It’s no news by now that smoking is bad for you in pretty much every possible way, from increasing the risks of heart disease and lung cancer to compromising bone density and blood circulation. Although a lot of the health concerns over smoking revolve around physical wellbeing, cigarette smoke can have a negative effect on your appearance as well, specifically impacting the health of your skin.
The Mayo Clinic explains that there are several different factors that combine to cause more wrinkles in smokers:
- Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a vasoconstrictor. This means that smoking causes the blood vessels to narrow, restricting the blood flow. Without sufficient blood supply, the skin becomes deficient in oxygen and other vital nutrients that are needed to maintain optimum health.
- There are over 4,000 different chemicals present in cigarette smoke, many of which compromise collagen and elastin production. This makes skin becomes more vulnerable to premature wrinkling and sagging. The constant heat exposure from smoke is also harmful to the skin.
- Repeated facial expressions made during the act of smoking can accelerate the development of dynamic wrinkles. For example, the fine lines that appear when squinting against smoke end up as early crow’s feet. And “smoker’s lines” got their nickname for a good reason!
The good news is that the body begins repairing itself immediately after you put out your last cigarette. As for the evidence that’s already visible on your skin, cosmetic surgery can help. Resurfacing treatments like chemical peels or laser resurfacing slough away damaged skin cells, while dermal fillers or BOTOX® can minimize early wrinkles. A good cosmetic surgeon can work out a customized treatment plan that addresses your concerns, and makes sure your newly smoke-free skin looks rejuvenated and refreshed once again.