Lifestyle choices have a huge impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Amidst all the bad lifestyle habits, smoking is by far one of the most dangerous activities as it affects your internal as well as external health. It has been increasing the risk of becoming victims of various fatal ailments such as heart disease, lung cancer, mouth cancer and more. Smoking also a disaster for your skin and hair. With each puff of smoke, your skin is moving closer towards premature ageing.
Many studies have claimed that cigarette smoking causes an individual’s skin to age faster than the exposure to sunlight does. The moment you inhale from a cigarette, you have been introduced to more than 4,000 chemicals, including skin-damaging free radicals which enter your body. These inhaled chemicals damages the skin fibroblasts. These are the cells in connective tissue that form fibres like collagen and elastin. These are precious fibres that give your skin its youthful strength and elasticity. Once they weaken, the skin begins to wrinkle. It is due to the lack of collagen and elastin that causes such damage to the skin. Several studies have reported that moderate smokers are almost twice more likely to wrinkle prematurely than non-smokers, and on the other hand, heavy smokers are almost thrice more likely to wrinkle prematurely.
Nicotine, which is present in the cigarettes causes the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin to narrow, weakening the blood flow to your skin and hence resulting in dry, dull, pale or blotchy skin. Not only this, you may develop premature lines and wrinkles on your face as well. Another bad impact of smoking on your body is that it makes your body to produce fewer red blood cells. Due to this your skin will start to lose its healthy glow. Not only this, it also decreases the ability of skin to regenerate and repair wounds. Due to limited transport of blood through the body, the supply of nutrients required by the skin to regenerate is also restrained. Another toxic component, Carbon Monoxide, present in cigarette reduces the flow of oxygen through the body, hence reducing the supply of oxygen needed by damaged cells to regenerate.
Even the physical act of smoking itself can lead to wrinkles and fine lines on your face. Those ugly lines around the mouth, which is common among the long-term smokers are because of the repetitive compressing of the lips while inhaling. It is proved that women’s skin is more affected by smoking than men’s skin.
One survey has a report on premature ageing effect in both sexes due to smoking. It is found that smoking men pre-mature 2.3 times faster than non-smoking men, and smoking women pre-mature more than three times faster than non-smoking women. In addition to wrinkles and pre-mature ageing, smoking also leads to an increase in an individual’s risk of gauntness and facial discolouration.
TIPS TO REDUCE DAMAGE FROM cigarette SMOKE
The best way to improve and help prevent further damage to your skin and health is to quite smoking as it’s never too late to do it. Even if you’ve smoked your whole life, it’s possible for you to stop now. It will not only improve your skin but also your health and quality of life. In addition to multiple health benefits that comes along with quitting smoking, you will notice that your blood circulation and skin tone begin to improve within a few weeks of quitting. You can also take the assistance of external solutions to rectify the damage done by smoking.
To reduce damage already done, you can use a moisturiser that contains Niacinamide, peptides and glycerine. These ingredients can help to improve damaged skin, refine the skin cells and replenishing the lost moisture. Niacianamide is a form of Vitamin B3. Peptides are protein fragments that enable the skin to produce collagen. Use of peptides on the skin surface can be very effective and also slows down the ageing process.
You can increase your antioxidant intake. Smoking diminishes the quantity Vitamin C in the body which is an important antioxidant and protects against diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Eat fruits rich in Vitamin C like citrus fruits and melons. Vitamin E, another important antioxidant will help protect the skin from the skin damaging free radicals. Sources of Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, sweet potato to name a few.
Therefore, it is good news that the skin damage caused by smoking is reversible and can be treated. Quitting smoking and following a simple skincare routine on a daily basis will help you regain your lost youthful skin and a healthy complexion.
Writer: Arpita Das
Source: The pioneer