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Beauty / Health and wellbeing | 10.11.2016

What you need to know about air-conditioning and skin ageing

 



If you work in an airconditioned office, then you're probably aware of how drying it is on your skin.

What you may not know is that the less hydrated your skin is, the faster it ages, so it’s super important to take measures to counteract the effect of artificially cooled or heated rooms.

Air-conditioning is one of the worst environmental culprits for drying the skin out and one of the worst environmental hazards, too.

Sales of air-conditioners are rising at alarming rates – more than 60 million air-conditioners are now sold in China each year. If ever there was an argument for installing solar panels onto all homes, that's one of them.

But that's another (quite concerning) story. Today we're talking about the impact of air-con on your skin, especially if you spend most of your day in air-con during summer (at home, in the car, in the office). 

Air-con can dry out your skin so much it begins to itch and flake and if you suffer from eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, you can bet it will exacerbate these problems because air-conditioning upsets the moisture balance of your skin. 

It also dries out your mucous membranes and can cause eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, as well as creating problems for contact lens wearers. 

Working in air-con is unavoidable for many of us, but there are ways you can minimise the impact on your skin.

10 ways to counteract the drying effects of air-con

  1. You can’t control the air at the office but you can at home and in your car, so limit your use of air-con outside office hours.
  2. Don’t sleep with the air-con on. This is when your skin needs to breathe and rejuvenate. If it’s way too hot in your bedroom, try switching on the air-con 20 minutes before bedtime, then switching it off when you go to sleep. (You can keep a gentle fan on to circulate air through the room).
  3. Take morning tea and lunch breaks outside the office. Try and find a park where you can relax near some trees so your skin can enjoy an hour out of the office air.
  4. Up your exercise. Take regular breaks to stretch, have a quick walk around the office or go for a power walk in your lunch break — increasing your circulation improves the skin’s appearance as well as boosting detoxification and cell renewal.
  5. Drink plenty of purified water throughout the day and add a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice to alkalise and rehydrate your system.
  6. Limit your caffeine intake to no more than two cups of coffee or tea a day, and go herbal the rest of the time. (I'm really into Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice right now - slightly sweet, spicy and delish.)
  7. Never use soap on your skin. It's not made for your face - full stop, ever, amen, ok! It has a very high/alkaline pH and it’s incredibly drying. So, unless you're trying to look like parchment paper STOP using soap.
  8. Don’t take long, hot showers. If you're like me and you don't feel clean unless the water's nice and hot, and as delicious and tempting as it maybe even when the weather's warmer, turn the temp down baby and keep it cool.
  9. Always carry a small arsenal of hydration savers such as hand moisturiser, lip balm and a moisturising facial toner in a spray bottle in your bag so you can hydrate your face and hands during the day. I carry around Mukti Mini's and love misting then adding a few drops of facial oil throughout the day. Anywhere, anytime.
  10. Place some leafy plants around your desk not only do they look great and create a soothing atmosphere — they'll improve air quality by reducing CO2 and increasing oxygen in the air. While you're at it, make sure you open the windows every now and then to maintain some humidity in the room.

Do you work in an icy-cold air-conditioned office all day? Do you find your eyes, nasal passages and skin really drying out because of the air-con? Share your stories with us and you'll go into the Bi-monthly draw to win $150 worth of Mukti Organics products. 

@bymukti

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