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Imaan Hammam Shares Her Beauty Secrets For ‘Glowy Soft’ Skin

Imaan Hammam. Photo: Masha Maltsava

Imaan Hammam has to be one of the fashion world’s hardest working faces. The Dutch-born Moroccan-Egyptian model has been booked non-stop since her Paris debut at age 17, when she opened Givenchy SS14 as an exclusive. Now at 26, the year’s highlights for the former Vogue Arabia cover star include an ’80s glam-inspired appearance on the Met Gala carpet, multiple international magazine covers, and countless campaigns and runways for houses including Jacquemus and Versace’s viral LA show. The feather in her cap – being announced in May as a new global brand ambassador for Estée Lauder, with her first campaign now out. Born in Amsterdam to her Arab parents – her mother hails from Zagore, her father from Cairo – the Afro-Arab Muslim is based in New York for her hectic work schedule, but still makes time to reconnect with her Moroccan-Egyptian heritage.

Read on for Hammam’s exclusive interview on why representation matters, her skincare must-haves, and how nothing compares to a Moroccan hammam.

On her beauty philosophy…
“Obviously working as a model, beauty is such a big part of your life. Beauty to me means being confident in who you are, in your story, in your body, and just being proud of who you are. It took me a while, but I feel like I’m really confident in my skin. I think having that confidence coming from the inside, it just shows on the outside.”

Imaan Hammam. Photo: Masha Maltsava

On being a global ambassador for Estée Lauder…
“It’s been an incredible kind of opportunity for me to be an ambassador for Estée Lauder. I feel like as a young girl, I didn’t really see when I looked at magazines or campaigns the representation of women who looked like me. But I have this memory of when I was eight, I was shopping with my mom and seeing this big ad with Liya Kebede. I remember looking at her and thinking ‘wow’, because here was someone who looked like me. That moment really felt like the representation and the visibility I needed to see. Fast forward, I’m here now and it’s like I manifested it. I really worked hard to get to this point and for me like to be an Estée Lauder woman is something I always wanted to be. It fits perfectly, and it came at the right time for me.”

On her skincare routine…
“I actually love the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair products like the serum, and the eye gel is literally life saving. I travel a lot for my work, so I’m always like running around and my skin gets really dry. So in the morning, I like to mix a little bit of the serum with like an SPF moisturizer, mix them together and massage them into the skin. The ANR eye gel helps for my dark circles when I haven’t been sleeping enough. I also really like rose oil, it’s something I use daily.”

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

On that Moroccan glow…
“The Moroccans are known for our natural products, and using herbs and essential oils, so when I go to Morocco, I like to stock up on a lot of oils like rose and argan oil. These I use in my daily routine, which I learned from my mom. Honestly, argan oil is, for me, it’s like the magic oil and I use it for literally everything. I use it for the whole body, and I use it for my hair when I’m working, and my hair is being straightened all the time. I put some in my scalp and some on my ends, it really just helps damaged hair and kind of restores it. I sometimes even eat it, taking it in the morning because it really is good for your immune system.”

On her self-care rituals…
“I love going to the hammam! In New York, it’s really hard to find a proper hammam. But I go to, like, a Korean bathhouse in Korea Town and, and they’re pretty good. It’s not the same as like the Moroccan one, but they do the job. I also do it at home with my rose oil and my argan oil. You have to start with the black soap and then steaming your body, and then I use the exfoliating gloves to get the dead skin off. It’s like my favorite thing and keeps your skin glowy soft.”

Imaan Hammam. Photo: Masha Maltsava

On good advice…
“The best advice I’ve been given is to work on self love and loving yourself. For me personally, I feel like I’m always giving so much to people, to my family, to my friends and to work, and I feel like I sometimes forget myself and, and I think it really starts by listening to yourself, loving yourself. That’s why I love spending time with family and friends, as it really just grounds me. I live such a fast kind of pace, so it’s good to just take a moment.”

On family and homecomings…
“My mom has been my biggest supporter since I was scouted at age 13. I was the first in my family to get an opportunity like this and to pursue this dream that I had. We talk every day. I’m very proud of my Moroccan Egyptian heritage. I’ve been going to Egypt the last couple of years and it’s just been magical. I have a lot of family there and Cairo has such a good kind of energy for me. When I set foot there, it’s just really kind of freeing in a way, like it feels like I’m there with my people and my ancestors.”


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On being an advocate…
“It’s really important for me to use my platform and to share awareness that girls are struggling every day, from not having basic needs like sanitary pads, to struggling with early marriages. I’m an ambassador for She’s the First, which is a nonprofit organization that fights for girls to be educated, to be respected, and to be heard. It really aligns with the work that Estée Lauder is doing, and the philanthropic work that they do with the Estée Lauder Emerging Leaders Fund. I think as a person, Estée Lauder shared the same values as me. Not only was she like the first beauty entrepreneur in the forties. But also, she’s broken so many barriers as a woman.”

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