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Skin care essentials that are great for the office

Skin care essentials to keep in your office desk drawer

Skin care is generally considered part of a morning or nighttime routine, though it should be a daylong effort. After all, even long-lasting products like lotions and moisturizers can wear off during the workday.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to stock up on office-friendly skin care essentials to keep in your desk drawer. While you won't be able to engage in a full-skin care regimen on the clock, it’s worth investing in products like hand creams, cuticle oil or hydrating facial sprays to tide you over.

What to know before buying skin care products for the office

Why skin care throughout the day matters

Simply put, skin care products applied in the morning are bound to wear off during the day. This is often the result of environmental exposure, friction or touching your face and body.

As expected, reapplication is common, and to some extent, it’s necessary. It’s especially important if you’re managing certain skin care concerns, such as very dry skin or blemishes. When you keep a few essential skin care products in the office, you won’t need to run to your car or wait until you get home to continue managing these concerns.

Consider your co-workers

Before you bring new skin care products to the office, consider your co-workers. Certain lotions and creams have strong scents that others may find overwhelming. Or worse, the scent may trigger allergic reactions or headaches for some people.

Instead, consider investing in unscented or fragrance-free products. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, for example, is a low-odor option because it’s free of both fragrance and fragrance-masking ingredients.

Be prepared for cleaning

Even skin care products that absorb into the skin quickly may leave residue on your desk, keyboard or mouse. As a result, you’ll need to clean your desk a bit more often — likely on a daily basis — to keep these areas tidy and streak-free.

Multipurpose surface cleaners and cleaning wipes are effective in removing most product residue. However, make sure these products don’t seep between keys and buttons on your keyboard and mouse. Unfortunately, the chemicals may cause permanent damage to devices.

Should you buy travel-size products?

It’s tempting to gravitate toward travel-size products for convenience reasons. While they’re certainly space-savvy, they’re rarely the most cost-effective way of buying skin care products. In fact, it’s often more expensive to buy smaller bottles of products than their regular-size equivalents.

Some people have enough room to store full-size products on their desks or inside drawers. Other professionals may be pressed for space, in which case TSA-approved bottles are a worthy investment. Not only are they refillable and fit easily in bags and desk drawers, but they also come in handy for air travel.

Best skin care essentials to leave at the office

Water mister

If you can’t splash water on your face in the middle of the day, a water mister is the next best thing. Evian Facial Spray delivers an ultrafine mist of pure Evian water that refreshes skin. It’s often used to revive makeup looks or cool down on warmer days.

Cuticle oil

Nails need a little tender loving care throughout the day. It’s a good idea to keep cuticle oil in your desk drawer, such as OPI Nail and Cuticle Oil. A salon-quality formula, this oil nourishes nails and cuticles and helps prevent drying and cracking.

Moisturizing hand cream

After plenty of hand washing and sanitizing, hands often become dry or cracked. Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream is a deep-moisturizing formula that soothes very dry skin with baobab oil. The naturally-derived, unscented formula is free of phthalates, parabens and SLS.

Restorative hand cream

Hands that need repair benefit from using a restorative hand cream, like O'Keefe's Working Hands Hand Cream. In addition to soothing and smoothing over cracked, dry hands, it forms a protective layer that may boost moisture retention levels long term.

Blemish spot treatment

Sometimes, spots and blemishes pop up in the middle of the workday. It’s easy to get them under control while you type away with Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment. Clear and discreet, this salicylic acid spot treatment reduces the appearance of blemishes within a matter of hours.


There’s no need to stress over that stray brow hair when you keep travel tweezers in your desk. The Tweezerman Petite Tweeze Set includes two mini tweezers and a travel case. The tweezers are made with stainless steel, making them durable and easy to clean.

Hydrating facial spray

Working in dry environments can leave your face dry and patchy, which may result in makeup flaking or fading. Refresh your look with Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, which is formulated with herbal extracts that revitalize skin and leave it with a dewy, upbeat radiance.

Unscented body lotion

If your arms and legs feel dry during the day, slather on a little body lotion. Cetaphil Advanced Relief Lotion is suitable for use at work since it has a neutral, low-odor scent. The quick-absorbing lotion, which includes shea butter, locks in moisture for up to 48 hours.


When you keep sunscreen in your desk drawer, you won’t need to worry about burning at an impromptu outdoor lunch or work event. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen is a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 70 that is lightweight, oil-free and streak-free.

Protective lip balm

If you struggle with cracked or dry lips, be sure to keep a protective lip balm within arm’s reach. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Lip Balm is known for its creamy, rich formula infused with vitamin E and coconut oil. The SPF 15 lip balm leaves lips with a light, glossy sheen.

Oil-absorbing tool

Control oil throughout the workday with an oil-absorbing tool, such as the Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller. It absorbs oil and has a mattifying effect without drying out the skin. As an added bonus, it can be used on a clean face or over makeup.

Makeup remover wipes

Whether you need to touch up makeup or refresh your face, moist towelettes, like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleansing Towelettes, are the way to go. Infused with hyaluronic acid, these towelettes gently cleanse skin while boosting hydration.

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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