If you are a regular smoker, you are bound to lose that glow on your face at some point of time. So if you’re looking for a reason to quit, here it is – smoking can cause irreparable damage to your looks. Everybody knows that smoking harms the body’s important organs, such as the heart, lungs and brain. Long-term smoking impacts your appearance by damaging your skin, hair, teeth and more. Here are some of the ways that smoking affects your appearance:
- Wrinkles and Premature Aging: Experts says that smokers look 1.4 times older than non-smokers, on average. This is because smoking slowdowns the blood supply that keeps the skin hydrated and healthy. The nicotine in cigarettes weakens the skin by damaging collagen and elastin, which results in premature wrinkles and aging in a number of areas, including the forehead, eyes, neck, and chest.
- Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles: According to a study by John Hopkins, smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to report feeling unrested after a full night’s sleep. Research shows that smokers do not sleep as deeply as non-smokers do, and you damage your looks when you don’t get enough sleep. One of the most immediate and evident side effects of less sleep is dark circles under eyes.
- Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune-related skin condition that causes outbreak of red, scaly patches on your skin. This disease can affect both smokers and non smokers, but according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, smoking can increase the chances of developing psoriasis. It is reported that if you smoke a pack a day, your risks of getting psoriasis increase by 20 percent.
- Yellowish Teeth and Fingers: Cigarettes contain nicotine which smoking causes yellowish stains in the teeth, fingers and nails. Moreover, the tobacco in cigarettes can lead to gum disease by weakening the soft tissue and bone of your teeth. So not only will your teeth turn dark yellow, they may even fall out over time.
- Cataracts: Smoking greatly raises your risk of developing cataracts. According to one study, smoking increases the oxidative stress on the lens of the eyes and increases the chances of causing cataracts by 22 percent.
- Dull Skin: Smoking robs the body of essential nutrients including vitamin C, which helps to repair and protect damaged skin. Nicotine hinders blood flow, and cigarette smoke is filled which carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin, resulting in a dull and uneven complexion.
- Skin Cancer: According to a 2011 study, smokers are three times more likely to develop skin cancer than non-smokers.
- Damaged Hair: Smoking can damage your hair follicles and lead to thin, weak, and grey hair. Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals including ammonia, carbon monoxide, and cell-damaging free radicals which damage the DNA of hair follicles.
- Stretch Marks: Stretch marks are common with rapid weight gain, but cigarettes can be a contributing factor too. The nicotine in cigarettes damages the connective tissue and fibers. This reduces the elasticity of the skin and can lead to the formation of stripy stretch marks along the hips and thighs.
- Scarring: Wound healing would take longer time if you smoke and you would develop scars that would be bigger and redder. Nicotine causes vasoconstriction – narrowing of the blood vessels – which can limit oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels in the body, which causes scarring.
A recent study says that it’s never too late to quit smoking. So take a step forward today and kick the habit to improve your health and restore that natural glow.