For centuries Moroccan women have turned to natural ingredients to achieve their seemingly effortless beauty and radiant complexion.
Moroccans have long used natural products to purify and beautify. Traditional beauty secrets include ingredients ranging from essential oils to native plants.
Morocco is a land of diverse nature and beauty. It offers “wanderlust” landscapes from historical to modern, colorful cities and a shimmering sea that hugs its coast from Tangier in the North to Guererat in the South. Magnificent mountains stretching throughout the country and cascading waterfalls will bring you comfort and peace, not to mention the golden colors of Moroccan desert sands.
Morocco’s charm and warmth do not stop at its landscapes and natural wonders. It extends to the Moroccan people and their own unique perspective on beauty.
Purification and cleanliness are deeply rooted in religion, and cleansing both the body and spirit is an essential Moroccan custom. Many traditional beauty rituals derive from this.
This is also why Moroccans make a great deal of frequenting the “hammam,” or traditional Moroccan bathhouse, for deep cleansing, exfoliation, skin treatments, and other body care such as purifying massages and masks.
These are the most essential of the natural Moroccan cosmetics created and proven effective by local women. They will definitely benefit your own beauty rituals.
Rosewater and rose oil
They crush, steam, and distill the rose petals, creating oil vapor and water vapor. They then cool the steam, yielding both rose oil and rosewater.
The value of these products goes beyond their beautiful scent. Moroccans use rosewater for cleansing and hydrating purposes, to soothe and tone the skin. It can serve as a makeup remover as well as an anti-aging serum.
Rosewater can also help treat acne and balance the skin’s pH, just by spraying it on a cotton pad and gently dabbing it on the affected area or spraying it directly onto the skin. The water can also soothe the eyes and calm inflammation.
You can also spray rosewater directly on dry or damp hair to keep it soft, hydrated, and frizz-free.
Argan oil comes from the seeds of the Argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in southwest Morocco. The oil comes in two forms, edible and cosmetic.
Aside from its physical health values, argan oil has marvelous beauty benefits. Moroccan women have incorporated argan oil in their beauty routines for centuries to improve skin, hair, and nail health.
Moroccans apply argan oil directly on the skin to treat everything from eczema and psoriasis to wrinkles and hair loss.
Argan oil is a great moisturizer thanks to its high level of vitamin E, which is why you can find it in many common beauty products such as lotions, soaps, and hair conditioners.
The oil contains a significant amount of vitamins and antioxidants, as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This is great for treating wounds, healing skin infections, countering acne, and addressing other skin conditions.
Argan oil can help restore the skin’s elasticity and leave it feeling plumper and softer, making the oil a great anti-aging product.
“Ghassoul,” or “rhassoul” derives from the Arabic verb “rassala,” which means “to wash.” It is a natural mineral clay, mined from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Moroccan women use ghassoul as part of their hammam ritual, applying the substance to their skin and hair, leaving it for approximately 15 minutes, then rinsing it off with warm water.
Ghassoul has cleansing, soothing, absorbing, and regenerative properties that come from its plentiful vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. These include iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and silicon.
The natural clay can open up dead cells and cleanse pores by removing dirt. This purifies the skin, turning it smoother and softer.
Different methods of use can help with dry or oily hair. Women like to add rosewater to the clay when treating dry hair to hydrate it and create a glowing look. Ghassoul clay also cures dead and dull skin and stabilizes the secretion of sebum, which assists in fighting dandruff.
“Beldi” soap, or Moroccan black soap, is a high-alkaline castile soap with a gel-like consistency, made from olive oil and macerated olives. This substance is also part of Moroccans’ traditional hammam skin treatment ritual.
Locals use the multipurpose soap to cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate the skin with the help of a coarse fabric washcloth, or “kessa,” which is used to remove dead skin cells.
It is rich in vitamin E which helps in purifying and moisturizing the skin, as well as fighting against dullness, aging, and dehydration. It is suitable for all skin types, especially dry and mature skin.
In addition to making the skin smooth and silky, beldi soap helps fight against discoloration and skin irritation with its antibacterial properties.
Other ingredients can enrich the Moroccan black soap, such as essential oils, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint.
Henna is derived from a plant that grows in the Mediterranean area. It can be found in Morocco’s traditional “souks” and its more modern markets.
The leaves of the henna plant are ground to form a fine powder, which is then mixed with water to create a thick, mud-like paste.
Using Moroccan henna is a very popular tradition in the country. Women of all ages wear it during special celebrations and holidays such as weddings, engagement parties, “sboua,” which is the local version of a baby shower, and Eid.
Women use the semi-permanent vegetable dye to draw beautiful designs, with a brush or needle, on different parts of the body. Moroccan women–and men as well–can use it to dye their hair or beard for a lovely look or to cover white hair.
Besides using it to beautify hands with unique designs and as a hair dye, Moroccans also use henna as a natural body and hair moisturizer.
Moroccan women include henna in their bathing rituals. They scrub their skin and hair with it for a couple of minutes then rinse it off, leaving the skin feeling soft and the hair looking shiny and beautiful.
Amazigh tint / aker Fassi
Aker Fassi is a natural Amazigh (Berber) red tint. It is naturally made from powdered poppies, dried in the southern sun, and the bark of pomegranate trees.
It usually comes in powder form or will look like dried petals. Merchants often sell it in a lid made of clay.
The colorful pigment allows for a long-lasting tint and is traditionally used as a lipstick or blush. To dilute the natural color, moisten the shell with your finger, or ideally a brush, and spread it over your lips or cheeks.
The poppy petals are rich in active ingredients that provide moisturizing, softening, and anti-wrinkle properties.
Aker Fassi also contains antioxidants and calming, soothing features because it has natural flavonoids and alkaloids.
You can also mix Amazigh tint with henna to make a hair mask that will increase shine and softness. When added to ghassoul clay, it enhances the skin’s clarity and creates a natural, brightened, and soft complexion.