Runako Inside Out with Muqbil Yabarow

Inside Out is our weekly profile on people and all things personal care. Our profiles will look into different aspects of personal care including physical, skin, mental and health care. We want to know how you’ve been taking care of yourself inside and out and help us share tips, tricks and advice with others. 

This week we feature Muqbil Yabarow, a creative photographer based in Washington DC. Muqbil Yabarow is a creative photographer based in Washington DC. He has partnered with international brands such as The Washington Post, Forbes, and Amazon. An avid traveler, he has found inspiration in countries like Dubai, London, Nairobi and Toronto among many other places. He shares with us his personal care routine from staying fit during the pandemic, trying new skincare products and one tip he thinks every black man should follow. 

Runako: How are you? Especially now with the on-going coronavirus pandemic? 

Muqbil: I am doing great. The pandemic has had its pros and cons in my life as it has in all people globally. I have managed a way for me to try and make the most out of my current situation. The first few weeks were a bit hard to deal with because of the new circumstances, but soon after, it became easier as time went on.

Runako: How have you been taking care of your mental health? Have you implemented any changes to your personal routine? 

Muqbil: I have just been trying to keep my mind on positive things. I'm lucky enough to be around family and loved ones, so it's a bit easier because I can bounce ideas and talk to them about challenges I might be feeling. I'm also huge on taking time throughout the day for prayer and to also not overwork myself. These are things that I have always done, but because of the new norm, I've just done it more.

Runako: How have you been taking care of your physical health? If not, why?

Muqbil: I have been continuously working out or doing some kind of physical activity five days out of the week since the pandemic started. It honestly started due to boredom and trying to get back to my regular workout level. But it became another way for me to kick start my day or finish off the day strong. I plan on keeping this up even after everything, gyms open back up with no restrictions.

Runako: We can't forget about skincare, how has your skincare routine been during the quarantine? Any significant changes?

Muqbil: Since I've had more time during quarantine, I've experimented with this Evan Alexander face scrub, and its been working really well for me. It has Bentonite clay and Aloe Vera, which are two components that have helped my skin a lot. The main reason why I tried it is that the brand is one that I have been using for my beard care for about a year. And only caring about the beard isn't the way to go because there's a whole lot of face that needs to be taken care of as well!

Runako: What are some products you've been loving and using? 

Muqbil: As I mentioned before, I've been using Evan Alexander's face scrub and also their beard hydrator. The effort they put into their product shows, and they work really well for me. They are also a small business that is also black-owned, so I love the fact that my dollar will support them, which in turn supports the black community at large.

Runako: Any natural skincare tips or products you've tried and are now part of your personal routine? 

Muqbil: The main thing that has helped me throughout my skincare journey has been increasing my daily water intake. Thanks to my sisters, they got me hip to this biweekly Turmeric and honey face mask, which helps with scarring and enhances skin glow.

Runako: Do you have any go-to DIY skincare recipes or combinations that you can share? 

Muqbil: As I mentioned above, my go to during this quarantine has been a Turmeric and Honey facemask. Aloe Vera gel is also excellent for hydrating, and I'll be using it a lot more as the winter approaches.

Runako: What's a must in your personal care routine? (Don't be shy) 

Muqbil: I would definitely say my beard hydrator; I literally don't go anywhere without it. I would have to say alongside that after my face wash, a daily moisturizer with SPF.

Runako: Any advice, tips or tricks you want to share? Something you might have discovered recently that might help someone reading this?

Muqbil: I would say growing up as a dark skin black man, I thought I never needed SPF, but that couldn't be further from the truth. So I would urge my black brothers to be mindful and make sure you're using SPF to keep our black skin glowing.

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