You knew this one was coming...
"Nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the Skin, which decreases the blood supply to the skin, which starves it of oxygen and other nutrients like vitamin A," says Dr. Jaliman. "There are also 4000+ toxins in tobacco smoke that attack collagen and elastic fibers, which causes the skin to sag and wrinkle prematurely. It adds at least ten years to your age."
It’s not just what’s in cigarettes, either: The physical act of smoking ages you, too. "Smoking instigates repetitive facial expressions which cause wrinkling. For example, if you’re puffing on a cigarette, you get the smoker's creases on the lips and when you inhale a puff of smoke, you crinkle your eyes," says Dr. Jaliman. Over time, those wrinkles get deeper and don’t spring back because you’ve damaged the elastic fibers.
That’s not to say that if you’re currently a smoker, you’re doomed. "Lots of people have this attitude of, 'Oh I’ve already smoked; the horse is out of the barn and it’s too late,’ but it doesn’t work like that. This skin repairs itself and the body repairs itself, too. Obviously, it’s never going to be as good as someone who didn’t smoke, but quitting will start to reverse the damage," she says. Words of comfort, indeed.