Stopping smoking can benefit your health (as well as your wallet), but something you might not realise is the positive impact quitting can have on your appearance. From reducing wrinkles to improved oral health, here are five ways that quitting smoking could impact how you look:
1. Smooth Skin
Smoking can lead to the premature development of wrinkles, not just around your face, but also in other areas of your body, including your inner arms.
This is because the chemicals found in cigarette smoke can damage collagen and elastin, which are the parts of your skin that give it a youthful look and help it to bounce back.
On top of that, the nicotine in cigarettes may cause narrowing of your blood vessels, which can mean less oxygen and nutrients are able to get to your skin.
The good news is that once you quit, you can delay wrinkling and slow down the facial ageing process. While you won’t get rid of all your wrinkles, you may notice they appear far more slowly and your complexion may start to look healthier, brighter and smoother. Starting a good skincare routine can also help.
2. Improved oral health
One of the more noticeable side-effects of smoking is yellow teeth. This happens because the nicotine and tar in cigarettes stain the enamel on your teeth, turning it yellow or even brown. Smoking has also been found to be a major risk factor in causing gum disease, and even increasing your risk of losing teeth.
However, dentists agree that you can make big improvements to your oral health after you quit smoking. After quitting, ex-smokers may see an improvement in gum disease after just one year, meaning they have less chance of losing teeth. If you’ve quit and want to improve how your teeth look, you could also try adding whitening products into your oral care routine. Make sure to visit your dentist too, who can check the overall health of your mouth, give your teeth a deep clean, and provide useful tips on how to improve the look of your teeth after quitting.
3. Thicker Hair
Just as your skin needs proper blood flow to look healthy, so does your hair. As smoking restricts blood flow, your hair follicles may be deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need for healthy growth.
The toxins from cigarette smoke can also lower estrogen levels in women, potentially resulting in thinning hair.
As if all that isn’t enough, smoking has also been linked to getting early grey hairs. By quitting smoking, you may prevent premature ageing of your scalp, and slow down any hair loss associated with smoking.
4. Nicer Nails
Improving the appearance of your nails might not be at the top of your reasons for quitting smoking, but it can be a happy side-effect. In much the same way as smoking stains your teeth, the nicotine and tar found in cigarettes can also stain your nails and the surrounding nail bed. Smoking can also block the flow of oxygen to your fingernails, leaving them discoloured. Fortunately, this staining may stop as soon as you stop smoking. You may even be able to watch the staining grow out with your natural nail growth, giving you a visible marker of your quit journey.
5. Improved fitness
Not only can exercise help to reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms, it can also help you to get into shape and feel more confident. What’s more, due to the way quitting smoking can improve your circulation and lung function, you will probably find working out much easier, and that your overall fitness performance is improved.