Smoking and Wrinkles: Is There Any Connection?

Smoking has been associated with a variety of health problems and diseases, from cancer to emphysema. It has also been associated with the premature aging of skin. Aside from wrinkles, puffiness, dark under eye circles and sagging skin are all associated with exposure to cigarette smoke as well. If you are looking for another reason to quit smoking, all of these skin problems might very well convince you to do so.

Cigarette smoke is basically a pollutant. And just like any other pollutant, this can damage the skin, giving rise to the production of free radicals which will attack the healthy cells of the body. These unstable molecules inflict damage on your body but its most visible effects are reflected on your skin. Once this happens, your skin will appeal dry, dull and creased.

The toxins that cigarette smoke brings about can really take a toll on your skin. Modern researches related to skin aging has found out that without exposure to these toxins the skin can be firmer and have a good glowing complexion. Majority of the effects of the reduction of these pollutants will show on your face. The bad news is that even when you are not a smoker, your environment can give your face the effects of smoking. Second-hand smoke, as we all know, is just as harmful.

Some studies suggest that a smoker just in their thirties would most likely have wrinkles like those in a fifty-year old. But how exactly does smoking give rise to the early development of wrinkles?

  • The smoke from cigarettes is a direct and immediate skin irritant.
  • Smoking will decrease blood flow to the skin as it constricts blood vessels. This, in turn, will deprive the skin of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs from the blood.
  • Cigarettes contain ton of chemicals that damage both elastin and collagen, the proteins responsible in keeping the skin elastic, soft and tight.
  • The smoke from cigarettes irritate the eyes so smokers tend to squint their eyes often. Frequent squinting can lead to the increase and early development of crow’s feet (a name given to the wrinkles on the outer corners of the eyes).
  • Smokers are prone to developing hollowed cheeks as well as wrinkles around their mouth from years of pursing their lips when dragging on cigarettes.

The good news is that quitting can greatly improve the appearance of your skin. Supplementing this with a healthier diet and lifestyle can significantly make a big difference from when you were still puffing on cigarettes. Of course, it is important that you quit as soon as you can. This way, you are sparing your skin and your health from further damages that cigarette smoking can and will bring about.

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