5 Ways Smoking Is Ruining Your Skin

by Marisa Dalpiaz

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, so if you have thought about quitting smoking, there is no better time than the present. It's definitely not my place to pass judgement on you if smoking cigarettes is your thing, but you should definitely educate yourself about the effects smoking has on your skin. Sure, plenty of famous, gorgeous women smoke and make it look ultra glamorous. Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow admitted to smoking one cigarette a week, while we've also witnessed our fair share of musicians and models light one up in front of the camera. Even if you choose to ignore the health hazards of smoking tobacco products, science is also telling us that it will rapidly age your skin and also have other harmful effects on your complexion.

All tobacco products, whether it's marijuana or an e-cigarette, are really bad for your skin. There are a million reasons smoking tobacco products is harmful to your overall health, but here are 5 major reasons why it's detrimental to your skin.

1. Breakouts

When you exhale the smoke from your tobacco product, all of the nicotine and other chemicals are now floating on top of your face. This rather disgusting fact is the reason that you probably have that one blackhead (or two or three) that keep surfacing around your mouth and on your cheeks. The effects of an electronic cigarette will not be as serious, but will still cause breakouts. For the weed smokers out there, marijuana has been linked to testosterone which may also lead to acne.

2. Immune System Deficiencies

A healthy immune system gives your skin that natural healthy glow, no beauty balm or bronzer neccessary. Science proves that smoking inhibits the functionality of your immune system. This causes that natural glow to fade, which doesn't help your breakouts either. When your immune system is not at its best, it takes your acne longer to clear up. The longer it takes a breakout to clear up, the higher risk you have of acne scarring. Sometimes this is only reversable with very expensive dermatological procedures. Quit while you're ahead and you won't need them!


3. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches. I am not saying that smoking gives you psoriasis, however it can trigger the disease in those who already have a genetic tendency for it. Psoriasis and smoking go hand and hand because they both mess with your immune system, which also messes with your skin. Nicotine in tobacco products negatively affects your immune system, while psoriasis causes your immune system to attack normal tissue instead of germs. This causes the skin cells to build up and form dry patches on your skin.

4. Sun Damage

Smoking depletes your body of necessary nutrients like vitamin C. Not only can vitamin C and E protect your skin from sun damage but they can also reverse some of the discoloration and wrinkles that are associated with aging. These nutrients speed up your repair system in your skin and prevent new damage from happening.

Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images News/Getty Images

5. Rapid Aging

Smoking tobacco products definitely speeds up the process of aging quite a bit. Smoking can increase the visibilty of bags under your eyes. Smokers also show deeper lines around the mouth and in between the eyebrows. When you are smoking tobacco products, you are starving your skin of oxygen which breaks down collagen and elastin.

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