Ramadan Beauty Reflections: Abeer Al Otaiba

The Founder and Creative Director of SemSem lets us in on her Holy Month beauty secrets
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Ramadan Beauty Reflections: Abeer Al Otaiba

How does your beauty routine differ during Ramadan than to the rest of the year?

My skin can be a little dry as I don’t drink as much water, so I focus more on rich moisturizers, oils and masks during Ramadan to avoid dehydration. The occasional facial also helps to keep my skin dewy and clear throughout the month.

How much makeup do you wear during Ramadan?

I generally don’t wear a lot of makeup to begin with – a light BB cream, bronzer and mascara and I’m ready to go.

What does an average day look like for you during Ramadan?

My day remains the same – fasting in the United States is very different than fasting back home. I find it more challenging as schools, offices, etc. all operate as normal. I still get up early to take my children to school, and while those who observe Ramadan may slow down, the rest of the world around us does not.

Do you do anything special during the Holy Month?

I host several iftars, including an interfaith iftar where I invite people from all religions to join us. Ramadan is a special time where we can share more about our faith and culture with our peers. New acquaintances and old friends come together to learn the nuances of Ramadan – breaking the fast with a date, celebrating with a meal after sundown, and giving back.

Could you share your advice or tips on how you stay healthy during Ramadan?

I follow an anti-inflammatory diet year-round, so I eat lean proteins, fruits and vegetables during Ramadan and I always avoid sugar and salt. I try to drink as much water as I can to counteract the effects of dehydration. I enjoy iftar, but I don’t overindulge as I know my body will pay for it the following day. Moderation is key. I also maintain a light exercise routine during Ramadan. I don’t push myself to the extreme, but I have found carving out me-time during Ramadan by doing yoga or Pilates helps keep me balanced.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is a special time of reflection, self-awareness and philanthropy. While most people associate Ramadan with fasting, it is equally about the importance of giving back in your community. Giving always brings out the best in people, and for me Ramadan is a welcomed reminder to remember those less fortunate, and to continue to give a helping hand to those in need throughout the year. 

ABEER'S TOP RAMADAN BEAUTY ESSENTIALS:

"I love Dubai-based beauty brand Shiffa". Shiffa Tri-Acid Radiance Peel, Dhs270 at Sephora

"I can't live without French pharmacy brands such as La Roche-Posay and Avène". La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Creme, Dhs60

Shiffa Rose Bliss Balm, Dhs968

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, Dhs188

Photos: Supplied