There is no doubt that smoking damages the skin; however, if you are not ready to quit smoking right now, there are several remedies that can help you retain your skin health and beauty. There are five major ways that smoking damages the skin: nicotine, free radicals, low blood oxygen level, toxins, and face (mouth) muscle deformity.

Nicotine

Nicotine, either from cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, hookah, or even nicotine gums, compete with a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine transfers neural signals from one nerve to another. When acetylcholine is replaced by nicotine, the body reduces the production of acetylcholine. This is what causes addiction or dependency.

Upon quitting smoking, the body needs at least one week to increase the production of acetylcholine to the original level. During this time, you will feel all kinds of pain, agitation, and discomfort.

The other destructive effect of nicotine is vasoconstriction. Nicotine narrows small blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the skin and its accessories. Insufficient blood flow to the skin damages collagen, elastin, and even hair follicles. The end result of low blood flow to the skin is loose skin on the face, arms, and even breasts.

Free Radicals

Due to the lack of oxygen, combustion (burning) of tobacco is not a complete process on the tip of the cigarette. This process leaves a huge amount of half-burned, unstable molecules that are still looking to combine and steal electrons from other molecules to complete their ongoing chemical reactions. These unstable molecules and atoms are called “free radicals.”

By smoking cigarettes, we bring all those free radicals inside our bodies to steal electrons from our normal molecules and change them to something other than what they are. The end result of all these chemical reactions inside our bodies exaggerates the aging process by damaging our bodily organs.

Low Blood Oxygen

The whole process of breathing is designed to expel Co2 from our bodies and inhale oxygen. By smoking, we reverse this process. Burning tobacco converts oxygen to Co2 and some toxic gases like monoxide carbon. By smoking, we forcefully bring more Co2 into our lungs, the same gas that our lungs try hard to expel from our bodies.

The lack of blood oxygen causes destruction to collagen, elastin, and other systems in our body.
Low blood oxygen gives skin the typical look of a heavy smoker—dull, pale, loose, and sagging.

Muscle Deformity

By smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes, we use specific muscles around our mouth. Over time, the shape of our muscles change, and the result would be an uneven skin tone, exaggerated, with deep wrinkles around the mouth. These deep wrinkles are not due to skin changes but are from the deformity of underlying muscles.

Toxins

The incomplete burning process of tobacco produces about 4,000 chemicals, some being carcinogens. These chemicals circulate all around the body. Many of them are selected by the kidneys to be removed via urine.

One of the aspects that are ignored by most people is the toxic effects of cigarette toxins in the bladder. Holding urine for a long time or not drinking enough water concentrates toxins in the bladder, which is a leading cause of bladder cancer.

What If You Are Not Ready to Quit Smoking?

If you haven’t decided to quit cigarette smoking yet, there are still some remedies that can help reduce the dangerous side effects of cigarette smoking.

Electronic Cigarettes

Switching to electronic cigarettes protects your body against ashes and around 4,000 chemical toxins. Addiction or dependency on cigarettes has three major components: dependency on nicotine, the habit of smoking (hand to mouth), and emotional dependency that gives the illusion that smoking fixes your difficulties.

The rapid rise of people switching to electronic cigarettes (or vaping) in a very short period of time was due to the embracing of the three components of dependency, while not experiencing most of the cigarette smoking outcomes.

Vaping is not better than fresh air, but it is definitely a safer alternative to cigarette smoking.
By using electronic cigarettes, you have the option to gradually adjust your nicotine level and even cut it to zero (no nicotine) without any notable side effects on your mood and body.

Drinking Water

Water is the best natural detoxifying agent. Smoking cigarettes puts tons of toxins into our bodies. Our kidneys trap and remove most of these toxins from blood circulation. Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day increases the speed of toxin removal from blood circulation and also dilutes the toxins in our bladders. The rate of bladder cancer is much higher amongst cigarette smokers. The reason for this unusual phenomenon is toxins lingering in the bladder for a long time, destroying the bladder wall. Not holding in urine for a long time reduces the contact time of toxins with your bladder wall and, thus, decreases the risk of bladder cancer.

Anti-oxidant

Fresh fruits and vegetables are great anti-oxidants. If you are not ready to quit smoking cigarettes yet, make sure to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits, Vitamin C and E, and other foods and anti-oxidant supplements to neutralize free radicals in your body.

Workout

A regular workout habit increases your blood circulation and body metabolism and regulates your hormonal balance. Aerobic workouts, on the other hand, increase your lung capacity and bring more oxygen to your body, increasing the oxygen level of your blood circulation.

Botox and Filler

Injecting Botox, fillers, and alike products temporarily remove or mask deep wrinkles, but none of them are permanent solutions, the same as laser resurfacing and all kinds of skin rejuvenation procedures. All these remedies are great and can be done to have healthier-looking skin, but none of them fixes the underlying problems.

Regular Sex

Regular sexual activity has a tremendous effect on the skin and also on the entire body. When you have regular and healthy sex, your body goes into a childbearing state. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are two major centers that regulate hormonal and sexual acidity in our bodies. These two glands not only regulate sexual hormones but also other hormonal acuities in the body. When you have regular and good sexual activity, other hormones are also regulated and have higher production and activity. Sex helps your body to be healthier, and your skin becomes more vibrant and smooth.

Phytoestrogen

Some foods like soybeans and soy products contain weak estrogenic effects. Foods that contain phytoestrogen are excellent in reducing the speed of the aging process.

One of the side effects of smoking cigarettes is early menopause. Phytoestrogen can possibly delay the menopause effects of smoking cigarettes.

Sunscreen

The skin of a cigarette smoker is already susceptible to a heavy load of damage and problems from smoking. Wearing regular sunscreen reduces the chance of superimposing the damaging consequences of UV lights.