Smoking Can Change Your Skin For The Worse, But These Steps Can Help To Prevent Damage

It is no secret that smoking is detrimental to one's health. It is also no secret that society as a whole was slow to realize this. Cigarette ads that sometimes even included doctor approvals were in countless magazines and other widely circulated publications. Beginning in the 1940s, researchers found cancer risks from smoking. By 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that smoking could lead to lung cancer and bronchitis per Reinsurance Group of America. In the 21st century, the only smoking ads we see are ads for products and helplines to quit smoking.

Though many of the health issues that result from smoking are internal, it negatively affects the skin as well. Smoking causes wrinkles, especially around the mouth due to puckering the lips around cigarettes multiple times per day. Smoking also causes decreased circulation of blood to the face, making skin look pale or grey. Skin conditions like psoriasis flare up worse in smokers as well. Though quitting smoking is the best way to prevent these problems, there are other things smokers can do to prevent skin damage.

Skincare products with vitamin C can reduce wrinkles and fine lines

Creams with antioxidants like vitamins C and E can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration, per Paula's Choice Skincare. Vitamin C helps collagen production, a protein harmed by smoking. Vitamin E stabilizes and improves the effects of antioxidants, including vitamin C. The ideal vitamin C percentage is included in creams like OLAY Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Face Moisturizer and SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. The latter also includes vitamin E and ferulic acid works as an extra antioxidant.

Laser resurfacing procedures reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, and can spur on collagen production. Chemical peels smooth out the skin as well, but like laser resurfacing, these treatments are usually done by professionals. However, at-home peels like Bliss That's Incredi-peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads fight against fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots too. Dermatologist Jonette Keri, MD believes that visible skin improvements could even help people quit smoking altogether. "When you see the benefits of better-looking skin, you may be motivated to stay nicotine-free," Keri stated to WebMD

Avoiding UV radiation slows the effects of aging

For smokers and nonsmokers alike, picking the right sunscreen prevents aging. For the best protection, wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect the skin against the sun's UV radiation. Though sun exposure gives the body vitamin D, too much UV radiation speeds up aging and can increase skin cancer risks. Many believe that people should apply sunscreen year-round, especially to the face. Tanning beds are not healthier alternatives when it comes to getting a tan either. They cause the same types of skin damage as the actual sun.

Whether you are still smoking or smoked in the past, protective skincare products with antioxidants and sunscreen, and professional laser or chemical peel treatments can help reduce the effects that smoking has on the skin. Bear in mind that internal and external health problems that result from smoking often improve once one stops smoking. However, the clock cannot entirely turn back.