how smoking impacts the skin

November 4, 2014

Smoking is one of the most controllable causes of disease and death today. It is also a major contributor to many skin conditions and complications, such as skin discoloration, breakdown of collagen and elastin, deep wrinkling, skin aging, poor wound healing and abnormal skin growths.

Our skin relies on oxygen in order to function properly. Air is pulled into our lungs, travels down to the smallest air sacs in the lungs, and is then carried throughout the body via the tiny and intricate network of capillaries. Without sufficient oxygen, the body and the skin suffer.

Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes vasoconstriction or blood vessel contraction, which limits the actual size of the vessel. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes bonds with oxygen, greatly reducing the amount available to the body. This combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide not only limits the size of the vessel, but also the amount of oxygen flowing through them.

some not so fun facts

  • Just one cigarette restricts blood flow for up to 90 minutes.
  • The body produces more blood vessels to compensate for the oxygen restriction due to smoking.
  • De-oxygenated skin often exhibits a grey or yellow tone.
  • It only takes 15-20 seconds for cigarette smoke to impact each part of the body.
  • Blood circulation is significantly decreased due to the vasoconstrictive nature of nicotine.

The sooner a smoker decides to quit, the sooner the vital organs and the skin start to heal. However, the breakdown of the dermal layers is not easily recovered by simply putting out the cigarette. Rebuilding of collagen, repairing elastin and improving the overall function of the dermis must be instigated.

Regular chemical peels will improve not only the production of collagen, but will also improve the tone and texture of the skin. Daily use of collagen-building topical products is also a vital component to reversing the signs of aging due to smoking. Integrating ingredients like vitamin C during the morning and retinoids at night, along with advanced peptides and epidermal growth factor, will prolong the benefits gained from monthly chemical peels.

The effects of cigarettes reach nearly every organ of the body, including the skin. The sooner a smoker puts down the cigarettes, the sooner the body will begin healing from the damage of the nicotine and various chemicals contained within. The skin, however, typically requires more attention. With monthly chemical peels and a comprehensive collagen-building daily care regimen, the skin can begin the recovery process.


C&E strength and C&E strength max: the newest PCA products

August 22, 2014

The latest products added to PCA SKIN’s corrective line-up, C&E Strength and C&E Strength Max, launched on Monday, August 18, 2014. These vitamin C and E products are unsurpassed, antioxidant-rich topicals boasting pure 5% vitamin E (tocopherol), and 15% and 20% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), respectively. With daily use, patients can expect to see a plethora of dramatic results.

These anhydrous formulas provide an optimal environment for the 15% or 20% pure L-ascorbic acid to remain completely stable until applied to the skin. The unique encapsulation method employed in both formulations leads to increased efficacy and ensures the maximum amount of L-ascorbic acid is introduced into the skin, leading to optimal results. As the only bioavailable form of vitamin C for the skin, L-ascorbic acid not only delivers antioxidant value, but also instigates the production of collagen and acts as an effective melanogenesis inhibitor.

C&E Strength and C&E Strength Max utilize pure 5% vitamin E (tocopherol), leading to increased efficacy. Topical use of vitamin E alone leads to accelerated epithelialization; increased stratum corneum moisture; and the negation of photoaging, as well as protection against it. Vitamin E, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, also has the ability to reduce edema, erythema and sunburn cell formation.

Together, vitamins C and E work synergistically within the skin to protect the epidermis and the dermis against the harmful effects of UV radiation and free radical damage. Daily use each morning will help to supplement and raise the level of daily UV defense when used prior to broad spectrum SPF application. With two formulas depending on sensitivity level, all patients can benefit.

Add these outstanding products to your back bar and retail space today by calling 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or visiting to learn more.

vitamin c infused showers

January 14, 2014

Can a vitamin C-infused shower head really benefit the health of the hair and skin? According to VitaShower Corporation of Pasadena, CA, it does more than just provide vitamin C benefits to the skin.

VitaShower Corp. manufactures a filter containing 100% pharmaceutical grade vitamin C that attaches directly to the shower head. As the water passes through the filter, the chlorine content is significantly reduced, thus improving the overall health of the hair and skin.

VitaShower Corp. states that the vitamin C filter completely neutralizes both chlorine and chloramine from the water. This process is safe, non-toxic and environmentally conscious as compared to the alternatives currently used. As the water is de-chlorinated, the nutrients in the water remain unaltered. The filter provides 15,000 gallons of chlorine-free water and is deemed 100% organic.

The purpose of this filter is to neutralize the chlorine and chloramine content present in public water systems. But can this filter’s vitamin C content really benefit the skin? Most skin health professionals would agree that in order for proper absorption, topically applied vitamin C is the best way to give the skin a boost of this vital antioxidant. L-ascorbic acid is the most stable and bioavailable form of vitamin C. PCA SKIN’s C-Strength 15% or 20% with 5% Vitamin E contain encapsulated L-ascorbic acid to maintain efficacy and stability until the capsules interact with the water content of the epidermis.

To learn more, call us at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or visit