Meet Jamila El Maroudi, the founder behind Mira’s Hand, a dreamy natural skin care range based not only on the emollient and skin-loving argan oil, but also on traditional Moroccan products.
I won’t go into great detail on the many wonder benefits of the argan, you can read below to see Jamila’s answers, but I can say after testing this delightful product that it has become a favourite amongst my little collection of facial oils.
Read on below to get a glimpse into Jamila’s life –
Use the code ‘beautyandlace’ at the checkout for 20% off all Mira’s Hand products offer ends Friday 15 November
How did Mira’s Hand come to be?
When I moved to Australia in 2007 with my Australian husband, I struggled to find anything akin to the traditional Moroccan hammam products I used when visiting the hammams I grew up with, let alone finding a hammam to use them in. A Hammam is a traditional Moroccan bathhouse or spa that (in my experience) frequenting is, nor should be, something done out of vanity but necessity. My skin literally goes dull and feels lifeless if I don’t have a hammam treatment every two weeks, and it’s equally important as a place where I would meet my friends and family and socialise.
Before launching Mira’s Hand I would have my family send me over products from Morocco, and recreate a ‘hammam at home’ in the privacy of my bathroom. My friends in Australia would complement me on my skin and were curious about these Moroccan beauty secrets. I started sharing my own line of Moroccan products with them and saw that there was a genuine need for these products.
Why do you think using natural skincare is important?
First of all I believe in simplicity, which follows that the food we consume and the products we use on our skin should be derived from pure and natural sources and not complicated with artificial or unnecessary ingredients. I am also a traditionalist of sorts, sceptical that many ingredients engineered in a laboratory are actually developed to meet pressures of insatiable consumer markets rather than the essential and basic needs of women. My late grandmother Mira, who my product range is named after, instilled some very simple rules in me that I have followed throughout my life. For example, she always told us to sit down when you eat and never eat or drink anything out of a can. This may sound simplistic but I grew up using natural products and eating what we now call organic food, what goes around comes around as they say. At times I purchased products that I saw advertised when I was younger (when I could afford them), but I have always returned to the natural herbs and ingredients that I know and that have always worked for me.
We’re eager to know, what are the benefits of Argan Oil?
I am glad you asked! There are many misconceptions and misinformation about argan oil. In the last 10 years argan oil has been marketed and hyped as a wonder ingredient and combined in dozens of beauty products. Although it is extremely effective at protecting and nourishing skin, hair and nails, the origins of argan oil have confused and at times manipulated to suit marketing spin. Argan oil is primarily used in Morocco for culinary purposes, delicious as a roasted nut oil and (more recently) the unroasted, cold pressed oil as a cosmetic oil. Culinary argan oil has many uses but is primarily a finishing or dipping oil and is also combined in natural spreads called Amlou. We think culinary argan is Moorish (pun intended) but also a very healthy addition to everyone’s daily diet.
Cosmetic argan oil is wonderful, because it has so many uses and is safe enough to be used on grown ups, babies and pets. Argan oil is considered as an effective anti-aging oil due to properties including high levels of vitamin E / tocopherols present (this natural anti-oxidant helps neutralise free radical damage, which is important for skin exposed to polluted environments) and saponins (skin-softening agents). Besides cooling and soothing inflammation, it is also reputed to help reduce wrinkles by restoring the skin`s hydro-lipid layer. Argan oil is used in Morocco to soothe skin ailments like chickenpox, acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Pregnant women use it on their bellies to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
What is your favourite way to use Argan Oil?
I have five bottles of argan oil spread over my house, office, car and handbag. I use my argan oil in the bathroom as a daily face moisturiser and I mix a couple of drops of argan oil in my conditioner. The bottle of argan oil in my car is often used to smooth my lips, my bottle on my night table I dabble a little bit of argan oil around my eyes and the bottle of argan oil on my desk is use on my hands and cuticles. I also carry a bottle in my bag to share.
Can you tell us more about the ‘Moroccan Hammam Spa ritual’?
