The Link Between Smoking and Skin Damage


Research has shown that smoking and skin damage go hand in hand time and time again, and that how much you smoke can have a direct bearing on how your skin ages is now broadly accepted. As a result, if what smoking can do to your lungs and heart does not really bother you very much, you might just want to think again once you know what it can do to your skin.

Consider this, tell tale signs of early aging like the appearance of wrinkles can be expected in the early 30s in case of smokers, and various studies revolving around this realm have shown that skin damaged due to smoking does tend to appear older in comparison to the skin of non-smokers. If, you, as a smoker, have been spending money on anti-wrinkle creams, know that quitting smoking is a much better alternative.

What is Smoker’s Face?
While a link between smoking and the complexion was originally suggested in 1856, it was only in 1965 that the terms ‘smoker’s face’ came into being, and this was owing to a study carried out by Ippen and Ippen with German women as subjects. A smoker’s face, as per this study, is characterized by pale, wrinkled, and grey skin.

Smoking Affects Skin across the Body:
While most studies in the past revolved around understanding the effects of smoking on facial skin, little was known in terms of the effect smoking had on skin in general. A recent study, though, showed that smoking can affect skin right across the body. Smoking, it is believed, can lead to the skin losing its glow and vitality, making it dull and lifeless; it can lead to skin discolouration; it can lead to quicker loss of elasticity; and it can lead to deeper wrinkles.

What about Second-Hand Smoke?
Just like passive smoking can have an adverse effect on your lungs and heart, the same also holds true when it comes to skin damage due to second-hand smoke exposure. Studies involving bartenders, waitresses, and casino employees who are exposed to second-hand smoke for long hours have shown that they are more prone to showing signs of premature aging.

Here’s what Happens.
Smoking affects your skin in more ways than one, and here’s what it can do:

  •  Restricts vitamin C absorption, an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in skin health.
  •  Depletes vitamin A supply, an important micronutrient which protects the skin from damage.
  •  Breaks down collagen supply, affecting skin’s elasticity.
  •  Restricts flow of blood through capillaries, preventing an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen from getting to the skin.
  •  Even facial contortions made during the smoking process can lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the long run.

As you can see, your smoking habit has a direct impact on how youthful your skin looks, and if you are worried about smoking and skin damage, your best bet is to quit smoking now. After all, the effects of smoking on the skin can only be reversed in the early stages, and that is if you’re lucky.



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