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Why You Should Quit Smoking

6 Ways Smoking Is Hurting You Beauty-Wise

If you need more inspiration to quit smoking, Allure will have you wanting to put down that lighter . . . stat.

I'm not telling you anything new when I say smoking is horrible for your health — deadly, in fact. But if that isn't enough to convince you, then how about the fact that smoking is making you ugly? Here's a headline for you — Quitting Smoking Will Make You Prettier — and here's how:

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You'll have firmer skin. "Smoking destroys collagen and elastin," says Dr. Fredric Brandt, "and it decreases levels of estrogen, which is necessary to keep skin firm."

You'll have less redness. Smoking increases inflammation of the skin by generating free radicals and causing vascular injury, which the body then attempts to repair. And the same goes for frequent heavy exposure to secondhand smoke. The good news? Quit, and inflammatory damage from smoking may be reversible. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, found that weeks after quitting smoking, women showed reductions in several markers of inflammation, especially those linked with heart disease.

You'll lessen the appearance of dark circles. There's still no miracle cure for dark under-eye circles, but one thing that makes them worse is smoking, among other things. If you don't have dark circles, you'll notice fresher-looking eyes in general. The toxins in cigarette smoke damage the delicate tissue around them.

You'll have a smoother complexion. Cigarettes do absolutely nothing to make you look younger — quite the opposite. The longer a woman smokes, the older she looks, with deeper and more plentiful wrinkles and more uneven skin tone, not to mention an overall lack of radiance. According to research analysis, every 10 years of smoking resulted in a perceived extra two-and-a-half years of age.

You'll have whiter teeth and nails. We all know smoking yellows your teeth, causes bad breath, and, if you smoke enough, stains your nails as well. All of this can be reversed . . . if you stop, that is.

You'll feel more self-confident. Quitting won't just improve your complexion, hair, and teeth, it will also improve how you feel about yourself on the inside. A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior found that female college students who smoked had a more negative body image than those who didn't — and the more they smoked, the worse they felt about themselves.

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