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Now, skincare at office too!
Dr Parul Kolhe
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January 30, 2007

Are you a working girl? Do you step out of home in the early hours and spend more time in office than at home?

Chances are you do not have enough time to look after your skin. Right? Do you neglect your skin care?

Here are a few tips on how to keep your skin healthy even during office hours.

Note: Men had better pay attention too -- most of these tips are as useful for you!

Air conditioning

Extreme temperatures are bad for your skin. Air conditioning is known to sap moisture from your skin. Turn the AC vents away if they are directly pointing at your desk. Keep a small bottle of moisturiser in your desk drawer and apply it every two to three hours.

Sunscreens and antiglare

If your workstation is near a window and you keep the venetian blinds, make sure you use a sunscreen and put up an antiglare film on the window pane. Long hours of indirect sunlight too, can add tan.

Water, please

Keep a bottle of water on your desk to remind yourself to drink enough. Most office goers suffer from dehydration, as they get too engrossed in work to pay attention to the body's thirst signals. This eventually tells on your skin.

Clean up 

Wash your face during lunch hour and let it breathe for half an hour before reapplying make-up. If possible, carry cleansing pads and use them to remove the layered grease and natural oils, as these block pores and aggravate blackheads and acne.

Go easy on beverages

Do not overdose on coffee to keep your mind razor sharp all day. Switch to tea instead. With its skin friendly antioxidants, it's a much healthier option.

Blink, blink

Don't stare too long at your computer screen. Ultraviolet radiation from these screens can cause tanning and dark  circles under your eyes. Fix an antiglare coating on your computer screen and use sunscreen, but the best bet is to limit your hours of exposure.

Say no to grease

Going for a power lunch with business associates? Remember to stick to salads without oil-based dressings or ask for dressing on the side. Fresh greens and tomatoes, loaded with vitamins and minerals are much better for your skin, than gorging on greasy, heavy curries and gooey desserts. If you carry your lunch to office from home, make sure you include fruit in your lunch bag everyday.

Take your medications

If you are already under treatment for some skin problems, carry your medication with you and apply it as often as prescribed. Don't skip a medication application because you're at work for long hours -- this might make all the difference between success and failure of your treatment.

Smoke not 

Stay away from 'smoking clubs' who grab a cigarette during coffee breaks. Cigarette smoke is poison for your body -- and that includes your skin.

Your feet need air

Slip off your shoes under the table when doing desk work for long hours. Airing out your feet considerably decreases chances of fungal foot infections common in those who wear closed-toe shoes for long periods of time.

Habit wise

Make skincare a part of your daily routine. It will take some initial effort but once these habits become a part of your regime, you'll be able to maintain your looks and keep your skin problem-free with ease.

-- The author is an M B B S, DDV and DNB in dermatology.

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