It’s widely known that smoking affects your skin. It causes premature aging and a dull complexion, and certain wrinkles that are dead giveaways. It also slows your body’s ability to heal so you’re more likely to end up with scars from cuts, scrapes, and incisions.
All of that is well-established information in the skincare world and even most people outside the skincare industry know that smoking makes skin age more quickly. But what about vaping? Does it cause the same issues, or is it a better alternative for your skin than smoking? Let’s take a look.
Ways Vaping May Affect Skin
Smoking and its impacts have been studied extensively because tobacco has been around for such a long time. Vaping, on the other hand, is newer, and proper research takes time…lots of time. Researchers are still studying the effects vaping may have, but there are a few patterns that have started to appear.
When we talk about how smoking affects the skin, most of those problems aren’t from the various chemicals and carcinogens in cigarettes. They come from the nicotine. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, limiting your circulation. Your skin needs blood flow to bring the oxygen and nutrients it needs, so nicotine can deprive your skin of those healthy essentials.
That deprivation is why people who smoke regularly tend to have a dull complexion. Nicotine also makes the collagen in your skin break down more quickly, leading to premature signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin.
If you’re vaping with nicotine, unfortunately, you’re still getting all the negative effects of nicotine that you would get from smoking.
There is an unexpected but interesting development in the study of vaping and how it impacts the skin. According to a recent study, there has been an increasing number of people who vape developing contact dermatitis on their hands. Contact dermatitis is a rash that comes from your skin touching some kind of irritant.
The study found that these people had a nickel allergy – an extremely common allergy. Vaping devices typically include metal in their components, which can transfer to your hand when you use them and cause a nasty rash.
We mentioned above that nicotine leads to premature aging, so does that mean you aren’t contributing to wrinkles if you’re vaping without nicotine? Not necessarily.
You’ve probably noticed that people who smoke eventually develop wrinkles that look like vertical lines above their upper lip. In fact, these are commonly known as smokers’ lines. This happens because, with every puff, you’re making the same tight O shape with your lips. When you make that same motion over and over, day after day, it leads to wrinkles in that area.
Even if you’re not using nicotine, vaping does the same thing: it causes you to make the same shape with your mouth repeatedly, leading to smokers’ lines. In fact, drinking from a straw will do this too, although it’s less prominent because people usually don’t take as many drinks from a straw as smokers take drags from a cigarette on a daily basis.
What Does This Mean for Vapers?
So, what does all this mean if you enjoy the occasional vape? Research is still ongoing so there’s a lot we don’t know about how vaping can impact your skin. Each person’s body may react differently too. Still, it’s worth being cautious because there’s a good chance your vaping habit will eventually lead to premature aging or other issues.
Skin Care Tips to Repair Potential Damage from Vaping
What do you do if you’re already starting to notice some changes in your skin or if you want to keep them to a minimum? There are a few tools you can use that may be able to reduce the damage vaping could have caused.
Use a Retinol Product
Retinol is the cream of the crop when it comes to fighting signs of aging – at least as far as at-home skin care is concerned. It speeds up cell turnover, which means it helps your body get rid of damaged skin cells and replace them with newly minted youthful skin cells. A product like Revision Retinol Complete is an addition to your nighttime skin care routine that can slow down the clock that vaping has sped up.
Try a Roller
Jade rollers and other facial rollers were red hot a few years ago, and the trend has cooled off a bit today. While some people did exaggerate their effects, these rollers can make a genuine difference in your skin, especially if you vape or smoke. Massaging your face regularly with these rollers helps to stimulate circulation in your face, reducing the effects of nicotine on your skin. In fact, some studies show that facial massage can help to widen your facial blood vessels in a long-term way too.
Hydrate Your Skin
If you’ve noticed signs of aging, whether they’re from vaping or just the years ticking by, one of the top ways to look more youthful on a daily basis is by moisturizing. Using moisturizer twice each day keeps your skin fuller and plumper, which makes wrinkles less noticeable.
Keeping Your Skin Healthy
While the research is still ongoing regarding vaping and how it affects the skin, there are some patterns to look out for. If you vape, start taking advantage of the skin care tips above and keep an eye out for new studies and updates. Improving your health always starts with educating yourself, and you’ve already taken the first step.