Have you ever heard of a Hammam, otherwise known as a Turkish bath? It’s a simple but ultra-luxurious way to refresh and reset, and one of our favorite ways to spend time being pampered.
The Turkish Baths can transport you to a different time and place, to the beautiful ancient cities of Istanbul or Marrakech where many of the most renowned secrets of natural beauty have their roots.
While most modern cities have Hammam experiences you can book, you probably won’t get to experience the old-world charm without hopping on a plane.
Even in your hometown, getting to the spa can be a hassle between the commute, cost, and time commitment. Plus, depending on where you live, you might not have access to a spa that you feel comfortable in or that uses natural products that support your clean lifestyle.
Might we suggest: why not bring the hammam home to you? This old-school ritual will leave you feeling renewed and invigorated.
The History of Turkish Baths
Cecile’s products and philosophy are steeped in tradition – one of the reasons why we love the hamam experience so much. Dating all the way back to the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish bath was primarily used for actual bathing since indoor plumbing hadn’t entered the scene quite yet. The baths also served a very important social function as well as gathering spaces to celebrate through ritual.
While the Turkish bath or hammam is one of the most well-known spa experiences, it’s also one of the stranger ones. The goal of the hammam isn’t just cleanliness, but to soften the skin and prepare it for some pretty intense exfoliation. In fact, many people boast the benefits of Turkish baths as though they shed layers and layers of skin… which, you’ll see in a little bit, is exactly what happens.
Traditional Turkish baths utilize specific tools as well to aid in cleansing and detoxification – namely the peshtemal or “Turkish towel” and the kese, an exfoliating mitt.
A Spa Experience That Helps You Live Cleaner
Living cleaner and more boldly is easy when you choose to DIY your hammam experience. It takes is ample steam and a powerful shower, but the products needed for your at-home hammam are minimal and eco-friendly.
Benefits of the spa experience at home:
Reduced anxiety and stress
Great activity for couples
Detox Your Body & Soul With A Turkish Bath
The modern Turkish Bath is essentially a detoxifying steam bath that is equal parts invigorating and soothing, and involves deep relaxation as well as rigorous exfoliation.
It’s a popular spa treatment that friends, partners, and even families indulge in together and is still often used as a way to celebrate special events like birthdays and anniversaries.
When recreating a hammam at home, the exfoliation part is really the star of the show. You can use regular exfoliants like our body scrub, or for full authenticity, we suggest you order a kese mitt.
These ultra-exfoliating gloves will leave your skin more exfoliated than you’ve ever experienced before, priming your skin for some deep moisturizing. Some people have likened the kese mitt to sandpaper, but we prefer to think of it as a vigorously renewing experience. Seriously, your skin will never be smoother.
A little tip for an even more amazing at-home hammam experience: Heat your towels by laying them on the radiator for a short period of time, use a towel warmer, or even toss it in the microwave (run it under water, wring it out, put it in a microwave-safe dish and heat it up for 30 seconds).
HAMMAM AT HOME: DIY TURKISH BATH
Set the mood with candles, music, essential oils in a diffuser or Rejuvenate Calmative Mist.
Turn your bathroom into a wet sauna by running your shower on hot for a few minutes! The steam in the air will soften your skin and get it ready for exfoliation.
While the bathroom is steaming up, wrap yourself in a warm peshtemal and sit in the bathroom either on the closed toilet or on the floor (not in the shower!) for 10-15 minutes. The steam in the air will soften your skin and get it ready for intense exfoliation and nourishment in the next few steps.
Turn the shower from hot to warm, and step into the bathing area. Wet your body with warm water and then turn off the shower. Apply an oil based soap like our Detoxifying Charcoal Soap all over your skin and massage it in gently.
Scrub yourself with your kese mitt, washcloth or other exfoliating tool. Rub your skin vigorously using circular motions for the massage (this is the one and only time we will tell you not to be gentle with exfoliation… do it for the sake of tradition!) – in traditional Turkish hammams, this exfoliation isn’t gentle, and in fact it might feel a little abrasive at times!
Turn the water back on warm and rinse off – you’ll be amazed at how much gunk comes off your body thanks to a good exfoliating session!
For a final refreshing burst, switch the shower temperature to cold and quickly rinse off.
Then wrap yourself in your peshtemal, and sit back and relax with a warm cup of tea.
Hammam-Style At-Home Facial
This hammam-style at-home facial is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the time for a full-body Turkish hammam experience or lacks space (hello, roommates). Enjoy the benefits of a hammam-style facial from your home with all the nourishment of natural, clean beauty by Cecile’s.
Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. If you’d like, add just a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the water. We’d recommend eucalyptus!
While the water is coming to a boil, place a damp towel in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the warm, damp towel over your head and hover your face over the steam.
Indulge in the steam for about 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t overheat!
After about 10 minutes, splash your face with warm water. Grab your Brightening Facial Grains and create a wet paste, then apply to your face and neck. Let sit for 5-10 minutes – sit back and have a cup of tea while the nutrients soak into your skin!
Work the mask in a circular motion for maximum exfoliation and then remove the face mask with a damp washcloth.
Rinse your face with a splash of warm water, and then cool water. Give yourself a mini-facial massage by gently tapping your face all over with the tips of your fingers.
Finish off with our nutrient-dense, ultra-hydrating Essential Elixir.
Bringing the hammam home to you is easier, cheaper, and often more comfortable than a trip to a spa – try out our DIY Turkish Bath and let us know what you think!
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