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Does Vaping Cause Acne? 5 Ways Vaping Can Affect Your Skin

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Vaping is commonly thought of as a potentially less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes. And, while that may hold somewhat true in some respects, it is clear that vaping is not without consequences.

Some of the adverse effects of vaping may include skin changes, like increased acne.

Below, we will outline just what negative effects vaping may bring when it comes to your skin, including explaining why some people may notice moderate improvements in their skin when switching from cigarettes to a vape routine, and then give you our final thought on the matter.

5 reasons why vaping may have a negative effect on your skin

Your skin can be temperamental, and react poorly to new habits, especially smoking or vaping.

Below, are 5 ways that vaping make take a toll on your skin and increase the amount of acne that you are dealing with:

1. Dehydration:

Some of the ingredients commonly used in vape fluids may induce dryness and dehydration in your mouth, throat, lips, and skin around your face. One of the main culprits for this is propylene glycol, which draws in hydration from its surrounding area. When the skin on your face becomes dehydrated, it may ramp up facial oil (sebum) production to remedy the dryness, but in turn, just end up creating more acne from the excess oil. 

2. Reduced blood flow due to nicotine:

Many people who vape go for the fluid which contains nicotine. While this delivery route contains fewer harmful chemicals than a cigarette, it is important to remember that nicotine itself has downsides as well. Nicotine cause your vessels to constrict (narrow), and can reduce blood flow. When this happens to your face, it may mean that your skin is not getting as much oxygen and nutrients from optimal blood flow as it once did.

3. Reduced healing capacity:

This reduced blood flow from Nicotine may reduce the healing capacity and speed of your skin. You may notice that blemishes take longer to heal, and leave worse scars than you are used to if your healing facilities are not functioning optimally.

4. Irritation from vape fluid ingredients:

When you vape, the exhalation doesn’t just magically disappear. It ends up swirling around your mouth and face for a while. This ultimately ends up with small amounts of aerosolized vapor fluid hanging out on your skin until your wash it off. Your skin may react negatively to this and become irritated, greasy, or prone to more breakouts.

5. Touching your face more:

When you are smoking with a vape, you may be touching your face way more than you realize. Whether your fingers are grazing your face with each puff, or if you are casually wiping off remnants of some of the sometimes sticky aerosolized fluid -- there may be way more hand-to-face contact than you realize. This could end up depositing excess dirt, oil, and bacteria onto your skin, and amplify your breakouts.

Why do some people experience skin improvements when switching from cigarettes to a vape

You may hear about some people paradoxically experiencing acne improvements when they switch from cigarettes to vaping. However, this is likely because they have switched out cigarettes (with way more chemicals and combustion) for a vape. The improvements may be occurring because vaping may be slightly less harmful or irritating to your skin as compared to smoking cigarettes, but that in no way means that vaping is “good” for your skin.

It would be unlikely to hear that someone went from not smoking at all to vaping and experiencing skin or acne improvements. 

Does vaping cause acne: Bottom line

It is possible to experience new, or increased acne when you begin vaping. 

Vaping may be detrimental to your skin in a few different ways including increased dehydration, reduced blood flow, slowed skin healing, increased irritation from vape fluid ingredients, and inadvertently touching your face more.

In addition to worsened acne, vaping may have negative consequences for your general health as well, and should not be seen as a harmless alternative to cigarettes. If you need help in stopping vaping, improving your skin, or both, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

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