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29 Jan 2021 (Last updated 26 Jun 2023)

What do skincare and sexual pleasure have in common?

Sexual Health 3 min read
Smile Makers Author
liquid dripping on a hand with a pink background

3 things a dermatologist wants you to know about orgasms and skin.

The Trend Reporter recently reported on two of the biggest trends of 2021 via Well + Good. One is sex. While we think that sex should always be on-trend, we can’t help but love that the world seems to finally be wakening up to what we already knew, sexual pleasure is good for our wellbeing. It feels like we’re in the midst of a self-pleasure revolution, and we’re here at the front ready and waiting to hand you a placard. SEX IS HERE TO STAY.

The other big trend of the year? Skincare. So, we thought we’d put the two together and answer a question that comes back time and time again – can orgasms really give us better skin?

Well, firstly, let’s consider more than just orgasms! We all know that climaxing isn’t the be-all and end-all of pleasure for us vulva owners; the journey feels just as good, right?

Secondly, what if we also consider sexcare in the same way that we do skincare? Searching for the right tools, building the perfect routine, and making time for it – be it every morning and every night, or the one weekend pamper session we all look forward to.

The sexcare / skincare routine.

When it really comes down to it, after all our research, it’s very much this routine – or practice – of making time for self-loving that truly contributes to better skin. The regularity of taking a break to focus on ourselves creates a domino effect of positive consequences. The more we work on our wellness, the more effective results we see. The less stressed we are, the happier our skin can be.

We overheard presenter and author Candice Brathwaite talking about her skincare regime on an episode of Grazia UK’s Beauty Life Lessons podcast:

‘It’s like 15 minutes of just sheer bliss. And, I’ve seen how other people respond to that and, I’m like, is it because the products are working or is it because I’m having a moment of positivity with my own face?’

As we nodded along, we felt inspired – well yeah, we thought, this makes complete sense! Take this idea and put it to our question... do orgasms improve our skin? The end product doesn’t directly impact it per se, but the fact we are having regular moments of pleasure positivity with ourselves and our bodies does.

A dermatologist on sexual pleasure and our skin.

So, we asked dermatologist Dr Hadley King about the skinfluence that more time for self-loving and pleasure can have, and according to her there’s three things we should know:

  1. Sexual pleasure, solo or with a partner, causes a release of oxytocin, which lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and leads to better sleep. Both of which lead to a decrease in inflammation and helps the skin repair itself! See what we mean about a domino effect?
  2. More frequent sexual activity, including masturbation, can affect hormones in a good way. Not only are there more happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin in our bodies, but it also delays the drop in estrogen that occurs during peri-menopause – something that can cause up to a 30% drop in collagen, the protein that helps encourage the renewal of cells to keep the elasticity and plumpness of skin.
  3. The immediate glowing results we see on our skin after sex are from vasodilation of superficial blood vessels in the skin. This leads to increased blood flow, which gives our skin a rosy look and may even help stimulate collagen production!

For more insider skincare tips from Dr King, follow her on Instagram!

So, there we have it. It’s not in the one-off pamper sessions where we see the most results; in skincare or sexual pleasure. It’s in the routine, and time that we take to show ourselves, faces and bodies a little (or lot) of love!

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