Jeune Skin Care: Ask the Experts
Q. How does smoking affect my skin?
A. Most of us are pretty informed about the effects that smoking can have on our overall health, but did you know that the habit also can play havoc on the skin?
Smoking Ages You
Along with sun damage and hard living, nicotine can add years to your appearance.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, many of which are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and then taken into the skin's structure.
Smoking also causes the blood vessels in the top layers of skin to constrict, thickening and reducing oxygen to the skin. Without oxygen, the skin loses collagen.
Smoking Thins the Skin
A smoker's skin is normally thinner due to poor circulation, which of course establishes more lines and wrinkles.
In fact, a recent twins study at St. Thomas Hospital looked at 25 pairs of identical twins, where one twin was a lifelong smoker and the other never smoked. Using ultrasound technique to gauge inner arm thickness, some revealing results were found. The smoker's skin was 25 percent thinner than the non-smoker, and in some cases there were differences of up to 40 percent.
In 1985 the term "smoker's face" was added to the medical dictionary and was defined as the following:
- Lines or wrinkles on the face, radiating at right angles from the upper and lower lips or corners of the eyes, deep lines on cheeks or numerous shallow lines on the cheeks and lower jaw
- A subtle gauntness of the face, with prominence of the underlying bony contours
- A yellow or grey skin hue
Smoking is a difficult habit to stop, but if the effects it can have on overall health isn't enough to make us think twice, the reflection in the mirror might…
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