The Dehiya Beauty Mihakka Tool Is the First Face Cleansing Device I've Ever Loved

Contributing editor Jessica Chia on her newest beauty obsession, which has origins in Morocco.

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Jess Chia using a mihakka face cleasing tool
TL;DR:
The Moroccan exfoliator that made me actually love a facial cleansing tool.

Welcome to "Try It," a series in which Allure editors show you how they like to use some of their new favorite beauty products. This week, Jessica Chia talks about the Moroccan cleansing tool that's stolen her heart.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a fan of facial cleansing tools. I've tried just about every vibrating, warming, pulsating facial-cleansing device out there, and, while it might make washing my face a little more exciting for a while, I never find them valuable enough to keep using, cleaning, and charging on a daily basis. My hands work just fine — and require much less upkeep. That is, until I tried a little low-tech gem called a mihakka.

Mihakkas are a traditional facial exfoliating device you can find in Marrakesh's sprawling medinas. They're traditionally made with fired clay (so it's firm, not squishy) centers to give the tool its signature shape (kind of like a pawn from the board game "Sorry"), and covered in a layer of woven cotton. But give it a quick search on Google, and the only place you can buy them in the U.S. is from a WOC-owned line named Dehiya beauty.

Dehiya's mihakkas are made with clay from the Atlas mountains and are covered in smooth-yet-nubby organic cotton that was hand-dyed by fairly-paid artisans in the area. But Dehiya's mihakkas don't just have a cool origin story — they actually leave your skin super smooth. To use a mihakka, you just dampen the flat surface of the tool, smooth a bit of cleansing balm onto the surface (I like to pair it with the ultra-buttery Living Cleansing Balm from the brand Then I Met You), and then run the tool in gentle, circular motions all over your face.

I find it especially effective at getting rid of the dead skin that tends to build up on my chin, the sides of my nose, and between my brows. Immediately after trying it, my skin felt smoother and looked more radiant. And after a week of use, it felt softer overall. But here's the best part: The mihakka doesn't involve any charging or intense cleaning. When you're done, just rinse off the nubby fabric surface (I find this easiest in the shower — several seconds of the shower's stream does the trick) and let it dry for the next time you're ready to wash up.

After falling in love with the mihakka, I reached out to Dehiya Beauty's founder, Mia Chae Reddy, to learn more. Chae Reddy, it turns out, has a Ph.D. in American Studies, where, as a woman of color, her research centered on African-American studies — specifically, Black women's self-perception as influenced by hip-hop culture. When she came across the mihakka in a medina in Marrakesh a few years after getting her Ph.D., she didn't just see a beauty tool. She saw an opportunity to change the narrative of African beauty.

"When we're talking about modern herbs, Africans are left out of the conversation so often. When you talk about Africans coming over and the diaspora, we had [people with the knowledge] to help cure people, but at the same time were demonized for witchcraft. I wanted to tell the story in a way that, it's not this tribal thing. It's just as elevated and up-leveled as every other beauty experience," Chae Reddy says. "So often [African beauty] is equated with shea butter. There's so much more to it."

Indeed. And this tool is just a small taste of the wealth of beauty knowledge and rituals from Africa. At this point, it's safe to say Dehiya Beauty's mihakka has earned its space in my cabinet.

Get yours for $16 at dehiyabeauty.com.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.