by El Bilson
You may have wondered if smoking and cellulite go hand in hand. Smoking is one of the most widely practiced bad habits in the United States. The habit slowly destroys your lungs and leaves you at greater risk for lung cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer. And while smoking causes problems with all organs of the body, it also deteriorates the quality of your skin.
Cigarette smoke contains a toxic mix of chemicals - among them, cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, methanol, acetylene (the fuel used in welding torches), and ammonia. Each of the chemicals, some of them lethal within if consumed in any other form, so it's no surprise that these toxins can lead to skin problems including cellulite.
Smoking can be very harmful to the skin. One of the ways smoking damages your skin is by affecting collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin. It provides the necessary structure to keep skin firm and taut. Collagen is also a component of everything from blood vessels to organs. Naturally as a person ages, the cells of the body gradually produces less collagen. Smoking accelerates the breakdown of collagen in the skin and in the body. Collagen breakdown starts at a younger age and a faster rate for regular smokers.
Smoking also affects the bodys production of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a compound produced in the body that adds fullness and tautness to the skin. It helps prevent the hollow look that is often seen in older skin. It works by helping the cells retain moisture. As with collagen, the body naturally produces less hyaluronic acid as it ages. But the free radicals that are either present in cigarette smoke breaks down the chains of hyaluronic acid, leading to skin that is more dry and haggard-looking.
Both of these problems have great effects on cellulite. Firm skin is able to retain moisture and will be able to better hide the fat that cellulite is present. Think of skin like fabric. Healthy skin is like denim, and can better hide cellulite infected thighs. But skin that has been ravaged by years of smoking is more like spandex - stretchy, weak, and unable to hide anything.
The effects of poor skin due to the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid extends to blood and lymphatic vessels. This is due to the fact that both compounds are major components in the pipes that support our blood and lymphatic fluids. Smoking damages the vessels in our body, making them less able to transport nutrients to the organs that need them, including the skin. Smoking also affects blood flow by constricting vessels. Both of these side effects contribute to poor nutrient transport and fluid retention. This leads to an increase in cellulite.
Fortunately, the effects of smoking are not seen always immediately apparent. In fact, if you are a younger person, many of the physical problems that come with smoking may actually be reversed by leading a more healthy lifestyle. In addition to quitting smoking, eating quality foods and getting regular exercise will help your body as well. However, the longer you wait to start a healthy habits, the more irreversible damage that will be done to your body.