Skin sins: smoking, alcohol & caffeine


Besides the fact that smoking as well as drinking alcohol and caffeine are bad for your health, they are also bad for your beauty as these can accelerate the aging process of your skin.

Smoking promotes wrinkles
It is a fact that the accumulated nicotine from smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, reduces blood flow to the skin,  depriving the skin cells of vital oxygen and robbing it of even more nutrients.  Besides reducing the body’s store of vitamin A which protects against skin damage and vitamin C which protects against free radicals,  studies have also shown that smoking reduces the production of collagen and elastin and in some reports, by up to 40%.   As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.

Smoking also adversely affects the nerve endings in the skin, causing sensitivity and has a drying effect on the skin, causing dehydration and eventually wrinkles.  And it’s not just the face as according to an article from BBC News, Research in Archives of Dermatology showed that smoking ages skin across the body, including the inner upper arms.

All these plus repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and facial expressions such as squinting of eyes and puckering of lips during smoking can eventually contribute to more prematured wrinkles.

Alcohol dehydrates our skin
In the book “Your Future Face” by Dr Dennis Gross, alcohol is said to be a diuretic and so it dehydrates our bodies, resulting in skin that loses its plump, firm and dewy appearance.  Not only that.  Our face can appear puffier and our undereye becomes darker because alcohol is a vasodilator which opens blood vessels.   In fact, when we have too many drinks, our bodies have to divert blood flow, oxygen and nutrients away from our skin to our vital organs, resulting in skin having poorer blood circulation. 

Drinkers also have a sallowness in their faces,  a direct result of an overstressed liver having difficulty with its detoxifying duties.  And alcohol actually promotes the growth of “bad collagen” or scar tissue in both the skin and liver.

Caffeine contributes to dark undereye circles
According to Dr Gross, caffeine also affects our body the way alcohol does.  Hence, excess caffeine can cause dehydration, disrupt sleep, trigger stress hormones and because it engorges viens, it can also cause broken capillaries.  Too much caffeine also contribute to dark undereye circles!  So limit your caffeine consumption to only one or two cups of coffee a day.


  1. eh-sian says:

    I find it really sad when I see young, good-looking people smoking. I mean, of course it’s bad when older people do it too, but to see a young person doing it just puts into perspective how NOT-WORTH-IT smoking is. Such a waste of their youth!

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