Smoking can rapidly accelerate the aging process and can physically change the skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for the youthful appearance many people seek and they naturally break down over time. The chemicals found in tobacco smoke break down our precious collagen and elastin decreasing our skin’s strength and elasticity. This can lead to sagging skin and more prominent wrinkles. When you lack collagen and elastin your skin is less likely to bounce back after repetitive expressions, in smokers, this can present as deep wrinkling around the mouth from the puckering action of inhaling smoke that nonsmokers do not experience. Everyone will experience signs of aging around the eye area over time, but the chemicals from inhaled tobacco cause damage to the skin structure and blood vessels around your eyes making the already sensitive area more prone to damage.
Consuming nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow inhibiting inflammation your body uses to heal itself resulting in delayed healing and increased infections. If you are already prone to skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, or rosacea smoking can worsen the condition causing a prolonged inflammatory response leaving the skin more susceptible to damage. Chronic smoking deprives the skin of oxygen which can lead to dull, fatigued skin. Oxygen levels play a huge part in our skin’s natural process of creating collagen and elastin as well as regulating cell turnover, when your skin is deprived of oxygen these processes take a break leading to rapid aging.
The good news is if you can kick the habit your body is programmed to heal and repair itself. Pretty amazing right? You can help the process by ensuring you are using antioxidant-rich products and consulting with your skincare specialist for any advanced treatments you may need to repair some of the damage that can occur from prolonged cigarette use. Some of our favorite products for this journey include Pomegranate Acai Antioxidant Serum, All Night Elixir, Blueberry Milk Moisturizer, and Papaya & Pumpkin Mask.