Can You Orgasm Your Way to Clear Skin?
It’s not hard to sense when a friend has taken up with a new bedfellow. They tend to be constantly floating atop a cloud, completely impervious to earthly worries and, most enviously, blessed with the kind of perpetually flushed and radiant skin that money can’t buy. (It does come close, admittedly, as anyone who has ever used the world’s #1 best-selling blush, Orgasm by NARS, will tell you).
While our multi-step skincare routines are the non-negotiable cornerstone of glowing skin, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be taking a leaf out of the aforementioned friend’s book, too. “There are so many benefits to masturbation and orgasms; it is hard to believe it has been stigmatized for so long,” says Molly Murphy, co-founder of the Kiki de Montparnasse Pleasure Product Division. Read on for the perks of getting it on more often, and why if all else fails, you should take matters into your own hands.
What’s the link between sex and skin?
When you have an orgasm, the tempo of your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure picks up, contributing to an increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The result? A flushed and brighter complexion that can last up to two hours, and a boost in circulation that can also help to stimulate the production of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body that helps keep our skin elastic, supple and smooth (*cough* PRESS REFRESH also helps in this department). You’ll be pleased to know that unlike some crusty old factions of society, your skin doesn’t view masturbation as a taboo; your complexion will reap all the many benefits of having an orgasm, with or without a boo.
One such benefit is that it diminishes worries by releasing the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, which reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone known for wreaking havoc on your skin. Remember how great collagen is for youthful, fab skin? Well, high cortisol levels can physically damage collagen beyond repair (think blemish scars and wrinkles), while also contributing to a decrease in skin barrier function. In other words, not only does the stress hormone make skin susceptible to irritation but it can also reduce its ability to retain moisture.
To throw one more benefit onto the pile: the relaxed feeling you get after sex tends to promote a more restful sleep, and good sleep has been linked with everything from cell turnover and balanced hormones to a more resilient immune system.
Is it a stretch to think sex might help with breakouts, then?
Certainly not! "Acne is a stress-triggered condition, in that the more stressed you are, the more your skin produces oils which lead to acne formation," says Shirley Chi, MD, a California-based dermatologist.
An imbalance of hormones is another culprit behind breakouts—and sex can help with this, too. "Acne comes from an increase in testosterone and estrogen—an imbalance of the two," says Dr. Chi. "But sex and also masturbation help to decrease that imbalance. They also increase circulation, which is good for removing toxins from the skin."
Any who, orgasming also has the ability to calm inflammation in the skin. Remember how we said that sex regulates estrogen and promote the flood of oxytocin? Well this in turn helps to prevent and minimize menstrual-cycle acne flare-ups. Another win!
Uh-huh. So this is a license to bin all my skincare products then?
Hon, calm down. Don’t be ditching on your skincare regime just yet. "Sex and masturbation aren't the answer to acne, but they're definitely not bad for the skin," says Dr. Chi.
Well, far be it for us to ignore a doctor’s orders…
Want more on sex and skin? Check out our interview with model, Jordan Murray, on hormonal breakouts and that highly coveted "sex glow".
Title image: God is a Woman, Albert Aublet-Selene, 1880