A lot can be done to improve body-related matters given 30 minutes “me time” in a bathroom. And now feels like a good time to address scaly shins (is this just me?); dry, bumpy backs of thighs; and the general dull pallor that comes from lack of sunshine and bundling up in copious layers for the past few months.
Now, when I say bathroom – as opposed to a fancy treatment room – this doesn’t mean you can buff up and revitalise without some prior organisation. You will need to invest in a few products. The aim we’re going for here is to recreate a hammam experience at home, reminiscent of the centuries-old Turkish bathing ritual that cleanses and invigorates like nothing else. So, this means serious whole-body exfoliation, much steam to open the pores and lavish application of a body oil after. The outcome? You you will feel half a stone lighter and a whole lot firmer, which is clearly a good result. So, get the hot water on and let’s go.
First, and crucial to the hamman endeavour: you’ll need to pimp your (hot as you can go) bath water to give it an aromatic, therapeutic kick – something harder-hitting than your usual bath foam. Mio Skincare Liquid Yoga Bath Soak, is excellent, with a blend of depuffing and calming Epsom salts, zingy essential oils and omega-rich Murumuru butter, which Mio describe as “mega-moisturising” and I concur. A budget alternative is Radox Bath Therapy Muscle Soak Herbal Bath Salts, be generous and chuck in half the box – and add a squirt of Good Things Spa Argan Oil Bath Soak, with added cocoa butter to soften dry skin. Once the bath is run, spend a good five minutes soaking before you start any exfoliation, to warm and soften your skin. Relaxation over, it is time to put some work in.
If you have a bristle body brush, great; otherwise, pick up a Korean Spa Magic Peeling Mitt, or, failing this, get your flannel and fold it up to make a makeshift scrubbing pad. Squirt on a body scrub – Liz Earle Energising Body Scrub, with damask rose flower, orange oil and peppermint is suitably exotic and limb-livening – and start the big clean. Begin at your toes and work up in circular movements. Really go for it – if you skin isn’t smarting a little, you aren’t going hard enough. (In traditional Turkish hammams, they practically buff you back to the bone.) Don’t leave your face out, but do exfoliate with a specially formulated face scrub, or you’ll come over all Freddie Krueger. Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream, is a much-loved go-to product, thanks to its creamy texture and even buffing ability. A small blob is all it takes for a single use, so this tube will last you through the entire summer.
Scrubbing over, shower it all off and keep the water hot, so that your skin stays as warm as possible. Warm skin equals better moisturiser penetration, which means softer, more hydrated skin. The Rolls-Royce of body oils is This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil, a supremely nourishing treatment product in receipt of countless well-deserved awards. Work over damp skin (this product is so good you shouldn’t limit it to just your legs) and enjoy the delicious aroma of the nine cold-pressed plant oils, including sandalwood and tuberose, as you go. For a more authentic hammam experience, try an argan oil body treatment such as Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil, which too has fantastic hydrating abilities. You’ll find the oil will sink in swiftly, thanks to the dead skin removal and warm soaking, so instead of the usual slick sticky feeling you might get from applying oil, you’ll simply have glowy, super-soft limbs.