The Moroccan hammam ritual consist of three phases and is the recipe for achieving glowing, healthy and squeaky clean skin and can be enjoyed at home or at one of our spa partners such as the Peninsula Hot Springs (VIC) or the Spa at the Darling (NSW). The stages are simple and designed to provide the most effective outcome as long as they are followed in this order: 1. Exfoliate, 2. Detoxify and 3. Moisturise.
1. Exfoliation is performed with a ‘Kessa’ or Moroccan exfoliation glove using a specific technique all over the body (either by yourself or with a partner). It is used in combination with ‘Savon Noir’ (black soap), a natural olive oil based soap which is rich in vitamin E and minerals. Developed using techniques that date back more than 3000 years, Savon Noir is an invigorating soap that is celebrated for its ability to purify and detoxify the skin by helping shed dead skin cells and eliminate toxins.
2. After the skin is sufficiently exfoliated, which you will know as your dead skin cells roll away in spaghetti style strands (a painless but gratifying process), it’s then time to draw out toxins using Rhassoul Clay from the Atlas Mountains of Eastern Morocco. The clay is often mixed with pure Rosewater and applied all over the body. Rhassoul Clay has the remarkable ability to draw out excess oils and impurities from deep within, clarifying the skin, hair and scalp. Rhassoul has been used for over 1400 years, as far back as Ancient Romans and Egyptian times as a natural beauty treatment for skin and hair.
The hammam ritual is concluded by moisturising the skin and hair with pure argan oil and other essential oils depending on the nature of the treatment.
Can we have a peep into your daily skincare routine?
I am a great believer in the benefits of a heat treatments and therapies that induce sweating, increase blood circulation and the release of toxins. I like to start my day with 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga. Right after Bikram I use my Moroccan exfoliating glove in the shower to gently exfoliate my skin using only the glove and water. I wash my face with my Rhassoul Clay and mix it with some green tea or warm water. I then spritz my face with pure rosewater after which I then apply my argan oil. Once a week a fortnight I have a Moroccan Hammam at home or at one of our spa partners.
Do you have any beauty tips you’d like to share?
Our business motto is ‘We believe in beauty sharing, not beauty secrets’. I typically clean my face as soon as I get home from work or from a night out to refresh and remove and exposure to pollutants or grime. My trick is that I purchase nice white sheets with a high thread count which can be quite expensive, so to have them smeared with mascara, lipstick and make up is something I try to avoid. I also don’t wear make-up if I don’t need to or keep it to a minimum of mascara and lipgloss. A Moroccan beauty recipe is to after you exfoliate your skin to mix a little of pure henna with some Rhassoul clay and water, apply it to your body and face and rinse off after 5 to 10 minutes. It gives your skin an amazing glow, without having to apply artificial or obvious fake tans.
What are three things you do to stay healthy?
I laugh a lot and see humour in everything, I try not to take myself too serious. If things don’t go to plan, I don’t get anxious about, but rather shrug my shoulders and say ‘Oh well’. I have a dance and sing loudly if I need to release stress. I also believe in balance. I eat well and I buy local fruits and veggies that are in season as much as possible. If I indulge, I don’t give myself a hard time about it, but simply enjoy it. I walk my dog and try to move everyday, whether by doing Bikram yoga or boxing with my husband (which is also good marriage therapy) or going for a run. Oh and I have a green smoothie every day!
What part of your job do you love most?
I love interacting with my clients and I love getting emails from clients who love the product. Recently a lady emailed me on behalf of her husband who had psoriasis and very dry skin. Training beauty therapists how to perform the hammam ritual is also a lot of fun. The feedback is that they love it so much and consider it the best body exfoliating treatment they have performed.
What does the future hold for Mira’s Hand?
For every woman (and man) to have a hammam at home or a treatment at one our partner Spa’s. I want to introduce the feeling of what it means to have, clean healthy and glowing skin to every woman and man in Australia (and beyond) using authentic, time proven and natural ingredients.
Jamila El Maroudi
Founder and owner of
We thank Jamila very much for her time and for introducing us to the Moroccan hammam ritual, which we can’t wait to indulge in.