Smoking has become a major health concern over the years.
Despite most people knowing the many negative effects that tobacco and nicotine can have on a person’s body, millions of people around the world still smoke.
In fact, according to WHO estimates, more than 1 billion people worldwide currently smoke cigarettes, and this number keeps on growing year after year.
Smoking is associated with several diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory problems.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking causes about 8 million deaths annually, which makes it one of the top 10 leading causes of death globally. This is why many nations have banned tobacco use in public places.
Despite these facts, some people continue to smoke. Why?
Many say that smoking gives them something to look forward to throughout their busy work days. Others say that smoking relaxes them. Some even claim that smoking makes them appear younger.
Even though smoking is considered as one of the most harmful habits in our society, it seems that many smokers are unaware about the negative effects of cigarette smoke on their looks.
The effects of cigarette smoke on your appearance are more than just bad breath or yellow teeth. Smoking can alter your appearance in a variety of ways, some of which are solely visible to you and others which are visible to others.
Here are a few unexpected ways smoking might alter your appearance.
Smoking Can Cause Wrinkles
Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging, but if you’re a smoker, they will be even more noticeable.
Cigarette smoke contains substances called free radicals, which damage cells and contribute to premature aging. Free radical-induced cell damage leads to skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. These changes in your skin make you appear older than you really are.
Although wrinkles are not something that you can change overnight, there are certain things that you can do to slow down their formation. These include eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine, getting regular facials, and of course, quitting smoking.
If you want to reduce the visibility of your wrinkles, stop smoking for at least 6 months, then start using moisturizers regularly.
Smoking Will Damage Your Skin, And Cause It To Become Inflamed
Smoking causes dryness and irritation in the skin. It also damages collagen fibers, thereby causing your skin to lose its elasticity and firmness. As a result, your skin will age faster than normal due to chronic exposure to cigarette smoke.
In addition, cigarette smoke contains chemicals that cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation triggers the release of histamine from mast cells, which causes redness in the skin and increases blood flow to the affected area. Over time, these changes lead to sagging skin.
Also, it increases the number of bacteria living on your skin. This can lead to infections in hard-to-reach areas such as the elbows and knees.
When you smoke, you also increase the activity level of your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off bacterial infections. If you smoke, try to avoid touching your face because it can easily get infected.
Smoking May Cause You To Develop Enlarged Pores
In addition to the many issues that smoking can cause your skin, it can also cause the pores in your skin to become enlarged.
This happens because nicotine reduces sebum production, which keeps oil glands inactive. When this happens, the pores tend to swell, resulting in unsightly blemishes.
To prevent pore enlargement, stop smoking. Also try to limit alcohol intake. Alcohol stimulates sebaceous glands, which produce excess oils. In fact, it has been said that people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol have smaller pores.
You should also apply moisturizers regularly and wash your face twice daily. Avoid direct sunlight, as this further irritates the skin. Finally, use sunscreen when outdoors, as long exposure to UV rays can accelerate the drying out of your skin.
Smoking Can Cause You To Develop Acne
Cigarettes contain high levels of tar and other toxic substances. When these toxins enter your bloodstream, they can not only enlarge your pores, but can also clog them, and trigger inflammation. This results in acne-like breakouts.
Over time, repeated outbreaks can lead to scarring or permanent marks on your skin.
If you’re prone to having acne problems, it is possible that you might experience an outbreak if you don’t quit smoking. To help prevent this issue, try to cut back on cigarettes.
The more you smoke, the greater the chances are that you’ll end up with pimples. So, if you want to minimize the appearance of acne, stop smoking altogether!
Also eat a diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and consume lots of fruits and vegetables. You might need to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to help with any inflammatory conditions that you might be experiencing.
You Could Develop Bags Under Your Eyes Due To Smoking
Cigarette smoke can cause inflammation around the eyelids. This swelling can cause bags to form under your eyes, which appear as dark circles.
