From dehydration and dark circles to diet tips and growth factors, we share everything you need to know about the impact of fasting on your skin
When fasting during the month of Ramadan, not only is there a change in your daily routine when it comes to when you eat and drink, but there are also some major changes to the way your skin looks, both good and ‘bad’. Read on to discover the benefits of fasting – during Ramadan and beyond – as well as how to look after your skin to reduce the fallout of fasting…
Many skin woes are inflammatory conditions, think acne, rosacea, psoriasis and more. However, fasting has been shown to lower inflammation, lessening the development of these skin conditions.
The gut and the skin are intrinsically linked, and when the gut is healthy the skin tends to be healthy too. Fasting increases microbial diversity and increases levels of the beneficial short chain fatty acid butyrate which is associated with a healthy gut microbiome.
Produced by the pea-sized pituitary gland located at the base of the brain, human growth hormone (HGH) is believed to be the key to slowing down the ageing process, and when we fast we majorly increase our HGH levels. It is thought that a boost of HGH helps to thicken, tighten and smooth the skin.
Fasting can lead to dehydration, resulting in parched skin that’s dry, dehydrated and dull with more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles. This makes it important to drink enough water – two litres - during the time you’re not fasting and to feed your skin with hydrating actives. Hyaluronic acid will boost skin cell hydration, vitamin C will aid with brightening, while vitamin E will help nourish and replenish.
If you find breaking your fast with a date isn’t the only sweet treat you have at iftar, then be warned – increased blood sugar levels caused by lots of carbs or sugar at one time leads to glycation which breaks down much need collagen, speeding up the ageing process. This means it's best to keep your sugar intake low, add fibre, ditch refined carbs and go for a walk after you’ve eaten.
For those who wake up before sunrise for sahoor, you may find you're sleep deprived during Ramadan and this can lead to dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. This is the time to make cooling eye masks, rollerball eye serums and eye gels packed with caffeine and hyaluronic acid your bff. And try to get at least seven hours of sleep between iftar and sahoor where you can.