Have yourself Hammam. Black Soap.

Black soap, balti or soap noir is this translucent olive soap that you apply all over your body in a steam room before a moroccan bath…and I finally found it here.

This is the traditional preparation before you enter the hammam as it softens the skin making it easier to shed the dead cells off with a kessa mitt leaving your skin glowing, and smooth as silk (no exaggeration)

For most Moroccans, the hammam is more than a day at the spa; it is a social event that happens regularly, etched in tradition of Islamic cleansing rituals. Often as was the case with my hammam, the next door shop is a bakery so you can catch up for food after and gossip over drink traditional moroccan tea.

The process really sheds your skin, so much comes off. The result is silky soft skin. Completely clean. Beautiful. This is the perfect prep for good skin nourishing oils and if you were going to apply tan, it would last a long time. Essential for any big occasion.

Once you have your black soap and mit ( and you do need the traditional kessa mit as cheap alternatives don’t do the job)here’s how you can diy at home.

These instructions are the most true to the real experience I could find from http://www.moroccansouk.org/blog/2015/1/24/diy-hammam

Enjoy…

Make sure you have some time, around 30 minutes or more. You should be doing this to relax and unwind, to clear your mind and really clean and take care of your body. This isn’t something to do 15 minutes before you rush out to do Saturday grocery shopping or shuttle kids off to soccer practice (or head to your own soccer practice). You are going to want some time, and quiet. For some, this might mean locking yourself in the bathroom at midnight, when everyone else is sleeping.

Step 1:

Assemble your gear.

1.     Kees (exfoliating body glove)

2.     Savon Beldi (Moroccan Black Soap)

3.     Rhassoul clay (a natural clay face and body mask)

4.     Foot pumice

5. Argan Oil or Barbary Fig Seed Oil

Step 2:

Light some candles. Play some soft music. Play hard rock if that is your thing. Whatever makes you happy. For a real authentic hammam experience, email us and we can send you sound loops of Moroccan women gossiping about their neighbor’s upcoming wedding in Arabic. We are serious.

Step 3:

Start the water in your bath or shower. You will want the water hot. Not so hot that it burns your skin but comfortably hot (we release ourselves of any responsibility for people burning themselves as we warned you). Wet your whole body, letting the steam and heat envelope you.

Step 4: 

Turn off the water or step out of the bath (we don’t encourage wasting water). Use your hand to scoop out a dollop of savon beldi (Moroccan black soap) with your fingers and massage into all parts of your body. Really rub it in. The soap doesn’t lather like commercial soaps, but it will slightly turn white on your skin. Keep rubbing it on, creating a thin layer of soap where you want it. Once finished, hang out for about 10 minutes, letting it penetrate and really open your pores. This is a great time to sing a song, meditate, compose a poem or chat to your husband, who you have recruited to exfoliate your back during step 6.

Step 5:

Turn the water back on and wash off the soap with hot water (again, comfortably hot, not scolding).

Step 6: 

Take the exfoliating glove (kees), put it on your hand, and start rubbing up and down on your skin, applying firm pressure. Your skin should not have soap on it as the friction between the glove and your skin is what allows actual exfoliation to happen.

The savon beldi and heat should have softened up your dead skin so that with the rubbing of the kees, it will start falling off. Of course, it won’t be as dramatic as in an actual hammam (would show you pictures but its not beautiful), but some dead skin should fall off.

Rub all over, arms, stomach, thighs, legs, shoulders, breasts, neck etc. You have dead skin everywhere, trust me.

Step 7: 

Wash off with some water and feel your skin tingling a bit from the friction of the glove. Then, mix some of the Rhassoul clay in a bowl with water to get your desired paste consistency. Massage the paste onto all parts of your body and face. This is a conditioning natural clay mask, so it will further soften up your skin and infuse it with nutrients. Leave it on for about 15 minutes (or longer if you want).

Step 8:

Wash off the clay with warm water and a wash cloth. You can now proceed to wash your hair, shave your legs or do whatever else you would like to do in the shower.

Step 9:

Dry yourself off and apply Argan oil or Barbary Fig Seed oil to your face and body. This will make you feel incredible. Let it soak in while you stretch and rock out whatever you rock out to.

Step 10:

Celebrate, because you have just taken some time for yourself, really cleaned your body and did it all without harmful toxic chemicals, a rarity in today’s world.

 

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