We all know that hectic office environments can increase stress levels and deplete our immune systems but did you know that your desk could be rapidly ageing you, too? Dermatologists have shared the ways your office environment could be adding years to your face - and they will shock you. Here, the skincare pros reveal how your phone, office air con and where you sit in the room could be wreaking havoc with your skin.
Answering the phones
Your phone can accumulate a lot of bacteria. When you place the phone on your skin to make a call, your skin is not only in direct contact with the bacteria, but it also starts to perspire and even trap oil in the pores.
Worst yet, the pressure of the phone on your skin creates blemishes. Keep a bottle of something mattifying on your desk like the Avene Cleanance Expert, which regulates the production of sebum (oil) to mattify the skin, limits the spread of acne causing bacteria and reduces redness and inflammation.
Staring at a computer screen all day
Discussing the impact of looking at a computer all day, Dr. Justine Hextall, on behalf of The Harley Medical Group, said: 'There seems to be emerging evidence that light from cell phones and computer screens, which is referred to as high energy visible light (HEV wavelength of 4-500 NM), can in fact penetrate into the deeper levels of the skin.
'This results in free radical damage that is upregulating an enzyme MMP-1. This enzyme breaks down skin collagen and elastin, the structures that keep the skin firm and youthful, leading to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention sagging skin.'
To re-stimulate your skin and jump start it back into a good condition, try a microdermabrasion treatment - a non-surgical method of skin rejuvenation using mechanical skin exfoliation.
Dr Yannis Alexandrides, British and American board certified plastic surgeon, added: 'The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate too as it is where the skin is the thinnest.
'Staring or squinting at a screen all day while sitting in the same position means the muscles around the eyes never relax, which causes eye strain and stretches the this delicate layer of skin. This can lead to premature wrinkles.
'A hydrating eye mask can provide immediate anti-ageing results.'
Sitting next to the window
Having a desk next to the window may be great for having a nosy outside, but it’s not so great for you skin.
Dr. Justine Hextall said: 'Glass filters out only UVB rays. UVA rays, which penetrate deeper, can still get through. That's why many adults have more freckles on their right side than their left - it's from UV exposure on that side through the car window when driving.'
To protect yourself, keep some SPF on your desk and apply sunscreen to any exposed areas throughout the day (like your hands, forearms, and face).
Always choose an SPF above factor 40 - even in the winter.
Being exposed to the air conditioning
Corinne Morley, skincare expert at Trilogy, explains that central heating, along with air conditioning, can severely dry out your skin.
'The closer you sit to a radiator, the more detrimental it may be, because the air may be hotter,' she said. 'If you already have skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, air-conditioning can make them worse, disrupting the skin’s natural moisture balance.'
Keep a mist toner on your desk, which will provide instant moisture for thirsty skin, and is a wonderful refresher any time of day, as well as an uplifting way to complete any cleansing routine. It tones, refreshes and stimulates the skin, and can even be used over make-up.
Drinking too much coffee
It’s always hard to turn down a coffee but GP and Skincare Specialist on behalf of Skincere, Dr. Anita Sturnham, has revealed how your coffee addiction can be ruining your skin.
She said: 'Like most things in life, everything in moderation is the general recommendation for good health. Small quantities of caffeine may actually be beneficial for the skin but we know that those caffeine junkies who regularly guzzle tea and coffee throughout the day are more prone to dry and dehydrated skin as caffeine has a diuretic effect and draws water out of our cells, this can leave you with dull and lifeless looking skin.'
She recommends using a day cream containing soothing ingredients like sunflower oil and jojoba to help protect and strengthen the barriers of the skin.
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