Researchers at Case Western University's Departments of Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology decided to compare the skin and facial features of smoking twins and their nonsmoking counterparts. The results were as follows:
Smoking twins had worse scores for upper eyelid skin redundancy [i.e. lax eyelid tissue, the result of gravity, loss of tissue elasticity, and weakening of the connective tissue], lower lid bags, malar bags [aka "cheek bags"], nasolabial folds [the "smile-lines" that run from your nose to your mouth], upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, and jowls. Lower lid hyperpigmentation [thought to contribute to dark under-eye circles] in the smoking group fell just short of statistical significance. Transverse forehead wrinkles, glabellar wrinkles [the vertical lines that form between the eyebrows, where the nose meets the forehead], crow's feet, and lower lip lines accentuated by puckering did not have a statistically significant differences in scores. Among twins with greater than 5 years' difference in smoking duration, twins who had smoked longer had worse scores for lower lid bags, malar bags, and lower lip vermillion wrinkles.
Smoking contributes to a number of negative health effects in our bodies, including cancer, atherosclerotic heart disease and as we can see, poor skin health and accelerated aging.
Smoking has serious consequences in skin, such as discoloration, ECM (extracellular matrix) degradation, deep wrinkles, premature aging, poor wound healing, and the formation of abnormal skin growths.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to tighten, which means that circulation to the skin decreases. In addition smoking produces carbon monoxide, which binds to the oxygen in your blood. So smoking does not only reduce the supply of blood, but also the amount of oxygen in the blood. Smoking just one cigarette will reduce blood circulation, lasting 90 min, where oxygen delivery to the skin will suffer the most.
Telangiectasia- small dilated blood vessels on the surface of the skin is characteristic in skin of heavy smokers. This is the skin's attempt to increase circulation by producing new blood vessels. The toxins in cigarette smoke will also affect MMP (Matrix metalloproteinase - an enzyme) which will super speed the degradation of our skins Extracellular Matrix.
*Extracellular Matrix: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a collection of extracellular molecules secreted by cells that provides structural and biochemical support to the surrounding cells, in the skin this is synonymous with volume, bounce, smooth and young looking skin.
So if lung cancer, and heart attacks didn't scare you enough to stop, I hope this did.