Did you know the office could be damaging your skin? Here's why

If you're suffering from dry and irritated skin, your workplace could be the reason why

woman stressed at work
(Image credit: Maskot / Getty Images)

As more and more people return to the office after Christmas, many may be noticing a pattern between their skin drying out and going into work. Whilst this could be related to an increase in stress, did you know that it might actually linked be to the air in the office instead? 

Whilst the best air conditioning units are good at keeping the airflow going, extended exposure to them can strip away the natural moisture in skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Dr. Dave Reilly, Senior Scientist at Absolute Collagen, as well as Skin Expert Darcy Laceby, have explained the impact air conditioning can have:

Air conditioning works by extracting the moisture out of the air to reduce the humidity to then cool or heat a room. However, it could also be having a similar effect on your skin, resulting in dry, flaky skin. This can not only be uncomfortable, but it can also speed up the ageing process, with wrinkles and fine lines looking more pronounced. For those with certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, this environment can even exacerbate your symptoms."

To help those who don’t have control of the office aircon, I spoke to the experts at Absolute Collagen, who shared some tips for combating its effect. Keep reading to find out what they are...

1. Drink plenty of water

When busily working away at your desk for extended periods of time, it can be easy to forget to drink plenty of water. However, you must make sure you are regularly drinking water to ensure your lips, skin and hair are not drying out in an air-conditioned office.

To help you stay on top of this at work, you could pick up a time-marked water bottle to keep by your desk, which acts as a reminder to keep sipping and stay hydrated. Make sure you read our guide on how much water you should really be drinking to find out more. 

2. Use hydrating skincare products

Using moisturising products is key when it comes to returning the moisture to your skin. When you’re in the office, use a good quality moisturiser to protect your skin and lock in moisture whilst you work. A hydrating face mist could also be used - simply pack in your work bag and spritz your face at intervals throughout the day.

3. Take regular breaks

Another great tip is to make sure you are taking regular breaks from the dry air. This might involve stepping outside for ten minutes every few hours or going for a lunchtime walk. However, in the winter, the colder air can also be harsh on your skin, so be mindful of this and wrap up warm. 

You could even mix up your meeting locations to escape the arid air. Maybe head to a local coffee shop for a catch-up once a week or start taking calls while walking in the sunshine.   

Interested in more? Find out how your workout could be affecting your skin!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.