Office habits damaging your skin
Work life and #adulting can be tricky sometimes; navigating deadlines, having a social life and getting sufficient sleep. With barely enough time to take care of yourself, the occasional outbreak is inevitable.
And the biggest culprit of that could actually be small routines daily in the office that might be causing unintentional harm to your skin, holding you back from unlocking your best glo-up yet. Even the slightest action could cause an outbreak!
With this list of habits that you can - and should - stop doing right now, it’s time to cut out the bad stuff and find out how to get better skin.
P.S. read till the end to find out how to keep these skin habits in check.
1. Wearing massive earphones to drown out colleagues' noise
There’s nothing like having your favourite songs come on during a dreary workday, especially with a pair of large soundproof headphones.
But having your headphones on for hours compresses your skin, which causes bacteria and even yeast to breed. This can be the reason for some spots and bumps you may see on your temples and jawline.
Tip: Use antibacterial wipes to clean your headphones regularly and make sure that you minimise contact with your face when you’re working. If you realise your hand tends to reach for your face, it’s about time to stop. right. Now.
2. Bringing your phone to the toilet for “self-entertainment”
If we’re not going to discuss what you need to go to the toilet for, let’s talk about the entertainment you bring in with you to keep yourself occupied. While we hang on to our phones all the time, bringing it to the toilet can only do your skin harm.
Think of all the bacteria and germs you catch on your phone when you leave the toilet. Whatever happens in the toilet, does not stay in the toilet.
When you’re unknowingly tapping away at your phone in the loo, your fingers actually come in contact with the toilet bacteria in the air, which then gets transferred to your face and skin when you touch them.
Tip: Leave the phone at your desk and give your eyes a break. Perhaps try being occupied the old school way of a book or a magazine instead. Antibacterial wipes should also be used to clean your phone twice a day. Pretty high standards, but hey, we got to start from somewhere.
3. Layering foundation upon foundation for rushed client meetings
We always want to make a good impression at work, especially for clients we’re meeting for the first time. Instead of letting our skin breathe, we commit the mistake of smacking concealer and foundation over that blemish. A layer of makeup already traps dirt and bacteria which damages the skin - now imagine multiple layers of that.
Tip: Apply light layers and ensure that your foundation doesn’t contain any pore-clogging ingredients like coconut oil or phenoxyethanol. On a bad skin day, consider going with a brighter lip colour like a deeper red. It’ll draw more attention to your lips instead of your skin.
4. Not cleaning your face properly before and after a lunchtime workout sesh
We totally get it. It’s hard to get to your ideal #fitspo state when you’re working a 9 to 6 job and sometimes, the only way to squeeze in workout time is during lunchtime.
What happens before and after your workout, though, is very important. Taking off your makeup thoroughly before you break a sweat is crucial - sweat, bacteria and leftover makeup on your skin will clog your pores and is a great recipe for breakouts.
After you’ve finished your workout, it’s not enough to just simply wipe your face with a towel. The leftover dirt, oil and sweat mixing together on your skin may not seem obvious under the naked eye, but trust us when we tell you that it is there.
Tip: To make sure your face is clean and makeup free for workouts, use a micellar water so that the sweat and bacteria don’t get transferred on your face. For a fast and thorough job, consider Bifesta’s micellar cleansing lotion or cleansing sheets to get the job done.
5. Raiding the pantry for junk food and ordering unhealthy food in
Snacking is totally acceptable at work - no judgment there. But sometimes the things in the closest range to us or to our hearts may not be the healthiest. And when we’re under pressure, all healthy resolutions fly straight out of the window.
Titbits and junk food have high carbohydrates and processed sugars which can trigger acne issues. The next time you’re reaching for your second bag of chips or about to tap “Order” on fast food delivery, think of the blocked pores, blackheads and pimples first.
Tip: Don’t keep junk food in your drawers or at the pantry to tempt yourself. Start small by bringing healthier snacks so you only have that choice when your tummy is rumbling.
