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Does sex benefit your skin? (Photo: Arthur Belebeau/Trunk Archive)
With Fifty Shades of Grey in the spotlight now more than ever, a lot of people have sex on the brain. If you’re planning to get close with someone you love, you might get more benefits than you think: it turns out that sex also has benefits for your skin.
“It’s like the benefits from massage,” explains Jeannette Graf, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. “It’s enjoyable, and you release a lot of endorphins from the feeling of touch, which is a benefit in itself. Sweat also helps with detoxification and calorie burn, and the extra blood flow also helps with lymphatic drainage,” she says. “It feels good both inside and outside the skin, which is great for a gorgeous glow. The idea that you get turned on is an endorphin in itself. Intimacy, sweating, endorphins - it’s all good.”
But wait, there’s more! According to renowned sex and relationship therapist Dr. Emily Morse, that postcoital glow has even more benefits. “Having sex one to two times a week can help increase antibodies that can boost your immune system and help fight colds and reduce toxins,” she says. “It can be also act as a natural painkiller since oxytocin is released during sexual activity, which helps relieve pain. The increased blood flow helps heal wounds more quickly, and the release of oxytocin also helps promote better sleep.”
Morse also notes that sex can increase DHEA, which is a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands, which some studies have shown can boost collagen production. “More wrinkles in the sheets equals less wrinkles on your face. It improves your overall health. Less depression, natural hormones — there’s no downside,” says Morse.
Also, that theory that you look better isn’t just about the medical benefits. “It also helps boost self-esteem,” explains Morse. “If you know your body and your sex life is good, you’ll feel good about yourself as well.” Morse also points out that you don’t have to have a partner to receive these benefits. “Masturbation also receives these benefits. Orgasms, no matter how they come, reduce your stress level,” she says.
Dim the lights and set about getting some skin-boosting orgasmic benefits, alone or with a partner. That glow you see in the morning isn’t just your imagination; it’s your skin thanking you for a job well done.