At Home Moroccan Hammam Experience

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 ‘Kessa’ or Moroccan Exfoliating Glove
  • Some Beldi/Savon Noir/Black Soap
  • Your usual bath/shower essentials

If you are missing any of the above items, we can help.  Just send me a note at

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 extraordinarly 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.

Now it’s time to begin!

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 “Kessa”.  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.



Our Argan Oil is, of course, Cruelty-Free…

BUT your pets can benefit from Argan Oil, too.

We are pug lovers.  My parents currently have two:  Elliot and Oliver.

As you can see – they have a very rough life.

One thing about pugs – their little noses get dry.  Our pugs are now spoiled and get their noses moisturized with Argan Oil every single day.

Elliot, the poor guy, has allergies.  And he often gets itchy.  Everyone knows what it’s like to have an itch and end up scratching and scratching and scratching.  Your poor skin suffers.  A lot.

When Elliot gets the itchies he is happy to see our little blue bottle come out.  Argan Oil soothes his worst spots and heals them more quickly, too.

Be assured that our Argan Oil is safe to use on your pets.  Remember that Argan Oil is also eaten daily by many Moroccans.  Our raw, cosmetic grade Argan Oil doesn’t taste quite as yummy as it’s roasted, culinary counterpart, but it is certainly safe for consumption if your pet licks the spot you’re using the oil on.

So yes, our dogs get Argan Oil on their noses and itchy spots.  Hmmm.  I wonder what would happen if we put it on their facial wrinkles.  Would they end up looking like German Shepherds?


Have a good day all!


A Conversation at Saadia’s House

Our family went to Morocco in March.  This is when I received our first batch of hand-pressed Argan Oil from my mother in law, Saadia.

I was so excited to start using it and importing it that I wanted to know more about Argan Oil right from the source.

In my last post I mentioned that my husband, Greg, had often tried to get me interested in Argan Oil.  But now that I was interested, he seemed to tune out a little.  Actually, he tuned out a LOT.  As is clear from this snap shot of a conversation at his mother’s house.

A Conversation at Saadia’s House:    “Men Just Don’t Get It”

Joèl:   Greg, ask the ladies how they use Argan Oil.

Greg, bored:  You just use it on your face and in your hair and on your nails.

Joèl:  Well I know THAT.  There has got to be more.  Ask them!  Please.

Greg, in Derija:  Blah blah blah blah blah.

The Ladies, in Derija, all at once:  Blah!  Blah blah blah!  Blah!  Blah blaaah blah blaaaaah blah blah!   Blah!  Blah blah blah!  Blah!  Blah blaaah blah blaaaaah blah blah!

Joèl:  What did they say?

Greg:  They said you use it on your skin, hair and nails.

Joèl, disappointed:  That’s all?  What does it do to your face?

(The Ladies commissurate)

Greg:  Ok.  So it’s good if your skin is feeling dry like old snake skin.  It’s also good if you have zits.  Even if you have lots of zits they will go away.  It fixes many skin problems and it’s great after going to the hammam.  They said that they don’t like to put it on right before going out in the sun because they are afraid their faces will fry like a fish.  So to be careful of that.  It also closes the holes on your face.

Joèl:  Holes?  What holes?

Greg:  These ones (pointing to Joèl’s pores).

Joèl, slightly annoyed but pleased to be getting some info:  Really?  Cool.  What else?

Greg:  It’s great if you are in pain and feeling old and aching everywhere.  It’s good for massage for rheumatism and whatever else is making you miserable.

Joèl:  How about hair?

(The Ladies commissurate yet again)

Greg:  They use it on wet hair and dry hair.  It works good.  Makes it soft and beautiful and gorgeous.

Joèl:  Does it make your hair look greasy if you use too much?

Greg looks over at all of the women present with their hair completely covered with brightly coloured scarves.  Then he glares at Joèl.

Joèl:  Sorry.  I guess you wouldn’t know.  What else?

Greg asks.  The Ladies chatter away.

