Smoking and Acne

Today while I was in a bookstore, I picked up a book called Feeding Your Face by Jessica Wu, M.D. I flipped through a couple pages and wasn’t shocked that she mentioned smoking as a key component of skin damage. I already knew that smoking causes an increase in wrinkles and the sagging of skin, which ultimately ages the look of a person. However, I was surprised to read that tobacco consumption is linked to worsened acne and other skin problems. It’s true! Women who smoke are four times more like to experience whiteheads and cysts than non-smokers. This is because nicotine increases testosterone which clogs pores and activates oil glands. Larger breakouts are also related to a higher insulin response to food- one of the seemingly infinite side effects of smoking. Tobacco cessation has countless benefits, as our other posts have suggested, but for those of you who smoke and suffer from acne, this may be the right incentive for you.


Dr. Wu is the dermatologist of several A-list celebrities and studied at Harvard University before opening up her own practice in Los Angeles. 


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