Have you ever made any kind of link between the appearance of your skin and your sex life? No? Me neither. It’s not the most obvious connection really, is it?
Well some researchers say it’s high time we did take note of the effect of sex on our skin health!
And I’m not talking about the ancient, perhaps even prehistoric, link between those having the most ‘attractiveness’ getting the ‘best’ mating partner, either.
According to some skin specialists, regular sexual activity, either with a partner or without, has mind blowing benefits… to the skin, as well as our mental health, self confidence and well, relationships.
Intrigued? Me too. So, let’s dig a bit deeper…
In this Article
The Skin Benefits of Having Sex
It turns out that getting jiggy with it (or whatever you choose to call it) has significant benefits to the health and appearance of our skin.
First up, if you’ve ever noticed your face has a certain telltale glow after a session in bed, then you’ve already noticed the benefits sex can have on your skin.
Any kind of activity that gets our blood pumping will also increase the flow of blood to our face. This improved blood flow is caused by the release of a chemical called nitric oxide and brings with it beneficial nutrients and skin boosting oxygen, hence that post coital glow.
The skin cells thrive on all those extra nutrients and oxygen molecules, helping to promote healthy cell renewal, hydration and most importantly - glow. (This boosted blood flow also benefits the hair and nails too, helping them become stronger and healthier.)
Rumour has it that this increase in circulation can also give our lips a little extra fullness too, albeit a temporary one. But still, all the better for kissing with, my dear…
Sex also helps us relieve stress and tension - and feeling calmer helps to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and inflammation, both of which can wreak havoc on our skin
So there’s another skin related plus point for having regular sex. Plus, maybe there is some truth in the ability of sex to cure a stress headache?
Our hormones also significantly affect our skin, in particular the peaks and troughs of oestrogen during our menstrual cycle and the reduction in estrogen during the menopause. When we have (good) sex however, oestrogen levels rise, promoting healthy, hydrated, calm skin.
Oestrogen also promotes the production of skin plumping collagen, so go on, go have some fun!
Rather cutely, sex also promotes the release of another hormone called oxytocin, otherwise known as the cuddle hormone. After we’ve had a great session, it’s oxytocin at play that makes us feel relaxed, sleepy and cuddly and is why we so often need physical, skin to skin touch afterwards.
Oxytocin is one of our happy hormones and it also promotes good sleep. And what’s one of the best ways to improve the appearance of our skin? Yep, you’ve got it - decent sleep!
Staying in bed, for sleep or otherwise, really does seem to be the best place, skin wise, doesn’t it?
Is Sex the Answer to Great Skin?
However, as we always point out, there is no absolute fix for poor skin habits such as smoking, dehydration, sun damage and eating a diet high in fats, salts and sugars. And there certainly isn’t a finite fix that will turn back the clock and reverse the natural signs of ageing that happen to all of us.
But having regular sex (the experts say that reaching orgasm is the most important and beneficial bit for the skin - we say its the most important and beneficial bit full stop), along with eating a healthy diet, exercising, staying hydrated, avoiding the bad stuff (or at least avoiding too much of it) and looking after your skin with the right skincare for your skin type, is almost certainly the answer to the healthiest skin.
So our advice? Whoever you are, whatever your preferences, one partner, multiple or solo - carry on doing what you’re doing - your skin is going to love it as much as you!
Your Sex is on Fire? The Downside of Sex on the Skin
We just have one warning - be aware of how contracting a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, can affect the skin of the genitals, mouth or bottom.
Pubic lice, genital or oral herpes, genital or anal warts and syphilis are all spread by skin to skin contact and between them cause visible symptoms on the skin including sores, blisters, scabs, itching and irritation. HIV has also been linked to a new type of cancer that affects the skin around the anus of men who have sex with men.
The NHS has a wealth of information on all types of STIs including how to find your local sexual health clinic if you need one.
But our advice remains the same - have fun, but keep it safe and consensual. And if you haven’t practiced safe sex, get anything unusual checked out (sexual health clinics really are non-judgement safe spaces, trust me, I’ve worked in one) and even if symptom free, have regular check ups for peace of mind for both you and your partner(s).
Healthy Skin with Sönd Skincare
As ever, at Sönd, we’re here for all your skincare needs. (Well, perhaps certain, sex related, skin conditions are best left to the medical experts, but you know what we mean.) We’ve got all you need for clear, glowing, healthy skin - whether you have an exciting sex life or not…
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.