How Does Cigarette Smoking Hasten Skin Aging?

Have you been lighting up? By this we mean sticks of cigarettes. If you have the habit of lighting up a cigarette stick, chances are your skin looks older.

Cigarette smoking, as we all have been reminded is not good for our health. It is known to be the leading cause of lung cancer plus it contributes to the development of various health issues. But even with all of these known ill effects, many are still finding it hard to quit this habit. One of the reasons why it is so hard to quit smoking is the fact that nicotine is addictive.

Let us discuss just how smoking hastens the process of skin aging.

How Smoking Ages the Skin

Most of us can usually tell if a person is a smoker or not. One telltale sign are wrinkles on the face especially close or on the skin surrounding the mouth. So how does smoking make the skin age faster?

According to a study done by dermatologists which appeared in The Lancet, when one smokes, the genes that are responsible for a skin enzyme that breaks down collagen is activated. Collagen is responsible for giving the skin its shape, structure and elasticity. As collagen starts to break down the result is a saggy skin and the appearance of wrinkles.

Blood vessels are also affected by smoking. Nicotine constricts them. The blood vessels are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. A skin that is deprived from getting these essential nutrients will start showing changes even at an earlier age. This is the reason why those who smoke cigarettes have a pale or uneven skin tone.

There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes and most of these chemicals are considered carcinogenic or in simpler terms can cause cancers. The two components of the skin, elastin and collagen also sustain damage from these chemicals. Non-smokers should also stay away from people who smoke or from areas designated for smoking as inhaling secondhand smoke is equally (or even more so) dangerous to our health. Exposure to secondhand smoke also batters the skin and can lead to wrinkles as well as sagging of the skin.

Most people think that smoking only affects or damages the skin on the face. This is actually not true as smoking damages the skin elsewhere on the body. Cigarettes damage the elastin fibers in the skin which results to drooping and sagging. The skin in the breast area and upper arm area are usually prone to this drooping and sagging caused by cigarette smoking.

Quit Smoking Now

With all the ill effects of smoking you should be already on your first day of quitting this nasty habit. If you need another reason for quitting, hopefully quitting smoking as an effective way of slowing down skin aging will do. No matter how effective your anti-aging products may be, if you keep lighting up cigarettes, your skin will age faster.

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