a with a clay face mask instead. Sourced high in the Atlas Mountains, this natural rock clay is rich in silica, magnesium, iron, sodium and potassium which help to improve the skin’s clarity and elasticity. Try mixing the powdered clay with a few tablespoons of rose water and applying to the skin for 15-20 minutes to absorb excess grease and eliminate impurities. Rhassoul can also be mixed into a hair mask with olive oil to add volume and restore shine.
After gently washing off the rhassoul clay, apply a few drops of prickly pear oil. Found throughout the Moroccan landscape, prickly pear provides the highest level of fatty acids in comparison to any other essential oil. When applied to the face, these acids help to boost the collagen layer, keeping pores tight and skin moist and healthy. Its unrivalled levels of vitamin E and K are ideal for brightening dark spots and keep skin looking youthful.
Set on the fringes of Marrakech, Aman Amanjena sits close to the allures of the ancient city and within easy reach of the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic coast. The five star resort’s indulgent tranquility is complemented by Morocco’s mesmerising landscape and the resort’s Hammams and private courtyards.