How does smoking affect your skin and looks? – words Alexa Wang
From parents to teachers, we’re all aware of the negative effects of smoking, and yet we still do it. But with celebrities such as Zayn Malik and Kate Moss still choosing to puff away at the cancer inducing death sticks, this dirty habit is still very much popularised. But why haven’t we all woken up to the dangers of cigarettes when the health warnings are so prevalent. So how does smoking affect your skin?
The answer may be simpler than you think. In an increasingly aesthetically-driven society, we care about one thing and one thing alone: looks. Who cares about what happens inside, as long as the exterior remains intact?
Unfortunately, smoking isn’t quite so ‘straightforward’, and you won’t be able to remain so blissfully unaware when the problem starts impacting your beauty regime. So how does smoking affect your skin and looks?
Your Skin Suffers
You may be aware that cigarettes contain both nicotine and carbon monoxide, but what you may not have thought about are the effects of those chemicals on your skin.
Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in your skin, while nicotine reduces blood flow, leaving your skin dry and prone to break outs. If you already suffered with dry skin before starting your pack-a-day habit, expect patches of tough, raw looking skin, and even rashes during particularly dry weather.
For those of you with a greasier complexion don’t expect to get away scot–free either. The lack of oxygen and blood in your face will still result in dry and cracked skin, regardless of whether or not you’ve encountered the issue before.
If you’re still determined to smoke, it would probably be a good idea to start investing in quality face creams and moisturisers now, as the issue will only worsen with age.
Smoking isn’t just something you crave when you’re awake. Just because you’re trying to rest, doesn’t mean that the brain can just tune out its new addiction.
Nicotine withdrawal can cause havoc with your sleeping pattern, as the brain’s receptors are still prone to craving the drug even when you’re asleep. According to the John Hopkins study, cigarette smokers are four times more likely to report feeling unrested, regardless of how many hours sleep they receive.
It’s due to this serious sleep deprivation that bags appear under your poor, tired eyes, and you end up adding at least ten years to your face; all that for a cigarette.
Not so Hollywood Smile
If you’ve ever seen a Victorian period drama, you’ll know what we’re talking about here. Nicotine stains your teeth, and not in a subtle way either.
Your teeth will brown pretty swiftly; alongside this, your not–so-pearly whites will feel as if they’re covered in a layer of hair as the mucky cigarette substance starts to stick.
Of course, there are teeth whitening methods, but don’t expect the DIY kits to be particularly effective, in fact they may even make things worse.
With your enamel being chipped away with every cigarette, a home whitening kit, which often contains strong chemicals, will only wear down your already fragile enamel even more, leaving you with increased sensitivity, and possibly some long term damage.
If you do go down the route of professional treatment, expect to fork out around £150 – £300 each time, depending on pre-existing damage.
Unless you want to end up looking a poverty-stricken Dickens’ character, teeth whitening will probably be a necessity, or you could quit smoking of course….
You may seem cool, hip and trendy, but keeping that youthful glow is virtually impossible when you’re a keen smoker.
As we said before, smoking slows down the oxygen in your blood, which in turn leads to some serious wrinkles.
You’ll end up adding ten years to your once adolescent expression, but at least you won’t get ID’d for cigarettes as often!
Wrinkles aren’t so easy to fix either. So far, there has been very little development in the way of miracle face creams, and Botox is going to set you back a pretty penny, even without factoring in the maintenance cost.
Goodbye to Luscious Locks
Us women (and men), pride ourselves on the health and radiance of our hair. Almost every shampoo advert uses the words ‘glowing’ or ‘shine’. Well, if you do enjoy a thick and beautiful mane, you should say goodbye now.
Not only do the chemicals in cigarettes damage hair follicles, but they also release cell damaging free radicals as well. In other words, they ruin your hair, and then destroy any chance at recovery too.
If you’re a fan of hair dye, you could end up permanently damaging the roots of your hair, as the follicles will almost definitely dry out, and the process could take years to fully rectify.
We don’t know about you, but we have way too much fun with hairstyles to risk losing it all.
These are just some of worst things that can happen to your appearance if you decide to take up, or continue smoking.
As if the health risks alone weren’t enough, your once beautiful looks will gradually disappear, and at a much quicker rate than you ever thought. Is it worth it? Probably not. But, we understand it can be hard to kick the habit, so what can you do?
If you’re not quite ready to give up altogether, why not try vaping? It’s safer, healthier, and doesn’t lead to even half the complications that smoking does. E-cigarette starter kits are easy to find and simple to use, so there’s really no excuse for sticking with the death sticks.
If you’d like to find out some more about how vaping can help you, check out some of our other blogs below, or if you’re looking to get started on your e-cigarette journey, check out our online vape shop. So does quitting smoking help your skin? No doubt!
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