Following on from yesterdays post, today at beauty naturalé – we are looking at how the side effects of smoking can affect our appearance; from developing unwanted lines and crows feet to sagging skin and eye problems. The studies shown display an array of the aesthetically damaging side effects smoking can have to our appearance, some are quite surprising.
Poor Skin Tone
Smoking chronically deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients. So some smokers appear pale, while others develop uneven colouring. These changes can begin at a young age, according to dermatologist Jonette Keri, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “In young nonsmokers, we don’t usually see a lot of uneven skin tone,” Keri says. “But this develops more quickly in people who smoke.”
There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and many of them trigger the destruction of collagen and elastin. These are the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. Smoking or even being around secondhand smoke “degrades the building blocks of the skin,” Keri says. The consequences include sagging skin and deeper wrinkles.
Sagging Arms and Breasts
Smoking doesn’t only damage the appearance of your face, it can also take a toll on your figure. As skin loses its elasticity, parts that were once firm may begin to droop. This includes the inner arms and breasts. Researchers have identified smoking as a top cause of sagging breasts.
Lines Around the Lips
Smoking delivers a one-two punch to the area around your mouth. First, you have the smoker’s pucker. “Smokers use certain muscles around their lips that cause them to have dynamic wrinkles that nonsmokers do not,” Keri says. Second, you have the loss of elasticity. Together, these factors can lead to deep lines around the lips.
Age spots are blotches of darker skin colour that are common on the face and hands. While anyone can develop these spots from spending too much time in the sun, research suggests smokers are more susceptible.
In this image, the twin on the right spent decades smoking and sunbathing, while her sister did not.
Damaged Teeth and Gums
Yellow teeth are one of the most notorious effects of long-term smoking, but the dental damage doesn’t stop there. People who smoke tend to develop gum disease, persistent bad breath, and other oral hygiene problems. Smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth as nonsmokers.
Both men and women tend to develop thinner hair as they age, and smoking can accelerate this process. Some studies even suggest people who smoke are more likely to go bald. Researchers in Taiwan have identified smoking as a clear risk factor for male-pattern baldness in Asian men.
Even the eyes are vulnerable to tobacco’s reach. Smoking makes you more likely to develop cataracts as you age. These are cloudy areas on the lens of the eye that keep light from reaching the retina. If they cause serious vision problems, they are treated with surgery.
Crow’s Feet Eye Wrinkles
Everyone gets wrinkles on the outside of the eyes eventually, but these wrinkles develop earlier and go deeper among smokers. Heat from burning cigarettes and squinting to keep smoke out of your eyes contribute to visible crow’s feet. Meanwhile, chemicals from inhaled tobacco cause internal damage to the skin structures and blood vessels around your eyes.
Coming up this week, we will help you to combat these premature signs of ageing, offering our expert advise and tips on ways to reduce and repair the damage smoking can have to our appearance allowing you to feel great and stay beautiful. – beauty naturalé