How your workplace could be damaging your skin

How your workplace could be damaging your skin

11 July 2016

How your workplace could be damaging your skin

We all know that sitting down at a desk all day isn’t amazing for our health – but now experts have suggested that office work could lead to damaged skin.

From answering the telephone to staring at a computer screen for hours on end, there are many skin care risks associated with the workplace.

Every time you make a call, you transfer bacteria from your hands to the phone, which in turn comes into direct contact with your face – trapping oil in your pores and leading to unwanted blemishes. Keep a stash of antibacterial wipes handy to clean your phone after use.

While nobody likes getting spots, working in front of a computer screen could lead to premature ageing, according to The Harley Medical Group ambassador Dr Justine Hextall.

She said: “There seems to be emerging evidence that light from cell phones and computer screen, 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.”

So how can you reverse this damage? One solution is to try a course of Medical Microdermabrasion to leave skin looking rejuvenated. Dr Hextall also advised against sitting next to the window as the sun’s UVA rays can penetrate glass, damaging your skin further.

If you do have a window seat, you can keep your skin protected by applying SPF every day to your face, hands and forearms.

And then there’s the dreaded air conditioning. Incredibly drying for skin, it can worsen conditions like psoriasis, rosacea and eczema. If your skin feels tight and dry after a day at the office, try spritzing a little hydrating mist spray onto your face to restore your skin’s natural moisture balance.

Not forgetting all of those cups of coffee office workers are renowned for drinking. While fine in moderation, experts recommend against drinking too much caffeine as it can lead to dehydrated and dry skin. As caffeine is a diuretic, your skin cells lose water, contributing to a dull-looking complexion. Try to alternate your cups of coffee with a glass of water.

Have you noticed a change in your skin since working in an office? Let us know on Facebook.


Image credit: michaeljung/