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Myth OR Fact ? ............ FACT!!,

As a beauty therapist for more than 20years I have seen and heard all the explanations of trying to justify how smoking does not destroy the skin. Yet the fact still remains that there is conclusive evidence proving otherwise.

How does smoking damage my skin?
The residual smoke that gets puffed out after each drag of a cigarette floats about in the air and some 
of it settles on the skin (no matter how strong the wind , well ventilated the room or how far you blow out 
the smoke). This exhaled cigarette smoke is in actual fact now a form of pollution on the skin , add this to the already polluted skin from the environment and you can almost triple the ratio of pollution molecules now sitting on the surface of the skin.

Pollution has a chrystalline molecular structure , not spherical (round) almost star shaped if you will. These molecules sit on the surface of the skin, and every time you rub or touch your face these molecules scratch and cut the surface of the skin, causing tiny lesions which result in redness and irritation.

Pollution and smoke molecules also trigger a process known as oxidization, which causes the skin to age prematurely. breaking down collagen bonds and hardening the elastin fibers which give the skin it's elasticity.

To add to the woes of smoking and the skin, is the natural anatomy of the muscles. There are oval muscles that run around the lips(Orbicularis Oris) and eyes (Orbicularis Occuli) which thanks to repetitive movement, contracts to form lines and wrinkles. When a smoker inhales they suck or drag on the cigarette,  causing the lips to pucker and tighten around the cigarette as the smoker exhales, resulting in an involuntary tightening around the eye area. Instinctive reactions to avoid the smoke going into the eyes ...... The result wrinkles !

Lastly with all the above pollutants on the skin trapped in a layer of oil (sebum) and dead skin, the pores become blocked and congested. This congestion results in pimples , blackheads and a condition known as Milia (dehydration which causes white fatty deposits under the skin, these have no opening or pore) .

The facts speak for themselves...
'Smoking and your skin: Premature wrinkling was first documented in smokers in the early 1970s, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In a study of more than 1,100 subjects, University of California researcher Harry W. Daniell noted that the severity of wrinkling – after accounting for factors like age and sun exposure – was most apparent in smokers of both sexes beginning around the age of 30. Smokers between the ages of 40 and 49, reported Daniell, were as likely to be “prominently” wrinkled as non-smokers who were 20 years older.
Later research published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women smokers were more likely than male smokers to be moderately or severely wrinkled, when compared with non-smokers of the same age.' (read more here)

What can I do to improve my skin as a smoker ?

1 - Give up smoking it's no good for you!
2 - Do a double cleanse twice a day. firstly use a milky or oil cleanser without rubbing the skin for too long , rinse and then make use of a gel wash or a second round of cleanser. This  time wash well.

3 - Use good quality products that will treat your skin and restore some of that which is destroyed by smoking.
4 - Have regular facials which include exfoliation , blackhead removal and a clay based mask.

5 - If you can afford it , have a course of skin peels at a salon or medical aesthetics salon , at least once a year.