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Combating Harmful Lifestyle Effects on the Skin

By: Terri Wojak
Posted: January 31, 2013, from the February 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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It has been said that one puff of cigarette smoke can produce millions of free radicals. Oxidative stress caused by free radicals is one of the key factors in the aging process and leads to mutated cells that can affect every organ of the body. Toxic chemicals in cigarettes also can cause congestion within the pores, typically seen as whiteheads or closed comedones. This congestion may be caused by a lack of circulation and accumulation of secondhand smoke on the skin.

To combat the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, antioxidants should be taken regularly. Some of the best known antioxidants are vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin C protects the skin from excess free radicals; it is a necessary contributor to collagen synthesis and promotes wound-healing. Vitamin E can help the body fight against heart disease and inflammation. By increasing vitamin E levels in the body, it is believed that the skin will not sustain as much damage and that it will repair injured cells faster.

It is also important to recommend topical antioxidants to protect the skin from excess free radicals that are caused by smoke. Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid has shown many benefits to protect the skin. Vitamin E, resveratrol and green tea are other ingredients that can reduce oxidative stress in the skin when applied topically.

Educate your client on the effects smoking can have on their skin. Emphasize the fact that quitting is the best way to avoid the toxic effects, not only for their skin, but also for their overall health. Help long-time smokers reduce the impact smoking has on their skin with customized treatments and products that address their conditions.

Provide education

Educate clients on the importance of keeping the body healthy for the best overall appearance. What clients eat, whether they manage stress and how they treat their body will be reflected in their skin. Talk with your clients and empower them to make better decisions about their lifestyle habits.

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