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The Effects Smoking has on your Skin

It is no secret that smoking is horrible for your health. It can lead to a range of cancers, cardiovascular disease and a host of other health problems. None of this is particularly new to people. What smokers might not realise is that your habit is also reeking havoc on your skin. What exactly are the effects of smoking on your skin?

Premature ageing

There have been studies going back as far as the 1970’s linking smoking to premature ageing of the skin. In fact, smoking is more damaging to your skin than sun exposure. It is not exactly known what aspect of smoking causes the damage. It could be the heat from the cigarettes, the constriction of the blood vessels in your face or the reduction of vitamin A in your skin.

Smokers tend to develop wrinkles much more quickly than their non- smoking counterparts. These include smokers lines which are wrinkles that radiate outward from the mouth. These lines deepen as smokers age.

Smoker’s skin often takes on a grey and sallow appearance. This tends to make smokers appear far older than they actually are.

Dark circles under your eyes

A study by John Hopkins University in America reported that smokers are 4 times more likely to have a restless night’s sleep. This could possibly be due to nicotine withdrawals throughout the night. A sleepless night will help contribute to dark circles under your eyes, which is not a look that you want to go for.

Dry Skin

Smoking constricts blood vessels throughout your body. This reduces the amount of oxygen that parts of your body receive. In the face, this results in dryness and discolouration. Smoking also depletes the body of nutrients such as vitamin C, which help protect your skin from free radical damage.

Other Problems

Apart from life threatening complications and damage to your facial skin, smoking can also impact on other parts of your body. Smoking can discolour your teeth. It can stain the fingers and hands to an unsightly yellow. Smoking has also been linked to dry and brittle hair.

How can you reduce this damage?

The easiest way to ensure that your skin is not being ravaged by cigarettes is to quit smoking. This is the most sure fire way to stop the damage that it is doing to your skin.

If you are not ready to give up, there are a few things that you can do to minimise the long lasting damage that smoking has on your skin.

Wash your face twice a day with an AHA/BHA cleanser to remove any built up dead skin cells. Apply a Vitamin C serum in the morning and a Vitamin A serum at night to help replenish the nutrients that cigarettes have leached out of your body.

Apply a daily moisturiser with a zinc based sunscreen. You don’t want to have skin damage from smoking as well as sun exposure.

Cut back on the number of cigarettes that you are consuming daily.

Regenerate Skin Care have put together a Prevention Pack containing all of the products above.

By Mike Clague