Ten years passed before I reflected on those age-old rituals.
I returned home to Casablanca. I was tired, much more so than usual. I was so exhausted that my sister, Sara, managed to convince me to go to the Hammam, a place I had avoided for more than 20 years, a place she had recently fallen back in love with herself.
Upon walking through the doors of the Hammam, I returned to the beginning of my beauty journey.
If you are not familiar with the Hammam process, it is typically comprised of three steps:
Skin prep: the skin is initially prepared by applying beldi soap, then you relax in a hot steam room.
Body scrub: a therapist scrubs you with a kessa, from head to toe. This is to help shed dead skin (as well as negative emotion and tension) in the process.
Post-scrub soak: Rhassoul is applied all over the body, face and hair then gently shampooed through twice, followed by soap.
Twenty years later the three-step ritual feels mostly the same, but different. It is a good difference.
Now I appreciate the process more, enjoying the benefits of natural, hand-mixed products applied directly to the face and body.
Now, I treasure the sensorial experience, noticing how the products do wonders for my skin, but also my soul.
I am forever hooked. I crave a monthly Hammam for that wonderful body and face treatment, and a soul-cleanse. I go for the otherworldly, fresh-flushed rosy glow: inside and out.
I returned to London with carefully chosen new old rituals that I have been able to adapt to my fast-paced lifestyle.