Beauty

All the horrific reasons why your office is bad for your skin – and what to do about it

Office ladies everywhere, acne is now an occupational hazard. Read on to determine if your desk-bound job is the cause of your zits, and get top tips on how to break the breakout cycle
 

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Bummed out over work woes? You may now add adult acne to your litany of professional grievances.

Tick off the boxes on the following checklist to see if your lumps and bumps can be blamed on your office space; as well as tips on how to banish your boardroom blemishes:

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1. Are you engaged in mortal combat with your colleagues?

The precise location of the peaks and valleys dotting your visage are a clue to the source of your spots. Take it from Teri Tay, Dermalogica Singapore’s education manager, who says that pimples peppering your forehead and jawline usually form under duress: “Stress-induced digestion imbalances can be reflected on the lower forehead, between the brows and around the lips and chin.”

Translation: If you’re breaking out at your jawline and temples, the pressure of contending with distressing deadlines and catty cubicle mates may be the cause of your cysts.

Solution: To ward off work-related whiteheads, Teri suggests seeking out a shrink to (quite literally) “clear up” concerns with your colleagues, failing which you can consider less prohibitive pursuits: “Inexpensive options include engaging in exercise and other de-stressing activities to even out the body’s imbalances.” Beauty bonus: A bubble butt and tauter thighs are always good to have!

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2. When was the last time you cleaned your cubicle phone?

If the answer’s “uh, never”, you may be “phoning in your pimples” and provoking the formation of spots, particularly if you’re pressing the receiver against your cheeks.

Vindicating germaphobes everywhere, Teri says that the film of filth on routinely used equipment can encourage bacteria growth: “The area of the face which is constantly exposed to the ‘dirty’ phone will start to show signs of not only breakouts but also skin irritation and redness.”’

Solution: Keep a packet of wet wipes on hand and give your grimy gadgets a good wipe-down regularly, preferably daily if possible. Easy-peasy.

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3. Are you marinating in makeup from dusk to dawn?

How to tell if your spots are induced by makeup or “merely” of the garden variety sort? For starters, you may have a case if your pimples present themselves as pale lumps (sort of like whopping whiteheads) clustered around your chin and cheeks.

These breakouts also tend to linger on like an unwanted ex-lover; the result, it seems, of a vicious cycle of slapping on ever more makeup in a desperate attempt to camouflage said acne.

Solution: Add salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to your beautypedia of buzzwords to “spot” on the ingredients label of your grooming gizmos. These two lab-proven acne alleviators get to action straight away, decongesting pores and nuking angry red monsters virtually overnight. Good luck!

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