Last week, when I was ranting to my dermatologist about a sudden outcrop of acne and dull-as-dishwater complexion, she said all I needed was more sex. Um? Uh? What? Because… WHAT?
Strangely enough, it seems she isn’t the only skin expert who believes that more sex might be the answer to everything from acne to wrinkles. The more I research this subject, the more fascinating it gets… and there is loads of science to prove the connection as well. Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, author of The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Love Making, recounts a study where 3,500 men and women were put on one side of a two-way mirror and participants on the other side had to guess their age. The group with an active sex life had their age underestimated by an average of 10 years, while consensus was that the group with infrequent sex actually looked older!
So, forget those expensive moisturisers and serums: maybe a tumble in the sheets is all that your skin needs. And if you need any more convincing, we’ve asked a few experts to explain exactly how having more sex is good for our skin.
Beauty companies have long been trying to bottle the ridiculously glow-y aftereffects of sex (NARS Orgasm, anyone?) so it stands to reason that skin experts should follow suit. The contributing cause, they have figured, is that a roll in the sheets improves blood circulation, which helps pump oxygen to your skin and make it brighter. As a friend summarised: “It’s happy skin!”
It releases anti-inflammatory molecules
You know all about internal inflammation, right? The kind that gives you acne, wrinkles and a host of other skin and health related problems? Having sex literally bathes your bloodstream in anti-inflammatory molecules such as oxytocin and beta endorphins. Plus, it releases a key hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) that can boost the immune system, give you healthier skin and even decrease depression.
It prevents dry skin
Having regular sex increases estrogen levels and also improves blood circulation. Both these give our body the moisture it needs to stay healthy, while simultaneously improving skin elasticity. Translation: no more dry skin.
It clears acne breakouts
Yes, a good and vigorous session in bed (or on the kitchen platform, for that matter) doesn’t just help you build up a sweat, it also balances your hormone levels. Result: clearer skin. Goodbye, miracle creams and acne meds!
It prevents wrinkles as well!
Sex does 3 things that prevent premature ageing. First, it boosts natural collagen production, which staves off age spots and sagging. Secondly, it releases the human growth hormone, which helps keep the skin elastic. Thirdly, it increases the levels of DHEA (we spoke about this just a minute back), which gives skin a more youthful appearance. Logical deduction? More wrinkles in bed equals fewer wrinkles on the face.
It cleanses your pores
A sexy, sweaty session is something like a deep cleansing facial. The sweat de-grimes your pores of accumulated dirt, pollutants and makeup residue. Yes, you can get the same effect on a treadmill but that’s not half as fun, is it?
It makes you thinner
It’s cold and dreary outside, so you’d rather snuggle down under your cozy quilt and not trudge to the gym? Don’t forget that sex counts as exercise too! Sex burns 200-300 calories in an hour, says my personal trainer.
Yoga will torch approximately 230 calories in that time, dancing will do 260 and walking 310. Do the maths.
And it’s not just the cardio quotient: Nookie releases testosterone, which goes a long way in building and maintaining bone and lean muscle tissue. Thin and toned? Bring it on!
It makes your nails stronger
The same glow-y hormones that are released post-lovemaking also keep your nails strong. Double bonus, at least where I am concerned!
It gives you great hair
Hormones not only control our libido but also the condition of our hair. Research shows that regular sex leads to healthy, luscious hair due to the body’s increased ability to metabolize nutrients efficiently.
Will you ditch your anti-aging creams and serums for more sex?
Photos: Rush and Mad Men