Your Cart

Extra $5 off any 2 items or $15 off 3 items, code: 5on2 or 15on3 + Free US Shipping +$50

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


The Nicotine and Acne Connection (Everything You Need to Know)

Do you have questions about the effects of nicotine on your skin? For decades, the topic of nicotine and acne has been controversial, often making headlines in skincare and health discussions. While it's well-known that nicotine causes several health problems, its role in acne breakouts is less straightforward.

This comprehensive guide will explore the intricate relationship between nicotine and acne, from vaping to cigarettes and everything in between. Answer your biggest questions regarding acne nicotine and acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Nicotine has multiple adverse effects on the skin, including the ability to cause acne through blood vessel constriction and hormonal changes.
  • Both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes contribute to acne and other skin issues, making them equally harmful in this context.
  • Quitting nicotine benefits overall health but can lead to temporary acne flare-ups; hence, a proactive skincare routine is essential during this period.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive range of products that can help manage and treat nicotine-induced acne, making it a reliable choice for skincare.

Young woman vaping in a bar

The Multifaceted Nature of Acne

Before we delve into the connection between nicotine and acne, it's essential to understand the complexities of acne as a skin condition. Various factors, including hormonal changes, hygiene, diet, and stress, can influence acne.

The Different Types of Acne

  • Atypical Post-Adolescent Acne (APAA): This form of acne is common in adults and can be influenced by lifestyle choices.
  • Blackheads and Whiteheads: These are caused by clogged pores and hair follicles.
  • Hormonal Acne: Linked to hormonal changes, often affecting teenagers but can also occur in adults.

What Contributes to Acne?

  • Sebum Overproduction: Excess oil can clog pores, causing acne.
  • Dead Skin Cells: The accumulation of dead skin cells can contribute to acne.
  • Poor Hydration: Dehydrated skin can lead to dry skin, which may worsen acne.

Understanding the Role of Nicotine

Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant in various products like cigarettes, vapes, and e-cigarettes. But how does nicotine contribute to acne?

Effects on Blood Vessels

Nicotine can constrict blood vessels, restricting blood flow to the skin. Reduced blood flow limits the skin's ability to heal and receive essential oxygen and nutrients, increasing the risk of acne.

Nicotine and Sebum Production

Nicotine affects the sebaceous glands, potentially causing them to produce more sebum. Excess sebum can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts.

Acne near the mouth of a smoker

Nicotine and Hormonal Changes

Nicotine also impacts hormonal levels, exacerbating existing skin conditions and worsening acne.

Dehydrating Effects

Nicotine can dehydrate the skin. Dry skin is more prone to irritation, which can lead to acne.

The Vaping Phenomenon: Does Vaping Cause Acne?

Vaping has gained immense popularity as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. While it's commonly considered a "safer" alternative, research shows that vaping can also cause acne.

Chemicals Found in E-Cigarettes

Propylene glycol, one of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes, has been known to irritate the skin, increasing the chance of skin problems such as acne.

Vaping Involves Nicotine

Most vape pens and e-cigs contain nicotine, which, as we've discussed, has the potential to cause acne.

Vaping and Skin Type

The effects of vaping on acne can vary based on skin type. Some people may experience more significant acne flare-ups, while others may not notice any changes.

The Cigarette Culprit: Smoking and Acne

Smoking cigarettes involves inhaling nicotine, along with other cancer-causing substances. Not only does this harm overall health, but it also affects skin health.

How Smoking Cigarettes Can Lead to Acne

Cigarette smoke contains many toxins that negatively affect skin health. These toxins can contribute to acne by affecting blood flow, irritating the skin, and causing inflammation.

Person lighting a cigarette

Premature Skin Aging

Smoking cigarettes is known for causing premature skin aging, reducing elasticity, and leading to unsightly skin problems, including acne.

The Risk of Skin Cancer and Infections

Smokers have a higher risk of developing skin cancer and skin infections, which can also increase the prevalence of acne.

Quitting the Habit: Nicotine Withdrawal and Acne

When you quit smoking or stop using nicotine products, you may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms like irritability. While quitting benefits overall health, nicotine withdrawal can lead to temporary acne breakouts.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Skin

During the initial stages of quitting, you might experience increased acne breakouts as your body adjusts to the absence of nicotine.

Long-term Benefits for Skin Health

Over time, quitting smoking and avoiding nicotine products will improve your skin health, reducing the risk of acne and other skin conditions.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

  • Stay Hydrated: Ensure you’re well-hydrated to combat dry skin and acne.
  • Maintain a Skincare Routine: A consistent skincare routine can help manage acne during nicotine withdrawal.
  • Monitor Hormonal Changes: Keep an eye on hormonal fluctuations, which can also cause acne.

Managing Acne with Exposed Skin Care

Finding the right skincare regimen is crucial if you're struggling with acne, especially the kind exacerbated by nicotine addiction. Exposed Skin Care offers everything you need to know and use for managing acne effectively.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Here are some benefits of Exposed Skin Care:

  • Comprehensive Kits: Whether dealing with a single pimple or a more severe form of acne, our kits contain multiple products that address various issues.
  • Treatment Serum: Specifically designed to tackle comedones and flare-ups, our serum penetrates deep into the skin's surface to eliminate bacteria.
  • Natural Ingredients: Our products contain natural extracts that mitigate the adverse effects on the skin that many factors can contribute to, including the connection between smoking and acne.
  • Clearing Tonic: This product helps to balance the skin's pH and is ideal for dealing with rosacea and other health complications related to the skin.

    When using Exposed Skin Care products, you can be confident that you're treating your skin to the best possible care, minimizing the impact of any addictive substance like nicotine or harmful elements found in vape liquid.


    The link between nicotine and acne is intricate but undeniable. The evidence points to a strong connection, whether it's the constriction of blood vessels, hormonal fluctuations, or the irritants found in e-cigarettes.

    Nicotine can cause acne by affecting various physiological and biochemical processes in the body, leading to flare-ups and more severe forms of acne. While quitting nicotine products is an essential step for overall health, managing the acne that can occur during the withdrawal phase is equally crucial.

    With potential flare-ups and increased sebum production, those seeking to quit must prepare for this transitional period. Beyond just quitting, a proactive approach to skincare is vital for managing the adverse effects of nicotine on your skin.

    A rigorous skincare routine can go a long way in counteracting the negative impact of nicotine and other contributing factors. Here's where Exposed Skin Care can be a game-changer. With its comprehensive range of products that tackle various aspects of acne, you can manage and even mitigate the skin issues exacerbated by nicotine.

    In sum, understanding the relationship between nicotine and acne can empower you to make informed decisions about your lifestyle choices and skincare routine, setting you on a path to healthier, clearer skin.


    What is the connection between nicotine and acne?

    Nicotine constricts blood vessels and affects hormonal levels, which can contribute to acne. It also can cause the skin to become dehydrated, leading to further skin issues.

    Does vaping cause acne?

    Yes, vaping can cause acne. Chemicals found in e-cigarettes, like propylene glycol, can irritate the skin and contribute to acne.

    Is acne from smoking permanent?

    No, the acne caused by smoking is not permanent. However, quitting smoking and adopting a robust skincare routine can significantly help improve your skin's condition.

    Can quitting nicotine lead to acne?

    Yes, nicotine withdrawal can cause temporary acne flare-ups as your body adjusts to the absence of the substance.

    How can Exposed Skin Care help manage acne?

    Exposed Skin Care offers a range of products specifically designed to treat various types of acne, providing a comprehensive approach to skincare that can be particularly helpful for those dealing with nicotine-related acne.