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    The effects of smoking on the skin

    Respiratory and heart problems, cancer, lower life expectancy… The negative effects of tobacco on the body are well established! However, did you know that smoking also affects your skin?

    It’s no surprise that studies have shown that cigarette smoke and its 4,700 harmful substances negatively impact the health and appearance of the skin. Various changes in the body can have consequences not only for your health, but for the health of loved ones, too.

    - Lower collagen production
    One of the effects of nicotine is to reduce the body’s store of vitamin C. A vitamin that contributes, among other things, to the production of collagen, which is mainly responsible for the skin’s elasticity.
    As a result, a vitamin C deficiency directly affects the appearance of the skin, since it reduces collagen production, which in turn leads to the appearance of wrinkles and the premature aging of the skin.
    In fact, studies show that a drop in the body’s supply of vitamin C not only occurs in smokers, but also in people who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Each cigarette smoked thus affects not only ourselves, but those close to us as well.

    - Increase in oxidative stress
    Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants, as their name suggests, prevent cell oxidation, otherwise known as oxidative stress. In this natural process, substances (called free radicals) attack cells, which can cause them to age.

    The harmful substances found in tobacco smoke thus increase oxidative stress within the epidermis of smokers.

    The result? Cells have a tendency to age more quickly. In addition to this cellular attack, the lack of vitamin C prevents the skin from effectively fighting the aggression, exacerbating the damage.

    - Vasoconstriction of blood vessels
    Cigarette smoke causes a vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, meaning it shrinks their size, resulting in less oxygen and essential nutrients being delivered to the skin’s cells.

    Consequently, the skin’s cells are undernourished and the skin develops a grey and dull complexion.

    Moreover, insufficient vascularization also has a tendency to prevent wounds from healing, which is why it is recommended to stop smoking before undergoing surgery.

     

    Source: www.brunet.ca