One of the reasons behind this phenomenon is that the veins around the eyes are very sensitive to irritation. As a result, when your eyes are irritated by something like cigarette smoke, it will affect the surrounding tissues.
Another reason why smokers often develop bags under their eyes is because they have poor circulation. Since lack of circulation leads to dehydration, smokers usually suffer from dry eyes.
This means that you might find yourself rubbing your eyes all day long, which can leave dark circles beneath your eyes.
It’s important to note that dark circles are caused by several factors, including genetics, age, hormones, sun damage, allergies, and even medications. However, if you smoke, you might find that getting rid of those dark circles is easier than you thought.
Your Smile Will Be Impacted By Smoking
The effects of tobacco include mouth cancer, gum disease, tooth discoloration, bad breath, and loss of gums. All of these things can make your smile look less attractive.
When you smoke, the bacteria in your mouth starts producing sulfur compounds, which causes staining. These stains will remain on your teeth for years, even if you cleanse your teeth thoroughly every day.
In addition, nicotine has been found to change the color of your teeth. If you use tobacco products, you might notice that your teeth become yellowish in color. Eventually, the enamel on your teeth will start to wear down, which makes your teeth susceptible to decay.
The chemicals in cigarette smoke can also cause your gums to swell, resulting in uneven enamel coverage and gum recession. These changes affect the coloration of your teeth and cause them to appear duller.
Your Nails Will Be Impacted By Smoking
Nicotine weakens nail beds and causes splitting of the nails.
As a result, you may notice that your fingernails grow slower than usual. Nail growth can slow down over time, but if you continue to smoke, your nails won’t be able to recover quickly enough.
The chemicals in cigarettes can also alter the structure of your nails. Nicotine can weaken the keratin material within your nail bed, making it weaker and more brittle.
When your nails break or chip, it can easily lead to infection. Therefore, if you want healthy nails, stop smoking immediately!
It’s best to replace your current smoking habit with some healthier alternatives. Try eating foods high in vitamin B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). These two nutrients promote collagen production, which helps keep your nails strong and prevents them from breaking.
Smoking Can Cause Your Hair To Become Greasier
Smokers tend to sweat more than non-smokers do. As a result, the oils in your hair and scalp get trapped in the pores. They then mix with dirt from outside sources, producing a greasy build-up. The buildup can eventually dry out your skin, leading to frizzy hair and dandruff.
No one wants to have dry, damaged hair, and smoking will not help this issue. In fact, it could potentially worsen it. Cigarette smoke also clings to hair particles, making it smell like an ashtray. This can be very off-putting when you’re trying to impress someone with your style.
If you smoke regularly, you should try washing your hair with a conditioner containing coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, an ingredient that kills fungus and fights bacterial infections.
This ingredient works well when applied directly to your scalp to prevent any problems with your hair.
It’s best to quit smoking as soon as possible to avoid having issues with your hair. Once you’re free from tobacco, your hair should begin to shine once again.
Smoking Can Cause Your Hair To Turn Gray (Or Even Stop Growing)
Lastly, a scary fact about smoking is that it can cause you to become gray prematurely. It will also stunt the growth of new hair follicles, and slows down the rate at which your hair grows.
Smoking can cause your hair to become gray. Those who smoke daily are more likely to notice this side effect. People who smoke for years on end are much more likely to start showing signs of graying sooner than those who only occasionally light up.
Additionally, studies show that smokers have only half as much hair as non-smokers. This is because the chemicals in tobacco damage the blood vessels in your scalp.
As a result, less oxygen flows through these vessels and into your hair roots. Over time, these follicles become weaker and thinner, causing their ability to produce hair to decline.
You can reduce these risks by quitting smoking completely. As mentioned before, this will make your hair grow back faster, and give you healthier, younger-looking locks.
In conclusion, smoking will inevitably negatively impact the health of your body and your overall appearance.
By giving up completely – or, at least, gradually cutting down – you can improve the overall health of your skin, hair, nails, and other parts of your body. Giving up smoking will not only help you feel better, but look better too.
Give up smoking today, and start reaping the benefits!