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How Smoking Prematurely Ages the Skin

We all know the damaging effects of smoking – lung cancer, heart disease, reduced circulation, and the list goes on – but how exactly does it impact the skin? And is it our role as skin care professionals to talk to clients about it?

Your clients, smokers and nonsmokers, likely know smoking is bad for the skin, but they may not be aware of just how significant the damage is. Smoking decreases collagen and elastin, creates lines, reduces the skin’s ability to heal, and slows circulation. So, how do we talk to clients about this important issue?

Start with the Facts

A good way to broach the subject is during your skin assessment. Ask about their history with smoking and frequency, and of what their skin care concerns and goals are. This dialogue will help set the stage to talk candidly about smoking’s damaging effects.

Chances are if your client is a smoker, many of their skin concerns will be tied to smoking and giving it up just may be one tactic in helping them achieve their ultimate skin health goal. One way to help them work towards giving up smoking is to discuss the facts about the long-term effects.

  • Decreases collagen activity – we know how important collagen and elastin are to keeping the skin tone and firm. Smoking depletes the skin of vitamin C and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), two key factors of collagen production.
  • Appearance of aging – the repetitive action of puckering the lips to take a puff from a cigarette contributes to line formation around the mouth. These eventually become permanent wrinkles.
  • Suffocates the skin – smoking reduces circulation by restricting the blood vessels. It essentially reduces the blood supply to the skin, in essence suffocating it. Cells don’t get the necessary oxygen supply and aren’t able to detoxify, causing toxins to build up.
  • Inability to repair properly – since smoking reduces the skin’s ability to regenerate it also impacts how the skin repairs itself. Wounds take longer to heal, which may seriously impact the treatments you are able to perform on smoker clients. Certain corrective treatments may not work with their skin.

These are just a few of the damaging effects of smoking, and it is most certainly within our role to step in and inform clients about the impact on the skin. After all, it could be undoing any good we are doing for the skin. Remind clients that even just one puff emits 40,000 free radicals, and that one cigarette typically constricts the blood vessels for approximately an hour and a half…just think what smoking throughout the day will do.

When it comes to treatments for clients who smoke, of course this will depend on their overall skin condition, goals and concerns, but you will want to focus on oxygenating and boosting vitamin and antioxidant support. A few that may work well for this include the new DN-Age A Peel,Skin Fitness Treatment and the Detox Facial. For more information refer to the Facial Recipe Creations Book.

Question: How do you talk to clients about smoking?

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