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Smoking and its effects on Skin

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Quit smoking benefits are numerous but there are some less talked about aspects which people might not be aware of. The effect of smoking on skin is one such aspect. People tend to overlook the skin related benefits of quitting smoking. Understanding the benefits can be a motivation to quit smoking if one is very concerned about his looks.


Skin derives its food from within the body. The food consumed by us is by us is broken down into nutrients and waste. The nutrients are absorbed by the blood and transported to all parts of the body among which the largest supply is to the skin. Oxygen is another important ingredient required by the organs. All the life processes take place in the presence of oxygen. It is also supplied by the blood in the same way.


While smoking carbon monoxide gets into our body and is absorbed by the blood. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and highly toxic gas. It is also found in the smoke from car exhausts. The blood absorbs carbon monoxide easily. The oxygen is thus replaced by this dangerous gas and the organs are devoid of oxygen. The other chemicals present in smoke are ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, butane, nicotine, carbolic acid, collidine, formic aldehyde, lutidine, parvoline, prussic acid, pyridine, arsenic and cadmium.


Smoking adversely affects the skin. The skin loses its healthy glow and becomes yellowish grey. Smoking is also responsible for premature aging. Cigarettes use up the vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C cannot be manufactured by the body and hence is unstable. Vitamin C helps to preserve collagen in the skin. Collagen is the substance which gives skin its youthful appearance and glow. The absence of vitamin C causes the breakdown of collagen and causes premature wrinkles around the eyes and the mouth. The act of smoking also forces us to squint and thus exaggerates the wrinkles around the eyes. The wrinkles around the mouth deepen when the lips are pursed while smoking.

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