You might not think of your skin facing specific risks at work. But after all, most people are at work eight hours or more every day. That’s one-third of your life, so your skin can’t help but be affected.
Skin shows the state of our overall health. If you aren’t getting enough fresh air, eating well, moisturizing or hydrating your skin or getting enough sleep, your skin will reflect it. It will look tired, pale, sallow or dry.
Similarly, if you feel stressed at work, your skin may develop fine lines that reflect the tension. Many people break out due to stress, with conditions such as acne or eczema. Between 20 and 25 percent of workers report feeling stressed, for reasons ranging from sexual harassment to time pressure.
Air quality in many offices may not be sufficient to be good for skin. Fluorescent lights, colleagues who smoke or uncirculated air may all be bad for your skin.
How do you minimize the risks to your skin from bad indoor air at work? Here are eight ways.
1. Get Enough Sleep
People need eight hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting enough rest, your skin will show it. If you have trouble sleeping, relax or meditate a half-hour before bedtime. It will help you drift off, and also de-stress you. Going to bed around the same time every night also helps.
2. Eat Healthily
If your skin doesn’t look healthy, step up your servings of fruits and vegetables. You should eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables each day, combined. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best. Eat whole grains and lean meats for a balanced, healthy diet as well.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
If you had to choose one single thing to improve your skin, drinking water would probably top the list. Getting enough water per day will make your skin glow. Why? Your skin is being hydrated from within.
4. Get Enough Fresh Air
Think about how your skin is rosy after you’ve taken a brisk walk. Fresh air is good for your skin. Stale air isn’t. Plan ways to get enough fresh air into your day. Can you walk or bike to work? Can you walk from a commuter hub, like a train station? Even 15 minutes at lunch could help.
5. Improve Air Quality at Work
If you think your air quality at work is hurting your skin, there is a solution! See if your company will install an air purifier. If not, bring in your own.
6. Hydrate the Air
Dry air, especially in winter, is very bad for your skin. Drinking water will hydrate you. But what about the air around you that affects your skin’s surface? A humidifier at work will keep your skin smooth. If keeping a humidifier in your workplace is an issue, spraying the air around you with spritzes of water throughout the day will also work. Live plants will help, too, as they breathe out moisture.
7. Apply Moisturizer
Give your skin some help! Apply moisturizer to assist the moisture in the air. Moisturizer at night and applied regularly at work will be the most beneficial.
8. Don’t Smoke
If you smoke, know it’s perhaps the worst thing you can do for your skin — and for the rest of your body. Stop! If you work where smoke is an issue or with coworkers who smoke, take steps to eliminate your exposure.
Many factors can pose risks to your skin at work. These eight steps help you minimize any damage to your skin.