What it means to be clean
February 28, 2012
Really clean … or just a rudimentary rinse?
When you jump in the shower in the morning before work are you really getting clean? Does a quick shampoo and swish with the soap constitute cleanliness or merely a rudimentary rinse? I’ve been wondering, among other things, if a little more effort might be satisfying after reading a bookin which the protagonist pays great attention to detail when bathing. Nails, ears, between toes, scrubbing with a brush: methodical washing, done routinely and, in his case, ritually.
I admit, sheepishly, that just yesterday one of my sons discovered the benefits of the nail brush. ”It really gets the dirt out!” he proclaimed after I suggested he give it a go and reminded him how. It’s not that he hadn’t used one before; when he was younger I’d applied one fairly regularly but when he got to a certain primary-school age it was not something I wanted to impose (or he was predisposed to). His revelation about the nail brush was on a par with his discovery of flossing.
And how often do most of us use a nail brush? Or scrub behind our ears with a face flannel? Ensure that every part of our body is truly clean? I discovered the power of clean years ago when I lived in Beirut, where I’d regularly attend a hammam with work mates (female ones). There, in the dank, dripping gloom and lung-testing steam, old snaggle-toothed women would scrub us down roughly yet thoroughly with wet towels, lead us to hot baths, icy plunge pools and pummelling showers, before rubbing us down again more gently (and, to my initial discomfiture, probingly). We’d shampoo and deep-condition our hair in the process, and leave feeling really, really clean and relaxed and abreast of the latest gossip.I had a non-communal, lux version of a steam treatment last week at the Skin Temple medi-spa in South Yarra. The hammam there might have been mini but the fitout was Oriental opulent: lantern-lit, jewel-toned, almost other-worldly but without a hint of the authentic grot factor.
would have approved although, as it was non-communal and as far as I could tell intrigue free, might have become a little bored. A therapist led me through two hours of steam, black soaping, scrub, shower and oiling, followed by more steam and massage. I emerged relaxed and with the softest, most beautiful skin. And, just like in the Middle East, super clean and beautifully scented.
Do you take the time to get truly clean? What does this involve? Steam baths are surely the easiest way to scrub and cleanse but how often do you take the time for even a bath at home? There’s a certain joy in not bathing when camping or holidaying at the beach but there always comes a point when you just want to be clean again. Properly clean. What does your usual routine include? Use the platform of the blog to reveal your true bathing habits (and any propensity for shared steam).
Natasha Hughes was a guest of Skin Temple