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Traditional Gommage


Literally an exfoliation (in French), in traditional hammams this means that someone will first wash you, normally with savon noir (black soap) - which is a beautiful ritual and then use a gommage or scrubbing glove to scrub all the dead skin off your body.


When we went to a hammam in Agadir, Morocco, we thought that there would hardly be any dry skin left - after 3 days on the beach.  Also we were a little bit worried by some of the stories from people who had tried hammams elsewhere - so we asked for a gommage doucement - a soft scrubbing.


She scrubbed so hard it was actually on the edge of being painful,

which I thought a bit unnecessary, until she scrubbed my forearm and I saw rolls of dead skin sloughing off.  It grossed me out and I thought how dirty the Moroccans must think we are - they do this once a week!


Although in some places you can keep on your bikini and/or paper knickers, really I say what’s the point?  After 2 minutes I wasn’t aware if she was scrubbing my boobs or my back.  Speaking of which, it is the best back exfoliation I have ever had.  I often get an itchy patch between my shoulder blades - she just scrubbed it right off - leaving it smooth and soft.


For the next few days I couldn’t help running my hands over my skin.  And I continued scrubbing at home with a glove I bought in Agadir - seeing the dead skin actually coming off on the glove!  Sadly it fell apart - so I am now on the lookout for a serious gommage glove in the UK - but no luck so far!


I have heard that gommage is not suitable for people with sensitive skin - but I have very sensitive skin and I love it and feel it only does my skin good.


A traditional gommage will leave your skin so smooth you won’t be able to stop stroking it.



My scrubbing glove from the hammam in Barcelona, yes it does look like an oven glove and no it doesn’t work as well as the Moroccan ones
Giraffes at sunset in Africa A shell on a beach A jar of rhassoul mud for treatments

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