Your Ultimate Guide to Skin Care in Ramzan

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We speak to the aesthetician, Dr. Rabia Malik about all the ways you can protect your skin this Ramzan

How can one make sure they eat right for their skin during Ramzan?

Well, make sure you maintain adequate hydration; drink at least 2 glasses of water at sehri and try to eat plenty of water rich fruit and vegetables (such as watermelon, cucumber and apples) after iftari to maintain adequate levels of hydration.

Another way of ensuring high energy during the fast is to add nuts to your sehri. They are a good source of energy, vitamins and minerals and will keep you feeling full. Moreover, choose slow release energy foods with plenty of protein at sehri such as eggs, porridge, meat or chicken.

How does fasting affect our skin?

Dehydration is probably the biggest issue, as is potential deficiency of nutrients (depending on one’s diet during Ramadan) and possible weight loss, all of which can impact skin quality as well as facial volume in the instance of weight loss.

Can we start a skin care regimen prior to Ramzan to ensure healthy skin?

The best thing to do pre- Ramzan is ensure adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water, consider taking some supplements to boost any potential nutrient deficiencies,  and plan out our meals for the month – taking care to include foods to support skin health, such as nuts, avocados and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel – all of which contain essential fatty acids to help maintain skin health, and will also help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

What happens to our skin when we don’t drink water for 8 hours?

There is increased potential for superficial dehydration leading to skin looking dull and lackluster. The heat and dehydration can’t be good for our skin.

How can make sure we look after it and don’t cause it any harm?

Adequate cleansing is an essential first step. Keeping the skin hydrated with a high dose antioxidant serum is also beneficial, as it will help protect and nourish the skin.

Due to the early hours of sehri, people end up not getting much rest. How does lack of sleep affect our skin?

Lack of sleep can increase the appearance of dark under eye circles and also lead to dullness of the complexion, as skin cells don’t have time to regenerate if sleep is disrupted.

How can we counteract these effects – dark circles, puffy skin, etc.? 

Trying to catch up on sleep with day time naps, particularly before iftari, can help, as can Incorporating some facial massage into your daily skincare regime. This will help improve skin circulation and should help reduce facial puffiness and under eye circles. A high dose antioxidant serum can also help brighten the appearance of the skin.

Ramzan is seen as a great time for detox. How can we give our skin month long facial detox?

1) Try to reduce the amount of makeup (particularly foundation) worn during this month to give skin a chance to breathe. If makeup is essential, consider trying a mineral foundation, such as oxygenetix, which is better for skin health.

2) Try to focus on eliminating toxins from your diet where possible – for example, reduce the amount of processed junk food being consumed and try to stick to real home cooked food instead. In particular, try to reduce your refined sugar intake where possible and look for slow release energy foods instead. This will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and help with keeping fasts as well. Dairy and gluten can also cause internal inflammation so it may be worth trying to reduce your intake of these foods also if possible.

What happens to our skin during detox?

Some people experience break outs at the start of a detox as toxins are being eliminated from the body, however these should resolve within a week or so and skin should start to look brighter and more radiant.

Does steaming our skin help during the detox process and how often can we do it?

Some people may find this beneficial in helping to eliminate toxins but I would not advise over-steaming the face (no more than once/week) as this can otherwise contribute to broken capillaries in the skin which can result in increased facial redness.

Are there any ingredients in skin care products that we should be avoiding during the detox?

Try to avoid sulphates in cleansers and fragrance in creams (both of which can potentially irritate the skin). Look for simple products with a minimal number of ingredients listed on the ingredient label.

Would you recommend any treatments for skin care during Ramzan? 

Clay or charcoal based masks can be good for deep cleansing the skin during Ramzan or a detox. Light peel treatments can also be good for brightening the skin.

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