Ramadan is a holy month observed by Muslims around the world. To many, it is mainly known for the abstinence of food and drink in daylight hours but Muslims will agree that it is so much more beyond this. Ramadan is a time of self reflection and transition, a time to detach and take a more mindful approach to your day to day lifestyle. For me, I look forward to Ramadan each year as it brings me peace, a time to slow down and take time for myself, my loved ones, and my faith. The sense of community brought by Ramadan is also something which I truly love. Muslim neighbours will exchange food, mosques are filled to capacity each evening and the air is thick with anticipation moments before the evening meal.
Spiritual wellbeing, for me, goes well beyond the religious acts such as fasting, praying and abstaining from negative habits. Although I prioritise elements such as offering additional prayer and donating to charity, Ramadan is also an opportunity to recharge and reflect on my physical, emotional, and mental regimens. In order to nurture my relationship with faith and make the most of the month, this year I have also given up watching television and listening to music - not a necessity but this allows me to utilise my time better to listen to recitations, cook lengthier meals and learn more about the faith.
It has been reported that it takes 66 days to form a habit and the 30 days of Ramadan provide the ideal motivation to kickstart this and implement new structures and improve my way of life, with the intention of keeping this in place beyond the month. For me, my beauty routine is a fundamental way to be present, as well as creating an environment to set me up for a productive month. Additionally, Ramadan is a departure from my everyday norms and as with anything, my beauty routine needs to be adjusted accordingly.
The change in diet and lack of fluids can result in skin feeling dehydrated and dull. I remedy this by slathering on a hyaluronic serum – giving my skin the drink of water I can’t have! Dermalogica’s new Circular Hydration Serum works to prevent dehydration throughout the day, replenishing skin from within. The lack of caffeine fuel and the busy evenings also mean I try to maximise on shut-eye in the mornings so my makeup routine is pared back to my trusty SUQQU The Liquid Foundation for a luminous glow and breathable coverage, followed by a brow gel and a swipe of mascara.
During Ramadan, evenings are filled with friends, family, and food, and many Muslims prefer to socialise by breaking the fast together. This leaves plenty of time throughout the day for products that I would usually be limited to saving for a Sunday evening. I have taken to leaving Fable & Mane’s strengthening and nourishing HoliRoots Hair Oil in my hair for hours in the house as it encourages healthy roots and scalp circulation. My lunch breaks are replaced with lengthy showers — without taste, other senses are heightened and I have found myself drawn to sensory delights such as the rejuvenating eucalyptus in Nécessaire The Body Wash. An afternoon pick-me-up to counter the 3 p.m. slump is found in brightening my nails with Nailberry’s L’Oxygene range, which is halal certified and permeable, making it suitable for prayers.
The lack of food and water is, for me, surprisingly less challenging than the change in sleep schedule. Waking up for Sehri (the meal eaten before sunrise) and staying up for prayers after Iftar (the meal eaten after sunset) means that my sleep is disrupted and disjointed. Setting up a tranquil environment in which to unwind is key to my Ramadan routine. Ahead of evening prayers, I will light candles. I love Le Labo Santal 26 as it evokes a celebratory sense in the air upon completion of the fast. This is followed by a bipartite beauty routine.
The first leg of this is performed before bed as normal. I use this time to apply actives such as Medik8’s Crystal Retinal for resurfacing and brightening, as it is a shorter window and allows me to use them without risking further dehydration of my skin. Alongside this, I rely on the NEOM Wellbeing Pod Luxe and their De-Stress essential oil, which helps me drift off – we all know the struggle of falling asleep knowing you need to be up in a few hours! The second leg of the routine is performed at sunrise, and I keep this limited to re-application of night cream and taking a supplement. Supplements are a vital element of my Ramadan beauty routine. As I am abstaining from food and drink during the day and lacking sleep, it is important that I ensure my body is still getting all of the nutrients it requires. I take Vitabiotics Feroglobin as it is slow-release and reduces fatigue. This also reminds me of the importance of physical awareness in Ramadan – nourishing the soul means taking care of the vessel which houses it.
After around a week of fasting, the digestive system starts to take a break and therefore focuses energy on cleansing the body of toxins, repairing organs, and renewing cells. This is just a reminder of the benefits of Ramadan on my mind, body, and soul. Personally, Ramadan to me feels like a cleansing and detoxifying month, and a chance to refresh and reset. Although one may not immediately make the link between beauty and Ramadan, it is our bodies with their skin and hair that carry us through this month every year, and taking care of mine helps me to establish the sense of self I strive for and hope to carry beyond Ramadan.
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