Smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to quit. It’s a habit that used to be very cool before we knew just how damaging it can be to our bodies. It’s bad enough that it’s increasingly becoming impossible to smoke in public spaces but we’re about to add salt to the wound and tell you that it’s also ruining your skin.
Carbon monoxide, found in cigarettes, displaces the oxygen in your skin- reducing its blood flow. This leaves the skin dry, dehydrated and with a dull, discoloured tone. Of course dry and dehydrated skin will lead to premature lines and wrinkles. Adding discolouration to those lines will no doubt leave you looking older and more tired than you really are. Another fascinating fact is that nicotine causes vasoconstriction (when your blood vessels become thinner limiting oxygen-rich blood flow), which results in your skin taking longer to heal scarring or inflammation. This means that dark mark left by a pimple will take longer to fade than that of your non-smoking friend. It also means you will probably take longer to recover from any surgery or cuts. Lastly, nicotine damages the fibers and connective tissue in skin, which causes skin to lose its elasticity and strength. When skin loses elasticity, it becomes more susceptible to stretch marks. Need we say more?