Can Vaping Cause Acne?

does using a vape pen make acne worse

Should I quit smoking and start vaping? Will it help to deal with acne outbreaks? Or will it cause more acne than before?

These are questions that you may have Googled to confirm if vaping is helpful to reduce acne outbreaks. There will be mixed reactions, and different people will have different answers.

a girl with clear skin vapes

Some are of the opinion that their acne went away after they started vaping while others say that they got acne after a few days of vaping.

Smoking is definitely an adversary in the acne cycle. Your body reacts negatively when it comes in contact with formaldehyde and arsenic, the two common contents of tobacco. The first symptom of your body’s reaction starts with the skin.

You see acne breakouts, bumps, and pimples on the skin as your body is filled with the harmful ingredients of tobacco.

That is why people who have frequent acne breakouts tend to quit smoking.

But vaping is different. Vaping involves inhaling vapor using an electronic device that heats up and vaporizes the liquid inside the device. Since there is no formaldehyde and arsenic present, it is quite natural to think that vaping will not cause acne outbreaks.

Most importantly, there is no tobacco present in vaping liquids. But before concluding that vaping is not a contributor to acne, it is important to know the ingredients used in e-cigs.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that vaping is not for anyone under the age of 18, so if you’re not legally old enough to vape, this article isn’t for you. On top of that, vaping has many potential side effects, so this isn’t an endorsement of vaping. In fact, we definitely do not recommend that anyone vape or smoke.

Can Vaping Ingredients Make Acne Worse?

The main ingredient used in electronic cigarettes is water vapor. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs don’t contain tobacco, but they do have vegetable glycerine nicotine, propylene glycol, flavors, and water. Wondering why these are important?

These ingredients deliver nicotine in liquid form in your body. This non-toxic thick liquid is often used in cosmetic products.

It is essential to note the ingredients of electronic cigarettes because the flavorings used in them contain diacetyl. These are artificial flavorings and are known to increase oxidative stress causing respiratory problems. According to Harvard researchers, this leads to clogging of skin pores as your body loses a high content of antioxidants.

a man behind a vape cloud

Their research on 51 different flavors resulted in 47 of them containing artificial flavors of which 39 had chemical diacetyl. It is almost an impossible task to find the remain 4 that uses natural flavors if you want to vape safely.

If you are dealing with acne, head here to see our top-rated treatments.

What About Heavy Metals?

Some of the other ingredients that contribute to skin problems and acne breakouts are the heavy metals. The electronic cigarettes contain tin, silver, and nickel in the wires and cartridges that slowly but steadily enter your body as you vape regularly.

But how can heavy metals influence acne? They use up the natural antioxidants in your body that ultimately lead to skin inflammation.

The Silver Lining

So far, you only read the negative findings of the ingredients of electronic cigarettes. But there is a positive side also that makes them favorable to treat acne.

The minor content of nicotine that is present in the e-liquids is not significantly harmful for the body.

Compared to traditional cigarettes that caused major acne breakouts, vaping is a much better alternative. The ingredients used are non-toxic and that gives an edge over traditional cigs. Researchers have also found that the chemicals released contain 90% less harmful chemicals. This automatically reduces the risks of acne breakouts because the body is deprived of the germs that usually cause acne.

Regular vape users have reported that they experienced fewer acne issues after vaping for the first time. Compared to the effects of traditional cigarettes, vaping is considered safer. The users also mentioned that they noticed improvement in their skin texture as the pimples started to become discolored.

Their reviews also stated that their acne completely healed and never came back as they continued vaping. Even the ones who reported they noticed acne breakouts mentioned that the number of acne had reduced significantly from before.

These practical reviews prove that vaping is still acceptable if you want to deal with acne.

a woman blows out a bunch of vaporizer smoke

No vape pen seller will guarantee that their product is 100% but if you want to quit smoking because of acne breakouts, vaping can be a better alternative for some.

Some of the advanced research also proves that the associated compounds of nicotine like nicotinamide is widely used in skincare products to treat acne. Researchers have stated that nicotinamide improves both skin health and brain health. So, it can be said that the vaping liquid is more likely to get rid of acne and improve your overall skin health to a great extent.

According to NCBI, nicotinamide is an effective cure to treat acne and is often used in antibiotics for patients suffering from antibiotic resistance. Their study has not shown any adverse effects of nicotinamide that will lead to believe that vaping can cause frequent acne breakouts.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Smokers who shift from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes often complain that they feel uncomfortable and this is the reason why they experience frequent acne.

However, this is quite normal because these are withdrawal symptoms that have nothing to do with vaping being the cause of acne breakouts. What smokers don’t realize is acne can be a withdrawal sign.

Although they look bad but once you are used to vaping, you will hardly experience major acne breakouts.

Bottom line

Smoking is and will be bad for your health. It can cause severe dehydration in your body and bring signs of premature skin aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Vaping, on the other hand, can bring its own set of side effects, but many seem to think it may be better than smoking.

In fact, acne is not necessarily the side-effect of vaping as many smokers claim to be.

Rather, the immediate breakout of acne is due to quitting traditional cigarettes. There will be a few breakouts after you quit as the skin tends to expel the toxins and waste left by the traditional cigarettes in your skin.


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