5 Things Smoking is Doing to Your Skin

Before You Light Another Cigarette, Read This.

Are you still smoking?  I’m not here to nag you about what smoking is doing to your overall health.  But, you better believe I’m going to talk to you about what it’s doing to your skin!

Here’s 5 Things Smoking Does to Your Skin

  1. It impacts your skin’s ability to protect and repair itself.
    The chemicals in cigarette smoke deplete important nutrients in your skin like vitamin C.  Vitamin C works to protect and repair skin damage.  So, when you’re smoking, the chemicals you’re inhaling are essentially breaking down one of your skin’s natural defense mechanisms.
  2. It causes wrinkles and sagging.
    Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide (CO). CO displaces the oxygen in your skin.  The nicotine in cigarettes reduces blood flow.  Not only can this make your skin dry and discolored but it can cause wrinkles and sagging.
  3. It prevents your skin from being able to renew itself.
    Your skin goes through a natural process of renewal when dead skin cells are shed and newer, healthier cells form in their place.  Because smoking depletes your skin’s key nutrients and blood flow, it damages skin cell growth and your skin’s ability to renew.
  4. It can impact your body’s ability to heal and prevent scaring.
    Nicotine causes vasoconstriction, a narrowing of the blood vessels that can limit oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels in the face or other parts of the body. This means your wounds will take longer to heal, and you’ll have scars that are bigger and redder than you would not being a smoker.Several studies have found that smokers do not heal as well after surgeries such as face-lifts, tooth extractions, and periodontal procedures. So once cigarettes cause wrinkles, you’ll have a harder time correcting the damage with cosmetic surgery than people who’ve never smoked. (Some surgeons might not even perform the procedure until you agree to kick the habit.)
  5. It causes your skin to lose elasticity.
    The nicotine found in cigarettes damages the fibers and connective tissue in your skin, causing it to lose elasticity and strength.

These are just the top 5.  All of the things mentioned above generally snowball into other problems.  For example, do you have bags under your eyes?  Smokers are four times as more likely than nonsmokers to report feeling un-rested after a night’s sleep according to a Johns Hopkins study.

Then of course there’s the big one….smoking is a leading cause of cancer, including cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, and esophagus, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes can also increase your risk of skin cancer. According to a 2001 study, smokers are three times as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma – the second most common type of skin cancer – than nonsmokers.

It’s not too late to quit!  If you’re not worried about how smoking can impact your overall health, you should be.  But if for nothing else, quit for your skin!  I can give you all the treatments and all the home care products in the world, but if you continue to smoke, you’ll never see the full results and benefits of your treatments!

It’s basically like peddling a bike in place and not going anywhere.

Questions about this post?  Contact me.