Do You Think Smoking Ages You?
Can you tell which twin is the smoker?
In case you couldn't already tell, the twin on the right is the smoker. Smoking for 29 years left the twin with sallow cheeks, sagging skin, and wrinklier lips compared to her nonsmoking sister.
Researchers at the Department of Plastic Surgery at Case Western Reserve University have confirmed that smoking does indeed age you, after they studied the clear physical differences between the faces of twins.
For the study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers looked at 79 sets of twins between the ages of 18 and 78.
The photos were divided into two categories. The first group was 45 sets of twins in which one smoked and the other didn't. Judges said the smoking twin appeared older 57 percent of the time.
The second category was made up of twins who had smoked, but one at least five years longer than the other. Judges found that the twin who smoked longer appeared older 63 percent of the time, which means that aging sets in after a mere five years.
"This study confirms some of what was believed in the most scientific way possible," said Dr. Bahman Guyuron, who led the research. "With longer follow-up, we believe that every smoking twin might have exhibited a difference in aging."
From the tips of your fingers to the top of your head, here are other surprising ways that smoking can affect your appearance (via WebMD):
- Poor skin tone. The reason why some smokers appear pale or have a uneven color is because smoking chronically deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients.
- Sagging skin on the face and body. The 4,000+ chemicals in tobacco smoke can trigger the destruction of collagen and elastin, which are the fibers that give skin its strength and elasticity. Even your inner arms and breasts will take a toll.
- Everyone will get old eventually but smokers' wrinkles come sooner and look deeper. Cigarette smoke causes squinting and contributes to crow's feet. The smoker's pucker will also cause lines on the lips. And the harmful chemicals in tobacco can cause damage to the skin structures and blood vessels around one's eyes and lips.
- Research suggests that smokers are more susceptible to age spots, or blotches of darker skin color.
- Oral hygiene problems that include stained and yellow teeth, gum disease, bad breath. Smokers are also twice as likely to lose teeth.
- Continued smoking can actually stain the skin and nails.
- Smoking accelerates hair loss in both men and women. Some studies say that people who smoke are even likelier to go bald.
Do you have enough reasons to quit smoking, yet?