|
5
Quit Smoking!

The appearance of wrinkles is hastened by smoking, both through the biochemical damage it does to cells and the repetitive facial expressions it requires.

Paul Burns/Getty Images

One of the best things you can do for your skin may also be the hardest -- quitting smoking. If you've never held a cigarette to your face or quit years ago, good for you! You can head to the next page. If you smoke even half a pack a day, though, here are some reasons you should quit, as far as skin care goes.

Smoking has serious effects on the appearance of the skin in a number of ways. The smoke itself comes in contact with the skin, causing biochemical changes to skin cells. It damages the collagen and elastin found in the dermal layers, which provide pliability and elasticity to skin tissue. This leads to an acceleration of sagging and wrinkling of the skin. Cigarette smoke also constricts the blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to skin cells, which slows cellular production and growth.

As if that weren't enough, even the act of smoking may have an effect on skin's appearance. The pursed lips and squinted eyes, the inherent expressions of a smoker, may over time lead to wrinkled and saggy skin [source: Gibson].

The effects begin to appear quickly. A 2002 study found that smokers as young as 20 years old can display wrinkles under a microscope [source: AAD].

|