Whether you've been smoking for years or you've never smoked a day in your life, we all know the negative impact that smoking can have on our physical health. Despite being addictive and enjoyable for many people, the chemicals in cigarettes cause serious long-term health problems like gum disease, lung disease, fertility issues, and cancer.
But what about the cosmetic concerns? While health problems are the first reason to give up cigarettes, it's okay to worry about the toll they may take on your beauty too. The reality is that smoking will also cause long-term damage to your skin, hair, and nails, and smokers are likely to look years older than their non-smoking counterparts.
One of the most affected areas you might not have been aware of is the lips. Smoker's lips are a telltale sign that cigarettes are taking a toll on your skin. When you start to notice hyperpigmented skin and accentuated lines and wrinkles develop around your mouth, you might consider quitting smoking for good!
But can you get rid of smoker's lips, or are you stuck with them forever? The good news is that, with a little TLC and some proper skin care, you can minimize the effects of smoker's lips and restore color to your rosy pout.
Let's take a look at what happens to your complexion when you smoke, and what kind of lip treatments you can use to minimize the damage.
What Are Smoker Lips?
Smoker’s lips are an accumulation of wrinkles and discoloration around the mouth caused by cigarette smoking.
When you smoke, you repeatedly purse your lips, and over time this action contributes to the formation of fine vertical lines and wrinkles over the lip area. Smoker’s lips are also characterized by dark skin around the mouth, with your lips and gums showing black, blue, brown, or purple hues.
More helpful reading:
What Does Smoking Do To Your Skin?
So why exactly is smoking so bad for your skin, and why do smoker’s lips happen?
Well, there are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, which is bound to have a negative impact on your complexion. Let’s take a deeper look at the four main effects of tobacco cigarettes on your lips and your skin.
1. Capillary Rupture
Nicotine, the first substance responsible for addiction to tobacco cigarettes, causes your blood vessels to shrink and tighten. Over time, this begins to cut off oxygen supplies to your skin, leading to oxidative stress and capillary rupture – both of which will add years to your face.
A radiant complexion with rosy lips is a sign of healthy circulation of oxygen in your blood flow. When nicotine causes oxidative stress and capillary rupture happens, your lips begin to lose the blood flow that makes them rosy. Eventually, they will become more dull and faded, and you will develop some black or blue bruise-like hues.
We all know that tobacco and tar cause stains to your lips, teeth, and gums. But did you know that smoking can discolor your skin too?
Thanks to the reduction of oxygen in the bloodstream caused by nicotine, smokers also have a higher amount of carbon dioxide waste in their circulatory system. This leads to an unhealthy and dull complexion, hyperpigmentation, and black or blue lips.
The heat emitted from each cigarette you smoke also triggers your body to release melanin in the surrounding areas, causing the area around your mouth to become darker and more pigmented.
Finally, smokers are often more prone to age spots and sun damage, as the skin’s defenses are weakened by this poor circulation. It’s a nightmare for anyone who wants to maintain a youthful, light, and radiant complexion!
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3. Fine Lines Around The Mouth
Those pesky vertical lines over the lips and around the mouth – also known as a smoker’s pucker or cigarette lips – are formed by the repetitive movement of smoking cigarettes.
When we are young, our skin is able to bounce back easily from repetitive expressions like squinting, smiling, frowning, or smoking a cigarette. This is all thanks to collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for our skin’s strength and elasticity which are in plentiful supply in our twenties and thirties. But when we pass the age of 20, our bodies produce 1% less of these proteins each year, and our skin gradually loses its flexibility. Learn more about the skin losing elasticity from RenewSkin Inc. 1
This is why we all develop fine lines and wrinkles as we age, but it is particularly pertinent for smokers, who will be prone to extra formations of wrinkles thanks to the consistent pursing of the lips around a cigarette.
More helpful reading: How to get rid of smile lines
4. Wrinkles & Sagging Skin
Among the many negative impacts of the 4000 nasty chemicals in cigarette smoke (like hair thinning and cancer), perhaps the worst for your skin is their attack on your collagen and elastin.
