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The 5 worst ways smoking ages your skin


Next to damaging UV rays from the sun, smoking is one of the most preventable skin agers. Trust me, no one looks at a smoker and thinks “wow, she’s so chic” – those days are long gone.  Those of us who really know about skin care look at a smoker and think “wow, she is going to have a ton of wrinkles if she keeps this up.” Here’s why:

5. Smoking chokes skin’s tissues, which feed on oxygen. This causes blood vessels to constrict, and skin to function improperly. Skin becomes sallow, crinkly horizontal lines appear earlier and become deeper after a few years of puffing.

4. My friend (and skin care industry guru) Robert Diemer used to say “The fountain of youth is in the bloodstream” – and it’s true! Circulation of the bloodstream is vital for youthful skin. But since smoking chokes the tiny capillaries they can no longer carry away damaging free radicals. Toxins build up, and accelerate aging.

3. Each drag on a cigarette forces your lips to pucker and form the same lines around your mouth over and over again. Over time, these contractions become permanent wrinkles.  You’ve seen these pucker lines on a million women over 40.

2. Smoking delays skin healing. Wounds take longer to heal, and scars are more likely to form.  Most good cosmetic surgeons won’t even operate on a smoker.

Every puff of a cigarette destroys more and more of your skin’s immune system, causing dehydration, sensitivity, irritation, and the breakdown of collagen.

Are you a smoker? Your skin needs a vital boost of oxygen.  Bioelements Oxygenation will infuse skin with essential oxygen and promote a younger, less lined appearance. But don’t get me wrong, it is not a cure for smoker’s skin.

(And New Year’s is right around the corner… maybe add a New Year’s Resolution for good overall – and skin care – health? No pressure!)

One of the first-ever licensed estheticians in the U.S., Barbara Salomone is the architect of the modern American facial. Since launching Bioelements Professional Skin Care in 1991, she has trailblazed the industry, incorporating nutritional supplements into topical skin care products, and pioneering the introduction of antioxidants, calcium, probiotics and lutein. Visit Bioelements on FacebookTwitter or Youtube.

Comments (5)

Rachel Nisely says:
Dec 2, 2010

Is skin damage related to smoking permanent? OR does your skin begin to heal or become more youthful looking once you quit?

elizabeth says:
Dec 2, 2010

I quit 5 years ago… I feel like I did it right in time before the really deep wrinkles set in. Thanks for the great info! If I had heard that smoking chokes the skin I may have quit ever earlier than that! scary stuff.

Barbara says:
Dec 2, 2010

Every skin is different. However, the skin is a remarkable organ, having the ability to self-cleanse, self-heal and self-regenerate. Depending on how long a person smoked will certainly affect how quickly the skin begins to recover, but rest-assured that skin has the ability to become more healthy and resilient as time passes, especially if you use anti-aging products designed to jump start your skin like the ones mentioned above.

Lynn G. says:
Dec 2, 2010

So glad I never started this terrible addiction. So wish my mother stopped long ago. She smoked almost her entire life and recently kicked the habit. It’s now far too late for her skin – it’s sallow, dull, wrinkly and obvious she was a smoker.

Catlin says:
Dec 6, 2010

Put out the cigs! great article. Printing it out for a few members of my family.

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