smoking and the skin

We are now approaching the end of October, and while the month of November brings to mind fall leaves, pumpkins and giving thanks, it also marks the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout.  November 15 is the date for this year’s 37th Great American Smokeout, reminding smokers to either mark this day as a time to quit smoking permanently or to refrain from smoking for just this one day.

Interestingly enough, most people begin to smoke as teenagers, thinking that it will make them appear older.  This thought couldn’t be farther from the truth!  In fact, smoking does exactly that!

Smoking is one of the most controllable causes of disease and death today.  It is known for directly contributing to heart and lung disease, but the damaging effects to the skin are less known and often ignored.  Smoking can cause poor wound-healing, collagen degradation, abnormal skin growths, oral cancers, deep wrinkling and premature skin aging, as well as a dull, sallow appearance.

Healthy skin function requires oxygen, and smoking causes a restriction of oxygen flow to the skin cells.  One cigarette causes vasoconstriction for up to 90 minutes.  Additionally, the carbon monoxide in cigarettes binds with oxygen and prevents it from reaching the skin cells.  Smoking also causes an increase in the enzyme responsible for breaking down collagen.  This accelerated degradation of collagen in conjunction with the repeated lip-pursing and eye-squinting during inhalation also contributes to increased severity of wrinkling and skin aging ……. especially in female smokers.

Professional treatments that encourage oxygenation and detoxification to the skin will improve the appearance and health of all skin types, especially those who smoke.  PCA SKIN’s Oxygenating Trio Treatment is an excellent choice, as it may be performed weekly and will increase oxygenation and the cells’ ability to detoxify, resulting in a radiant, healthy glow.


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