Greg, really bored and distracted:  It’s good for cooking babies.

Joèl:  FOR COOKING BABIES?  They don’t eat babies!  No one eats babies!  Tell them you just told me it’s for cooking babies!

Greg translates, the Ladies gasp.

Greg:  Sorry.  They use it for cooking for babies.

Joèl:  Really?  For making baby food?

Greg attempts to clarify yet again.

One Auntie makes eye contact with Joèl and points in the general direction of her nether regions.

Joèl:  Does she mean diaper rash?

Greg:  YES!  They said it’s good FOR babies.  They don’t have to worry about diaper rash when they use Argan Oil.

Saadia then makes a motion with her hands as if to show a big pregnant belly.

reg:  Ladies also use it on their bellies.  Lots of it.  They don’t want to get those purple tiger stripes that some women get when they are pregnant.  Mom says that some Moroccan women get very big bellies while their babies are growing.

Joèl:  Canadian women, too.  You can tell them that.

Greg translates.  The Ladies smile broadly and nod.  Pleased to share this in common with women far away on the other side of the world.

Joèl, victorious:  See Greg!  There’s more to it than “just put it on your face, hair and nails”!

Men certainly don’t get it.   At least mine didn’t that day.  😉


How I Fell in Love with Argan Oil

I had been to Morocco a half dozen times and I didn’t give this Argan Oil stuff a second thought.  I’d even visited a nice little co-op just outside Essaouira.  I’d heard my Moroccan husband telling me about this ‘fabulous stuff that’s only made in Morocco’.  I couldn’t have cared less.  Then I saw different products popping up here at home containing a bit of Argan Oil.  And I STILL didn’t pay much attention.

Then during an eyelid-related crisis a year ago I finally got curious.  My 35 year old eyelids aged 20 years.  They were bright pink and burned.  Nothing helped except 2.5% hydrocortisone cream which can thin the skin terribly.  I was beyond desperate.  Then I moaned to my husband and he grabbed some Argan Oil (for cooking!) from our kitchen cupboard.  First, it smelled divine.  I wanted to drizzle it on a salad.  Second, it felt *amazing*.  The pain was gone.  Then I asked him to ask his mother to buy me a teeny bit of raw, cosmetic grade Argan Oil.

And she flat out refused.

Instead, she offered to make me some with her own two hands.  She knows how hard it is to find quality Argan Oil — even in Morocco!

I had known this lovely woman for 8 years and I didn’t know that she had this amazing skill.  (And I’m embarrassed to admit I wouldn’t have cared all that much before last winter.)  In March we went to visit and I went home with a few litres of this amazing stuff.

And now?  I’m hooked.  I put it on my face, neck, and chest twice a day.  I use it on my hands and feet.  And I can’t imagine what my hair would be like without it.  Vancouver is not kind to a girl’s hair.  But my Argan Oil keeps any frizz at bay and makes it so soft and shiny.

I also love it for my four year old daughter.  She asks for it on her face.  On her scrapes.  On her mosquito bites.  On her little feet.  She even gets a bit in her hair now and then.  She believes there is nothing that it can’t fix.

As for my poor husband.  Once in a while he has a complaint and asks where our bottle of Argan Oil is.  But I’ll be honest.  I’m stingy with this stuff.  The very same stuff he couldn’t have paid me to pay attention to for the majority of the last decade.  Now I hide it.  I horde it.  I’d hate for even one drop to be wasted.

I have tried and bought countless different beauty products.  Some have given me decent results.  But I’m now at the point where I don’t like to use stuff on our skin that has a list of ingredients a mile long.  Containing words that remind me of Organic Chemistry class in my second year of University.  I remember that lab.  I wouldn’t want any of that stuff we messed with on my face.  But this?  I can pronounce it.  I know exactly what’s in it.  I know who made it.  I know I can trust it.  And I know I’ll get the results I’m looking for.

Have you tried authentic, raw Argan Oil yet?  What results have you enjoyed?