Does smoking cause pimples?

Our skin is daily influenced by a lot of things, like our diet, the sun and our skincare products! But what about smoking? Click here!

Author Mads Timmermann

Mads has 14+ years of experience as a skin expert and has written/read this article.

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Question: “Does smoking cause pimples?”

Hey Mads

Thank you for a wonderful page! You have really helped me a lot :-D

A year ago I was incredibly bothered by pimples and thought I had tried everything. I considered to start taking rouccutan. I don’t know if it’s spelled correctly, but that’s the pill cure against pimples.

However, I searched online for side effects and did not like what I found. Especially when you have to especially careful when you are a girl and want to have children.

I found your website at the same time I examined the pills and decided to watched your movies from The cure again pimples. You inspired me a lot with your story and although I was pretty skeptical, if this was not just another sales strike and would not work, I bought your products. I thought I had to try them out:-)

And they really helped me. I also stopped drinking milk as you recommend. At least I only rarely get milk, only when it’s in a cake or something similar. I also exercise and eat healthy. My skin has become really nice! Never before have I had such a nice skin, but I still get 5-6 pimples occasionally.

It’s okay, but I just wanted to get rid of the last few pimples I get on my face. Now I’ve come to think if the few pimples I get is due to my smoking habits.

So the question is, does cigarettes cause pimples?

I hope you will answer my question. And I’m sorry if you have already written about it earlier, but I do not think I can find anything about smoking on your website.

Best regards
From the one who knows smoking is unhealthy :-)

Answer to: “Does smoking cause pimples?”


First of all, thank you for your sweet words! Nice to hear that you are happy with the information I share. Most of all, I’m glad that my guide and my skincare series Danish Skin Care have helped you to get a nice skin :-)

It’s really cool! Especially considering that you almost started taking pills, to get rid of your pimples – and now you solved your problem just by living healthier and using my skincare products. It’s amazing :-D I am really happy on your behalf :-D

I am also – for this particular question – hugely happy for your final greeting. Because yes, smoking is really not healthy.

Smoking is harmful to the health, which fortunately is no longer a doubt. Neither do you, despite the fact that you are still smoking – like so many others do, unfortunately. And I have to raise my finger and strongly suggest that you should really stop smoking. And I’m sure you know that you should stop.

However, I would like to provide an in-depth answer to your question: If smoking causes pimples?

The quick answer is that we actually do not know whether smoking causes more pimples or if it gives fewer pimples.

In short, enough research has not been done in this area so I can’t give you a final answer. However, I will try to take you through some research so we can try to find an answer :-D


In 2001, a bunch of German researchers made a study of the correlation between smoking and acne. The result of the study showed that smokers lives are eight years shorter than non smokers, but also that smokers get more pimples than non smokers.

It was a rather large research project where 896 people were thoroughly investigated. Both smokers and non-smokers participated, and the doctors could make the conclusion that there was a correlation between smoking and having more problems with unclean skin.

The study found that 26.8% of the people smoking were bothered by acne and pimples. Furthermore, the study showed that the men were slightly more affected than the women.

The really interesting about the study, however, was that the researchers found a clear correlation between the number of cigarettes people smoke per day and the amount of pimples they had.

You can read more about the study at National Institute of Health here


Pretty contradictory to the above research results, a research result from 2006 showed something a bit different – or at least at first glance.

This study, which you can read more about here, included 27,083 people. So many times more than in the 2001 survey.

Of the 27,083 people, just under half where smokers, exactly 11,718 smokers.

Through examination it showed that, 0.71% of smokers and 1.01% of non-smokers suffered from a severe degree of pimples, unclean skin and acne. The smokers were less affected by severe acne than non smokers.

By conversion, it means that there are 42% more cases of violent acne – or people who are really bothered by pimples – in non smokers than among the smokers.

It can therefore immediately seem like a really good idea to start smoking if you are really bothered by pimples and suffering from severe acne. However, this research is just too early to draw conclusions.

And if you look a little deeper in the numbers and make some quick conversions based on the results, the numbers actually mean that there were only 7 out of 1000 smokers who had severe acne. Opposite 10 out of 1000 non-smokers who had severe acne.

Said in another way. The difference is only 3 out of 1000 people. And when you suddenly write the numbers that way, we only look at a minimal of differences.

In addition, the study was conducted on people who were already – or not – smokers and the study thus tells nothing about whether smoking can actually have any positive effect on an acne problem.

But the results are contradictory if you look at the overall outcome of the two results. And unfortunately, there has not really been carried out any in-depth and serious research studies in relation to the correlation between smoking cigarettes and being bothered by pimples or acne.

As it appears from the current research, smoking can be both harmful and aggravate acne. At the same time smoking may have both positive and negative effects on the skin and your extent of pimples.

Despite the fact that smoking does not necessarily cause pimples or causes acne worsening, many other skin problems are still caused by smoking. Exactly like there are a lot of other diseases related to smoking, such as cancer and the like. – which of course you know very well

Therefore, it would be really advisable to stop smoking in any case.

At the same time, I really want to point out the need for more research into the connection between smoking and pimples. I fully understand that 8 years of shorter life may not be the biggest motivation to quit smoking.

Many young people – and for that matter also adults – do not think they live 8 years shorter on average because of smoking cigarets. The consequence is so enormously far out in the future.

But at the same time with the above request for more research, I would like to focus on my own attitude. Firstly, the 2006 research shows such a tremendously small a gain when smoking compared to pimples and acne.

Next, smoking has a huge negative impact on the entire body, skin and body organs. So it effects your overall health negatively.

And there is absolutely no doubt that if the body is healthy and well-groomed with both the right vitamins, minerals, etc., the body and skin has much more resistance to problems. This is proven time after time. If you’re healthy, you’re just more resistant to disease and body problems.

Thus, I am absolutely in no doubt that smoking – which is harmful to health – naturally also has a negative impact on pimples, acne and unclean skin. If not directly, at least indirectly, in the form that your body is not healthy and thus can not focus on combating your skin problems, your acne and your pimples – but, first and foremost, your body will try to protect your health from smoking.

So my advice is that you quit smoking – so you can get rid of the last few pimples you’re bothered with :-D

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