STOPTOBER – How smoking is affecting your skin

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It is a well-known fact that smoking is bad for you, it can damage your body by causing your overall health to deteriorate –increased chance of your heart, stomach, brain, lungs, mouth, throat developing life threating diseases. Smoking doesn’t just create issues internally as it also damages your physical appearance. A lesser known fact is that smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets into your skin which in turn creates a grey and dull shadow and causes premature ageing.

Smoking can alter your appearance in many other ways too – so as soon you decide to put down your cigarette, you skin has a chance of being hydrated in order for it to age normally.

To explain further, skin specialist at Colorescience UK, Patricia Boland has shared the 7 dire impacts smoking has on your skin.

1)      Bags

If you don’t get a few good night’s sleep this can show immediately under your eyes the next day when you wake up, but imagine the bags under your eyes becoming a permanent fixture? If you smoke then you’re four times as likely as non-smokers to have a restless sleep, this is reportedly because of the lack of nicotine your incur in the night. Regular sleepless nights can make the bags under your eyes appear much bigger and noticeable as times goes on.

2)      Premature wrinkles

Smoking can speed up the ageing process of your skin which contributes to wrinkles. The more cigarettes you smoke daily and the longer you smoke will result in how many wrinkles your skin will incur – but early skin damage from smoking is hard to initially spot, only when it is too late. Smoking leads to wrinkles as the nicotine in cigarettes can cause blood vessels to narrow in the layers of the skin. This restricts the blood flow and causes your skin to not receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay nourished and hydrated.

3)      Yellow coloration

The nicotine in cigarette smoke not only colours you teeth yellow and brown but it gets into your fingers and nails too. Nicotine is absorbed through the skin and the mucosal lining of the mouth and nose. This also is accompanied by a smell which isn’t pleasant for anyone. Even if you think soaking your fingers in lemon juice and having a chewing gum will fix all your problem – it doesn’t solve it in the long term. 

4)      Wounds take longer to heal

The body’s recovery from a wound relies on oxygen as this allows for the repair and rebuilding of cells – the oxygen is the foundation so without it the body struggles to reform. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that enters affected areas as it narrows the blood vessels. If you are going for any operations or tooth extractions, it will take longer to recover.

5)      Lose your glow

Your overall complexion of your skin is naturally a glow with regular care, but if you smoke this tends to turn into a grey and dull look. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide which misplaces the oxygen in your skin. It also takes the place of key nutrients you need including vitamin C which helps to protect and repair the skin damage.

6)      Stretch marks

Cigarettes can be a contributing factor to stretch marks as the nicotine can damage the fibers in your skin which causes it to lose elasticity and strength. Stretch marks begin as red skin stretches that fade into a darker hue. Of course, anyone can gain stretch marks through rapid weight loss or gain, but smoking can increase your chances.

7)      Add years to your appearance

Fine lines around your mouth become increasingly noticeable due to puckering up in inhale but the damage doesn’t end there. The nicotine weakens skin around your forehead, eyes, neck and chest. Studies have shown that smoking rapidly speeds up the ageing process so much so that people look an average of two years older than they would otherwise.