SKINCARE FOR A DRY OFFICE
If you work in an office you’ll be familiar with a common problem – constant AC in summer and heating in winter sucking the life out of your face. It’s on blast non-stop from 9 – 5 and often centrally controlled, meaning you can’t turn it off even if you wanted to!
If #officelife is draining you in more ways than one get our guide to skincare for a dry office.
Why artificial heating is bad for the skin
Sitting in an air-conditioned room all day dries skin out due to a combination of the hot/cold air from the AC unit, as well as the wind stream blowing. The closer you sit to the vent, the worse your skin is likely to suffer.
If you’re also afflicted by skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis air-con will likely only make them worse, as it puts the skin’s natural moisture balance out of sync.
The net result is dry, tight and even flaky skin which is easily prone to becoming red.
How to combat dry office air
The good news is that unlike other things you hate in the office, when it comes to the air con, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are a few preventative measures you can take to combat dull, dry, lacklustre office skin.
1 Layer up with an occlusive
First, to counteract the air, take a leaf out of Korean beauty’s book and apply your skincare in layers, finishing off with an occlusive barrier to seal in the hydration. For dry skin types, a thick facial oil in a thin layer underneath your sunscreen will also help skin from drying out. Laneige’s Water Sleeping and Mizon Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream are perfect, as is Missha’s Misa Cho Gong Jin Premium Cream.
2 Make sure none of your skincare products are making the problem worse
If any of your products are a bad fit for your skin type, giving you reactions and the like, they are bound to exacerbate any symptoms of dryness (and worse). If you suspect one of your skincare products is contributing to your skin problems but you aren’t sure which one is the culprit, go back to basics and patch test each and every one of them to eliminate any that don’t play nicely with your skin. Once you switch out any incompatible products, return to focusing on layering the ones that do work well for you – this will ensure your face is filled with the maximum hydration to battle the office air-con all day.
3 Mist away
Mists aren’t just fancy spray cans filled with water – they actually add moisture back into the skin and attract hydration to it, meaning you stay hydrated for longer. Keeping a bottle of misting spray close to your desk and spritzing lightly as needed throughout the day is a great way to keep dryness at bay. Our favourites are d’Alba Piedmont White Truffle Spray Serum, Benton Honest TT Mist and Soroci’s Morning Drizzle Mist.
4 Hit it with a humidifier
You won’t walk into an office in Seoul that doesn’t have a humidifer going in every room and there’s a good reason – the air is extra dry, which wreaks havoc on skin, especially in winter. Humidifiers are one of the secret weapons behind Korean women’s dewy skin and here’s why – the steam is not only comforting and soothing it also keeps moisture in the air, which prevents it being leached from your skin and eyes from drying out too.
5 Drop away
Dry eyes go hand in hand with dry air and sitting in front of an office computer screen all day only makes it worse. If you find your eyes itchy, sore and dry, try applying eye drops and taking a break from your screen every so often to give your eyes a rest. Alternating between looking at documents on and off screen every now and then can also help.
6 Take the air
Even though it’s tempting to stay holed up in your office all day, especially in winter, taking a few breaks to get outside into the fresh air can really help. Skin responds well to fresh air, and will often feel better and less tight after a quick outing.
7 Stay hydrated on the inside
While drinking water won’t cure dryness, it will help to alleviate some of the symptoms of perpetual dryness. 8 glasses of water a day is the recommended intake. If you struggle to get all the water you need, try placing a pitcher on your desk and make it a goal to drink it by the end of the day, or jazz it up with some lemon or lime.
The best Korean Beauty ingredients for Dry Office Skin
Korean Beauty products are heavy duty when it comes to dry skin and it’s because they have to be; Seoul winter is no joke – as SS Founder Lauren and our team on the ground in Seoul know only too well. In addition to the dry air, the winds blowing down from Siberia rob skin of life, leaving it dull, lifeless and flaking. When that happens, turn to the big guns – ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Ceramides replenish natural lipids that are lost due to exposure to harsh environmental factors, the use of drying products, and during the ageing process. They restore moisture, fortify the skin’s natural barrier and help protect it against harm from foreign elements.
Our favourite ceramide-containing K-Beauty creams? Beauty of Joseon’s best-selling Dynasty Cream, Dr Jart’s cult-favourite Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream, Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid and indie label APLB’s Derma Daily Repair Cream.
Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant (a water-binding ingredient) that retains over 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin. This makes it an excellent moisturiser.
It also has the ability to remove waste matter from cells including those where there is little blood circulation. As hyaluronic acid attracts water, it’s best to use it in tandem with a humidifier to really get skin glowing. Our K-favourites? Mizon Hyaluronic Suboon Cream, Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100, Elizavecca’s Milky Piggy Hyaluronic Acid 100% Serum, COSRX’s Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream and Elizavecca’s Hell Pore Control Hyaluronic Acid 97%.
For more on the benefits of hyaluronic acid and it’s popularity in Korean cosmetics, see our past blog post.