Smoking Causes Premature Facial Aging

cigStill smoking cigarettes? If you are, this might make you consider going cold turkey: according to a new study, twins who smoke show premature facial aging when compared to their identical twins who either don’t smoke or have smoked for a shorter period of time—essentially, the effects of smoking on facial aging are pretty incontrovertible.

Headed by Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a professor at the Case School of Medicine in Cleveland, the study looked at seventy-nine pairs of twins (fifty-seven of them women) with an average age of forty-eight. In each pair, either one twin was a smoker and the other was not, or one twin had smoked at least five years longer than his or her sibling. Apart from their smoking history, the twins had been exposed to similar environmental factors that can affect facial aging (sunscreen use, alcohol intake, work stress, etc.).

Once the twins were selected for the study, a professional photographer took standardized, close-up photographs of each of them, and then a team of plastic surgeons (who didn’t know the participants’ smoking histories) analyzed their facial features.

The result? The twins who smoked—or had smoked for a longer time—looked significantly older. They exhibited more sagging in their upper eyelids, more noticeable bags under their eyes, more wrinkles on their lips, and more sagging of the jowls, among other things. The longer they had been smoking, the worse their scores, particularly when it came to lip wrinkles and bags under the eyes—but even the twins who had only smoked for five years longer than their siblings had significantly worse scores.

Cosmetic surgery can help with a number of these issues—but wouldn’t you rather not have them to begin with? If you want to preserve your good looks in the coming years, putting down the cigarettes is probably a good start!

To learn more about premature facial aging and what you can do about it, contact us here at the SF Plastic Surgery & Laser Center!