Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Many women place a high premium on their appearance yet continue to smoke. The affects of smoking can be devastating both internally and externally. Don't think so? Take a second look at what smoking does to your skin. Wrinkles, wrinkles and more wrinkles. Then add dry, leathery skin.
Spend all the money you want on beauty treatments, creams and lotions, if you smoke you are only wasting your money and fooling yourself. Forget about what smoking does to your heart and lungs and think about what it's doing to your skin and appearance. Wonder why you have more wrinkles than your nonsmoking counterparts or why your skin is looking dull and grey?
One of the most damaging agents your skin has to deal with are free radicals. Free radicals attack healthy skin cells and effectively destroy healthy tissue. As your DNA is damaged cells begin to behave in an erratic manner causing more damage than sun exposure.
Inhaling just one puff from a cigarette fills your body with over a trillion free radicals. Stop and think about it for a minute. One trillion. And, each one is working diligently on killing off healthy tissue and cells.
Smoking triggers a number of changes in your body that ages your skin at a much quicker rate. As all the toxins cigarettes contain enter your bloodstream they move directly into your skins structure. This reduces the skin's ability to regenerate new cells since the blood vessels are constricted and the top layers of skin are depleted of blood and oxygen.
With over 4,000 toxins cigarette smoke destroys the skin elastic properties and collagen. Both collagen and elastin are responsible for maintaining the fibers of your skin that give it its elasticity and strength. These are your skin's building blocks and without them, poor skin color and wrinkles quickly follow.
The area around your mouth is hit twice as hard. Wrinkling around your lips are deeper and more pronounced which is caused by the sucking action of inhaling and your skinís loss of elasticity.
Age spots are typically contributed to an overexposure of the sun. But, some research projects have indicated that individuals that smoke are at greater risk of developing age spots.
The damage smoking causes isnít limited to your face. The firmness and appearance of your entire body are dependent on how elastic the skin is. As it loses its elasticity your breast and the inside of your arms are affected and begin to sag.
Your skin also loses its ability to heal quickly and scarring generally occurs more on smokers than nonsmoker. As the blood flow is decreased the healing process is slowed dramatically.
Itís easy to see how smoking can not only damage your overall health, but destroy the appearance of your skin as well. A loss of vitamin A, collagen, blood flow and oxygen will have a major and negative impact on the look and feel of your skin.
Some damage can be reversed and some damage can be slowed, but neither will happen and your skin's destruction will continue as long as you have a cigarette in your hand.