6. Sitting closer to the air conditioner vent because the sun today “last warning”
It’s always great that technology today allow us to go from sweltering hot Singapore to Siberian-cold office in just about two seconds. While the cool relief may be welcomed momentarily, sitting too close to the air conditioner vent can be damaging to your skin.
Naturally, the air from the vent is much colder and is swept directly in your direction. While many of us would face unwanted dry skin from this, those with other skin conditions such as eczema may suffer even more when your natural moisture balance is out of control.
Tip: Keep a hydrating face mist on your office desk at all times to give yourself a refreshing spritz of moisture from time to time.
7. Turning into a zombie after staring at your computer screen for hours
When deadlines and emails pile up, so does the stress. And one thing we’re all guilty of doing when dealing with these is staring at the computer screens all day long.
The act of staring at the computer for so long can make your neck muscles shorten, hence the premature sagging at that area. It can also give you crow’s feet around your eyes! Everyone wants to seem wiser beyond their years, but nobody wants to look it.
Tip: Use the 20-20-20 test! After every 20 minutes of work, look at something 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a break.
8. Drinking 652456 cups of coffee
To make up for the sleep deprivation many of us face, we turn to the Universal Drink of All Drinks: coffee. If this is your absolute must-have drink in the morning, don’t panic just yet. Your well-loved coffee still has its good old benefits, like antioxidants and nutrients for your skin.
But just like most other things, too much is never good though. Coffee, as a diuretic, draws water out from your cells and contributes to dry skin.
Tip: Other than your daily dose of caffeine, you should be drinking about 2 litres of water each day, Aim to finish 2 bottles of your 1-litre bottle to stay hydrated and keep your skin looking a 10/10.
9. Not wearing sunscreen just because you’re indoors
Sunscreen may seem like an unnecessary chore to your skincare routine in the morning especially if you’re working indoors for the entire day. Even if you’re seated safely away from the window, that hot and sweaty 15-minute tabao walk during lunch can be pretty damaging too.
UV rays make your skin look more aged and bring about a higher risk of skin cancer. And since their damage is irreversible, starting to protect your skin sooner than later will help in the long run.
Tip: Wear SPF-infused makeup, such as foundation, tinted moisturiser or powder. Layer on extra sunscreen when the sun’s out.
Healthy skin care habits for a brand new you
The list of dos and dont’s is often endless - sometimes they may end up stressing you out more than helping you. Almost no one’s skin is perfect and it’s unfair to have that expectation of yourself. It is, however, still important to take care of your health - glowing skin is an added bonus none of us would say no to.
Unfortunately, it’s common for many of us to have “city skin”. Living in the concrete jungle of Singapore, we are constantly exposed to air pollution, harsh sunlight and the everyday stresses of work, in turn leading us to commit bad office-related habits like sleeping late and eating junk food.
This results in having more sensitive skin, even though we do not usually suffer from sensitive skin. Yup, you just found your reasons for that occasional annoying pimple or reddish flare-up.
Get better skin with Bifesta’s new Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion
Start slow with baby steps and choose healthier habits over tempting ones. Bifesta’s newly-released Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion allows you to keep your skin fresh and hydrated on the go or when you’re too lazy to take those steps to the toilet sink.
For those worried about their sensitive skin, the oil-free product has no harsh chemicals at all. This hypoallergenic product works to protect your city skin with infused moisturisers without irritating it. Plus, no more eye burns when removing stubborn eye makeup. We rest our case.
Having used the sensitive micellar cleansing lotion for the past few weeks, it’s become one of my instant go-to products. With my occasionally oily skin, I’m usually hesitant to add new products into my skincare routine for fear of triggering bouts of breakouts. But Bifesta’s Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion was gentle and soothing as it got all the gunk off my face with a few swipes of my cotton pad - a completely satisfying way to end my day.
At $18.90, it’s available at all major drugstores, supermarkets and department stores so you can kickstart your journey towards a healthier skincare routine right now.
This post was brought to you by Bifesta.
Photography by John Lim.