Vicious Circle: Skincare for Smokers

Image source: Flavorwire, photography by Emmanuelle Brisson

Whether smoking looks cool or not, is up for debate. However, we all knowhow bad it can be for your body, imposing major health risks on the lungs, heart and the entire respiratory system. But have you ever considered the negative way in which smoking is affecting your skin? While most of us are wary enough of the environmental impact on the quality and look of our skin, very few smokers take into account the additional damage caused by their tobacco addiction. In fact, smoking amplifies the effect of external aggressions by:

– Inhibiting the natural enzyme supporting cellular renewal, leaving skin dehydrated and asphyxiated, thus influencing the formation of wrinkles.

– Diminishing the production and absorption of vitamins A, E and C, essential to collagen and elastin synthesis, resulting in sagging contours and lack of firmness.

– Reducing blood flow under the skin’s surface due to the vasoconstrictor nature of nicotine and carbon monoxide, resulting in dark circles, puffiness and dullness due to a reduced intake of oxygen.

– Clogging the pores with smoke particles, thus influencing the appearance of blackheads and blemishes.

– Generating free radicals through the release of smoke and consumption of tobacco, thus accelerating the ageing process

Smoking a cigarette blocks the production of vitamin A for 5 hours!

You know tobacco is a habit you need to kick, but while you’re still working on this (or not, who are we to judge?), make sure you treat your skin to the adequate care it needs. In fact, there is no need to fundamentally change your regular routine, just to improve it with adequate ingredients and steps to support complexion recovery.

Daytime skincare routine:


– After cleansing, use an antioxidant serum/treatment to counteract the effect of both environment and smoke.

– Follow with a good moisturising day cream with SPF 25 or higher, depending on the season.

Night-time skincare routine:

– Thorough cleansing and make-up removal should be a priority. Invest some time in performing a double cleanse with oil- and water-based products for the best results.


– Start incorporating regular exfoliation as a daily step, opting for a chemical peel with gentle, yet effective substances such as salicylic acid, BHA (like glycolic acid), AHA, lactic acid or azelaic acid. This will speed up cell turnover and reduce dullness and blemishes, allowing your skin to breathe freely and restoring a healthy glow.

– Use a retinol serum (a potent form of vitamin A), which will speed up cellular renewal and help remove signs of ageing or blemishes.

– A moisturising face cream and eye serum will help seal in the benefits of your skincare routine and keep dryness and wrinkles away.

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