Have you ever noticed that after sex, your skin sort of glows? There's a flush to your cheeks, a light misting of sweat, and your skin looks healthy and alive.
Well, it’s not your mirror lying to you... you are seeing the skin benefits from having sex. We can all agree sex has its upsides, but now we can add skincare to that list.
We can thank a couple of dermatologists for their study on how sex factors into the skincare discussion.
According to Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, "Sex increases blood flow to the skin, which will give you a brighter complexion." This increase in blood flow basically provides an oxygen boost to the skin so you get that that immediate glow that’s better than a Tom Ford highlighter.
And fortunately the benefits don’t stop there. Sex can significantly reduce stress. What does that have to do with skin? When you’re stressed out, your skin—being the largest organ in the body—takes one of the hardest hits. Stress triggers inflammation and can cause some of the nastiest breakouts. It's also known to cause flare-ups in common skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.
But before you grab your partner and run for the bedroom, let’s take a look at some other seductive skincare benefits of regular love-making sessions.
Benefits of Sex
Having sex reduces cortisol levels which can improve collagen production.
Cortisol is what's known as "the stress hormone." When the body produces extra cortisol, it can lead to breakdown of its supply of collagen, the most abundant protein in our skin. In case you haven't caught wind of the dizzying beauty buzz surrounding collagen, it's what helps keep our skin elastic, supple, and smooth. You know when you pinch the skin on the back of your grandma’s hand and it stays put for a while before bouncing back? That's a lack of collagen. So, to put it plainly, you want as much collagen as you can get for a youthful appearance.
Broken down collagen directly leads to wrinkles and scarring. It's highly likely then, that the more sex you have, the more collagen you have, keeping your skin plump and soft. And that's the thing about stress: it's catalytic. So one act to destress can have a domino effect through the rest of your day.
What makes this all-natural skin solution even sweeter is that you can reap the benefits long after you’ve done the deed. Regular sex has lasting advantages to keeping that complexion clear and wrinkle-free.
By consistently lowering cortisol levels over time (by getting it on regularly), our skin has more of a fighting chance to stay healthier in the longterm. And for a little added bonus, the regulation of hormones and estrogen helps prevent menstrual breakouts.
About that Orgasm
But what kind of loving-making is needed to get in on all of these skin benefits?
Thankfully, you don't to dedicate hours on hours in your weekly schedule to making love, unless you want to!
But it's more about the orgasm. Why? It improves circulation, which leads to increased hydration in the skin. However, having your way with yourself will deprive you of some of the anxiety and stress-relieving hormonal benefits intercourse provides, like oxytocin, aka "the cuddle hormone."
Sleepy After Sex? It's Not Just You
Having an orgasm can certainly help you relax. Shocker, right? Studies show most people report a sense of calm after sexual plateau.
But for men, this feeling is even more heightened. After an orgasm, men experience a release of a multitude of brain chemicals. One being prolactin, which regulates a man's "recovery time," aka the chemical that makes it hard for him to get it up right after climax. Prolactin (along with the sundry of stress-relieving hormones released during the sexual experience) is directly linked to sleepiness. So try not to be offended, ladies; it's not his fault!
Get That Estrogen In
Back to skin: Studies have found that experience an orgasm raises the levels of estrogen in the body. You might be wondering why that's a good thing. Well, in conjunction with decreasing women's risk of heart disease, estrogen actually appears to help in the prevention of skin aging in a number of ways.
First, it prevents the breakdown of collagen, that all-too-important protein for maintaining young-looking skin. And second, it also helps with skin thickness, keeping us resistant to wrinkles, thanks to collagen production maintaining the skin wall, strong and intact. And finally, estrogen helps lock in the skin’s moisture, keeping the skin full and supple.
That Free, Natural Glow
Science also supports the idea that frequent sex and affection make people happy. Studies show these bonding activities lead people to report greater satisfaction both with their interpersonal relationships and their outlook on life overall. And don't forget, as previously mentioned, sex reduces stress levels, while giving you that extra bit of beam in your skin you can typically see right away.
And one of the best things about sex as a form of skincare is it doesn’t involve any expensive purchases or trips to the beauty store. It’s great for all skin types. You can use it in conjunction with any product or at any point in your regimen. It works well as part of your morning, afternoon, or evening skincare routine—or all three!
So go get your freak on. And, in turn, get your glow on.