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What smoking really does to your skin

July 8, 2013 by Works with Water


We don’t want to preach about the fact that smoking is bad for you, we just want to give you an incentive to quit. Which is why we wanted to tell you what cigarettes really do to your skin. This goes for all teenage and twenty something smokers as well – we will tell you why in a moment.


Premature Ageing and Wrinkles
Along with nicotine, smoker’s inhale 7000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke which reduce health in general and have long-term damaging effects. It’s also no secret that smoking can age you. There is strong evidence linking the habit to premature skin ageing. One study showed the appearance of facial wrinkles under a microscope in smokers as young as 20.

Research shows that a person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more likely to develop deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a nonsmoker. Experts agree that smokers look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers, on average.

Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate ageing. It hampers the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking supple and healthy. It is also known to increase oxidative stress and deplete stores of glutathione a natural antioxidant in the body.

The cyanide in smoke also prevents the activation of vitamin B-12 to its active form rendering it useless. Vitamin B-12 is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.

Stopping smoking
The signs of premature ageing can be greatly diminished, and in some cases avoided, by stopping smoking. Even people who have smoked for many years, or smoked heavily at a younger age, show less facial wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.

Are you ready to quit?
Visit the Smokefree NHS website for help

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