5 ways sex can nourish your skin, hair & more

Most people probably think of their sex life and their beauty regimen as two completely separate self-care practices. But as it turns out, the two actually go hand-in-hand.

The increase in the hormone estrogen through orgasm, as well as the physical activity involved in sex, can promote healthy skin, hair, and overall healthy aging. We chatted with holistic dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D., to explain some of the beauty benefits of sex.

Sex promotes skin and hair vitality. 

Studies have shown that women who are sexually active (including solo sex, which is one of many great benefits of masturbation) tend to have higher levels of estrogen since the hormone levels increase during orgasm1. According to Barr, estrogen is key for the normal functioning of the skin, blood vessels, hair follicles, oil glands, and melanocytes (aka pigment-producing cells).

Overall, she says estrogen promotes skin health, hair health, and vitality. “It also plays a role in supporting normal skin barrier function, maintaining skin hydration, keeping oil gland production at bay, improving wound healing, and modulating inflammation,” she adds.

Sex may speed up acne healing. 

Since stress impairs college synthesis and repair, Barr says by lowering stress, regular sex might even promote wound healing, including acne lesions. So long, dark spots!

Sex might make your boobs look bigger.

For those who are into this sort of thing: The breasts can swell up to 25% during sex, according to internist Michael Roizen, M.D. This change occurs due to increased blood flow during sexual activity. They’ll generally go back to their normal size following an orgasm. Nipple height can also increase (aka become erect) through stimulation.

Sex can increase overall confidence.

Spending time with your naked body can increase confidence and may make it easier to enjoy sex.

If you’re not used to doing this, clinical sexologist Cyndi Darnell, recommends spending conscious, intimate time with your body. “It could be as simple as creating space in your week to lie in bed and run your hands over yourself, either for pleasure or simply for exploration,” she once told mbg. This can support your sexual self-esteem and overall confidence.

It may help manage menopause symptoms.

Since estrogen levels naturally decrease during menopause, having orgasms may increase the production, thereby keeping menopause symptoms at bay.

Without estrogen’s influence to help produce hyaluronic acid and collagen, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag; fine lines, wrinkles, and jowls appear; and pores and pigmentation become more prominent,” Barr says. “In fact, studies show that women’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause and about 2% of their collagen every year after for the next 20 years,” she adds.

This thinning of the skin not only happens externally but also in the vagina, which can lead to pain during sex. Having sex more frequently can promote estrogen production and elasticity in the vagina, so tightness and pain may be reduced, according to gynecologist Lynley Durrett, M.D. In fact, research has shown that having sex regularly may even delay menopause.

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