SALT SCRUBS AND THE FAMILY FATIHAH
“Family fatihahs” are otherwise known as engagement parties or introduction ceremonies in the south western part of Nigeria. Mine was simple but classic and well organized; just a small living room party strictly between the two families proposing to be united through the marriage of my spouse and I. It started with a lot of running ups and downs; the clatter of kitchen pots, glass cups and silver wares, the vibration of dragged furniture, the opening and closing of doors, the mixed aroma of roasted lamb, smoked cat fish, vegetable soup and mixed fruit salad, the dusting and sweeping of even the most hidden corner of the house, the fragrance of lavender and white rose lightly sprayed to indulge our senses amongst other things. It all seemed like the usual tradition when expecting any kind of guests most importantly future in – laws whom you have to make a lasting impression on.
A few hours rolled in and out and it all started, strictly guided by the Islamic code. The females in the house wore loose abayas and maintained a separate space from the men. Words were exchanged between the two parties represented by the family heads and terms were agreed upon. There was so much to remember; the laughter, the light jokes, the chitchats and of course, the wining and dining to which the women were finally given their privacy. It was at this moment that I discovered the effectiveness of what I would call my “beauty spell”. My proposed mother – in – law passed a lot of heart felt compliments to my mum about how beautifully the latter had raised her daughters and how marveled she was about our looks. And I was stunned. Of course, not because I felt that my sisters and I were not good looking but because if memory would serve me well, the preceeding 24 hours were spent trying to fix our looks for what was coming.
Just a day before, I had complained about how dry and dull my facial skin was and how my intending in laws were going to be unimpressed about my looks. My younger sister also just had an acne breakout and mum was nagging about how the preparations had taken a toll on her which made her lose some confidence in herself. I knew I had to do something quick. And as a D – I – Y beauty regimen person, I figured out that we all needed to have a whole body salt scrub. And I guessed that did the trick. My sisters were ready to do anything for a beauty fix but my mum who was so skeptical about the whole beauty restoration plan finally succumbed to having a warm salt water bath in the cold harmattan night. The treatment did not evaporate my sister’s acne but it helped in fading it lightly. At the end of it all, we felt very renewed as the therapy left our skins considerately so soft, supple and glowing. And so it was that after receiving such heart felt compliment on the day of my fatihah, i learnt never to underestimate the power of making little efforts in trying to fix things up. The ingredients were readily available in the kitchen cabinet, in the fridge and in my cosmetic drawer which contains a wide range of natural raw materials; a low budget option to solving an immediate problem.
Pampering ourselves with a body scrub at least once in a week, preferably on weekends is essential to maintaining a beautiful, tender and youthful skin. After having worked ourselves out in the preceding days, what other better way to compensate our bodies than to dedicate a few hours on either a Saturday or Sunday to give it special care and attention; especially for those amongst us who wish to dazzle hubby with good looks. This creates a sense of appreciation for the beauty that Allah has bestowed on us and also increases our confidence and self-esteem which is essential in meeting up to our several responsibilities in the course of our various occupations. The salt scrub in particular does the double magic of exfoliating old and dead cells on the surface of our skins to reveal new ones as well as soothing body irritations and eliminating stress. These two benefits are essential in maintaining a youthful appearance and the good thing is that you don’t have to break the bank to achieve this. It is also 100 percent natural and free from chemicals and artificial preservatives which invariably means that it causes zero harm to our bodies. But just before you begin to wonder what makes up the therapy. Here is a combination of ingredients I use almost on a regular basis
1. 4 tablespoons of sea salt, alternatively Himalayan salt (but not table salt or cooking salt. And please avoid dead sea salt because it’s not halal)
2. 4 tablespoons of olive oil
3. 3 teaspoons of lavender oil or any other essential or aromatic oil (optional)
4. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (this works wonders in brightening skin colour but may be avoided for those with sensitive skin)
So this is it; as easy as ABC. Mix all the ingredients together and gently massage all over the body in circular motions, particularly the face. Sit back and relax for five minutes and then wash off with warm water. I’m sure you would marvel at the immediate results. And while you benefit from this wonderful therapy, don’t forget to share with other sisters too. So next time you have a skin irritation or suffer fatigue as a result of the day’s work, remember that the salt therapy is just a few steps away, right there in your kitchen, humbly at your service.