The Air-Conditioning in Your Office is Bad for Your Skin – What to Do?

The Air-Conditioning in Your Office is Bad for Your Skin – What to Do?

Why you should care

Your office air conditioner is bad for your skin – we show you what you can do instead of quitting your job.

The air-con at work is sweet, sweet bliss after the scorching sun we brave to get there, but good things can hurt too. We show you how to minimise the harm those long hours are doing to your skin.

Step 1: Quit your job and travel the world.

Hah! Now that you’ve had a good laugh, let’s talk more about the whys and hows.

What Does Air-Conditioning do to Your Skin?

Prolonged exposure to air-conditioning has a drying effect on skin, lowering its ability to retain moisture. Over time, this can lead to itchy, flaky skin and early wrinkling (gasp!). It can also aggravate skin conditions you might already have like eczema or psoriasis.

Skin that is overly dry also loses its ability to retain oil – although your body does not produce more oil, you will secrete more and get the sad bingo of both dry and oily skin.

What Can You do to Prevent the Damage?

Drink Lots of Water

For young adults, experts recommend drinking approximately 35 – 40ml of water for every kilogramme that you weigh.

If this seems like too much to remember, download an app like Waterlogged or iDrated that will help you keep track of your daily water intake.

Add lemon slices to your drinking water for an extra boost of hydrating electrolytes.

water with lemonMoisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise

Set aside time for your morning and night skincare routine because prevention is always better than dull skin. Ultra moisturising skincare series like Laneige Water Bank or Clinique’s Moisture Surge keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours, and are available at most pharmacies and skincare shops.

laneige water bank


Keep a good moisturiser with you at your work station or in your purse; Rosken Skin Repair is a trusted favourite for our parched and patchy arms and legs. If you’ve got a full face of makeup on, use a facial spritzer like Hadanomy’s Collagen Mist throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated without destroying your look. You can get it online from YesStyle.

Hadanomy mist


Coconut oil is also great for slathering on particularly dry days at the office, in addition to making you smell like a delicious dessert. #coconutoilforpresident

Soap Right

Many soaps have high pH levels from alkaline-heavy ingredients that are used to increase lather or keep them hard. These can damage your skin’s outer layer, and dry your skin further. Switch to pH balanced natural soaps that are made without lye, or soap-free cleansers.

You should also moisturise immediately after stepping out of a hot shower – lotion up while your skin’s still damp!

Invest in a Humidifier

Humidifiers – as their name implies – help increase humidity in your room and make the air less dry. Look for one that comes with a built-in automatic humidstat that maintains your room’s humidity levels at 45 – 50%; you don’t want to over-humidify as this creates an ideal breeding ground for mould and dust mites.

Leave bowls of water or wet towels around the office if you want more budget-friendly solutions. Alternatively, buy a pretty plant! When humidity is low, your room will absorb moisture from your potted friends.

Take Breaks

Forget desk lunches; head out for a spot of sunshine during your midday break. Follow your meal with a stroll around your office area – we’re seeing more and more companies located in beautifully landscaped complexes that are perfect for walking off that lovely lunch while giving you your daily dose of vitamin D.

lunch outdoorsLimit Your Air Conditioner Usage Elsewhere

Night time is when your skin needs to rest and rejuvenate (as do you) so practise sleeping without the air conditioner on. Instead, leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes before you go to bed and then turn on your fan to circulate this cooled air throughout your room.

Cut Down on Caffeine

We saved the hardest for last. Coffee and tea have mild diuretic effects, and drinking them in excess can be harmful to your overall hydration levels. Limit your drinks to a maximum of 2 a day – you’ll be rewarded with fresh, dewy skin that will look great in your Instagram photos when you do decide to quit your job and travel the world.

Why you should care

Your office air conditioner is bad for your skin – we show you what you can do instead of quitting your job.

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