Woman smoking

Smoking Makes You Look Terrible

We all know that while smoking may make you look cool in the moment, it can make you look terrible for the long term. If you are finding yourself seduced by the allure of the cigarette, here are some facts which may make you change your mind.

Bags Under Your Eyes
If you think bags under the eyes is a good look, keep smoking. According to a study by John Hopkins University smokers are four times more likely to feel unrested after sleep than nonsmokers. Scientists have speculated that it may be the overnight nicotine withdrawal keeping smokers from resting peacefully.

Psoriasis
Although psoriasis can manifest itself in smokers and non smokers alike, your risk of developing scaly skin is a lot higher is you puff. A study done in 2007 showed that individuals who smoke a pack a day for 10 years increased their risk of psoriasis by 20% and those who smoked for 11-20 years increased the risk by 60%.

Yellow Teeth
Unless you want to spend a lot of time and money whitening your teeth, you should give up the smoking habits. Nicotine is known to stain those pearly whites, so if a great smile is important to you, make sure cigarettes aren’t.

Yellow Fingers
Don’t think your teeth are the only things affected by yellowing nicotine. Nicotine is infamous for its tendencies to stain fingers and nails alike. Of course, you can always scrub your fingers with steel wool and bleach them to restore your natural skin tone, but quitting might be a more civilized option.

Thin Hair
Here’s one that should cause you to drop the habit like its hot. Smokers not only have thinner hair than non smokers, their hair is also more likely to grey. Experts believe that the chemicals in cigarette smoke are capable of not only producing free radicals which cause cell damage, but also of damaging the DNA in existing hair follicles. In fact, a 2007 study in Taiwan showed that male smokers are two times as likely to lose their hair than their non-smoking counterparts.

Scarring
Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow and limit blood flow to the face and other body parts.The result? Your wounds will take a longer time to heal and your scars will be worse than they would have been for a non smoker.

Smoking is also more expensive than you might think, the average person pays more than $1,652 a year for smoking. (source)

So smoking may make you look cool, but scars, yellow fingers and teeth and thinning hair probably won’t. If you were able to kick the habit, we hope you are looking prettier already, and if you’re still trying, we wish you luck! Let us know about your smoking experience and what you think about smoking and coolness.

Issues that affect aging skin

Avoid These Environmental Agers

There are all kinds of little things you can do to prevent premature aging. Follow these types to keep you skin looking younger, longer!

Take Care of Your Pores
Making sure you cleanse your skin appropriately plays a huge role in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Dirt, makeup, and bacteria can clog pores and cause blackheads and uneven skin tone. It is important to cleanse your skin and remove makeup before bed. Sleeping in makeup can really add years to your skin. You should also always cleanse your skin after you work out, so sweat doesn’t sit on your skin causing it to dry out and breakout.

Woman smoking

Don’t Smoke
There are many reasons not to smoke, but if you are looking for one more to add to the list, smoking also ages your skin. Smoking causes wrinkles and dulls the skin. Dewy, bright skin is youthful looking, and smoking causes it to take on a sallow tone.

Be Careful in Dry Climates
If you live in a dry or extremely hot area, keeping your skin hydrated will help preserve its youth. Using thick night creams or overnight masks to replenish your skin overnight can help combat dryness. Looking for products with collagen and hyaluronic acid will replace what your skin losing as you age, keeping it looking young.

Woman drinking

Limit Drinking
Alcohol takes a huge toll on your skin. Drinking dehydrates your skin, and can deprive it of nutrients it needs.

Avoid Sun Damage
The sun causes age faster and more easily than any other environmental factor. It dries out your skin very quickly, and if you are at the pool or the beach, it may be several hours before you can moisturize and rehydrate. Sun spots and liver spots can also form on the face or hands, and they tend to be a dead giveaway when it comes to age. Make sure you wear sunscreen every single day- yes, even during the winter and on cloudy days. Buy a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. It also doesn’t hurt to pair your moisturizer with a foundation that also has sun protection. Wearing a hat when you know you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time is also a good idea. Sun damage can result in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, which can age your skin immensely. Too much sun can also cause skin cancer, so protect your skin!

Basically, you should listen to what your mother told you to protect your skin from aging. You should also be taking preventative measures in your twenties to try to maintain youthful looking skin. Using an eye cream is a great way to prevent wrinkles from forming. The thin skin around your eyes could use the extra care. Using a retinol cream can also help prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking young. Whatever measures you take to prevent aging, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Woman making a smoothie

Four Components of a Healthy Lifestyle

The word “healthy” gets tossed around a lot, and carries connotations of salads, treadmills, and so-called “health foods” or “superfoods” (many of which are called such by rather spurious allegations). But what does it actually mean?

