The Holy Month of Ramadan reminds those celebrating that blessings are upon and around us all, as the tenth month of the Islamic calendar is officially here. While it does give followers a chance to come back to their roots, rethink their goals, and spend time with loved ones, the fasting hours can have a strong effect on the body, which is why it’s important to remember to stay healthy as sleeping patterns—and diets—change for the month.
Edwige Gandin, beautician from Pastels Salon Jumeirah, knows a lot about the effects Ramadan fasting can have on the skin and body, and sat down with Vogue Arabia to share her tips on the best ways to eat well during the special month.
Cut the caffeine
Although it might be tempting to go to your favourite coffee spots once the sun goes down, Gandin mentions that “caffeine and certain sodas are known to suck out the minerals in the body,” which may not be worth compromising during the small window of time given to stay hydrated. Opting to drink enough water during suhoor is the best option to consider when trying to staying healthy during the month of Ramadan.
Skip the sugar
Whilst sugar cravings will be an occurring issue during the fasting period, Gandin shares that sugar can weaken our immune system, which in turn hinders the body from fighting off bacteria—the “leading cause of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions”. Choosing to keep the need for sugar at bay will keep the skin from triggering any acne-like symptoms.
Ditch the dairy
The beautician adds, “Dairy products are often linked to acne and breakouts, so stay away from kunafa and other Ramadan desserts” before suggesting alternatives to cow milk, such as almond or rice milk. By switching to plant-based dairy, you can enjoy your Ramadan desserts without the guilt of worrying about you skin.
Hit the hay
Sleep is another change during the month of Ramadan that can be an extreme shock to the body and skin. Gandin recommends getting “8-10 hours of sleep every night” to avoid restlessness during the fasting period. “Research has shown us that day sleep is not as beneficial as night sleep, because the body only repairs and rejuvenates during night, with peak repair activity after midnight.”
Lastly, the beautician states, “During Ramadan, your body focuses its energy on cleansing and healing the cells as the white blood cells start to become more active, and the body repairs any damaged cells at this stage. So it’s a perfect time to optimize your body’s system of repair.” This statement fits perfectly with what the body is actually doing during the holy month. Gandin reminds us that the body naturally knows how to repair itself once it has time away from the effects of the usual consumption that is put into it everyday.