Why I have crabby skin after quitting smoking

What the funk is going on with my face?


Ok so I quit smoking – congratulations, so why the hell is my skin now turning ‘Freddy Krueger’ on me?


This is such a common question that’s rarely talked about. You would think that the path to healthy living, salad crunching, water drinking and “quinoa” trading would lead you to looking more like a glowing deity, at least that’s what every Green-Juice- Detox junkie promotes on Instagram – aaa but think again “Computer says no!”


Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can ever do – no brainer there, but it does come with its plights. The longer you’ve been puffing the more reactive your skin turns when you deprave it of it's noxious addiction.


This happens because as your body undergoes nicotine withdrawal, your skin can develop a ‘non-contagious psoriasis’ provoked by the emotional and physical stress.


Here are some common skin reactions after you quit smoking;

  • Scaly skin patches
  • Skin is so dry that no matter what moisturiser you use it’s not rich enough
  • Face cleansers sting your skin in some cases skin turns really red whenever you wash your face
  • Foundation turns to a dry flaky mess within hours or minutes of application
  • Redness
  • Blotchy skin patches
  • Itchy skin
  • Freak zit breakouts
  • Tight and irritable skin
  • Stinging around the corners of the eyes and mouth
  • Server cases develop skin lessons (similar to skin sores)


The good news is as your body detoxes, these symptoms usually only lasts for up to 3 months in their severity. However for some of you, your skin may result in being categorised more ‘Sensitive’– permanently, as was the case for me.


So here are our top 5 tips on what you can do if you’ve just quit smoking and your currently experiencing “Freddy Krueger Nightmare Skin”.


Tip 1: Avoid all alcohol

This means avoiding skincare creams, lotions & sprays that contain alcohol. You should also avoid consuming it. So you may want to reschedule any boozy parties and pass up on any liquor spiked deserts!
ALCOHOL INGREDIENT NAMES TO AVOID: ethanol, denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol and benzyl alcohol



Tip 2: Best foods to eat


Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods

For the next few weeks try to eat as much; Tuna, Salmon, avocados and rockmelon that you can! These foods are rich in Omega 3 and they’re great on the skin! Fish oils are thought to reduce inflammation and help the immune system, which is overactive in people with skin conditions.

Anti-Inflammatory vegetables

Vegetables that have inflammation-fighting properties include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and broccoli.



whole-grain breads, cereals, pastas, oatmeal, brown rice and legumes such as beans and lentils contain a variety of anti-inflammation antioxidants that also lower inflammation levels, regulate blood sugar and calm the skin.



Tip 3: Look for AHA & BHA ingredients in your skincare

AHAs and BHAs help reduce the dryness, lesions, scales, and facial dandruff. They also help bind water to the skin for extra skin hydration. The fruit acids in Just Good Skincare; 7 hour AgeRepair Night Cream contains the right combination of these two acids.


Tip 4: Jump on the Apple Cider Vinegar bandwagon!

If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon – then you must have been living under a rock, with no internet! ACV is life changing – it’s especially amazing for your skin! The best way to take it, is first thing in the morning with hot water. You only need one tablespoon a day for it to alkalise your body and it you can pretty much start seeing results - over night!


Tip 5: Look for NMF ingredients in your skincare

NMF ingredients are known as ‘Natural Moisturising Factors’ that mimic the skin. They include amino acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, glycosphingolipids, urea, linoleic acid, glycosaminoglycans, glycerin, mucopolysaccharide, and sodium PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid). Ingredients that mimic the lipid content of skin include apricot oil, canola oil, coconut oil, corn oil, jojoba oil, jojoba wax, lanolin, lecithin, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, shea butter, soybean oil, squalane, and sweet almond oil, all of which can be extremely helpful in making dry skin look and feel better.

The Just Good Skincare; 12 hour AgeRepair Moisture Cream is loaded with NMFs such as  Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene, Jojoba Oil, Avocado oil, Lecithin, Shea Butter and more.


You should avoid all soap foaming cleansers or anything with strong fragrances.



Shop this post

AgeRepair 12hr
Moisture Cream

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Night Cream

Formulated with AHA / BHA to remove all the problem cells on the surface of your face while you sleep


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Daily Collagen

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Posted in blemishes, dry skin, problem skin, quit smoking and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Thank you for sharing such nice information. Smoking needs to be stopped. There is no such reason to smoke, no reason to make it a habit, no reason to consider it as a way of life.

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