Merriam Webster defines the word “healthy” as “good for your health,” but that’s also pretty vague. What’s generally meant in common parlance when something is called “healthy” is that it will be conducive to your body functioning efficiently and as it was meant to. Things that are healthy are part of a greater picture of being healthy, which means keeping your body running smoothly with few problems or complications, and in the long term, means keeping your body going for a long, happy life.

But how to accomplish this? There’s so much information, misinformation, conflicting information, good information, bad information, spurious information, questionable but maybe good information…you get the idea. There are a lot of ideas out there on what is and isn’t healthy, but rest easy, because it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, there are four habits in particular that, if cultivated, will have you living and feeling healthy, and they’re not that hard.

Woman smoking

First, Don’t Smoke
Or, if you’re currently a smoker, quit. Seriously, you need to quit. Don’t just move to e-cigarettes, stop consuming anything with nicotine in it entirely (using an e-cigarette to vape nicotine-free flavored water is okay). Cigarettes are of course the worst offender because you get awful things like tar and fiberglass in your lungs in addition to nicotine, but even though e-cigarettes dispose of those additives, nicotine is still really harmful to your health. If you want to live a long, healthy life without serious complications, and to have nice skin, you need to work on quitting. We know it’s hard, but you can do it.

Next, Eat Well
An ideal and healthful diet includes lots of dark, leafy greens, some fruits, a good source of protein, but not too much, never too much meat (a little is okay), and plenty of fiber, among other things. A daily multivitamin is also recommended. Minimize junk foods high in saturated fats, and avoid trans fats like the plague, except as a VERY occasional treat, at most. Limit sugar consumption and don’t overdo it on caffeine (some caffeine is okay, but don’t exceed about 400 mg, which translates to 3-5 cups of coffee a day, depending on the variety).

Woman exercising

Third, Exercise Moderately
You don’t want to overdo it, as that can have its own negative repercussions, but a vigorous cardiovascular activity that raises your heart rate substantially for around a half-hour a day is ideal. Strength training is fine (but be careful!) if you want to, but not necessary for good health.

Finally, Keep Your Body Fat Percentage in Check
This is one to talk to your doctor about to get more specifics and advice. Generally, if you’re following the above three rules, you’re probably fine, but it’s good to check just to be sure. Body fat percentage is a much more reliable measure of overall physical health than BMI, because its measures how much of your body is fat, as opposed to a highly fallible ratio of height to weight. If your BMI is too high or too low, ask your doctor about ways to get it back on track.

Woman smoking outside

Smoking & Skin Aging

Smoking is an unappealing habit. It leaves you with bad breath, yellow nails, and moreover is linked to a vast host of health conditions such as lung cancer and even depression. What you may not fully realize however is that smoking also leads to significant premature aging of the skin and causes wrinkles, furrows and thinning lips. There’s really no soft way of saying this – if you smoke cigarettes, you need to stop. Many scientists have also stated that smoking adds between 10 and 20 years to your natural age.

It is estimated that around 1 million people start smoking in the United States every year and virtually all will go on to regret this decision as they find out the effect this poisonous habit has on their health, bodies and skin. Some studies have established that smoking is actually worse for women as the nicotine is more addictive. Women who smoke are also twice as likely to have heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer than their male counterparts.

How Does Smoking Age the Skin
The effects of smoking on skin have been known for a long while. One study as early as 1965 identified what is now known as ‘smoker’s face’. What has become more apparent in recent years is exactly how smoking causes premature aging. There are numerous mechanisms by which smoking accelerates aging. It begins with the formation of free-radicals in the body when exposed to cigarette smoke. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause disease and damage to cell DNA. Smoking also restricts blood flow to the minuscule veins in your skin known as capillaries preventing oxygen and vital nutrients from doing their job. All in all, this leads to a dull, grayish skin tone which has an obviously discolored look.

Additionally, smoking increases production of enzymes that break down collagen in the skin which is integral to maintaining its elasticity. Smoking for many years will also deplete stores of vitamins A and C, both of which are involved in skin protection and health and help to keep harsh UV rays at bay.

Finally, the actions involved in continually sucking on cigarettes and squinting from cigarette smoke causes deep lines to develop around the eyes and mouth. Smoking doesn’t just cause wrinkling on your face, it is also associated with damage and sagging on nearly all parts of the body including your inner arms and neck.

Reversing Skin Damage
Many smokers wonder if they can reverse the damage they have caused to themselves by smoking. Simply put, the best thing you can do to begin the reversal process is stop smoking – although you must realize you will never fully undo the damage that you’ve done. Healthy diets and supplements are great at maintaining skin health. You should also be aware that skin damage won’t usually appear until 10 or 20 years after you began smoking. A proper skin care regimen using anti-aging and moisturizing creams can also assist in preventing the formation of further wrinkles and fine lines.