Is Sex Good for Your Skin? Doctors Share 5 Benefits

by Rebecca Norris · Updated November 11, 2020

Curious if sex is good for your skin? Read up before you go down.

When it comes to caring for your skin, there’s a good chance that your first instinct is to apply a series of skincare products and drink as much water as possible. But what if we told you catering to your complexion can be a whole lot sexier?

Well, buckle up. Believe it or not, sex might be the answer to your skin prayers.

To learn more about the link between sex and healthy skin, keep scrolling.

Is sex good for your skin?

In short, yes—sex isn’t just good for your skin. It’s great!

When you think about it, sex is a form of exercise and, as you may know, exercise is good for your skin.

“There are known health benefits to regular exercise,” NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, says. “For example, an increased heart rate moves blood through the body at a faster rate. [This] can increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, and ultimately usher away toxins.”

Gay couple in bed after sex, smiling with the post-coital glow

5 Benefits of Sex for Skin

To fully understand how having sex is good for your skin, here are the complexion-enhancing pros of getting it on.

1. Sex delivers a post-coital glow

“A post-coital glow is similar to a glow you may get after an intense workout, in which increased blood flow, a glisten from sweat, and an endorphin rush temporarily improve one’s complexion,” Dr. Camp says.

2. Sex can reduce inflammatory Skin concerns

“Sex and exercise may reduce stress,” Dr. Camp continues. And a reduction in stress means a potential reduction in inflammatory skin conditions exacerbated by excessive worrying.

3. Sex can boost collagen production

According to board-certified dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, MD, of NYC’s Union Square Dermatology, sex reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). This can then make way for collagen production and maintenance to promote fresh, rejuvenated skin and sidestep fine lines and wrinkles.

4. Sex leads to better sleep, which leads to better skin

“Sex often leads to a good night’s sleep. Good sleep habits are associated with cell repair, balanced hormones, improved eating habits, less stress, happier relationships, and a strong immune system—all of which are likely to contribute to healthy, glowing skin,” says sexologist and We-Vibe sex expert Jess O’Reilly, PhD.

5. Sex Can Help Defy Signs of Aging

As Dr. Jess points out, frequent sex improves skin (and hair!) quality, which leads to a more lively and refreshed appearance overall.

“Researchers believe that these beauty benefits are triggered by increased levels of DHEA during sex. Neuropsychologist Dr. David Weeks’ studies suggest that the more often you have sex, the younger you look,” she says. “Those who reported having sex an average of four times per week looked approximately 10 years younger than their actual age.”

One Caveat

Take note that there’s one potential con linked to sex and skin health: It can potentially lead to breakouts.

Just like exercise, Dr. Camp says that sex can lead to breakouts without proper post-coital skincare. “If a buildup of sweat, oil, and grime lingers on the skin, it can contribute to clogged pores and the formation of acne,” he explains. That said, be sure to cleanse your face sooner than later.

Woman clutching bed having an orgasm and experiencing the benefits of sex and healthy skin

Final Thoughts

Last but not least, here’s the real kicker: You don’t need to have interpersonal sex to enjoy the benefits of sex for skin. That’s right—you can usher in your most radiant complexion all by yourself.

Whether you’re intimate with a partner or solo, having orgasms will cause a spike in oxytocin, a key component in all the benefits listed above.

So there you have it: Sex and healthy skin go *hand in hand.*

To discover more health benefits of sex for your body and mind, check out Planned Parenthood’s White Paper on the subject.

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