Today is no smoking day.

The British Heart Foundation has teamed up with NHS Smokefree to provide support and encourage people to stop smoking.

By now most of us are well aware of the health risks associated with smoking, but how about what it does to our skin?

Nicotine can add years to your appearance. Researchers interviewed more than 70 pairs of identical twins where one was a regular smoker*. Without knowledge of the twins’ smoking history, plastic surgeons analysed the twins’ facial features, including grading of wrinkles and age-related facial features. The smokers showed considerably more signs of premature facial aging. The greatest impact was on the lower two-thirds of their face where smoking had caused greater wrinkling of the lips and sagging jowls.

Just one puff of cigarette smoke produces more than a trillion free radicals in our lungs. It also narrows the blood vessels and affects the body’s ability to carry oxygen to the skin, causing a dull, yellow skin tinge. Smoking also damages collagen and elasticity in the skin, which can accelerate wrinkles and cause sagging.

The best advice regarding smoking and skincare is that if you care about your skin, you need to stop smoking. Smoking is a lifestyle choice.

It is one of the easiest ‘agers’ to control. Simply STOP.

The Cranley Clinic has many approaches to improve your aging skin; from wrinkle reduction and laser rejuvenation to facial lightening and skin brightening.Make an appointment today and prevent your youthful looking skin from disappearing in a puff of smoke.

*Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins Okada, Haruko C. M.D.; Alleyne, Brendan B.S.; Varghai, Kaveh; Kinder, Kimberly M.D.; Guyuron, Bahman M.D. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: November 2013 - Volume 132 - Issue 5 - p 1085–1092