If you’re a smoker, you’re well aware of the fact that you’re not doing yourself any favors. Smoking is extremely expensive, and it’s almost universally considered extremely unattractive. It’s not just the act of smoking that’s unattractive, though – it also causes your face and body to age prematurely. Eventually, those changes will become permanent.
Doctors have always warned their patients that smoking would make them look older, and that long-held belief was finally verified by a study published in 2013. In the study, 79 sets of twins aged 18-78 were examined. Each set of twins either had just one smoker or, in cases where both twins smoked, one was a smoker for at least five years longer than the other. The result? The smokers had hyperpigmentation, heavy undereye bags and deep wrinkles – they looked significantly older.
So, does vaping have the same effect? If you’ve tried to stop smoking and were unsuccessful, it’s possible that vaping might be the answer. About 82 million people around the world have managed to switch from smoking to vaping, and that’s had a significant impact on smoking rates in many nations. You already know that switching to vaping can have a positive effect on your health and your wallet – but what about your looks? Does vaping make you look older?
As you’re about to learn, the question of whether vaping makes you age faster doesn’t have an answer that’s going to make you completely happy. Although the effects of vaping on facial aging may not be as pronounced as the effects of smoking, most doctors agree that vaping is a bad idea if you want to maintain a youthful appearance. If you don’t already use nicotine, you definitely shouldn’t start. If you’re a smoker, though, switching to vaping may help to delay the effects that smoking has on your appearance.
Does vaping make you look older? Here’s what the experts say.
Does Vaping Make You Age Faster?
Yes. According to Jeffrey Spiegel – a professor at Boston University – vaping is just as bad as smoking in terms of slowing the body’s process of recovering from wounds. Every day, your face and body are subjected to stress and damage from sources such as pollutants and ultraviolet radiation. In order to recover from that damage, you need good blood circulation. Nicotine harms circulation by constricting the blood vessels, making your body less able to recover from day-to-day damage. Spiegel verified this with a study on rodents. In the study, rodents exposed to tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapor healed at about the same rate.
Does Vaping Destroy Collagen?
Maybe. It’s well known that smoking destroys the collagen and elastin in your face. That’s partially because of the nicotine and its effect on blood flow, and it’s also because the smoke itself damages your skin when it touches your face. Smoke contains free radicals that deprive your skin of vitamins, and that causes collagen and elastin to break down. Over time, your face begins to lose the plumpness and elasticity that are the hallmarks of youth and beauty. Anecdotally, many plastic surgeons seem to believe that vaping has a similar effect, although it hasn’t been proven.
Does Vaping Give You Wrinkles?
Probably. As we explained above, nicotine may deprive your skin of its plumpness and elasticity, and that can lead to the development of premature wrinkles. It’s unlikely that vaping causes the same characteristic wrinkles around the lips as smoking, though, because you don’t need to exert the same air pressure or pucker as firmly as you would when smoking a cigarette. So, although nicotine promotes the development of wrinkles, your lips and mouth may not form the same deep creases that would happen in the case of smoking.
It’s important to note, though, that chronic skin dryness is also a cause of premature aging. The two main ingredients in vape juice are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, and both of those ingredients are humectants. That means they absorb water. If you vape, you need to drink plenty of water to replenish that lost moisture. If you feel dehydrated, it’s likely that you aren’t drinking enough.
Does Vaping Stain Your Teeth?
Somewhat. When you smoke a cigarette, the tar is the primary component of the smoke that stains your teeth. Tar causes dark stains – ranging in color from yellow and brown to nearly black – that are extremely difficult to remove. The nicotine in e-liquid, on the other hand, does have the potential to cause light yellow staining. It’s likely, however, that the process is very slow.
In a study published in 2012, dental patients who used nicotine gum to quit smoking actually experienced a reduction in tooth staining even though they were still using nicotine. If you’re a smoker, switching to vaping will probably improve the appearance of your teeth in the short term – although it’s still best not to use nicotine at all.
It’s important to note, though, that any nicotine use is bad for oral health because nicotine reduces blood circulation in the gums. That can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, and both of those things are definitely not good for beauty.
Vaping Can Lead to Quitting Nicotine
As you’ve learned from this article, using nicotine is a very bad idea if you want to maintain a youthful appearance for as many years as possible. The health effects of vaping have been studied extensively over the last decade, and it’s been fairly conclusively determined that vaping is significantly less risky to your long-term health than smoking. It’s likely that vaping doesn’t give you wrinkles or make you look old at the same rapid rate as smoking, but nicotine on its own – regardless of the way in which you use it – can still have an effect on your appearance.
If you’re a smoker who wants to switch to vaping, though, this news doesn’t have to be the end of the world because vaping can actually make it easier for you to quit nicotine entirely. Unlike cigarettes, vaping gives you the ability to control your nicotine intake because you can choose the nicotine strength of the e-liquid that you use. By reducing your nicotine strength very slowly, you can gradually reduce your nicotine consumption until you’re ready to quit. If you stretch the process out over several months, you’ll hardly notice when you make the final jump to nicotine-free vape juice.