James WojcikSophia Panych, Allure magazine
Today marks the American Cancer Society's 37th Great American Smokeout. Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation are encouraged to use the date as a marker either to quit smoking, or make a plan to quit. I'm not telling you anything new when I say it's horrible for your health-deadly, in fact. But if that isn't enough to convince you, then how about the fact that smoking is making you ugly. Here's a headline for you-Quitting Smoking Will Make You Prettier, and here's how:
You'll have firmer skin. "Smoking destroys collagen and elastic," says Dr. Fredric Brandt, "and it decreases levels of estrogen, which is necessary to keep skin firm."
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It will reduce redness. Smoking increases inflammation of the skin by generating free radicals and causing vascular injury, which the body then attempts to repair. And the same goes for frequent heavy exposure to second hand smoke. The good news? Quit, and inflammatory damage from smoking may be able to be reversed. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York found that weeks after quitting smoking, women showed reductions in several markers of inflammation, especially those linked with heart disease.
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It decreases the appearance of dark circles. There's still no miracle cure for dark undereye circles, but one thing that makes them worse-smoking, among other things. If you don't have dark circles, you'll notice fresher-looking eyes in general. The toxins in cigarette smoke damage the delicate tissue around the eyes.
You'll have a smoother complexion. Cigarettes do absolutely nothing to make you look younger-quite the opposite. The longer a woman smokes, the older she looks, with deeper and more plentiful wrinkles and more uneven skin tone-not to mention an overall lack of radiance. According to research analysis, every ten years of smoking resulted in a perceived extra 2.5 years of age.
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You'll have whiter teeth and nails. We all know smoking yellows your teeth, causes bad breath, and if you smoke enough, it stains your nails as well. All of this can be reversed though, that is, if you stop.
You'll feel more self-confident. Quitting won't just improve your complexion, hair, and teeth, it will improve how you feel about yourself, on the inside. A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior found that female college students who smoked had a more negative body image than those who didn't-and the more they smoked, the worse they felt about themselves.
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