How To Reduce The Damage To Your Skin If You Are A Female Smoker
Here are six nightmare scenarios for the skin when women smoke
1. The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, impairing blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin only gets a fraction of the oxygen and important nutrients it needs, such as vitamin A. Compromise to the blood supply of the skin can result in skin necrosis as well as further damaging collagen.
2. Along with deficiency of vitamin A, dehydration is another problem that is common in smokers, helping mediate connective tissue damage.
3. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. The bad news is that your skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely. The DNA damage means that skin regeneration and wound healing are also inhibited.
4. The actual heat from smoking causes burning of the delicate peri-oral skin around the lips. This results in discolouration and deepening of “smoker’s lines” around the mouth. In addition, the facial expressions women make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can also contribute to wrinkles.
5. Cigarette smoke has been shown to be photo toxic. This means that UV radiation and tobacco smoke feed off one another and the effects of both are dramatically increased.
6. Research shows the aging effects of tobacco smoke are worse in women than in men.
What, apart from the obvious “quitting smoking” solution, can you do?
1. Apply topical antioxidants to your skin as they have been shown to reduce free radical damage. Look for a natural product that will afford an extra layer of protection from both the sun and the effects of smoking.
2. Always use a good natural and chemical-free sunblock and cover up with a hat when spending prolonged periods in direct sunlight. While we all need a certain amount of sunlight to top up our vitamin D levels, this can be on as much skin of the body as possible until it starts to turn pink. UVA sun rays can travel through glass so take extra precautions while driving.
3. Correct damage and build collagen with treatments, such as an approved fractional laser from a reputable practitioner, to actively remove marks and wrinkles. Deeper smoker’s lines may require a more aggressive CO2 laser treatment.
4. Get plenty of beauty sleep because as you sleep, your skin renews itself – new skin cells grow and replace older cells leading to faster healing skin; fewer breakouts (including those from acne); and an even skin tone.
5. Wrinkles or sleep lines can be avoided by sleeping on your back instead of your side. If this is impossible, use satin pillowcases as your face will then slide against the satin instead of crunching up against a regular pillowcase. Another suggestion is a beauty sleep pillow which has a unique shape to alleviate pressure on the face. Of course, natural skin care products are always the way to go when caring for your skin.
6. Just the regular intake of plenty of fresh fruit, herbs and of course vegetables can improve the skin dramatically by increasing the objective markers of skin health.
7. For smoker’s lines, fillers like Restylane Vital® are an alternative method for a “quick fix.” According to clinics that use Restylane Vital®, it is a natural beauty treatment that gently replenishes the recipient's own hyaluronic acid, reversing the 'tell-tale' signs of ageing. The procedure is used to treat larger areas of skin on the face, neck, front of upper chest and back of hands.
8. H-Glow from Healing Natural Oils is our own suggestion for a safe and gentle solution to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, using the highest quality natural essential oils which reduce visible signs of aging while helping to remove wrinkles.
The best solution of all
I may be stating the obvious but, if you are going to go to all this trouble to counteract the effects of smoking on your skin, perhaps you could take a few more steps or one giant leap and give up the smoking too? Identical female twins make an excellent subject to study and have been used on several occasions to research the impact of smoking on the skin when one twin is a smoker and one is not. You can see the results of such studies here and here.
This might be an important tipping point for you.
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