Can Vaping Cause Acne?

Does vaping cause acne? If you have acne-prone skin or you’re keen to prevent it from developing then naturally you’ll want to know the answer to this question! 

Most of us – if not all of us – experience acne at some point in our lives. It’s extremely common in teens or younger adults, but despite acne being so widespread, that doesn’t stop us from becoming self-conscious whenever we experience a breakout. This embarrassment is the main reason most acne sufferers are keen to get to the bottom of the issue, to prevent flare-ups from happening or getting worse.

In truth, acne can be caused by all sorts of things. From diet and hormonal changes to stress and certain skin products, many factors can contribute to the breakout of those unsightly red spots.

This has led to some people wondering whether e-cigarettes could be another cause, so what’s the truth – does vaping cause acne? Let’s find out…

vaping and acne

What is Acne and What Causes it?

In order to answer this question, first we need to understand what acne is and how it’s caused. Acne is a common skin condition which causes spots and oily skin that’s sometimes hot and painful to touch.

In most cases acne is linked to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, but it can actually start at any age. During a breakout, oil glands located next to hair follicles produce an abundance of a greasy substance called sebum. 

This, along with dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria block up the hair follicle, which leads to redness, swelling and inflammation. Eventually the blocked pores push the contents to the surface, resulting in the appearance of spots on the skin.

There are many causes of acne. While some, like changes to hormones and stress, can’t be avoided, others such as using oily makeup or the wrong type of skin products most certainly can! 

does vaping cause acne

Does Vaping Cause Acne?  

So now we have a better understanding of what acne is and how it’s caused, it’s time for the million dollar question: can vaping cause acne. The answer is yes, vaping can cause acne, or it can at least contribute to the breakout of spots. However, with that said, the good news is you can take steps to prevent it, meaning it’s possible to vape without significantly increasing your risk of acne.

The reason vaping can raise your risk of developing breakouts is the nicotine in your e-cig can dehydrate your skin. This, in turn, can result in your skin overcompensating for the lack of moisture by producing an excess of sebum, which can lead to blocked pores and spots. 

A good way to avoid this is by ensuring your skin stays hydrated at all times. There are some easy ways to ensure your skin stays hydrated, including:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Regularly moisturising your skin
  • Eating hydrating fruits
  • Watching your caffeine intake

Ensuring you drink enough water is without a doubt the most important thing to remember when it comes to staying hydrated. Eating watery fruits will also help you top up on your fluids – as well as providing some healthy nutrients, which is never a bad thing!

Along with drinking plenty of water, you can also prevent your vape from drying out your skin by moisturising. Just make sure you’re using the correct one for your skin type as applying the wrong moisturiser is a surefire way of making your acne worse!


Vaping Vs Smoking for Acne – Which One’s the Worst?

Now we’ve established vaping does have the potential to cause acne by dehydrating your skin – something that can be avoided if you drink plenty of water and moisturise your skin – the next thing to consider is how using e-cigs stacks up against smoking. After all, vape devices are used as a replacement for cigarettes, so it’s always logical to compare the two!

Although vaping does have the potential to cause acne, smoking is known to be one of the worst things imaginable for your skin. Along with sapping moisture, cigarette smoke is known to remove oxygen from the skin and constrict the blood vessels in our face, causing premature ageing.

Add to that the fact that smoking can also cause its very own skin condition called atypical post-adolescent acne (APAA), or “smoker’s acne”, and it’s clear vaping is again the better choice between the two.

And remember the reason you’re vaping in the first place – it’s at least 95% safer, and e-cigs contain none of the cancer-causing tar or carbon monoxide that are abundant in cigarettes!


So hopefully that clears up the question “does vaping cause acne?”… The answer is yes, vaping does have the potential to dry out the skin which can lead to excess oil and spots, although by drinking water and moisturising we can go a long way to preventing it from happening.

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