Does Vaping Cause Acne? (+ 9 Effective Tips to Avoid It)

Imagine enjoying your favorite vape flavor, only to wake up the next day with an unwelcome zit on your face.

It may leave you wondering – does vaping cause acne?

It sure can.

Recent studies suggest a potential link between vaping (especially with nicotine) and skin issues, with acne being a common complaint among vapers.

Let’s dive into how vaping can cause acne, other skin concerns related to vaping, tips to prevent skin issues, and more.

We’ll also cover a much safer vaping alternative – Cyclone Pods nicotine-free vapes.

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How Does Vaping Cause Acne?

Certain vapes may contain toxins that can disrupt your skin’s natural balance, leading to breakouts or cystic acne. Nicotine vaping can also damage your facial skin in other ways.


Vaping can dehydrate your skin, increasing sebum and oil production. This excess oil can clog, and in some cases, inflame your skin pores, leading to an acne breakout.

But that’s not all.

The harmful chemicals you inhale from e-cigarettes, including formaldehyde and nicotine, can deposit in the skin, affecting its functions. This may lead to further inflammation, premature aging, delayed acne scar healing, and more.

Let’s look at the specific ingredients in vaping products that can harm your skin.

What Ingredients In Vapes May Cause Acne and Damage Facial Skin?

A vaping product may contain skin-damaging chemicals like nicotine, formaldehyde, acrolein, propylene glycol, and nickel.

Here’s how they affect healthy skin:

  • Nicotine: Vape juice usually contains nicotine. The addictive stimulant is responsible for the increase in heart and breathing rate, and blood pressure that you experience while vaping. Studies suggest that nicotine can break down essential components like elastin and collagen production in the skin, contributing to reduced skin health.

  • Formaldehyde and Acrolein: These chemicals are byproducts of the heating process in vapes and can be harmful when inhaled. They are highly corrosive and can damage the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, potentially leading to skin issues and discomfort.

  • Propylene Glycol (PG): PG is the clear, flavorless vaping liquid that carries nicotine and flavoring, and provides that satisfying throat hit you crave. While the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) deems it safe in regulated doses, studies show that excessive or prolonged exposure can cause dry skin, mouth, and throat. Some people may also develop rashes due to allergic reactions to these chemicals.

  • Nickel and Chromium: These metals are commonly found in e-cigarette heating coils. They may lead to skin rashes and lip swelling, causing irritation and discomfort on the facial skin.

In addition to acne, vaping may also lead to other harmful effects on your skin.

Other Skin Concerns Related to Vaping

Vaping can lead to premature skin aging, spots, inflammation, delayed acne scar healing, and more.

Here’s a closer look at how vaping can affect your face and skin in general:

A. Reduced Blood Flow Due to Nicotine

Vaping exposes you to fewer harmful substances than traditional cigarettes. However, the nicotine in some vapes carries its own set of drawbacks.

Nicotine can narrow your blood vessels, reducing blood flow. When this happens in your facial area, it may hamper oxygen and nutrient supply to your skin.

The result?
Skin issues, including dryness, paleness, premature aging, and a higher risk of conditions like cystic acne, irritation, and skin infections.

B. Premature Skin Aging

As we mentioned above, nicotine and other harmful chemicals in some vapes can break down the collagen in your skin, reducing your skin’s firmness and plumpness.

The result?
You might notice more fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

C. Delayed Wound and Blemish Healing

Poor oxygen and nutrient delivery due to vaping can slow down your skin’s natural healing processes.

And here's the kicker:
Nicotine's effect on your body’s blood flow prolongs blemish healing and can worsen your acne scars.

D. Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Inhaling vaping toxins, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, can potentially weaken the skin's protective barrier.


These toxins can put your skin under oxidative stress, increasing the amount of free radicals in your body. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can interact with the skin cells, causing damage to cellular structures, proteins, and DNA.

The resulting chronic inflammation can worsen skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.

E. Dehydration

In addition to skin irritation, the propylene glycol in the vaping liquid extracts moisture from the skin. So, prolonged exposure to this substance often dehydrates your face, nose, throat, and mouth.

When the skin is dehydrated, it can become dry, flaky, and prone to a breakout due to the increased buildup of dead skin cells.

F. Irritation from Vape Fluid Ingredients

You might unconsciously touch your face more frequently when you use an electronic cigarette — increasing the risk of skin damage.

What do we mean?

Whether it's your fingers brushing against your skin during puffs or wiping away vape aerosols from your face, this increased hand-to-face contact can introduce excess dirt and bacteria. This, in turn, can potentially lead to an acne breakout.

But there's more to it.
When you vape, traces of vape aerosols linger on your face until you wash it. This could lead to skin irritation and increased oiliness, worsening acne breakout.

But now you may be wondering:
Which is more harmful to your skin — vaping or smoking cigarettes?

Let’s find out.

Vaping Vs. Cigarette Smoking: Which is More Harmful For Your Skin?

