Why Working in an Office Is Bad for Your Skin, and What You Can Do About It
When it comes to professions that run the highest risk of getting sun damage, lifeguards, park rangers, and any other jobs that require you to be outdoors most of the day immediately come to mind. Imagine our surprise when we learned that working in an office can be just as bad without the proper protection.
"Regular 9 to 5–ers with indoor corporate jobs seem unlikely candidates for being high at risk for skin cancer, but research shows that melanoma occurs when people are exposed to bursts of sun," says Darrell Rigel, M.D., medical director at New York City's Schweiger Dermatology. "For those who are indoors all week, that burst of sun on the weekends could be dangerous."
Those who are regularly exposed to the elements are usually ready to block their complexion from the sun's harmful UV rays, but the rest of us who work in a setting similar to Anne Hathaway’s in The Devil Wears Prada may not be as adequately prepared. To combat this, we recommend incorporating SPF-infused makeup like foundation, powder, or tinted moisturizer in your routine, and make sure to layer on a lotion with extra sun protection daily, like Aveeno's formula ($11; target.com), which has an SPF of 15. On the weekends, up the ante and break out the Coppertone if laying out in the park after brunch is on your agenda.
Aside from the sun and obvious stress effects your job can have on your complexion, the temperature of the office can also become a concern if you have a dry skin type. If your building is the type to blast the heat long after the polar vortex has ended, hydrating products are key to keeping your moisture levels in check.
"The typical humidity in an office is 10 percent and with indoor heat, you're just heating the air without adding moisture," Rigel adds. "Use a good moisturizer, especially during the winter, since you're in a heated environment all day long."
We're currently smoothing on the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly by Indeed Labs ($20; ulta.com), which is lightweight enough to wear under makeup, and after work, a weekly session with Glamglow's Thirstymud ($69; sephora.com) is sure to keep your glow intact. In case of emergency, stash a bottle of Mario Badescu's aloe and rosewater-infused facial spray ($12; nordstrom.com) in your desk drawer to spritz on as a midday pick-me-up.