Linking Smoking to the Collagen Breakdown

Linking Smoking to the Collagen Breakdown

Linking Smoking to Collagen Breakdown
As skin pros, we are well-aware of the skin-damaging effects of smoking — yet without a real understanding of HOW exactly cigarette smoke speeds the aging process, it’s difficult to motivate our clients to make healthy lifestyle changes. After all, knowledge is always a more effective motivator than judgement.
Here are two ways smoking negatively impacts the skin, and the SCIENCE behind them: 
Free Radical Damage
Smoking decreases our cell's capacity to use the oxygen necessary to absorb vital nutrients. At the same time, smoking emits a large amount of free radicals — both directly onto the skin and within the body. When a free radical comes into contact with the skin, it steals an electron from a neighbouring cell, setting off a chain reaction and damaging the genetic material of the surrounding keratinocytes. 
The result? Slowed cell renewal which in turn creates uneven tone and texture.   
Vitamin C Deficiency
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is depleted faster in those who smoke, compared to non-smokers. Not only does this cause a dull appearance in the skin, but even more worrying, it inhibits the formation of a critical amino acid called dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline’s (DH). Acting as an antioxidant, DH prevents cellular DNA disruption.
**Referenced from skincarelit.com**
DH is also key in supporting collagen stability and preventing the breakdown of elastin fibres — however, it requires the presence of ascorbic acid in order to do this. Since ascorbic acid depletes faster in smokers, DH is unable to function as effectively — leading to accelerated degradation of collagen and elastin in the skin (i.e. premature ageing).