Remember vacations? The joy of discovering new places, cultures, people, and places? We do too. Since traveling is off the table for the foreseeable future, we’re looking at fun ways to bring the outside world back home. After seeing a flurry of beautiful Moroccan hammams on our Instagram feeds, we decided to create our very own at-home hammam!
Let's start with the basics: Like, what exactly is a hammam? Turkish baths (or hammams) are public places that people go to bathe, relax and socialize. It's bathing-as-therapy, and we're here for it.
In Morocco, the ritual is several hours long, which is a good chunk of time to dedicate to self-care. Traditionally, steam showers, scrubs, hot and cold baths, shampoos, massage and masks are involved. In our culture, a 20-minute soak is considered indulgent, so take as little (or as long) as you like. The point is to relax and enjoy the experience.
The first step? It’s all about preparation. Make sure you have a fluffy stack of clean Turkish bath towels ready. We love their pretty pastel design, and eco-friendly sensibility. If you're feeling luxurious, upgrade to a bath sheet for an even cozier post-bath moment.
A traditional hammam ritual involves a lot of steam, a good scrub, and a long massage with beautifully scented oils. I don't have a steam room, but I do have a bath, and this DIY spa night is all about working with what you got. When the bath is running super-hot, I dump two big scoops of Himalayan Pink Salt in the water, and then I wait. Make sure your bathroom door is closed for maximum steaminess in there.
Next up: time to soak. Just sit in the bath, light a candle, maybe it’s even time to invest in a bath tray to hold a book or a glass of wine. Or, if sometimes in the past you’ve forgotten to blow out a candle, use this coconut bath soak instead. It smells like a coconut latte, and adds another moisturizing element to your bath. Whatever you need to relax! Sometimes I need a glass of sauvignon blanc, and sometimes I need to meditate. Life is a rich tapestry!
In an actual hammam, the cleansing is only one part of the ritual. After you’re clean, an attendant would soap you up with Moroccan black soap and scrub you down. Now, between COVID and my budget, I can’t afford to have someone scrub me down with an exfoliating treatment right now. But, I can do a really good job of it myself with my Supracor bath mitt. This thing is incredible! It exfoliates so well it can even reduce the appearance of cellulite. Aleppo soap is the original beauty bar, so it’s fitting to use it for this kind of ritual - but if you have delicious body wash, that’ll work too.
Before I get in the shower or bath, I grab my Heales Dry Brush and have a good session. This is a ritual I’ve started doing everyday. I never thought I would love it this much! I have terrible circulation, and since I’ve started dry-brushing, my feet don’t get cold anymore. Not to mention that delicious, tingly feeling you get afterwards is addictive. Don’t forget to use your sea sponge to double the lather from any soap.
You want to be sure that you properly hydrate your skin after a soak. That’s right: it’s time for the oils. A good body oil while you’re still a little damp will not only hydrate, but lock in moisture so you don’t have to constantly reapply like with lotion. There’s not a body oil on the market that smells or feels better than the Heales Apothecary body oil. If I’m feeling myself, I also add a drop of two of Fur Oil because pubes need love, too. In the winter, my skin is extra dry, so I like to slather on a rich body cream to lock in that moisture from the oils. Saya Rich Body Cream is an ultra-thick body butter full of natural ingredients instead of the usual water-based and chemical formulas so many drugstore lotions use.
The only thing that’s left to do after cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, and hydrating? Put on a robe, and get out of the bathroom so my boyfriend can finally use it. Ok, so it's not quite the Royal Hammam Spa experience, but all things considered it’s still pretty good.