Stop Smoking, It’s Ruining Your Skin

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We all know that smoking cigarettes is a nasty habit. Not only does it cause countless health problems, but it also affects your appearance—we’re talking premature aging, a yellow smile, and dull skin, just to name a few. So if you or anyone you know needs a little motivation to kick the habit, then you’re going to want to read on.

Firstly, a smoker’s pores give off a foul smell that lingers even two or three years after someone has stopped smoking, says celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy. “As I’m doing extractions on the skin I can smell it. It’s a very stale, nasty odor that comes out of the pores especially when I’m extracting blackheads.”

The reason for this is that smoke builds up in whatever it comes in contact with and can remain for a very long time. “Since pores get filled with dead skin and oils, they are a good reservoir for the molecules that are responsible for smell,” says West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD.

Secondly (as if the first reason wasn’t gross enough), smoking can also make your skin decay and makes surgery such as a facelift more risky. “Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and at the very least, can delay healing and at worse, skin flaps can die and slough off,” says Herndon, VA, facial plastic surgeon Shervin Naderi, MD.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 percent of adults smoke and less than half of smokers attempted to quit in the past year. If you’re ready to nix the habit for good, talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit.