If you're a smoker who likes to batt off health warnings - ignoring the facts while puffing away on the 29th cigarette of the day - then we've got a story that might shake your addiction to its core.

A photographic investigation of sets of twins - with rather different smoking habits - has revealed just how much cigarettes can age the skin.

The results are shocking.

american society of plastic surgeons

Twin on the left has smoked for 17 years longer than the twin on the right. Note the differences in lower lid bags and upper and lower lid wrinkles

Researchers identified pairs of identical twins, at the annual Twin Days Festival, Ohio, who differed by smoking history.

Each pair comprised either of a smoker and a non-smoker or two smokers - one of whom had been smoking for at least five years longer than their sibling.

american society of plastic surgeons

The twin on the right is a smoker and the twin on the left is a non-smoker. Note the differences in nasolabial folds (lines between the nose and mouth)

A professional photographer took close-up photographs of each twin's face and each set of siblings also completed questionnaires regarding their medical and lifestyle histories.

See Also:

If These Gross Pictures Of What Smoking Does To You Doesn't Make You Quit, What Will?

LOOK: What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Smoking

Without knowledge of the twins' smoking history, plastic surgeons analysed the twins' facial features, including grading of wrinkles and age-related facial features. The goal was to identify "specific components of facial ageing" that were affected by smoking.

Their conclusion? Smokers looked older - with more sagging of the upper eyelids; bags of the lower eyelids and under the eyes; twins who smoked also had higher scores for facial wrinkles (including more pronounced nasolabial folds (lines between the nose and mouth), wrinkling of the upper and lower lips and sagging jowls).

american society of plastic surgeons

Twin on the left is a non-smoker and the twin on the right smoked for 29 years. Note the difference in periorbital ageing

american society of plastic surgeons

Both twins are smokers. The twin on the right has smoked for 14 years longer than his brother

Among twins with more than five years' difference in smoking history, the average difference in smoking history was 13 years.

Twins with a longer duration of smoking had worse scores for bags on the lower lids and under the eyes and lower lip wrinkles.

Results are published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Snail Slime Cream

    Carefully collected snail's slime is a potent anti-ageing ingredient that helps reduce scars, stretch marks and acne, as well as smoothing out wrinkles. The rich snail secretion is packed with regenerative compounds. Now this anti-ageing treatment isn't as unusual as it sounds, as it's already a staple beauty product in Britain's <a href="http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=869&searchterm=snail&rdcnt=1" target="_hplink">Holland and Barrett</a>.

  • Emu Oil

    Rendered from from the fat of an emu bird, emu oil is a lesser known anti-ageing oil that has been used for centuries in the Aboriginal communities for its healing powers. Mixed with eucalyptus oil, it containing bundles of vitamin E and A, the oil's antioxidants help repair wounds and thickens skin against ageing. The cream also soaks moisture into the skin, which avoids dehydrated, saggy looking skin.

  • Pigs Trotters

    Definitely not one for vegetarian beauty fans, but pigs trotters are a popular anti-ageing solution in Japan, as the trotters are a great source of collagen - the vital ingredient for boosting elasticity in the skin.

  • Bee Sting Venom

    The bee sting venom facial doesn't involve a her of bees pricking your face, but instead, the venom from the sting is transferred into a gel and then rubbed on the face as part of an intensive facial. According to researchers in South Korea, the venom helps prevent the skin from sun damage and restores collagen production.

  • Sperm Facial

    Spermine is a powerful antioxidant in human sperm and some beauty goers swear by its anti-ageing super powers. This treatment first surfaced in New York where the 'cream' is applied over the skin and then ultrasound and infrared light is used to penetrate through the skins lipid barrier. It's believed this 'sperm facial' leaves the skin looking blemish and wrinkle-free. And you don't have to have the treatment done in a salon, as a Norwegian company, Bioforskning, sell sperm-based products.

  • Breast Milk Soap

    Breast milk soap claims to be a great alternative to ordinary soap as it doesn't dry up the skin and is good for reducing the appearance of facial scarring and wrinkles. However, the only snag is - it's best to make the soap yourself if you're breastfeeding. The ingredients? Olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, heat-treated breast milk, and purified water.

  • Anti-Sagging Lips

    Possibly the wackiest of them all - the 'Face Slimmer', originates from Japan but is (unsurprisingly) yet to take off in the UK. This rubbery-looking mouthpiece, created by cosmetic company Glim, is designed to keep the facial muscles pert by keeping the cheeks and mouth stretched in a permanent 'trout pout' position. The mouth guard comes with various face exercise ideas to keep the dreaded sagging jowls away. Image: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cool3c" target="_hplink">Flickr/ cool3c</a>

  • Baby's Foreskin

    A treatment developed by British biomedical company <a href="http://www.intercytex.com/" target="_hplink">Intercytex</a>, created an anti-ageing treatment using microscopic skin cells from babies' foreskins. This unusual treatment is believed to rejuvenate and restructure ageing and damaged skin, by repopulating the lower layers of skin with millions of healthy skin cells from the foreskin that are packed of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts.

  • 'Platza' Treatment

    This alternative and somewhat painful-looking anti-ageing massage is designed to stimulate the blood flow, creating a youthful glow. The 'platza' treatment involves the bare back being thwarted with a 'broom' made of oak-leaf branches. The harsh brushing technique is also said to help tone up muscles and invigorate sluggish energy levels.

  • Placenta Cream

    It's long been known that the placenta has great nutritional benefits (who can forget the '<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/24/midwife-sells-placenta-pills-to-new-mothers_n_1227327.html" target="_hplink">placenta pills</a>') but it is also available in a face cream too. Skincare company <a href="http://www.lanocreme.com/en/Placenta/Default.aspx" target="_hplink">Lanocrème</a> sell a range of placenta-based creams that promise to nourish the skin using its 56 bio-stimulant proteins that help encourage skin replenishment.