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RITUALS pride themselves on bringing beautiful ancient cleansing traditions into our homes. One of their latest ranges is the updated Rituals The Ritual of Hammam, essentially a hammam in your home. I have actually been to a hammam in Turkey (Kalkan is one of my favourite places in the world) and I have had the experience myself a few times.
Until you have lain on a marble slab and had soap suds up to three feet in height on your body being scrubbed and massaged to within an inch of your life you have never lived! It is a unique experience and a treat for the mind and soul and a feast for the eyes as well as the body.
One of the hammams I went to was soooo beautiful. Warm steam, carved marble and intricate burnished bronze water faucets and decorative bowls to pour the water – it is an amazing experience. Add it to the list to try it at least once in your life.
Hammams also smell incredible, it is a dreamy, clean, soapy smell mixed with purifying oils. It is amazing for your health as it deep cleanses and purifies your body, helps with any skin problems, reduces aches and pains, makes you feel better if you have a cold and gets rid of toxins from the body and it is incredibly relaxing.
The effects on the body are noticeable and they last, the softest most sumptuous skin, even and glowing. When abroad having a hammam experience at the start of your holiday is recommended as it prepares your skin for the sun providing the ultimate exfoliation and leaving you so soft with a feeling of cleanliness that is second to none.
The idea of having the hammam experience in your home is brilliant. I have been testing this personal wellness ceremony using five steps to create a luxurious spa at home.
You need to take time for this ritual, this is not a ‘quick shower in the morning’ process. However, you wouldn’t want it to be. It is all about taking time to care for yourself, to de-stress and relax. I have used the shower foam and the body cream on their own outside of the five steps when I have less time, so you can tailor it to the time you have as we all have busy lives.
Can we also just take a moment to appreciate the luxury packaging and colour choices for these products. I have to say RITUALS know how to do packaging – they look unbelievable, very classy indeed and unisex too which is a huge plus point.
Rituals Ultra Hydrating Black Soap
The black soap is how you start the ritual; you get 150mls for £8.50 here. This contains eucalyptus and pure olive oil. It is a unique texture, paste-like and deep cleanses your body. I jumped in the shower to get the steam going and to get my body warm, almost like recreating a sauna/steam room. If you are fortunate enough to have a steam room/sauna at home then pop in there for a bit. I then applied a thin layer of the black soap all over, massaging it in well and left it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.
RITUALS… also sell Kessa gloves which are traditional Turkish scrub gloves. These are great to use after the black soap stage and are used in a hammam to gently remove old skin cells – although some people have often said they felt like they were being ‘sand-papered’! Perhaps an over vigorous masseuse.
Rituals Sea Salt Hot Scrub
After the black soap it is onto the sea salt hot scrub, it is also worth noting that you can apply the hot scrub on top of the black soap too – entirely up to you. This hot salt scrub contains ginger and fresh eucalyptus.
I love to scoop up handfuls and apply it in circular motions to the body. It makes your skin tingle and you can feel a slight warming effect which is lovely and I especially like the effect on the lower legs as it leaves your skin gleaming. The slat particles are very scrubby so be gentle and let them do the work. It is satisfying to use. The best thing is that the product has no parabens or mineral oil so when you rinse if off you are left with the softest skin but no horrible oily residue on your skin which is a dream. The size is generous too, you get 450g for £19.50 here.
Rituals Purifying Body Mud
I love this body mud. It contains mineral rich rhassoul clay and smells of eucalyptus – the scent is insane, really uplifting. It contains small, very scrubby particles (not micro beads) which feel lovely.
From my experience body muds can be a nightmare. They are messy and get everywhere in the shower leaving you with a huge clean-up exercise. However, with this one the consistency is just right as it is a thin textured mud. It sticks to the body and as you massage it in gently it feels scrubby and satisfying. You then leave it on for up to two minutes or longer if you like, then rinse off. It rinses off with ease – you can find it here – it is 150mls for £10.00.
Rituals Refreshing Foaming Shower Gel
This is a gel shower foam. It squirts out like a gel and then on contact with the water it foams up and expands. Use it sparingly and don’t do what I did and squirt out a handful as the foaming suds were unbelievable – think Ibiza foam party! (not that I would know..). It contains eucalyptus and rosemary and smells beautiful – 200mls for £8.50 here.
Rituals Soul Uplifting Body Cream
This body cream contains fresh organic eucalyptus and rosemary. It is a rich cream and smells divine. It nourishes the skin and leaves behind a gentle trail of scent that does not interfere with your fragrance but leaves you smelling clean. Very moisturising and softening and the perfect end to the ritual. 220mls for £19.50 here.
Now a little word about ingredients here. The range is paraben, mineral oil and micro bead free. The use of natural, sustainable organic ingredients such as rosemary and eucalyptus along with olive oil is great. However, the foaming shower gel, for example, does contain sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and the body cream does have the usual bulking agents including water. I generally prefer non-mineral oils to moisturise. So, depending on your views on ingredients some not so good points balanced with some great points. It is a tough one as we all associate cleanliness with plentiful suds. However, brands using naturally derived agents to produce suds are doing it so well now – the products have come on leaps and bounds.
I ditched SLS/SLES in shower gels and shampoos a long time ago favouring natural brands who use natural foaming agents. I personally find them less drying and more softening. It is a personal choice at the end of the day. Given the brands ethos I would hope that as part of continuous improvement they continue to look at their ingredients and switch certain ingredients out. Then we could love them just a little more than we already do.
Final words on Rituals The Ritual Of Hammam- The concept and range is gorgeous. I love the ritual aspect. The stand out products for me are the black soap, it is very softening, and the hot scrub as I love a really effective body scrub. I would not plump for the foaming shower gel personally as I do find them drying.
RITUALS… always blow me away with their innovation, the beautiful branding and packaging designs. The revamped Rituals The Ritual of Hammam Collection smells insane and leaves you feeling fantastic – soft, smooth, purified and delicately scented. The price point is perfect as the quality does belie the price when you compare it to other brands. The sizes are very generous, so it’s affordable luxury – this ritual is a great treat for yourself, your partner and a great pampering gift for family/friends.
What is your favourite RITUALS… cleansing ceremony/range?
Let us know if you have ever tried a real hammam experience – what did you think?
Read more of Natalie’s articles for ReallyRee here
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