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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

School air can ruin looks, but there are ways to fight back

@vaatsalya.c on TikTok
One of the possible explanations for “school air” by a TikTok user.

Students of all genders and styles have their looks at the mercy of one thing: school air.

No matter how much I style my hair in the morning or perfect my skincare routine, by the time I head to my car at the end of the day, my hair is scraggly and deflated, my skin is dry, and my outfit doesn’t fit as perfectly as it did before I left my house that morning. For some reason, I find that this situation especially happens during the school day rather than other all-day activities.

To begin with, the indoor air quality of schools is commonly above the healthy limit in several categories that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends. This may explain respiratory issues and illness in schools, but outwardly appearance is more difficult to connect air quality to.

So, in order to defy this pseudo-science that TikTok has created, there are ways to combat this unpreventable phenomenon.


Makeup can quickly become crusty in so-called “school air.” Having makeup that is flaky and has poor texture can be detrimental to any look as well as feel unpleasant on the skin. The key to avoiding this is to pick high-quality, non-expired products and correctly prepare your face. Exfoliated, moisturized skin with fresh and well-made makeup dodges the cakey look that school air can produce.


Moisturizing is the most crucial thing to do when battling school air—dry and dull skin is often a result of the environment. Along with a strong moisturizer for the face, hands, and other skin surfaces, adding a brightening serum to a skincare routine can instantly bring life back into a lethargic complexion. On the other end of the spectrum, however, many deal with their face becoming oilier throughout the school day. Niacinamide is a great way to reduce oil production, so adding a serum including this ingredient is a great option. Additionally, for all skin types, many brands offer “anti-pollution” products, which protect your skin from air occupied by harmful materials.

So, in order to defy this pseudo-science that TikTok has created, there are ways to combat this unpreventable phenomenon.


Hair is one of the most difficult things to rein in when it comes to school air. If your issues tend to be that your hair feels dry, frizzy, and crunchy, then opt for using hair oil on the ends after a hair mask weekly in order to lock in hydration. Additionally, avoid using heat tools whenever possible. If you have an issue with deflated, limp, and lifeless hair throughout the day, use a light volumizing spray in the morning and brush your hair when you get the chance throughout the day to evenly distribute oils and give your hair a bounce. Whenever possible, avoid touching your hair with your dirty hands—this goes for your face too.

General Appearance

Sometimes, school runs us down visually, and the exact issue is hard to pinpoint. Because of this, maintaining your general and everyday health is essential to having a healthy glow that overpowers school air. Staying hydrated, eating healthy (and actually having breakfast), and staying active give you the energy to look energized and healthy throughout the school day.

Even though there is no true cause of “school air,” many teenagers suffer from the detriment that being in a classroom has to their appearance. So, in order to maintain a put-together and well-managed look, there are many options that will prevent you from looking worn-out and crusty.

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About the Contributor
Eva Harshman
Eva Harshman, Editor-in-Chief
Eva Harshman is a senior who is thrilled to be entering her fourth and final year on staff as Editor-in-Chief. Apart from writing for The Central Trend, she enjoys riding her Thoroughbred, Thirsty, spending time with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows for hours on end. She is also an avid competitor in Odyssey of the Mind alongside her teammates who also happen to be her best friends. Although she tends to stick around the people she knows best, The Central Trend has broadened her horizons beyond compare. Being a part of Room 139 has taught her so much; she has met so many people thanks to The Central Trend.   Favorite type of story: Editorials Pets: A bunny (Georgie), a dog (Leon), and a horse (Thirsty) Dream vacation: Tokyo, Japan Favorite books: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie MBTI and Enneagram: ENTP-T 8w7

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    Lauren BraceNov 16, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    Such an interesting piece, Eva! I adore your writing, and your editorials are always so creative.