The impact of vaping on our skin

Vaping has become increasingly popular as a supposed healthier alternative to smoking, however as it is relatively new, we are only just now starting to see research coming out on how this “healthier” smoking alternative impacts our bodies.

Vape juices contain a variety of ingredients that can cause harm to our bodies:

  • Nicotine, which is highly addictive and can lead to a range of health problems
  • Formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical that can cause cancer
  • Acrolein, a toxic chemical that can cause lung damage and respiratory problems
  • Propylene glycol, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems
  • Diacetyl, a chemical used to create a buttery flavor in e-cigarettes that can cause a condition called popcorn lung, which is a serious respiratory disease
  • Heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and chromium, which can be toxic and cause a range of health problems including respiratory issues, kidney damage, and neurological problems


How does vaping negatively impact skin health?

It is proposed that nicotine in e-cigarettes can constrict blood vessels which reduces blood flow to the skin, and can cause an over production in sebum. Additionally, the chemicals in vapes can disrupt the skin’s microbiome, cause inflammation and irritation within the skin, and cause serious oxidative stress.

Restricting blood flow to the skin causes the skin to become inflamed which can worsen skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, and also causes the skin to appear dull and lacklustre due to it’s lack of nutrients. This reduction is vital nutrients and blood flow also has a damaging effect on our skin's natural wound healing response.

Barrier impairment and oxidative stress are what will drastically speed up the skin’s natural ageing process by damaging our collagen and elastin; leading to the development of premature fine lines, wrinkles and visible capillaries.

According to a recent study by Dr Mervyn Patterson, Cosmetic Doctor at Woodford Medical, the accumulation of vape-released toxins within the skin can even increase the risk of abnormal cell growth and skin cancers.

To summarise, vaping or using e-cigarettes can worsen inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, significantly reduce the amount of nutrients and oxygen entering the skin and will speed up the rate at which signs of ageing would naturally appear in the skin such as fine lines, wrinkles, capillaries and age spots. Add to this the increased risk of skin cancer and I think we have enough reason to say that vaping is not skin friendly!


It's never too late to make positive changes!

Quitting is the best way to stop the progression of negative health impacts including the effects on your skin but it can be extremely challenging because of the addictive chemicals contained within vapes such as nicotine.

If you’d like to quit vaping or smoking then reach out to your local GP who can provide advice and treatment such as products that can help you kick this habit for good.


As always, if you're wanting to know more or have any questions, get in touch!


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