Oils to rediscover rituals from elsewhere

There are oils that we no longer present … The olive has been on our plates for so long that it is sometimes obvious. Argan, meanwhile, has become as valuable a selling point as the oil itself. We believe we know them and yet these oils no longer have the meaning they had for our elders.

Because what these oils teach us in the first place is authenticity. “Traditionally, women drew on what their environment had to offer for their care, explains Nathalie Bouchon Poiroux, head of treatments at the 5 Mondes spa. Vegetable oils, a precious link with the earth, were used without limit, applied. on the skin but also used in the context of food “. The explanation behind this universal success: oils are an essential nutrient for our body. Rich in fatty acids, omega 3 and 6, they alone constitute a valuable anti-aging gesture thanks to their antioxidant properties. The oils: a treasure in itself, just like the rituals that women around the world have been able to associate with them.

Oriental tradition: oil, an ode to the body

The Orient is the seat of a twofold beauty. In the street the body is hiding; in the hamman, it reveals itself. Henna tattoos, hair pledge of eroticism, perfect hair removal: the rituals celebrate the voluptuousness of women. A constant quest for seduction in the quest participates oils.

  • Olive and argan oils, between nutrition and hydration: The first is the oil of everyday life, the second, that of special occasions … However, olive and argan oils share common virtues. Nourishing, they help the hand to slide on the skin during the massage. Antioxidants, they are the key to a smooth and protected epidermis. Eaten during meals or applied to the skin, they protect the skin and give it a new radiance.
  • The ritual : In the Mediterranean basin, rituals crystallize around the hamman. Every day, the woman purifies herself in this steam bath, erases her skin, before nourishing it during a massage with olive oil. Argan oil, on the other hand, is reserved for the elite or for special occasions. “Extremely rare, it was preciously preserved for the bride, her massage and her beauty treatment,” explains Galya Ortega, therapist and author of The Art of Well-Being in the World (Ed. Aubanel, 2007). argan is at the heart of transmission rituals between women. ” The common thread of a privileged bond between mother and daughters.
  • How to find the gesture? Give yourself a moment of relaxation, get to know your body and its sensuality… According to Galya Ortéga, a few simple gestures are enough to reconnect with this tradition from the South. If we sometimes find it difficult to integrate olive oil into our rituals – because of its very strong scent, why not use it for a foot care? His advice: “massage your feet intuitively using a simple olive oil – organic, first cold pressing -, used in abundance. Then wrap them in a towel for a quarter of an hour to leave it penetrate, then wipe them off with a dry towel. ” Relaxation and hydration guaranteed!

    Argan oil is recommended for very dry, irritated skin or sensitive to pollution, and ideal for a moisturizing and rebalancing night care. “After cleansing your skin, massage your face with a dab of argan oil. A trick to try: moisten your hands with hot water before application. This will create a mini-emulsion and will promote penetration of this very thick oil, “she continues.

Ayurvedic tradition: oil, energy and spiritual guide

Ayurveda, “science of life” in Sanskrit, has always been part of the beauty rituals of India. At the heart of this ancestral know-how, the oils rebalance our dosha – energy – dominant to allow us to find an inner harmony.

  • Sesame oil, Ayurvedic treasure: In India, but also in China, sesame has long been a sacred seed. Its virtues: “Available in oil, it is considered to be energetically hot, regenerating. Sesame oil thus allows us to regain a balance when we suffer from stress, chronic fatigue or a poor diet, all of which are small problems that generate ‘cold’, “explains Galya Ortéga ,.
  • The ritual : If sesame oil is at the heart of Ayurveda harmonizing massages, it is also used as part of a traditional head treatment, Sirodhara. During this ritual, a drizzle of lukewarm oil is poured over the forehead in a rocking motion, from one temple to the other. Its objective: “to stop the movements of the mind, to calm the ruminations,” continues the therapist. The oil thus guides a spiritual as well as energetic gesture: it soothes the body, but also the mind.
  • How to find the gesture? For Galya Ortéga, we are all in a position to make our own “the spirituality of the gesture, which allows to honor one’s body”, in the purest Ayurvedic tradition. His homemade solution: embalming with sesame oil. “After the bath, coat your body with sesame oil in small self-massage movements. Let sit for a quarter of an hour by wrapping yourself in a towel. Then rub your skin to remove the excess.” Result: a hydrated body and above all a calm mind.

Japanese tradition: the sacred oil of femininity

In Japan, rituals punctuate the quest for youthful, pure, perfect femininity. In this highly codified art, each gesture is tirelessly repeated to achieve an ideal of beauty. At the heart of these well-being ‘mantras’: camellia oil.

  • Camellia oil, sacred liquid : Obtained by the infusion of flowers, camellia oil is a treasure of hydration. Extremely fine, it does not require rinsing and is prized by Japanese women for its very delicate fragrance.
  • The ritual : “In Japan, the quintessence of femininity was to have very long hair, which you never cut, explains Galya Ortega. To avoid drying out, women coated their tips daily with camellia oil.”

    In a very ritualistic society, it meant by its unique fragrance that it was worn by a woman of rank, who had time to take care of her and achieve that model of beauty that everyone was looking for. A token of recognition and femininity, camellia oil was sacred.

  • Cow to find the gesture? “Repeated endlessly, Japanese beauty gestures have always been a way to detach your mind, to awaken your senses,” recalls the therapist. How to achieve this form of appeasement? Start with a long brushing of the hair – from bottom to top, front to back – to remove dust, reduce static electricity, and stimulate the hair bulb. Then wash and towel dry your hair before coating the lengths with camellia oils. Massage to make it penetrate and let dry. The hair gains in tone, but especially the spirit wanders …

For further

To read

ABC de l’ayurveda , Sylvie Verbois, Ed. Grancher
Body massages, Esme Floyd et Pauline Willis, Ed. Guy Tredaniel
The spa: the world of well-being, Galya Ortega, Ed. Ellébore
The art of well-being in the world, Galya Ortega with Jean-Louis Poiroux, Ed. Aubanel
Ayurvedic massage, Galya Ortega, Ed. Ellébore


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