With all the warning messages that can be found on e-liquid bottles, many vapers, especially the ones who have recently started, want to avoid as much as possible skin contact with their e-liquid. Even though this concern seems understandable, is it justified?
First of all, let’s start by saying that nicotine is the problem here. If you’re vaping a juice with no nicotine, there’s no risk if you spill some e-liquid on your skin. Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are often used in cosmetics. If you are vaping juices that contain nicotine, be aware that nicotine can pass through the skin. You’ve perhaps tried nicotine patches before switching to vaping. Besides, some tobacco growers sometimes suffer from an illness called « green tobacco sickness ». It takes place when they absorb to much nicotine through skin contact when harvest ing tobacco leaves.
However, this is an extreme case, and in real life, spilling some e-liquid does not entail high risks, as long as you wash your hands without waiting too long. This is also valid for juices that have a 24 or even 36mg/ml nicotine content because PG and VG do not penetrate easily the skin. If you had one hand in a sink filled with e-liquid, you’ll only absorb around 0.5mg of nicotine per hour. And what’s the lethal dose of nicotine for humans? According to this study published in 2014, it’s around 500 and 1000mg, or even more. But be careful, even at lower dosages, nicotine can have adverse effects on human health such as nausea, headaches, etc.