If you smoke, not only will you produce less collagen and elastin as you age, you will also suffer the effects of cigarette smoke’s attack on your skin’s structural fibers.
By accelerating the decline of your collagen and elastin, cigarette smoke reduces your skin’s strength and elasticity and leads to premature aging. This often causes sagging and deep wrinkles to form years before they normally should.
The area around your eyes will be particularly vulnerable to this sign of premature aging, with many smokers experiencing sagging underneath their lower lashes. You will also see accentuated crow’s feet form due to repeated squinting in the heat of cigarette smoke.
And it’s not only your face that suffers these effects, you may also experience sagging breasts and extra loose skin under the armpits, too.
More helpful reading:
How To Get Rid Of Smoker’s Lips
Now that we’ve identified the nasty effects that cigarettes can have on your complexion, let’s see what can be done to reduce the damage! Here are our top 5 tips for treating smoker's lips.
1. Quit Smoking
We know this is easier said than done, but we can’t stress this enough – the very best action you can take to protect your skin and your overall health is to quit smoking for good.
In case you need some motivation, you should know that quitting smoking can start to benefit your health in just 20 minutes, at which time your blood pressure will already start to reduce.2
Even better, your sense of smell and taste should improve in just 48 hours, your circulation (cue skin and lip health!) should change for the better after 2 weeks, and after one month the cycle of addiction can be broken.3
If you can give them up, the next steps will be much more effective at reversing the damage. However, even if you cannot completely cut out smoking, the following tips will still help you to effectively treat and minimize the appearance of smoker lips.
2. Hydrate Your Skin
Whether you have given up smoking or not, it is vital to drink plenty of water to keep your body and your skin hydrated. Water helps your body to flush out the toxins built up by a nicotine habit.
When it comes to your skin and tackling those smoker’s lips head-on, it’s also important to use some topical moisturizing and repairing lip treatments to really see an impact. The more supple and hydrated your skin is, the better it will bounce back from squinting or pursing the lips, and the easier it will be to minimize the fine lines around your eyes and mouth.
Look for products with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastin, and vitamin C, which all work well to moisturize, protect, and repair your complexion.
More helpful reading:
Hydrate, Repair & Protect With Taut Collagen Mask
Our Taut Collagen Mask is a rich and luxurious sheet mask infused with hydrolyzed collagen peptides, plant-based hyaluronic acid, botanical squalene, and vitamin C, specifically formulated to target sagging, dehydrated and dull-looking skin.
With this soothing 15-minute treatment, you can begin to repair the imperfections caused by cigarette smoke and heat.
This skin-loving mask fights back against premature aging with a rich and healing collagen essence that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while hyaluronic acid hydrates, plumps, and rejuvenates your complexion.
To top it off, vitamin C and squalene work as powerful antioxidants to boost your body’s collagen supplies while brightening and protecting your complexion against oxidative stress. It's the perfect combination for anyone feeling the effects of smoking on their complexion!
If you want to achieve a brighter, more radiant complexion, exfoliation is key. By removing the outer layer of skin and ridding your complexion of dead skin cells, exfoliating treatments can help reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation.
For seriously effective exfoliation, there are two treatments you can get at your dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon's office that will be most effective at tackling those smoker’s lips:
Chemical peels – your dermatologist can apply a high concentration of an exfoliating chemical to your lip area, which will cause the top layer of your skin to blister and peel away. This will reveal a fresh, light layer of new cells below.
Laser resurfacing – a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can target the specific smoker’s lines around your eyes and mouth with a laser treatment that removes the upper skin layers and reveals new cells, which will heal and tighten after the laser treatment to create a younger, firmer appearance.
If you would rather treat your skin care concerns from home without a laser procedure, there are also some at-home treatments and skin care products you can look out for:
Salicylic acid – This is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that is widely recognized for its exfoliating abilities. You can find this exfoliating ingredient in many over-the-counter skin care products.
