Detox, Skincare & Hammam!
Friend’s of Studio Australia Barcelona
It’s always a luxury to find a hidden oasis among the hustle and bustle of our city. Here’s one you might not know about. Rituels d’Orient Hammam Spa. Jerome Moulin and his wife Stephanie Horrel opened their spa in late 2008 after they relocated from Paris.
We spoke this week with Jerome about their Hammam and asked him how an experience at their spa is the perfect complement for those on a detox or for those looking to relax and reconnect with their bodies.
- What is a Hammam bath and how does it compare to other spas?
The Hammam is based on the traditional ancient Moroccan and Turkish baths and provides many benefits to the body and mind. It involves a circuit using heat and humidity progressively, in addition to water that continually refreshes the body throughout the process. The varying temperatures, starting with 37°C with 80% humidity, and finishing with 46°C with 100% humidity, allow your body to gradually acclimate to the heat.
In the first lukewarm room, you can relax on a bench and let your body get accustomed to the heat for 5-15 minutes. After that, you should move on to the hotter room and do the same. It is important to listen to your body and see how much it needs or what it can tolerate.
After the pores have been opened in the Hammam circuit, we usually recommend an exfoliation treatment to eliminate toxins and dead skin cells followed by a massage or other body treatment to rehydrate the skin.
Our Hammam is a health ritual that cleans you both inside and out and I believe the Hammam does this more than any other treatment or spa. As children, our parents used to bathe and clean us so now as adults, it is a different and special sensation to feel that again – to let yourself be taken care of, cleansed and pampered by another person.
- Where does the Hammam originate from?
The tradition and social aspect of baths dates to ancient times, with the Roman Baths. However the Hammam is a tradition originating from Morocco and Turkey.
- Why did you think Barcelona would be a good place to open a Hammam spa?
I had worked for many years in L’Oréal cosmetics so I had a background in the beauty industry. In Paris, Hammam spas are quite popular and my wife’s family lived in Tunisia for many years where the concept of Hammam is common. After relocating from Paris to Barcelona for my job, we noticed the Hammam was unknown here so we saw it as an opportunity to share this ritual with a new city!
We designed our spa staying true to the tradition of the Hammam but adding a more welcoming and aesthetic touch with the decor. We wanted to create a space where our guests could completely disconnect from the business of city life.
Everyone has their own way of enjoying their Hammam experience – through smell, touch and sight. We offer something to suit everyone’s senses while maintaining the authenticity of the Hammam. We want our clients to lose track of time when they are here!
- Other than relaxation, how does a hammam benefit and cleanse the body?
The Hammam benefits the body in many ways but there are a few primary advantages.
First, the muscles which are generally tight and contracted, are relaxed thanks to the heat and steam of the Hammam. This benefit is even better if it’s followed by a massage.
Additionally, the steam opens the skin’s pores and allows for the elimination of toxins, perfect before an exfoliation treatment. The steam also improves blood circulation and enhances metabolic function.
Lastly, the environment is perfumed with eucalyptus and mint which open and hydrate the respiratory tract bringing oxygen to the entire body.
- Do you think a treatment is particularly beneficial during a detox? Which treatment would be ideal for a detox program?
A Hammam is very beneficial during a detox, not only for the benefits already mentioned, but also because the experience helps you become more conscious of your body. During a detox, changes are happening within your body and a treatment supports you in reconnecting with yourself. You’ll leave feeling clean from the inside out and will have had the chance to become more aware and conscious of your body.
One of the most beneficial treatments during a detox would be the traditional Basic Hammam Ritual. Going through the various heated circuits, followed by the Eastern Scrub with beldi black soap. This purification treatment eliminates the toxins on the skin expelled by the body during a detoxification program.
- What is your favorite treatment or the most popular?
The Hammam is the essence of our spa and of your experience here. After that, I definitely recommend the exfoliation treatment followed by any of our massages. Right now during the summer, the Sultana’s Silhouette body treatment is popular. It uses caffeine and ginger to firm, tone and refine the figure.
- The Hammam is an ancient Eastern tradition. How has it been received in Barcelona?
When we opened 7 years ago, it was definitely a new concept in Barcelona and we had to get the word out there. We have been well received here (about 70% of our guests are from Barcelona and the rest are visitors) and we have many returning guests looking for a space to relax and enjoy a traditional styled Hammam experience.
- You talk about the importance of using all-natural products in your treatments. Is there a particular product you recommend when someone is detoxing?
Our philosophy includes the importance of using all-natural, organic products made from good raw materials. The beldi black soap and eucalyptus used in the Eastern Scrub treatment is perfect during a detox for eliminating the impurities removed from the body via the skin.
Other products that would be good to use while detoxing include ginger and caffeine from the Sultana’s Silhouette body treatment I already mentioned. These ingredients activate blood circulation and restore firmness to the skin, eliminating the orange peel look.
Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that the Rituel’s de Orient experience is well worth the effort. Nat and I went last month for a Hammam, scrub and massage and it was the perfect way to prepare our skin for the change in season.
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