How Smoking Changes Your Appearance And Health

smoking effect appearance change skin wrinkles frugal fitness health

At this point, every smoker is aware of the health risks directly tied to smoking. From an increased risk of cancer to heart disease and everything in between, tobacco ingredients have long been established as a damaging element to the human body. 

Many of these health problems can take time to visibly appear, if they do show visual signs at all. But that is not to say that smoking won’t damage your appearance in other ways all the same — smoking can cause issues to your appearance that others will see. 

If you are looking for that last little push to help you stop smoking, perhaps this glimpse into just how much smoking changes your skin, hair, and eyes will help! 

The Changes To Your Skin 

Smoking actively reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reaches your skin, which results in a duller, greyish appearance. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking. Plus, nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which is a condition that sees blood vessels being narrowed and oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels found around your face and other parts of your body being limited. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition. 

With 4,000 chemicals swirling around in tobacco smokes, it is not surprising that some of them have detrimental effects such as destroying collagen and elastin. These are fibers required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts and face. 

There is also the classic ‘smoker’s pucker’ that occurs due to smokers using certain muscles. Combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, the result in regards to appearance will be deep lines around the lips. 


Crow’s feet are, sadly, an inevitable fact of life. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes. 

Undereye bags are far more frequent too. A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 non-smokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers. 

“It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period.” Says Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD and the study’s author, “Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.” 

Losing Hair 

That is right, smoking and vaping can cause your hair to fall out. This is because hair grows from sac-like structures found underneath the scalp called follicles. However, these need oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth but, as previously discussed, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin. Follicles that aren’t functioning properly result in a disruption of the normal hair growth and loss cycle, which in turn causes hair thinning and eventually hair loss. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how smoking tobacco can negatively affect your appearance.

Interested in more articles about how to live healthier? 

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