Mandelic acid peels – This is a gentle exfoliating alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) that also has antibacterial properties. It can help to effectively reduce the hyperpigmentation and fine lines caused by smoking, and you can find it in many over-the-counter skin care products.
DIY lip scrub – To really target those smoker’s lips, you could also try a simple DIY lip scrub made using coarse salt or sugar mixed with coconut oil. Gently scrub each lip and rinse to remove dead skin cells and boost blood flow for a light, bright pout!
4. Use & Consume More Antioxidants
The absolute best treatments for your hyperpigmentation concerns will include antioxidants, as these are the only ingredients that can actively reduce free radical damage and relieve the oxidative stress caused by smoking.
Antioxidants work to brighten the color of dull or hyperpigmented skin, while also protecting your complexion from future stress by increasing your defenses against sun damage, toxins, and environmental pollutants.
You can boost your antioxidant intake through your diet by eating plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. In your skincare, look out for powerful ingredients like L-glutathione, vitamin C, squalene, and grape seed extract to give your complexion a radiance boost.
More helpful reading by RenewSkin Inc.: Clear skin detox diet.
Reduce The Appearance Of Dark Smoker’s Lips With Taut Bright
If you're looking for a way to combat dark smoker's lips from within, why not try an antioxidant treatment that has been specifically formulated to lighten and brighten your complexion?
Our skin-saving plant-based supplement, Taut Bright, can help you to counteract the effects of smoker's lips with 7 powerful antioxidants that work to protect your complexion against cellular damage, inhibit melanin production, fade dark spots, and lighten your complexion naturally.
Just two capsules a day can help reduce the appearance of dark smoker's lips, brighten your complexion, and restore your natural beauty!
More helpful reading on the benefits of glutathione
5. Minimize Lines And Wrinkles With Collagen
To fight the signs of premature aging caused by smoking, you will need to improve your skin's elasticity and replenish your body's collagen supplies.
To target wrinkles, you can opt for collagen injections or fillers from a plastic surgeon, which use bovine collagen to fill and smooth deep-set lines. The downside is that fillers will only last between two and six months, and they can cost between $250 and $400 per injection.4
Skincare supplements containing collagen peptides are a less invasive, cost-effective, and more holistic alternative to fillers that can increase collagen in your entire body.
A supplement like Taut Premium Collagen Drink can provide your body with a potent dose of hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, one that reaches your bloodstream quickly and delivers an effective boost to your skin's elasticity and suppleness.
Collagen supplements can help you reduce the signs of smoking on your complexion and fill lines and wrinkles from within, and they are a great option to try before resorting to expensive plastic surgery.
More helpful reading:
Fight Back Against Wrinkles & Hyperpigmentation With Taut's Ms. Magnifique Transformation Program
Taut Ms. Magnifique is a skincare pack containing the perfect treatments for smoker's lips and a dull, prematurely aged complexion; Taut Liquid Collagen, Taut Bright, and Taut Collagen Mask.
We have combined our premium liquid collagen drink with our brightening antioxidant supplement to create a duo that hydrates and protects your complexion from within, while the luxurious face mask comes in to nourish and repair the skin's surface.
Ms. Magnifique contains 24 days' worth of Taut Liquid Collagen, the best smoker's lips remedy that can treat vertical lines over the lip area while also providing benefits for your whole body.
You can rest assured that our skincare products will never contain preservatives, harmful chemicals, or GMOs, so you can restore your natural beauty and radiant skin color with no fear of further toxins.
Thinking about quitting smoking? Trust us, you will feel the beauty benefits for your skin, hair, and nails in no time – not to mention the health benefits for your teeth, gums, heart, and lungs. Even if you have smoked for a long time, it's not too late to make a change to protect your complexion and restore your natural beauty.
To help you in your skin recovery journey – our premium collagen products are also available on a subscription basis, which means you'll never have to run out of your new complexion saviors!