Tag Archives: bath

Gimme that Gook

kahina beldi soap

Don’t judge the gook by its look. I get it – this doesn’t look like the most appealing jar of soap but I assure you it is magical. It was the VIP of my weekend. Allow me to break down the experience of using a traditional Moroccan Beldi soap. As a bath connoisseur, I’m fascinated by bathing culture around the world. I’m the middle of researching a trip to Finland where saunas are a national pastime. I’m part Finnish so my affinity toward hot steam is perhaps ground into my DNA somehow. I really appreciate the cultural nuances on how we choose to relax and clean our bodies. In Morocco, Beldi soap is used in bath houses called hammams. It’s a process.

kahina beldi soap rose

Pores are first opened with hot water and steam and then Beldi soap is applied all over damp skin like a mask and left on for 3-10 minutes. The texture of the soap is a thick gooey gel – it’s simply olive oil that’s been turned into soap – and usually is scented with eucalyptus essential oil. With steam and heat, it sort of soaks in and softens on your body. Once it’s time to rinse, you use a coarse mitt – called a Kessa in Morocco – and scrub the Beldi off. Along with all of your dead skin. Now you see why I use the word magical.

I learned of Beldi from Kahina Giving Beauty and have only seen a similar product at one other place in Chicago at Merz Apothecary.

I love the luxury of Kahina’s. For me, nothing exfoliates my skin better and the ritual of it all is what I love most. You’re thinking – I have to sit with soap on my skin for 10 minutes without rinsing? How does that even work in the bath or shower?

kahina beldi

Here’s the way I Beldi. I take a bath – usually one where I’m not washing my hair but rather in it to soak and relax. I get in it while the water is still running so my body adjusts to the temperature and I can get the water super hot. Once I’ve been soaking for a bit, I’ll apply Beldi on my limbs, neck, chest – pretty much everywhere and then I’ll sit up in the tub with my legs propped up. That way, I’m not submerging the areas I’ve just Beldi-d. I’ll chill for a bit and then wet my Kessa mitt (Kahina sells one!) and then start scrubbing. It lathers up really nicely and then once you’ve scrubbed it all off there’s usually evidence on the mitt. So satisfying! After I’m all rinsed off, I usually get out of the tub and drench my body oil. It’s unreal how soft your skin feels.

Kahina now has two versions of Beldi soap – the original with eucalyptus oil and now one with rose oil that you can also use on your face. The rose is a little gentler. I wouldn’t go totally ham on your face with an exfoliating mitt but lighter pressure might feel really nice.

There’s nothing quite like scrubbing Beldi soap off of your skin. I highly recommend trying…you totally can get past the look of the gook.

Adventures in Self-Pampering

Cozy Bathrobe

I started to notice a trend among my winter cozies– the ones I only wear at home, at least. They’re really not very cute, at all. Last year, my friend Lindsay told me about these bathrobes that she and her boyfriend got each other for Christmas. They both work from home and really wanted a warm layer for chilly days in their coach house. At first, I laughed at the holiday exchange, but then I went gaga for the darn robe! The coziest thick fleece with a hood, too. By the time January rolled around, they were nearly sold out in my size in any color I’d wear (in my world: black, grey or navy) so I went with the most hideous combination: pink candy striped. I absolutely treasure this robe, despite it being loud and unlike anything I own.

EcoTools Dry Body Brush

Now that hideous bathrobe season is starting to creep in, I find myself wrapping myself up in it at night. I’m all about my nighttime pampering now. Especially being back from Toronto – reunited with my bath tub and my robe! Night is when I do most treatments. In the mornings, I’m winding up, not down, and don’t get the same enjoyment out of the ritual. I need the time and the head space to enjoy it without thinking ahead to my day. I’ve been experimenting with the new EcoTools Dry Body Brush and have built an entire new night time routine around that. The benefits to dry body brushing are insane – helps improve circulation, detoxify, smooth skin, stimulate the nervous system and so much more. Actually carving out time to do it consistently is the key to reaping the benefits. Honestly, it just feels great, too.

This is my perfect night ritual. I don’t get to do all of it every night but when I do, I sleep so soundly and wake up with fresh energy.

EcoTools Pure Complexion Sponge

Step 1: Pour yourself a glass of wine. Obviously.

Step 2:  Wash your face. I’ve been using The Honey Mud (dessert status). I follow it with a face massage using EcoTools Complexion Facial Sponge. It’s a konjac sponge so all you have to do is get it wet and it turns into this spongey foam. Don’t you love how those work? I like it as the grand finale on a clean face, though really, it’s meant to be used in combination with your face wash, too. I really use it in places I never seem to get with my hands, on my neck, around my ears and in the curves of my face.

Step 3: Draw yourself a bath. While water is filling, start the dry body brushing. I love the hand grip on this and the natural bristles aren’t rough at all. I start at my legs/ankles and work my way up my body. Always upward strokes, leading toward the heart. I got a massage once and she told me to always work towards the heart to aid circulation.

Step 4: Hop in! But first, light some candles, grab your wine and a book. Bath time is my meditation so I find that I’m not always the best reader; I like my mind to wander. But I’ve been reading Tiny Beautiful Things and the bite-sized chapters are perfect to get me thinking.

Step 5:. Get out of that tub and into the ugly robe. But, first, lather up with lotion of choice. For me, it’s a tub of Cocovit. Hot water can dry your skin out, but don’t let that stop you.

Preparing for colder weather is as much a mental game and this is good for my skin and mind. What are your best tips for feeling your best and taking care of your skin this time of year?

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions, thoughts and experiences are 100% mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.