You’re a hard worker, and you probably don’t have time to pay attention to your office space. But take a moment to consider the environment: A sticky keyboard and a germy mouse inhabit your desk while the driest air you can imagine floats around your office chair. Plus, there’s that bright sunlight beaming through your office window. Germs, sun damage and dry air – discover how to defend your skin from workplace damage.
Coming into contact with germs is practically unavoidable in the office. Virtually everything you touch has the potential to carry your co-workers’ cold virus, your boss’s flu bug or the residue of a customer’s cough or sneeze. You could wash your hands all day to get rid of germs, but then you’d be left with dry, dehydrated skin. Couple this predicament with the fact that working near a window exposes your skin to damaging sunlight, and your work conditions begin to sound almost hazardous. But not to worry; here are three ways you can fight back, and none of them require taking expensive nutritional supplements or slathering on pricey products.
Task 1: Whisking away the germs
According to some experts, your desk harbors more bacteria and germs than the communal bathroom. That’s enough to make most people want to wash up every five minutes, but getting up to cleanse your hands after every cough and sneeze isn’t very practical. Instead, here’s how you can avoid getting sick in a less than clean workspace.
- Hand sanitizer: You can’t spend ten minutes every hour wiping down your keyboard, your mouse and the power button on your monitor. However, you can keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy for killing germs on your fingers before you end up rubbing your eyes, using a tissue or applying a fresh coat of lipstick. Most hand sanitizers advertise that their ingredients kill 99.9 percent of germs, leaving only 0.1 percent of your boss’s cold bug left to fear. Fight back against your microscopic enemies with a hand sanitizer like Jurlique Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer.
- Hand sanitizer with moisturizer: Using hand sanitizers is great for killing germs, but most sanitizers contain a lot of alcohol, so you run the risk of dehydrating your hands. Thankfully, as long as you choose a hand sanitizer made with moisturizers, you won’t have to compromise hydration for sanitation. With cleansing and moisturizing in one step, Belli Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer is practically a match made in corporate heaven.
Task 2: Infusing moisture
Air conditioning in the summer, dry heat all winter – office air can turn your skin into a dry, cracked desert of flaky skin cells, and your hands take the brunt of this, especially during the winter after repeated hand washings. The lotion you lathered on after your morning shower has long since worn off, and your skin is longing for a drink by break time. So when you get up to refill your morning coffee or break for lunch, remember to replenish your skin – not just your stomach.
- Hand salve: Your average, drippy lotion might smell fabulous the minute you pop the cap off the bottle. But light, fragranced lotions won’t give your skin the moisture it needs to last throughout the day. About Skin Care guide Jen Adkins recommends selecting a blend made with body butter for moisture that goes on thick and lasts throughout your workday. Try SpaRitual Hand Salve to lock in moisture for hours.
- Antioxidant face spritz: Your face can get dry and dehydrated during the workday, too. Try keeping a bottle of Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Face Mist by your desk to refresh and replenish lost moisture midday.
Task 3: Keeping off the rays
Your skin is ripe for sun damage anytime – even at the office. According to US News, sunlight can creep in through the glass of your office window, exposing your skin to the same harmful rays that you’re susceptible to at the beach. Plus, think about how often you expose yourself to UV rays making trips to and from the car to your office. But does that mean you have to slather on sunscreen just to go to work? Perhaps, but with double-duty formulas it’s easier than you’d expect.
- Foundation with sunscreen: Thanks to foundation with sunscreen already mingled inside, you don’t even have to think about SPF on your busy mornings. Both powder and liquid foundations often contain sunscreen, giving you a little boost of protection against UV rays without the fuss of a runny sunblock. If you like the powder variety, check out bareMinerals Foundation with SPF 15. If you prefer liquid foundations, try DermaBlend Indulgence Foundation with 20 SPF.
- Lipstick with sunscreen: You might not think your lips need sunscreen – until you start to see those fine lines around the mouth. Pucker up to a sunscreen-infused lipstick or lip gloss to protect lips against indirect sun damage. Try Sunforgettable Lip Shine, which boasts SPF 35.
Your work environment has a way of putting a wrench in your already hectic schedule if you don’t proactively fight against “hazards” such as germs, dryness and sun damage. While these might seem like petty concerns when compared with more pressing matters, like client acquisition or finishing that lengthy presentation, don’t discount the benefits of looking and feeling your best.
Learn everything you need to know about workplace beauty and skincare for a professional lifestyle in our Office Beauty Handbook.