Fun fact: I love my Juul. My relationship with my Juul is so tight, in fact, that I’ve named it Meredith. But, it may be time for us to take a break. And not for the usual “I need to stay healthy” reasons. My spark for a smoke-free lifestyle is purely vanity—and, as one can expect, your Juul is fucking with your skin, big time.
The claim that e-cigarettes are healthier than a regular cigarette is debatable when it comes to certain parts of your health, but it’s pure B.S. when it comes to your skin. A 2017 study showed that smoke from an e-cigarette hinders wound healing just as significantly as regular cigarette smoke. The culprit is, of course, nicotine.
“Although e-cigarettes don’t contain many of the chemical in regular cigarettes, they still contain nicotine which is harmful to your skin,” says Dr. Richard Asarch, board-certified dermatologist and head of the Asarch Center for Dermatology. “Nicotine can affect circulation which in turn can deprive the skin of oxygen and nutrient.” Dr. Asarch notes that, due to nicotine’s effects, it can accelerate skin aging.
For these reasons, Dr. Janet Prystowsky says plastic surgeons won’t conduct intense cosmetic procedures, like facelifts or eyelid lifts, if you refuse to quit smoking nicotine, regardless of whether it’s a classic American Spirit or your chrome-toned e-cig. “While e-cigarettes decrease tar and other inhalants from burning tobacco from damaging your respiratory tract, the nicotine toxicity to the body, including the skin, continues,” she says. When asked about these health issues, Juul did not respond to requests for comment.
So, how can you save your skin from your Juul? The answer is easy. “It’s best to stop smoking and beat the nicotine addiction for your best recovery from smoking; e-cigarettes are of only some benefit compared to smoking,” says Dr. Prystowsky.
But, since saying you’re going to quit smoking is a lot easier than, well, actually doing it, it’s important to take care of your skin while you’re (hopefully) on the journey of leaving the bad habit behind you. Dr. Asarch recommends using a combination of “topical nutritional products that contain ingredients to help repair damaged skin and promote new collagen growth,” like sunscreen and retinoids.
Bottom line: Break up with your Juul. Your skin will thank you for it.