After graduation, we’d have realised that entering the workforce is an inevitability that we are all too familiar with.
And while there’s no denying that this is a sign of you growing older (and hopefully wiser), it can also reflect on your face and body way much earlier than it should.
Yup, we’re talking about pre-mature ageing. As in, wrinkles, fine lines, and dull, tired skin that makes you look like a member of the undead. Yikes!
Sounds all too familiar? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it might be because of your work. Or to be more specific, your work habits.
Here are some of them that are making you look at least ten years older than you are:
1. You’re squinting at your laptop and phone screen all day
Yup, if you find yourself constantly squinting and straining your eyes to read your screen, it might be time to invest in a pair of glasses.
This is because such repetitive motions can actually lead to the formation of— gasp— wrinkles over time. Common areas of said wrinkle formation occurs around the eyes, the forehead, and in the space between your brows.
The solution to this, thankfully, is super simple. Other than making an appointment with your optometrist, you can also opt to make the font on your phone and laptop screen bigger. Phew!
2. You’re squinting at your phone and laptop all day… without a blue light shield
Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, we’re sure you’ve heard of how the urban legend where using your electronic devices too much can be pretty detrimental to your skin.
Unfortunately, there is a nugget of truth to it. Penetrating deeply into your skin, blue light can wreak havoc on your complexion, causing hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, and dull, tired skin.
But don’t go flinging your electronics out of the window just yet! Just make sure to buy a blue light shield to place over all of your devices. You can buy them for cheap on sites such as Lazada and Qoo10.
3. You’re not applying SPF
Don’t go about thinking SPF is limited to beach days just yet: there are many offices that are notorious for having large, floor to floor windows that are sure to expose you to the sun’s harmful rays for hours on end.
And if there’s anything sun exposure does, it’s age your skin by years. Think wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots.
How can you fix this? Well, for starters, invest in a quality sunscreen. You can check out our guide here for the best sunscreens for your face! And make sure to reapply throughout the day for optimal effectiveness.
4. You’re not drinking enough water
We all know about the benefits of drinking a plentiful amount of water, but did you know that it’s more important than ever to do so when working in an office?
Seriously! We know how easy it can be to get caught up in your work, but make sure you hydrate frequently throughout the day.
Dry, flaky skin is a surefire way to age you almost instantaneously, which is only worsened by the blasting air-conditioning in most offices.
With your skin being sapped of moisture every second you spend in your cubicle, the best (and one of the few!) ways to combat it is by drinking water, of course. You can consider cutting up fresh fruit such as cucumbers and lemons to add to your bottle if you’d like an extra kick of flavour.
If not, you can also consider getting a mini-humidifier to place by your desk to add some moisture into the air.
5. You get super stressed and end up OT-ing all the time
Being terrible for your blood pressure aside, stress can also severely impact certain sections of your DNA, which is linked to a faster rate of biological aging. Argh!
Yes, this means hair that greys faster than before, crow’s feet, and dark eye circles so evident that someone could spot them from the other end of Singapore.
It can also affect your brain power, leading to chronic health issues that heightens the risk of a stroke.
The best way to deal with stress? Well, the methods differ base on each individual, but here are five research-proven strategies that help naturally dispel stress. Trust us, they’re a lot easier than you think!
6. Your butt is pretty much glued to the chair, ALWAYS
Find yourself using your rolling chair to, well… roll your way places instead of just getting up? Realise that your legs are going numb with inactivity just about every day?
Yup, all this sedentary activity— or shall we say inactivity— can actually age you a lot faster than you think. This is due to how research has found that people who sit longer faces a higher disability risk that people who don’t.
Uh, finally explains why people are getting those standing desks, right? Luckily enough, the solution is staring you right in your face: Just. Get. Off. That. Chair.
Instead of messaging or calling your colleague to ask a question, walk over to his/her desk for a face-to-face chat. Head to the pantry to refill your water from time to time. Take a lap around the office space. Or even go outside once in a while to breathe in some fresh air. We promise, your body will love you more for it.
7. You panic snack every time something remotely stressful occurs
Panic snacking, stress eating, binging… if your first response when dealing with work difficulties is with food, boy, do we have bad news for you.
A constant stream of junk food — especially those that are high in sugar — is terrible for your complexion, because it leads to glycation, which breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin and making you look that much older.
We do get that it can be a hard habit to break, though, so start off by opting for healthier snacks instead. Granola bars, nuts, and yogurt is a good place to start instead of reaching for your favourite pack of gummy worms.
8. You’re doing 15 things at a time, like, checking your emails as you read this article
Guilty of this? We know we are, but did you know that multi-tasking actually doesn’t get anything done? In fact, all it does is create more stress, which as we all know, accelerates signs of aging.
As hard as it may sound, try forcing yourself to focus on one task and to finish it before you move on. A good way to implement this is by jotting a to-do list down in your organiser — if it’s not checked off, you don’t move on.
9. You’re always slouching
Your mom may nag about your posture constantly, but trust us, it’s for good reason.
Apparently, slouching doesn’t just make you look older, it also actually saps you of energy, and can lead to tight muscles and soreness. This also heightens risk of this becoming a permanent state, making you look hunched (and significantly older!) all the time.
10. You’re sending off emails 24/7, even before bed
Remember that dreaded aforementioned blue light? Yup, it actually suppresses the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone in your body), which makes falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult.
And as we all know, sleep is the optimum time for your skin to regenerate, leading to a more youthful, radiant, and luminous complexion after.
Skimping on sleep often leads to a degradation of your skin’s collagen, which — you guessed it! — leads to faster skin ageing. Boo!
Combat this by setting a cut off time for emails and work before bed. The experts recommend powering off your electronic devices at least thirty minutes before bed time.
11. You’re just getting enough rest
Too stressed to get enough shut-eye, whether you’re sending off emails or not?
Well, this deprives your body the chance to repair and replenish, which, naturally leads to dark eye circles, puffy eye bags, and all the terrible signs of premature ageing that we all wish to avoid like the plague.
Learn relaxation techniques to put yourself in the right frame of mind before going to bed, and try to get at least 7 hours every day. Trust us, you’ll feel a lot better for it in the long run.