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Smoking And Pollution – The Skin Killing Agents

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Smoking And Pollution – The Skin Killing Agents

Smoking and pollution are two major factors that have an adverse effect on our skin. India being a country with a lot of pollution, one has to be very careful before stepping out of their houses. Our new generation has a trend of smoking and India is one of the countries with a high population of smokers, you need to be very careful with what you decide to indulge in as smoking and pollution are skin killing agents.

Smoking And Skin

While smoking might look ‘cool’ to you on several occasions, it is actually really bad for your health and skin. Cigarette smoke releases some toxins that damage your collagen and elastin. These are fibrous components of skin that keep your skin firm and supple. This damage further speeds up aging and makes your skin more prone to wrinkles. 

Premature aging and wrinkles 

Smokers get vertical wrinkles around their mouth caused by the continuous shape they make to suck a cigarette’s butt. They also get premature wrinkles on other parts of their face. The scientific reason behind it says smoking reduces the blood supply and oxygen to the skin cells and hence, it promotes skin aging. 

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Saggy skin and stretch marks 

Smoking causes the skin to lose elasticity, therefore the skin especially around breast and arms become saggy. The nicotine damages connecting tissues and fibers which causes your skin to lose elasticity and strength. Therefore, you tend to get stretch marks on various parts of your body. 

Dull skin 

The cigarette that you smoke contains monoxide which displaces the oxygen in your skin. Nicotine further reduces the blood flow which makes the skin look dull and dry. Smoking also depletes the nutrition level from the body including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage. Therefore, making your skin look wrinkly, dull, and grey. 

Scars and wounds 

Cigarette has toxins that cause vascular constrictions, that slows down the ability of your body to repair itself. It further increases the risk of infection from a wound and many more problems like blood clot formation and tissue death. 

Skin staining 

Many regular smokers have an uneven skin tone that is usually grey or orangish. This is caused because of a lack of oxygen in the skin cells and other negative effects of tobacco. 

Years of holding a cigarette between your fingers can also give them a permanent yellow skin tone from the nicotine present in the tobacco. 

You must have noticed many smokers have darker lip shade or a line of dark color forming on their lips. This is because of the tar present in the tobacco that touches the thin and delicate skin of their lips. 

Skin Diseases Caused By Smoking

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With every drag be ready for more wrinkles

Skin cancer 

Smokers have 52% more chances of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as compared to non-smokers. It is the second most common form of cancer that often appears on the lips. Smoking also increases the chances of getting lung, mouth, and throat cancer.


Smoking is one of the risk factors of producing this skin condition that causes red, itchy patches on the skin. Nicotine present in the cigarettes adversely affects the immune system and skin cell growth, causes skin inflammation – all these factors contribute to the development of Psoriasis. 

Acne inversa 

Also known as Hidradenitis Suppurativa, it is a common inflammatory skin disease. It usually occurs in the areas where skin rubs against each other like underarms and between the thighs. This condition usually results in boils like nodules that release pus and can cause pain for months. 


Smoking causes Buerger’s disease, which is a form of Vasculitis. It causes low blood flow to the hands and feet of a human. This is caused due to the blockage caused in the blood vessels that further results in pain and tissue damage. 

Save Your Skin 

You can save your skin by quitting to smoke. This may not help you recover the damage that has been caused already like wrinkles and discoloration. But, it will bring back the normal flow of oxygen in your blood vessels and revive your skin cells so they can carry all the nutrients to your skin. Resulting in glowing and healthy skin. Your collagen and elastin will also be no longer hampered by the toxins released by nicotine. Your tar stains will also fade away with regular care. 

Air Pollution And Skin 

Our urban cities may have a lot of perks and convenience, but our skin has to pay a price for it. These cities are the ones to suffer the most from the greenhouse gasses, vehicle pollution, sun, and dust. All these gasses and dust particles are not just entering our lungs and causing internal damage, they are also sticking to our skin pores and restricting our skin from breathing. The rapid aggression of the environment on our skin also accelerates its biological age. 

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Besides causing damage internally it also acts as an agent that blocks pores

Problems Caused By Environmental Degradation 

  • Dull and uneven skin tone 
  • As the skin loses oxygen, it becomes rough
  • Dark spots appear on the skin that can also be Dyschromias 
  • Pimples and wrinkles 
  • Dehydrated skin 
  • Reduced supply of oxygen to the skin 
  • Loss of vitamin E and C 
  • Sunburn; in extreme case skin cancer

How To Protect Your Skin 

  • It is very important for you to adopt a skin routine that must include: 
  • Applying SPF before stepping in the sun
  • Cleansing, purifying and hydrating your face
  • Make sure to cover your face with a scarf or cloth whenever you step out in the sun to avoid direct contact of the skin with the sun. 

IKF Desk

As much as we care about the beauty, makeup, and organic or natural products, we also do our bit on spreading and informing about the health of the skin. Smoking and Pollution - The skin killing agents can be tackled with a little extra care and healthy habit formations. 

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