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Side effects of smoking on your skin

March 9, 2011 by Works with Water

We all know how bad smoking can be for our health but have you really thought of how it can affect your looks?

To coincide with National No Smoking Day, we thought it was a good time to tell you what the effects of smoking has on your face and skin and to try to convince you that the best thing you can do for a beautiful, glowing complexion is to stop smoking or risk the Medical Dictionary’s definition of a ‘smokers face’:

‘Lines or wrinkles on the face, particularly radiating at right angles from the upper and lower lips or corners of the eyes, deep lines on the cheeks or numerous shallow lines on the cheeks and lower jaw; A subtle gauntness of the features, with prominence of the underlying bony contours; A grey skin palour.’

Just what you have always wanted?

Smoking both dehydrates and deprives your skin of oxygen; cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 toxins, many of which are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and are taken by the blood into the skin’s structure. Nicotine causes the blood vessels in the top layers of the skin to constrict, so thickening and reducing the oxygen levels in the blood resulting in a pale complexion. As the carbon monoxide level in the blood increase, this promotes the formation of age-inducing free radicals, leading to thinned, sagging, wrinkled skin due to loss of collagen from the free radical damage.

And if that wasn’t enough to persuade you to kick the habit, there is another reason smoking causes the skin to age prematurely and fine lines and wrinkles develop. Why?

Smokers tend to pucker their mouth when they puff on their cigarette. The constant contractions of the muscles around the area of the mouth cause wrinkles to develop. Heavy smokers have an almost five-fold increased risk of wrinkles compared to those who don’t.

Still thinking of lighting up?

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