Although smoking is recognized as the pivotal cause of lung cancer, this habit is also one of the biggest threats to a healthy skin. Besides exposure to sun and chemicals, tobacco is one of the most significant accelerators of the skin’s natural ageing process, and is considered to be one of the most rapidly acting threats. Signs of premature skin aging start showing in young people as early as after 10 years of smoking.
If this appears to you a long period of time, you should remember that many youngsters start smoking in adolescence (16-19 years olds) and are still under 30 when the first signs of early skin ageing appear.
Smoking leads to the narrowing of blood vessels in our bodies, including those which supply the exterior layers of skin with necessary oxygen and nutrients.
Consequently, the skin is slowly deprived of essential oxygen and other substances, which include Vitamin A which plays a vital role in boosting immunity. In this respect smoking triggers the same effect as alcohol, by destroying the body reserve of Vitamin A. This will decrease the protecting role of skin as a barrier against infections and bacteria.
The same Vitamin A is a crucial component of the skin turnover process, through which new cells are generated in order to replace the dead ones. This vitamin also ensures a temporary increase in the production of collagen and can contribute to a more youthful appearance.
Over the years, the constant lack of nutrients and oxygen will allow the formation of free radicals, which slowly damage the collagen and elastic fibers that help the skin stay strong and flexible. This results usually in premature wrinkles. It is also considered likely that repeatedly pursing the lips when smoking leads to the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth, not to mention that the heat from the burning cigarette also causes damages to the skin.
The bottom line, thus, is that every person who wants to slow down ageing and enjoy a healthy skin for as long as possible should avoid tobacco consumption. A healthy skin is one of the most frequent signs of good health, as this is also the largest vital organ of our body. Given the fact that the skin comprises over two billion cells, the basic steps in protecting it are not enough. Therefore there’s no reason in you harming yourself with unhealthy smoking and risking premature wrinkles on your face when it is so easy to stay healthy.