Most of us are familiar with the dangers of smoking and the impact it has on our health; it’s common knowledge how damaging it can be to our bodies. Not as widely discussed however are the effects the habit can have on one’s physical appearance.
Most notably, being a regular smoker can drastically alter your skin. As highlighted by Very Well Mind, the negative effects can include early aging, premature wrinkling, and even certain kinds of acne. Smoking also has the capacity to aggravate existing conditions, and increase the risk of developing inflammatory diseases –– all of which can contribute to those unwanted changes to your complexion.
The good news is that there are ways you can avoid and combat smoking-related complexion changes by introducing new routines or products into your day. Even if you’ve tried to give up smoking altogether and found it difficult, there are still options to decrease your intake and implement preventative action towards keeping your skin looking healthy.
First and foremost, smokers can prioritize skincare to mitigate many of the negative effects. For instance, keeping a good range of skincare products (we still love the Marc Jacobs Coconut Perfection we highlighted a few years ago!) is one lifestyle adjustment you can make. Maintaining a regular washing routine with the right cleanser will help, too. And remember also what specifically a smoking habit does to your skin. Regular smoking narrows blood vessels and restricts the amount of oxygen to the skin, causing complexions to appear sallow and dull with the distinct absence of a glow. Thus, opting for skincare products that contain ingredients that stimulate blood flow is recommended also.
It’s also worthwhile to consider working other habits into your routine in order to reduce the amount of tobacco you smoke –– turning into a more occasional habit even if you’re not aiming to fully quit. You can for example use alternative tobacco products can replace a proportion your intake. Not only can this make a considerable impact on what you spend but also reduce the risk to your health. Do note however that it’s the tobacco itself that is responsible for some of the ill effects on skin –– so while this may help a little, it’s not solving all of your problems.
If you’d rather avoid tobacco, there’s quite a variety of NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products available as well. Lozenges and gum have been around for a long time, and nicotine pouches are fast becoming popular choices. Additionally, Prilla outlines that nicotine pouches tend to be more affordable than other alternative products –– which undoubtedly has something to do with their up-and-coming status among NRT options. Whatever you prefer though, if you opt for a nicotine product without tobacco, you’ll do away with at least some of the ill effects of smoking.
Vape cigarettes have also been popular for some time now, and have in some cases replaced people’s smoking habits. A wide variety of pods, mod pods, and pens are available with a huge selection of flavors. But while this habit is widely seen as being less harmful than smoking, it’s still not completely safe. Vaping exposes you to considerably fewer toxic chemicals, but it is undetermined exactly what chemicals vaping does cause you to inhale, and what long-term effects they may have. The CDC has previously released information regarding the dangers of vaping including statistical data on lung injuries associated to vaping. As to effects on skin, the jury’s out in some respects. All in all though, this should not be viewed as a healthy smoking alternative, even if it’s a popular one.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of options out there, and some are better than others. But if you find something that helps you to reduce the amount of smoking you do –– even if it doesn’t amount to fully quitting the habit – you might just see that your complexion is a beneficiary.