Thought your office was an escape from skin-ageing pollutants in the UAE?  Think again. Research shows that desks are the new danger zones.

It’s not just what’s on the outside scuppering our once smooth and unsoiled skin, it’s what’s on the inside too. From skin-ageing light emitted from computer screens and phones, to the toxic fumes coming from the printer and bacteria-ridden keyboards, plus dehydrating air-con and stress-induced frown lines – the office has a whole host of worries we didn’t know about.

So, to help save face, we’ve put together an indoor skin survival kit. Read on to find out how to keep your game face looking fresh and fabulous.

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indoor skin survival kit alpha h

Two or three drops of this niacinamide-filled formula enhances skin’s immunity and reduces redness and pigmentation. Vitamin B Serum Dhs250 Alpha-H available at Harvey Nichols – Dubai

indoor skin survival kit DR SEBAGH

Dr Sebagh is already on the case of office pollution. Most of his products now include an EPF (environmentally protective film) that traps pollutants like carbon particles on the surface of the skin, but what’s especially noteworthy is his new Supreme Day cream. “It contains a fractionated melanin compound (HEV melanin) that shields from the photo light and oxidative damage that cause barrier disruption, uneven pigmentation and inflammatory responses,” says Dr Sebagh.

Supreme Day cream, 50ml Dhs529 Dr Sebagh

office skincare

This spray on mist provides an invisible shield to stop indoor skin stressors penetrating while detoxifying damaged cells.

Flash Defence Anti-pollution, 60ml Dhs88 Ren at

This three-in one cream fights UV, pollution and dehydration with zinc oxides and idebenone (the world’s most powerful antioxidant).

City Smart Hydrating Shield SPF50 Dhs250 Prevage Elizabeth Arden

Every time you start tapping away on your keyboard you’re coming into contact with around three million bacteria per square inch*. Now think about how much you are touching your desk (and the last time you cleaned it) – those sporadic spots around your jawline might not be down to hormones after all.

The best way to beat pore pollution? Avoid touching your face and keep an antibacterial hand sanitiser next to your phone, mouse or anywhere in your eye line to remind you to reapply. “As well as hands, we advise spraying your keyboard and phone every Sunday morning to kill bacteria. Just once a week is beneficial,” advises Tipper Lewis, Head of Training at Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Organic Defence Hand Spray, Dhs29 Neal Yard Remedy

This luxury make-up remover contains blue micro-algae extract found to protect cells from pollution stresses.

Le Bi-Phase Visage Anti-Pollution Make-up Remover Dhs204 Chanel

indoor skin survival kit

Red hibiscus targets toxins at the same tie as hydrating and smoothing out crow’s feet.

One Essential Eye Serum Dhs320 Dior

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Clinique's cleansing brush

Clinique’s cleansing brush whisks up soot, dust and debris from deep within the pores without damaging your dermis. We recommend using once every evening to blitz the dirt from deep within.

Sonique System Purifying Cleansing Brush Dhs360 Clinique

indoor skin survival kit

Think twice when you get envious of your colleague who’s just nabbed the window seat. Eight hours of sun penetrating the window glass can result in UV damage. High factor sunscreens, preferably SPF50, with mineral filters like titanium oxide and zinc oxide are the answer. And for an extra top-up choose hybrid products like primers or mineral make-up to block out chemicals and wrinkle-reducing rays. Clarins’ latest comes in four shades and blurs imperfections and battles free radicals with an anti-pollution complex.

BB Skin Detox Fluid SPF25 Dhs175 Clarins

indoor skin survival kit

You wouldn’t consider standing in front of a car exhaust but waiting for documents to print and photocopying, or worse, sitting near a printer, exposes you to the same type of toxic trauma.

The solution? Products that form a protective film over skin – think ClingWrap for your complexion – such as intelligent serums, overnight masks and featherweight moisturisers. And look for antioxidants like reservatol and ferulic acid – every free radical’s nemesis. Chanel’s new coffee and olive and lentisk-infused Blue Serum can significantly improve the health and resilience of skin cells.

Blue Serum Dhs499 Chanel

indoor skin survival kit

Kiehl’s don’t beat around the bush with the Pollutant Defending mask. Apply at night and by morning your skin’s ability to resits pollution will have increased. Fact.

Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque Dhs170 Kiehl’s

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Main picture: John Pocock
Words: Becci Vallis and Jade Chilton