The ancient bathhouses of northern Africa and the Mediterranean east still feature the same purifying and cleansing products dating from the 10th century. Here, three ways you can incorporate traditional hammam ingredients into your routine at home and enjoy some serious skin-boosting benefits.
Savon Noir/Black Soap
If olive oil is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins—including vitamins A and E—that are great for your skin, then the crushed flesh of the olives that make up the Moroccan Savon Noir are even more beneficial and pack a greater punch of the good stuff.
“Olives are loaded with other wonderful antioxidants besides vitamin E,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, YouBeauty’s cosmetic chemistry expert. “The list is long and includes ingredients like oleuropein, hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonols. Olives also have anti-inflammatory benefits when ingested that could possibly translate into skincare benefits.”
The Black Soap can penetrate deep into the skin to eradicate dirt, impurities and dead layers, leaving the epidermis silky soft and shining.
Shown here: Cebra Ethical Skin Care Savon Beldi Noir, $15
What’s a Hammam?
Learn all about the fascinating ancient tradition here.
Moroccans have been using Rhassoul for centuries. The clay contains high amounts of silica, known for its astringent properties; magnesium, which can slow down the aging process; potassium that helps moisturize the skin; and the calcium that’s important for cell renewal.
“Minerals that are readily available for the skin have been shown to help increase cell energy and help with the healing as they are necessary for some processes that take place during wound healing,” Wilson says.
Shown here: Amal Oils Moroccan Rhassoul Clay, $26
There’s not much more that can be said about Morocco’s miracle oil, but for the record, the lightweight and quick-to-absorb argan oil has it all: high amounts of antioxidants, skin-healing linoleic acid, and plenty of anti-aging vitamin E in perfect harmony with omega-6 fatty acids.
“Polyunsaturated oils, tocopherols and sterols condition and soften the skin,” Wilson says. “The fatty acid composition helps to reinforce the lipid barrier on the skin, strengthening the barrier function.”
Argan oil’s sebum-regulating effects mean that it can be used on any skin type, dry or oily, and it works wonders on the hair, too.