Self-care during Ramadan
Beauty

3 Muslim women share the self-care rituals that support them during Ramadan

Writer Zeynab Mohamed speaks to three Muslim women about the self-care rituals, practices and habits they perform during the Islamic holy month.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is a time of spirituality, compassion and self-reflection. For Muslims, we begin 30 days of daily fasting from dawn till dusk. While it’s easy to become consumed with eating, drinking (whether you are or not) and the spiritual practices during Ramadan, it’s important to look after yourself, too. 

Engaging in a structured routine can be a way to reconnect with yourself but also a way to revive yourself. Often, Ramadan can become mechanical, without self-awareness as we unconsciously perform the acts required like second nature, and quickly your beauty routine can fall to the bottom of your Ramadan priority list.

Deemed a “frivolous” pursuit, I too am guilty of neglecting my beauty routine in the depths of Ramadan, consumed with fasting, cooking, extra prayers, family time and congregational worship. But, it’s in performing these beauty acts that I am recharged. Beauty can be an act of self-care, especially during Ramadan, one that is a part of our worship and reconnection to faith.  

On the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it’s common practice to go to the mosque to engage in long nightly prayers. Because of this, we find ourselves on a tight schedule of eating, tidying up, getting ready and leaving for the mosque – you don’t want to be late. Amid that mayhem, there is a feeling of calmness that is brought about by the getting ready process. 

Retreating to the bathroom for a moment for yourself, a humble cleanse, tone and moisturise routine can take on another meaning – it’s more than surface epidermal level care. It becomes a comfort, an unwinding and a moment to hold tighter to your consciousness. The boost of charge and rejuvenation needed to fulfil my nightly prayers.  

Nassima, 31        

Ramadan Self Care: Nassima
Nassima is a senior talent manager based in London.

Fasting in Ramadan nourishes my soul and resets my mind, but I find that the change in diet does have an effect on my skin. While my skin is usually breakout-prone, during the month of Ramadan I notice that the lack of hydration causes my skin to become dull, dry and dehydrated.

As a result, I prioritise self-care. It’s a moment of time out, to get clarity but to reconnect with yourself. I start my Ramadan routine with a gentle cleanser (I especially love the Typology Cleansing Balm). It transforms from balm to oil to milk and leaves my skin feeling clean without any dryness.

A key ingredient I focus on using during the month of Ramadan is my beloved hyaluronic acid – my staple serum is the Vichy Minéral 89 Hydration Booster Serum which replenishes any lost hydration from my skin and gives my skin that drink of water it craves, leaving it plump and renewed.

My best-kept secret for Ramadan skin is spritzing my skin with a hydrating mist. I adore the Luneia Drench Dew Face Mist, which features niacinamide and zinc – a beautiful blend to soothe and control my breakout-prone skin.

Finally, to seal the deal, I use a restoring moisturiser. My cult favourite has got to be the Make Prem Safe Me Moisture Cream. Formulated with just 12 ingredients, this will seal in all of the moisture and keep my skin feeling and looking plump, healthy and happy. 

Rukhsana, 60

Ramadan Self Care: Rukhsana
Rukhsana is an English language tutor based in Machester.

I must have been about four years old when I first recognised the change in the air at the time of Ramadan in my grandfather Baba’s house. I sensed the calm and peaceful vibe over the house, everyone seemed to be taking longer over their prayers and they took their time when it came to breaking their fast pacing themselves after an empty belly.

There is something intangible during the month of Ramadan. The spiritual aspect of people slowing down mentally, physically and emotionally, like any long-term meditation, brings about a real change in others. They are down to the basics of food as nourishment, themselves as spiritual souls. There is a sense of looking after the physical body that houses this soul; oiling the hair, cleansing the skin, bringing more awareness of the foods they break their fast with, to remembering the sweetness of the taste of water.

During Ramadan, I take more time on my skincare – a thorough cleansing routine, a scrub with natural products (my sister makes her soapless bar which is fantastic) coupled with oiling my face and neck, tapping and massaging as I go along. I oil my scalp with a natural oil mixed with herbs made by my mum’s friend.

After a shower, which washes away the stresses and tension of the day, I massage body moisturiser onto my skin. This takes me back to my four-year self, watching over the females in my Baba’s house as they oiled each other’s hair before plaiting it, using coconut cream on their bodies and massaging my grandmother’s limbs. For me, Ramadan is a good time to remind myself of what is important and to take notice of other people’s needs. 

Ameena

Ramadan Self Care: Ameena
Ameena is a content creator from Berkshire.

My beauty routine becomes a form of self-care during Ramadan. I ditch my playlist, and instead, use the space to reflect on personal Islamic growth. Ramadan resets your Imaan (faith), and while doing my simple everyday routine, I like to use my alone time beneficially.

I work on revising the ‘foundation’ of my religion. I listen to lectures when I am applying my make-up or doing my skincare. I ‘conceal’ and renew my charitable intentions. I ‘set’ daily goals on things I want to achieve that day, like reading the Quran. I love using my alone time to look after my outer shell – in Ramadan, it’s amazing to work on your internal self simultaneously. 

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