I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve made it to week 4 of my stop smoking journey! This is something I never thought I’d be able to do, so I’m really proud of myself for making it this far.
Since I’ve given up, I’ve realised the impact smoking has had over the years on my skin and appearance. Although I’m feeling and looking much better just in 28 days, I spoke to make-up artist, Harriet Franklin, to find out how to best combat some of the damage caused by smoking all those years. Here’s what she had to say;
Ageing of the skin
Smoking reduces the oxygen in your skin, meaning that you can prematurely age your skin by 10 to 20 years and make it look grey and dull. Smoking also makes it three times more likely you’ll get wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth.
The good news is that once you quit, you’ll prevent further damage to skin caused by smoking and there are a few ways to help bring the youthful glow back to lack lustre skin. Harriet advises a good skin care regime to keep it clean and well hydrated. Drink plenty of water and look out for products containing collagen as these can all help to keep skin looking plump and healthy. Vitamin C is also key to keep skin glowing, so stock up on satsumas.
If you’re looking for a quick solution, primer can help to freshen up your appearance. She advises: “Using a primer prior to foundation will smooth the surface of your skin, disguising finer lines, as well as helping your foundation last longer.”
Smoking can cause skin to become dull so in order to keep it glowing, try exfoliating. Harriet explains: “Not only does regular exfoliation accelerate the creation of new skin cells, but by removing dead skin cells you allow new ones to come to the surface. Make sure you follow this with a hydrating moisturiser.”
Harriet also recommends products that reflect light keep skin looking fresh. This can be applied lightly to the skin prior to foundation, mixed into your foundation, or used to highlight areas such as the cheekbones and brow bone.
Nicotine in cigarettes stain your teeth which can make white, dazzling teeth a thing of the past so be sure to use whitening toothpaste to bring back a pearly shine.
Even the shade of lipstick you use can affect the appearance of your teeth. Harriet says: “Avoid any orange tones in lip colours as this can enhance the yellow on your teeth. Instead opt for a blue undertone such as berry hues, red or plum colours.
“Make sure lips are flake free and moisturised prior to application and using a matching coloured lip liner all over your lip first to maximize the staying power of your lip stick.”
However, if you’re serious about getting a whiter smile, Harriet warns: “If you choose to whiten your teeth stay clear of any unknown sources online - I would advise asking your dentist to recommend a product or treatment suitable for you.”
Cigarette smoke can also stain your fingers and nails. While Harriet advises that prevention is the best remedy she also recommends that various home remedies can work, including scrubbing away yellow marks on hands with a toothbrush and lemon juice.
Gently use a buffing board on your nails to remove yellow marks from the surface and covering them in strengthener is also a sure way to improve their appearance. Maybe event treat yourself to a manicure to reward your success in quitting!
Smoking is renowned for that recognisable odour and once you’ve quit you can capitalise on smelling fresh, as opposed to spritzing perfume to cover the smell of smoke. So, treat yourself to a new perfume with the money you’ve saved this month and spray away without the need to cover up lingering cigarette odours.
This can also extend to your hair which hangs on to cigarette smoke. Now that your hair doesn’t smell like an ashtray, you can make the most of fresh smelling shampoos and conditioner
Sophie said: “These tips were really useful to help me get the glow back now I’ve not smoked for a month. I didn’t realise how much smoking could affect my appearance, and the manicure has made a big difference to my nails. I’ll definitely continue to follow these tips over the next few months.”
Stop smoking for 28 days and you are five times more likely to stop for good. Search ‘Stoptober’ for all the support you need to quit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober
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