Those who work in the elements (sailors, lumberjacks and other such manly occupations) seem the most likely candidates for workplace skincare hazards like wrinkles, skin damage, irritation and ageing. But if you’re reading this under a strip light, you can stop looking so smug. Standard office nine-to-fivers are also under attack.
The minute you accept an office job, you’re signing your skin up for a daily onslaught of abuse and premature ageing caused by everything from air conditioning to excessive screen time. Here are the five most common indoor skin stressors, and how to fix them before you clock off.
Unless your commute involves running through fields of wheat, skin damage and premature ageing occur before you even sit down at your desk. Whether you walk, drive or get public transport, if you live in a built-up area, pollution and dirt sticks to your skin and penetrates deep into the sub-layers if not cleaned properly.
We’re not talking hard, abrasive scrubbing, but rather gentle effective cleansing. Buff away dirt, grime and other impurities with a handheld brush that’s also designed to work well on beards. Clarisonic’s Alpha Fit model comes with two power settings, including a gentle mode for sensitive skin. If that’s a bit much for your desk drawer, pick up an anti-pollution mist to fume-proof your face.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit Facial Cleanser, available at Current Body, priced £136.
Every office plays host to thermostat wars. Whether you’re too hot or too cold, if it’s on, it’s causing harm because air conditioning saps the moisture out of your skin quicker than you can shout at Susan to turn it down.
Moisturising alone isn’t going to cut it. You need to double down on the bases by pumping the moisture back into the skin before applying a protective barrier to lock it in. HealGel is a lightweight yet potent formula that soothes and protects; ideal as a post-shave and pre-moisturiser tool.
HealGel Intensive, available at Look Fantastic, priced £37.50.
You already know that incessant staring at screens (be it a computer, phone or TV) plays havoc with your eyesight and upsets your sleep patterns, but it can also take its toll on your looks. They call it ‘Computer Face’. Exposure to high-energy visible light (or ‘HEV’) can result in hyperpigmentation and delayed skin barrier recovery. Extensive research is still being done, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
A good moisturiser goes beyond the call of duty. Not only should it protect you from the sun with an SPF, others – like Murad’s City Skin – come packing filters to protect from HEV light, infrared and pollution. All that in a lightweight, non-greasy formula, which also evens and brightens your skin tone.
Murad City Skin Age Defence Broad Spectrum SPF50, available at John Lewis, priced £38.25.
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in a heavy workload, mainline the coffee and forget to drink as much water as you should. This neglect will be reflected in your skin as water flushes toxins from the body and helps keep scaly, flakiness at bay. Which isn’t the best look for your next pay review.
Get a water bottle that does the thinking for you. This Joseph Joseph bottle comes with a hydration counting lid, so you know how many times you’ve filled up and when you’re slacking.
Dot Water Bottle, available at Joseph Joseph, priced £9.
Most people think themselves lucky to have the office window seat, but it’s not without its perils, especially when summer is being particularly generous. Sitting by a window is essentially like sitting in a greenhouse, magnifying the sun’s rays and resulting in dry, tight and dull skin.
Cool It Down
Sometimes, it pays to be high maintenance. A facial mist on your desk may look a bit much, but you’ll thank us in the long run. This simple concoction is 60 per cent water, making it the perfect pick-me-up for hot and bothered skin. Not only does a mist cool you down, it’ll also wake you up, giving your to-do list, as well as your complexion, a boost.
Evian Brumisateur Evian Facial Spray, available at Superdrug, priced £3.99.