Still on the ciggies? Health warnings not doing it for you? Maybe knowing these 5 ways smoking ruins your looks will help you butt out
By Chere Di Boscio
Let’s face it – pretty much all smokers know they should be quitting. Lung cancer rates for women are higher than those for men, yet as many as 17% of adult women in the UK still smoke cigarettes. Given all the health detriments – including heart disease, chronic lung disease and stroke – it’s no surprise that two thirds of all British smokers saying that they would like to quit.
Public Health England and the NHS have been making huge efforts to push as many people as possible to do just that. They also back the smoking cessation event Stoptober, a campaign that seeks to help smokers kick the habit starting that month.
The effects of going a month without cigarettes are astonishing. It is well known that smoking has immediate negative effects on the respiratory system, heart and brain. But it’s incredible how much it can impact your looks, too.
If you’re finding it hard to kick the habit, just think of the ways smoking ruins your looks. Quit smoking, and you could make you prettier, almost immediately!
5 Different Ways Smoking Destroys Beauty
1. Your eyes look knackered
The first of our ways smoking ruins your looks is seen in your eyes.
Constant exposure to irritants makes the eyes of smokers red and tired-looking. Cigarettes are also considered an aggravating factor in the development of a series of eye conditions, from uveitis to chronic eye irritation. One of the worst outcomes for smokers may be cataracts, which they are at 2.2 times greater risk of developing due to the continuous eye irritation.
2. You’re not sleeping well
Dark circles and puffiness under the eyes is never a good look! Throughout the years, there have been many studies examining the correlation between smoking and sleeping. The result? Cigarettes make you a bad sleeper by disrupting the circadian rhythm.
A 2008 Johns Hopkins University study found that about 22.5% smokers have restless nights while in 2013, researchers from the University of Florida estimated that you lose 1.2 minutes of sleep for each cigarette you smoke.
As soon as you stop smoking you will start eliminating insomnia factors like nicotinic overstimulation, and will have a longer, healthier (beauty) sleep.
3. Your teeth are yellowish
Another one of the most obvious ways ways smoking ruins your looks is seen in the mouth.
Smoking causes bad breath because tar and nicotine in cigarettes create an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. At the same time, smoking causes a dry mouth, so bacteria is not flushed away by saliva and stays in the mouth much longer than it should.
Nicotine and tar are also responsible for yellowing your teeth. After smoking for years, heavy smokers can have their teeth turn a rather vile brownish shade. Just look at long-term smoker Kate Moss‘s stained choppers in the pic below, from Celebrity Close Up! Not pretty.
In addition to this, however, a 2005 study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that smoking makes people six time likelier to develop gum disease, which affect the attachment of gums and bone in your mouth, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Yikes!
Based on the available evidence, smoking appears more harmful overall than vaping e-cigarettes. So if you want to save your teeth but can’t kick the habit, vaping might be a solution.
4. Your skin isn’t glowing
Slathering on anti-aging creams is pretty useless if you smoke. It’s been found that smoking accelerates aging, causing wrinkles much earlier and making skin appear duller. In fact, I personally can tell whether a person is a smoker or not, just based on how dull their skin appears.
As a 2006 review of tobacco’s effects on skin found, the chemicals contained in cigarettes reduce blood flow and oxygen circulation to the skin. This causes the deterioration of collagen and elastin, which give skin its supportive structure. Result: loads of fine wrinkles, as well as stretch marks and dry skin. No number of oxygen facials or Botox treatments will be able to restore your youthful glow.
5. Your hair isn’t lustrous
The final one of our ways smoking ruins your looks is, perhaps, surprising.
Research from the Archives of Dermatology found that smokers are much likelier to suffer from thinning of the hair and, in the long term, even hair loss. This is due to the fact that smoking damages hair follicles, and disrupts hormone production in the scalp. As with your skin, smoking interrupts normal blood flow to the scalp. Essentially, you’re starving your hair of the nutrients that would normally be delivered through good circulation. Oh, and in case you’re unaware: non-smokers think your hair stinks, too.
It’s pretty obvious by now that there are several ways smoking ruins your looks. Whilst some may be in denial about the health effects, thinking: ‘this will never happen to me,’ all you need to do to see if smoking is destroying your beauty is to look in the mirror.