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Get Your Ramadan Skincare Routine Sorted

Photo: Trunk Archives

For a split second, it’s as if time stops still. An icy blow of cold air rushes across your body, hairs stand on end, and then an onslaught of heat hits you like a brick wall. Throwing your hands up to shield your face as the doors close behind you, you step outside and into the overwhelming heat of the Arabian summer.

Adjusting to extreme temperatures is a daily occurrence for women living in the Arab world. With the Holy Month of Ramadan running through June, fasting offers further challenges to the body. More than ever, skin – your body’s largest organ – requires daily attention.
You may think you have your dermis deciphered, but you must go beneath the layers to discover just how to encourage your natural beauty. Make this month a time for self-reflection and self-care and assess every aspect of your skincare routine.

Daily transitions from heat – whether dry or humid – to air conditioning will dry out skin, leaving it looking dull and gray. This dour cloud is the effect of water from your stratum corneum (the outer layers of skin) evaporating and the collagen in the layers below cracking and binding together. In time, fine lines become more distinct.

Taken to the extreme, your skin’s lack of moisture can result in an increase of sebaceous oil activity, which, in turn, blocks pores and causes acne. While fasting, these issues are multiplied as the body pulls water from the skin to send to its most vital organs instead. To combat this during Ramadan, Mona Mirza, founder of Biolite Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai, suggests breaking your fast with a warm glass of water with manuka honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice, or with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar, which cleanses the insides by instantly triggering the metabolism. This can be followed with a bowl of soup, fresh vegetables, and salads with olive oil and lemon dressing. By aiding the liver, the vinaigrette will help generate brighter and clearer skin. “Continuing to drink water throughout the evening before beginning your fast again is key,” Mirza says.

When teamed with a dedicated skincare routine, flawless skin is every bit achievable during the Holy Month. This involves daily cleansing, exfoliation, and the application of serums, day creams, and night creams, as well as the occasional facial. Each step ensures that the next can work as efficiently as intended. Morning and night, your routine should begin with washing the skin. Cleanse your face of any dead cells, dirt, and impurities by using either a muslin cloth or flannel in circular movements. Those with oily skin should stay clear of mineral-based formulas. An exfoliate can be used once or twice a week to help reveal fresh skin cells and remove the harder-to-budge pollutants. It’s important when exfoliating not to scrub and strip the dermis, even if you suffer from breakouts and oily skin. Doing so will remove your skin’s protective layer and expose the face to environmental toxins and sun damage.

Serums should be applied morning and evening, after exfoliation but before moisturizing. Currently, cosmetic brands are investing in the creation of high-tech serums – a great ally to your beauty routine. Using your fingertips, massage the formula into your skin and leave it a few moments to air dry. Try rotating different formulas each day, with a lighter formula used in the morning. Ensure your serums contain humectant ingredients, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which aid hydration.

The most important product to layer on your face, neck, and décolletage is a moisturizing day cream with a high SPF. Designed with hydration in mind, this cream serves to invigorate and plump up dehydrated cells while also acting as a barrier against damaging free radicals. In the evening, a richer formula should be used to support the regeneration of the epidermis as the body sleeps. Heavier creams require more time to fully penetrate the skin without the hindrance of environmental effects, such as sun exposure and pollution. This results in a longer-lasting moisture treatment.

Eye creams and facial oils can also be added to your routine, as desired. Regarding the recommended monthly facial, Mirza advises rotating oxygen boosting therapy (which increases the skin’s absorption of oxygen), a placenta facial (where stem cells are infused into the skin via microdermabrasion), the Suki Organic Facial (where active botanicals massaged into the skin), and the DermaSweep (which stimulates blood flow and cleans pores). A facial also allows for the muscles to be massaged and relaxed. Throughout Ramadan, take resting breaks whenever possible as a lack of sleep can invite production of cortisol, the stress hormone. This leads to the skin secreting more sebum, resulting in breakouts. Don’t dwell on problem skin. Instead, embrace the opportunity to streamline your daily routine and experiment with professional pampering and innovative formulas and ingredients. Spending summer discovering the precise products and treatments that work for you will ensure glowing skin is attainable all year round.

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