Our skin definitely shows our age. The older we get, the more wrinkles and saggy areas of skin we find on ourselves.
But did you know that smoking can make your skin wrinkle, dry and age much faster? Smoking has a detrimental effect on the skin. Medical studies have shown how smoking leads to skin pigmentation, premature skin aging, and even delays in healing your wounds.
It’s true – smoking does make you look old quickly.
If you have noticed your night cream and moisturisers aren’t working as they should, you can blame cigarette smoking for that.
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In this post, we’ll look at cigarette smoking’s negative effect on the skin and how quitting can prolong your skin’s lustre and plumpness.
Skin Aging and Sagging
People who used to have smooth, glowing skin might have noticed it had dried and sagged after they started smoking. Regularly consuming cigarettes affects the collagen and elastin levels in your skin.
Collagen and elastin make your skin youthful and keep it from drying up and sagging. When you start smoking, you absorb dangerous chemicals directly affecting the production and quality of collagen and elastin in your body.
Smoking also blocks the absorption of vitamin D, which helps repair damaged skin tissue. Studies of the skin of frequent smokers have been shown to have lower levels of vitamin D throughout the body, affecting the skin’s appearance.
If you want your skin hydration and vitamin D treatments to work, it’s high time to kick the habit.
Long-time smokers might face more frequent outbreaks of acne on the face, back, and other parts of the body.
According to a study published in a dermatology journal, strong evidence suggests that frequent cigarette smoking leads to an increase in acne outbreaks.
Certain dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke can change your skin oil’s density and composition, leading to blocked pores. When these get blocked, acne patches will appear frequently on your skin.
We’re pretty sure you don’t want acne anywhere on your body. One major difference in skin quality after quitting smoking is the reduced presence of acne as your skin oil’s composition returns to normal.
Regular smokers might be much more prone to skin infections than non-smokers. They typically see excessive inflammations and increase their risk of skin diseases.
A smoker’s skin is more likely to have infections due to the chemicals present in the smoke. Cigarette smoke suppresses the immune system’s activities and circulation in the body. The effect is similar to emergency services being delayed by the many potholes left unrepaired on the road.
One of the best effects on the skin after quitting smoking is having a healthy and protective skin barrier and an active immune system that lowers the risk of contracting skin infections.
Increased Risk of Psoriasis
If you or anyone in your family have psoriasis, you might want to quit smoking before it makes things worse.
Studies have shown smokers to be at double the risk of having psoriasis than non-smokers. The National Psoriasis Foundation of the United States has also found that smoking inhibits the activity of cytokines, a cell-to-cell interaction regulator, slowing the immune system’s response.
You can think of cytokines as your internet connection quality – when it’s intermittent, it’s impossible to surf the web or watch your shows.
It’s also good to keep in mind that aside from cytokines, smoking can also affect your hormones in various ways.
Aside from affecting cell communications, chemicals in cigarette smoke can also affect the performance of psoriasis treatments.
With this in mind, you have all the more reason to stop smoking if you’re already under a psoriasis treatment programme.
Higher Risk of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is primarily related to ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure, which comes from the sun and tanning beds. You’ve also probably heard that smokers are also at a higher risk of contracting the disease – this is also a fact.
Heavy smokers who consume plenty of cigarettes daily are at a high risk of contracting skin cancer than non-smokers. Worse still, smokers who already have skin cancer are 40% less likely to survive than non-smokers.
If you enjoy the beach or love sunbeds, you can lower the risk of skin cancer and enjoy better-looking skin when you stop smoking. You might want to consider limiting your UV exposure to further reduce your risk of skin cancer, too.
Unpacking the Benefits: What Happens When You Quit?
Quitting smoking offers a myriad of health benefits.
From reducing the risk of heart disease to improving lung function, the positive changes are significant and life-changing.
But there’s one aspect that often goes unnoticed—the benefits of quitting smoking on the skin.
Smoking can cause premature ageing, uneven skin tone, and a dull complexion. So, when you quit, it’s like hitting the refresh button on your skin. The skin benefits of quitting smoking are nothing short of remarkable.
The Day-by-Day Transformation: From Smoker’s Skin to Healthy Radiance
Quitting smoking won’t work overnight miracles on your skin, but the changes you’ll see are worth the wait. After you quit, your skin’s health will improve day by day.
Imagine a time-lapse video of a wilted plant perking up after being watered. That’s your skin after quitting smoking.
The increased oxygen and nutrient flow helps your skin regain its elasticity and glow.
How Long After Quitting Will My Skin Improve?
Smoking cessation allows your skin to regain its natural elasticity and hydration, leading to a healthier complexion and reduced signs of premature ageing.
It’s a gradual process, but you can see improvements as early as a few weeks. Fine lines may soften, and your complexion may brighten.
With continued abstinence, these effects become more pronounced over time.
Do You Look Younger When You Quit Smoking?
Absolutely! Quitting smoking can reverse the premature skin ageing caused by smoking, leading to softer lines, less sagging, and brighter, more hydrated skin.
The effects of smoking on the skin can make you feel very uncomfortable and possibly lead to preventable life-threatening diseases once you decide to go on a quit journey. Shortly after you end smoking, you’ll start to restore the glow, firmness and health of your skin. You might be able to see if your favourite skincare products make your skin look younger, too.
If you’re reading this because you want to know if smoking does make your skin unhealthy, we hope you found it informative. You can access plenty of content with verified information that can help you quit smoking and start living a healthier lifestyle.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.