It is common knowledge that smoking causes premature ageing and damage to the skin, but how does smoking affect skin health? It is thought that in as little as ten years; the effects of smoking on the skin can be seen, with smokers skin ageing an estimated five times faster than non-smokers. Together with sun damage, alcohol consumption and poor diet, smoking is a main contributing factor to an aged appearance. Similarly, certain skin conditions such as psoriasis are affected by smoking and also causes delayed wound healing, broken blood vessels and a grey, unhealthy looking complexion.
Smoking affects the circulation
A healthy, beautiful complexion needs skin cells to be oxygenated, hydrated and nourished. Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, a molecule that starves the body of oxygen and affects all organs in the body; including the skin. Smoking also causes blood vessels to constrict, meaning oxygen supply to the body is compromised and this vasoconstriction contributes to delayed wound healing.
Smoking affects specific parts of the face
Repeated smoking action causes the typical vertical lines framing the mouth, which gives the overall facial aesthetic a significantly aged appearance as well as reducing lip volume. These lines can be treated with dermal fillers and by stopping the action of smoking.
Smoking depletes your body of vital nutrients
Smoking depletes your body of Vitamin C, a vital antioxidant that cannot be stored in the body. Vitamin C protects body cells from free radical damage as well as protecting collagen, the structural protein supporting the skin from being degraded. Smoking also depletes the body of Vitamin A, which is needed for healthy production of new skin cells from the dermis.
Smoking depletes collagen and elastin
Collagen and elastin are two proteins that keep the skin elastic, supported, and youthful. Collagen and elastin production decreases during the ageing process, but smoking can accelerate this degradation. Smoking has been shown to change the tissue and cause elastosis (loss of skin elasticity) due to degradation of collagen and elastin.
Premature ageing of the skin can be reversed with a combination of lifestyle and diet change, cosmeceutical use, and non surgical techniques.
For a consultation at Revivify London on reversing premature ageing, please feel free to contact us on 020 3287 2717