To get rid of pimples, zits, and blemishes, it may be time to take a step out of the bathroom and make a move to the bedroom. Research shows that a good roll in the hay can go a long way in giving skin a needed boost.
Of course, a solid acne treatment plan can't be reduced to regular romps alone. A smart skincare routine should include gentle cleansing, an SPF moisturizer, and a treatment like our cult-favorite Acne Control Complex ($30 + Free Shipping).
But the condition of your skin is a reflection of your body’s overall health—and safe sex is definitely does a body good.
"An orgasm is one of the healthiest things you can give yourself each day," says Dr. Gloria G. Bramer, a Georgia-based certified clinical sexologist.
Read on for three things you need to know about sex and acne.
While acne is not the result of a single factor, a common culprit is an imbalance hormones, which may play a role in your skin’s overall health.
Doing the deed releases endorphins, too. These neurotransmitters produced by the brain reduce pain and give you a natural sense of well-being and happiness. Beyond making you feel good, these naturally occurring chemicals also promote growth of the epithelial cells that aid in the production of new skin cells and boost the growth of natural collagen.
More collagen helps keep wrinkles at bay and can also smooth acne scars, said Dr. Wechsler.
"When you have sex, you're bathing the skin in anti-inflammatory molecules such as oxytocin and beta endorphins. As we get older, we don't heal as often as we repair. But having sex can turn the clock back on that."
Sex also boosts the production of serotonin, the happy hormone that gifts you with a burst of positive feelings to make you feel better, more balanced, and the encouragement to be healthier human.
As all of these hormonal factors are reset, they also help you feel better about stress and anxiety, which factors in acne flare-ups. In other words, an orgasm is a genius way to relax. An afternoon spent in bed with someone special (or perhaps solo) can melt the weight of the world off your shoulders—and your skin.
Since the skin's own oil is a factor in acne, keeping blemish-prone skin properly hydrated can be challenge. But because sex hormones impact the amount of oil our pores produce, regular romps can help bring balance to the surface and prevent dry skin.
Sweaty sex also opens up pores, clearing away dirt, grime, and any residual makeup. Take your excited pores into the shower and wash away the impurities—consider it a free facial. Follow up with moisturizer.
Sex also wakes your senses and increases blood circulation, helping to deliver oxygen to your pores for a face full of luminous, rosy radiance. Sex has even been coined “the fountain of youth”—a British study found that those with an active love life looked up to seven years younger than their actual age.
All this said, don’t hop in bed with someone for the sake of preventing a breakout. Sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt echoes this belief, noting, “When people make a decision to have sex, they don't say, 'I really want to boost my immune system and increase my immunoglobulin A antibodies' or 'I want to increase the elasticity of the skin on my face, so let's have sex.' People have sex because it feels good, they enjoy it, they like feeling close to someone.”
"From a sexologist's point of view it should be included in your routine along with brushing your teeth and washing your hair." —Dr. Gloria G. Bramer
If you do engage in sexual activity, be sure to choose a considerate partner who will show respect for you and any boundaries you may have. Also avoid any behavior that can result in an unwanted pregnancy or transmit sexually transmitted diseases.