The consequences of smoking have been thoroughly discussed in terms of internal damage, but not as much has been said about its harmful effects on a person’s physical appearance. Containing over 7,000 chemicals, VeryWellMind shares that cigarette smoke and tobacco have been attributed as especially hazardous to a person’s internal and external well-being. When inhaled, these chemicals are directly transported to the lungs and are integrated into the bloodstream, making their way to the other parts of the body. Due to this, those that are in the habit of smoking may notice some changes to their appearance over time. If not addressed correctly, the continued intake of cigarette smoke may alter a person’s appearance significantly. Fortunately, many of these effects can be addressed and reversed.
Here are some common beauty issues that plague smokers and the ways in which they can be treated:
Even before it reaches the lungs, cigarette smoke makes direct contact with the teeth first. Frequent exposure to tobacco leads to a build-up of plaque and tar. This build-up is what causes the yellowing or the staining of the teeth. When paired with poor dental hygiene, heavy smokers may even find that the enamel on their teeth can turn brown. In severe cases, this can lead to further damage and tooth decay.
For those who want to avoid brown teeth but are in need of a nicotine source, there are non-combustible nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. A good option for those who are concerned about the effect smoking has on their teeth are nicotine pouches. ZYN nicotine pouches are tobacco-free, which means that your mouth will not suffer any of the possible side effects associated with nicotine and tar, such as stained teeth. While other oral NRT products like lozenges are also good for smoking cessation, studies have shown that they can affect the teeth. To completely avoid affecting your teeth consider using the NICORETTE Invisi Transdermal Patch, which can help smokers control their nicotine cravings for up to 16 hours as it delivers nicotine through skin absorption.
Similar to teeth, nail appearance is also heavily affected by the chemicals found in tobacco. Not only do they get discolored as well, but it has been observed that the nails of those who smoke are more prone to breaking off. After all, tobacco has a dehydrating effect on nails, robbing them of their moisture and causing them to turn yellow and become extremely fragile.
In a previous article, we outlined several home remedies on how to lighten nails. One such treatment is to soak them in cleansers like Efferdent denture cleaner. The mild bleach in the denture cleaner can work against the yellowed surface of the nails and soaking them in the solution can bring back much-needed hydration. Alternatively, mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can act as an effective stain remover. For maximum efficacy, pure baking soda options like Arm & Hammer work well. With a few soaks in this bleaching solution, discolored nails can regain their original clarity.
Premature Skin Aging
Tobacco has constricting properties that hinder blood flow, making it harder for oxygen and other vital nutrients to reach the skin. This slows down the capabilities of the skin to repair itself. The Journey of Pathology’s study discovered that skin hydration for smokers is significantly lower than those who stay away from the habit. Lower hydration means lower skin elasticity, leading to more wrinkles and fine lines.
In order to combat this, a healthy diet is necessary to repair the skin barrier. Drinking more water can replenish the body and help with hydration. Eating food that promotes blood circulation, such as citrus fruits and fish full of omega-3 fatty acids, can help in the production of collagen, which improves skin elasticity. Additionally, it’s equally important to use soothing and protective skincare products like moisturizers and sunscreen. This helps repair the skin barrier and prevent sun damage that can further advance premature skin aging.
Poor Hair Health
The effects of smoking on blood flow also impair hair follicles. A healthy head of hair requires a steady source of nutrients. By restricting blood flow to the scalp, there is a higher risk of having dull, dry hair. The National Library of Medicine has linked excessive smoking to hair loss and the development of gray hair before the age of 30.
One way to achieve healthy hair post-smoking is to apply deep moisturizing hair masks. Conditioners that feature ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil can help strengthen the hair shaft. This can help prevent hair breakage and split ends.
If you are a smoker who is concerned about your appearance we hope the above article helps.