While vaping may lead to acne and other skin-related issues, scientific studies suggest that smoking tobacco cigarettes can be more harmful to your skin and other health aspects:

Here’s a closer look at the impact of a regular cigarette on your healthy skin:

  • May result in a unique skin condition known as atypical post-adolescent acne (APAA) or "smoker's acne”
  • Heat, harmful chemicals, and the facial expressions made while smoking a regular cigarette can damage collagen and elastin. Cigarette smoking tends to cause more significant damage than vaping
  • Increases melanin in the skin, which could lead to facial dark spots
  • Causes vascular constriction, making it harder for you to heal from wounds, including acne scars
  • Increases the risk of developing psoriasis (a skin condition that causes rashes, dry skin, and itchiness)
  • Increases the risk of developing Buerger's disease — a type of vasculitis
  • Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens, which may lead to skin cancer

The bottom line?
Tobacco cigarettes can have a more detrimental effect on your skin than vapes.

Discover what happens When You Quit Smoking and Start Vaping.

Wondering if there are ways to prevent acne and other skin-related issues while vaping?
We’ll cover a few tips next.

9 Effective Tips to Prevent Acne and Skin Damage While Vaping

You can minimize the harmful impact of vaping chemicals on your skin in several ways.

1. Use high-quality nicotine-free vapes: Opting for reputable nicotine-free vape pen products can reduce the potential for skin issues associated with nicotine intake.

Not sure where to find a nicotine-free vaping device?
Look no further than Cyclone Pods — a California-based vape brand that prioritizes health and only uses premium ingredients in its vaping products. Cyclone vapes are free of tobacco, nicotine, and other harmful substances, including vitamin E acetate and diacetyl.

If you prefer disposable vapes, Gust Super by Cyclone Pods is a great place to kickstart your nicotine-free journey! It’s a rechargeable vaping device delivering over 5000 puffs.

Choose from an array of 11 tantalizing flavors, including Mint, Menthol, Watermelon, Strawberry Banana, Mango, and more.

And if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, check out Cyclone Pods' Surge Collection — a pod vape with a rechargeable battery, producing minimal waste and over 6000 puffs!

You can get the Surge in five delicious vape juice flavors, including Mint and Strawberry. Or pair your Surge device with any of our 13 Surge pod flavors like Blue Razz, Mint, Watermelon Raspberry, Strawberry, and more.

2. Stay hydrated: Typically, drinking eight cups of water daily does the trick for staying hydrated. But if you're a vaper (or smoker), consider adding in a couple more glasses to avoid skin dryness.

3. Follow a balanced diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides essential nutrients that support skin health and reduce the likelihood of vaping-induced breakouts.

4. Reduce anxiety and stress: Reduced stress levels can help regulate hormones like cortisol, which, when elevated, can lead to acne. You can do this by meditating and improving your mental health.

5. Exercise frequently: Aerobic exercise, such as jogging or swimming, can boost your body’s oxygen levels, enhancing skin elasticity and detoxifying pores for a clearer complexion.

6. Get enough sleep: Quality sleep can help with skin cell rejuvenation, reducing the risk of skin issues (wrinkles and sagging) caused by vaping. This is because sleeping boosts our skin’s collagen production.

7. Never pick or squeeze pimples: We've all been there – it's tempting to play the pimple-popping game, but avoiding this habit helps prevent the spread of bacteria and inflammation.

8. Clean and moisturize your face frequently: Proper skin care and moisturizing, along with selecting suitable skin care products for your skin type, can counteract the drying effects of vaping and minimize the chances of acne breakouts.

9. Apply sunscreen when you go outside: Applying sunscreen regularly protects your skin from harmful UV rays, which can help reduce the risk of a skin issue and the buildup of dead skin cells, which may trigger acne.

Think you may have already damaged your skin from vaping?

Find out if the damage is reversible next.

Is Skin Damage from Vaping Reversible?

According to experts, smoking cessation can lead to improved skin health.

Once you quit smoking vapes, blood flow improves, carbon monoxide levels drop, and antioxidants and new skin cell production return to normal. As a result, your complexion improves.

But it's crucial to have realistic expectations if you've developed skin sagging and wrinkles from years of vaping. Even with proper skincare, fully reversing all signs of smoker damage may not be possible.

Want to keep vaping without developing any sort of skin problem?

Your best bet is to reduce your exposure to nicotine and harmful chemicals.

The simplest way?

Opt for top-notch nicotine-free vapes from Cyclone Pods.

That said, skin damage isn’t the only side effect of vaping. We’ll delve into additional side effects next.

What Are the Other Side Effects of Vaping?

Nicotine vaping can have a negative effect on your health by causing:

  • Coughing
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mouth and throat irritation
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations
  • Weakened immune system and may worsen skin infections
  • Lung cancer or disease
  • Brain damage
  • Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure
  • Nicotine addiction (especially among young people)

It’s important to note that most of the above adverse effects are primarily attributed to the nicotine in vapes.

Reduce the Likelihood of Developing Acne with Cyclone Pods!

There’s emerging evidence of a link between certain electronic cigarette ingredients and acne and other skin-related issues.

If you're a vape smoker concerned about acne, one proactive step you can take is switching to nicotine-free vaping options like Cyclone Pods.

Our high-quality, nicotine-free vape pen products offer a flavorful way to enjoy your vaping experience while being mindful of your skin's health.

So, what are you waiting for?
Head over to the Cyclone Pods' website to discover a wide selection of safe, flavor-packed vaping products.

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