NOV 25, 2016 10:06 AM PST

How Smoking Ruins a Youthful Appearance

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Smoking is unequivocally bad for your health. In fact, it is one of the worst things you can do to your body and your life span. But speaking on vanity alone, people who smoke tend to look much older than non-smokers. How does smoking age people?

The effects of smoking nicotine are widespread. On the surface, the nicotine impairs blood flow to the small vessels on the skin. This impedes the flow of oxygen and nutrients to skin surface. In addition, the 4,000+ chemicals in tobacco can also damage collagen and elastin - proteins that give skin its bounce and smoothness. Over time, the damage to skin surface leads to premature wrinkles on the face, particularly around the lips and jawline.

Other aging effects of smoking include yellowing of the teeth, sallowness of the skin, under eye puffiness, and thinner hair. Combined, smokers can look years older than their non-smoking counterparts.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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