It is widely known that cigarette smoking is detrimental to organ health. After all, research on smoking’s effects on Smokefree indicates that smoking can influence diseases in the heart, brain, stomach, and lungs. This is why smokers often develop illnesses like emphysema, diabetes, or heart disease. But another organ that cigarette smoking negatively affects is the skin. In fact, cigarette smoking has been found to create both internal and external skin damage. A VeryWellMind breakdown of smoking-related skin damage notes that regularly using cigarettes can encourage conditions like premature aging, psoriasis, skin cancer, and more. Thankfully, there are ways in which smoking’s effects on the skin can be halted. While the following solutions may not totally reverse existing damage, they can prevent further issues and create improvements over time.
Switch to nicotine alternatives
Obviously, totally quitting smoking is the most ideal way to stop further skin damage. However, since this is easier said than done, you can start by switching to nicotine alternatives. This way, you can give your skin a break and prevent sudden smoking cessation symptoms. Among the different nicotine alternative options today, nicotine pouches are some of the most convenient. Leading pouch seller Prilla’s most popular nicotine pouches come in a variety of strengths and flavors (like mint or coffee). This means that users can tailor their experience based on the nicotine strength they need and the flavor profile they prefer. Alternatively, another option is nicotine gums, although these are less discreet and easy to dispose of than pouches. Since both are smoke- and tobacco-free, this eliminates the skin’s exposure to fumes. As such, you’re less likely to damage the skin’s barrier, thereby preventing tar staining and irritation.
Apply sun protection regularly
Because cigarette smoking has been known to release up to 250 harmful chemicals, it’s not surprising that it can cause cancers. As a matter of fact, regular smoking has been found to double one’s risk of developing skin cancer. Specifically, the second most common skin cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This heightened risk is why it’s crucial for smokers to use sun protection religiously. According to the FDA’s list of sun protection products, items like sunscreen (with at least SPF 15) and wearing sun-protective clothing are especially helpful. Sunscreens, particularly broad-spectrum ones, can repel dangerous UV and UVB rays for up to two hours. Meanwhile, protective clothing (think wide-brimmed hats or long sleeves) can prevent direct sun exposure. All in all, this can create an added layer of protection that sensitive smokers’ skin seriously need.
Increase your antioxidant intake
Since the damaging effect of cigarette smoking occurs internally and externally, protective and reparative measures should be the same. To better your skin from the inside, try adding more antioxidant-rich food to your diet. With these, your body can more effectively destroy the free radicals that smoking brings. Some of the best ways to enjoy antioxidants are through fruits, veggies, and teas. Foods like broccoli, kale, citrus, and berries have been shown to help flush toxins and help the skin barrier heal. Aside from this, drinking green tea can aid in protecting collagen, too. This is why increasing green tea intake is included in our article on “Improving Your Skin’s Health in Two Simple Ways”. As a result of this, you can prevent the early wrinkles and sagging that many smokers experience.
Smoking’s effects on the skin may seem scary, but there are simple ways to combat them. By cutting down (and ultimately quitting) smoking and adopting healthier skincare habits, your skin will be healthier, happier, and ultimately, more beautiful.