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Orgasm skincare benefits: Is your best skin one orgasm away? – Cosmopolitan UK

Apr 26th, 2023

Let me set the scene: its lockdown in May 2020 and Im self-isolating at my parents house, having dinner with my family and I cannot hear a thing. Ive spent the afternoon up in my room masturbating and, somehow, Ive orgasmed myself into temporary deafness.

Turns out, its a very extreme reaction people with a vulva can have after orgasming. At this point, Ive got over 15 years worth of orgasms under my belt, but never have I been unable to hear my sister ask if I can pass her the salt. Another unexpected result? My skin has never looked better.

While many spent the pandemic jade-rollering TikTok-induced dark circles or rekindling their love of knitting to curb anxiety, I spent it masturbating. Id never been more sexually frustrated in my life a cruel irony seeing as physical contact was against the rules (for everyone but Matt Hancock, apparently).

Friends and work colleagues were complimenting my skin on Zoom calls and asking what new products I was using, but the thing was, I hadnt changed my skincare routine. Although its not like I could tell my boss, Oh, this glow? I had two orgasms during my lunch break. Im not talking about a permanent rosy finish to my cheeks that a beauty brand could package into a blush and sell this was a glow from within.

As with most people who took up lockdown hobbies, when a normal version of life returned, I couldnt spend as much time on my craft as I wanted to, and my skin noticed. Yes, the government was letting us have sex again and entanglements and situationships came and went but sadly, very few added to my orgasm tally. (Thanks, pleasure gap.) Life got in the way and my skin wasnt looking as healthy as it did during my peak orgasm intake throughout lockdown.

I drafted an array of skincare lotions and potions to try to rectify the issue, but they didnt seem to be cutting it. Nothing was giving me the glow reflected in the skin of selfies past, and thats when it clicked. My skin seemed to fluctuate depending on my sex habits, so I thought Id investigate.

I wanted to see if regular climaxes would bring my skin back from the brink; a win-win situation, if you ask me. At my lockdown peak, I was averaging about six or seven a day I had nothing else to do, other than play Wordle but in non-pandemic life, I decided three felt more achievable. I devised a schedule to do it at the same time every day, meaning Id be less likely to be scatty and forget. I called them my O breaks.

If I dipped below my goal, Id try to make it up the next day, but if not, I wasnt going to punish myself. I scheduled at least one in the morning, one in my lunch break if working from home and at least one before bed. If I was in the office, I would skip my lunchtime O break and have one when I got home instead.

The schedule varied at the weekend, but I found it easier to get the job done than during a busy weekday. It sounds disciplined, but my skin in theory was going to thank me later.

While I diligently undertook my own research, I was also keen to look into the science. Could it really be true that some self-lovin is better for the skin than even the most potent of potions? Because an orgasm is free, after all

Orgasms make your heart rate and blood pressure go up, which increases circulation, providing essential oxygen and nutrients to the skin, as well as flushing out toxins and helping you achieve a glowing complexion, explains Paris Acharya, an aesthetic doctor at Londons Waterhouse Young Clinic.

In fact, research has found that couples aged 40 to 50 who have 50% more sex than the average for their age group look five to seven years younger than their counterparts. The study, carried out by consultant clinical psychologist Dr David Weeks, claims this is due to the endorphins released, plus a boost in circulation thanks to the exercise involved. It also releases human growth hormone, which makes skin more elastic.

The hormone oxytocin is a key player in climax, Dr Acharya explains. Whether its released in high enough levels to significantly impact skin health still requires further research but we do know it helps to reduce inflammation and stress. Both are drivers in many skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, so it may improve skin health indirectly.

And the benefits dont stop there. A study by the University of Michigan found that oestrogen is released when we climax, which has a direct impact on our levels of collagen. Oestrogen prevents the breakdown and reduction of collagen, which helps to maintain structure, thickness and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, says Dr Acharya.

Additionally, having an orgasm releases the sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (we cant pronounce it, either), which is known for its anti-ageing benefits and ability to repair skin and tissues, as well as improving immunity and brain function.

Its not just superficial, though. The link between our brains and our skin dubbed psychodermatology has become a trend in recent years, and it seems our sex lives could play a part, too. Nan Wise, neuroscientist and author of Why Good Sex Matters, believes this is down to what she calls the brain crotch. Bear with me

A region of the brain called the somatosensory cortex allows us to feel touch, temperature and pain sensations, she explains. We found that sensations from the genitals are processed by a specific place within the somatosensory cortex, which we named the genital sensory cortex. (AKA our brain crotch).

The more stimulated you are, the more that section of your brain is activated, which is why some orgasms are more mind-blowing than others. Its also responsible for releasing the good chemicals Dr Acharya mentioned earlier. Dr Wise adds that theres also serotonin, prolactin and internally manufactured mood-lifting opioids, such as endorphins. The feel-good afterglow has its roots in the chemistry of our brains.

A recent study discovered that you can have three different types of orgasms with a vulva. These include the wave (a short burst of pelvic contractions), the volcano (preceded by increasing upward pelvic floor tensions) and lastly, the avalanche (high pelvic floor contractions, decreasing during and after an orgasm).

Questionable names aside, it had me wondering if one type of orgasm was more beneficial than others for my skin Im trying to use my time wisely here. I went to sex educator Stella Anna Sonnenbaum for the answer. The vagina is said to have reflex zones, just like our feet, she explains. Stimulation of different parts evoke different sensations.

Of course, not everyone can orgasm, and its normal to struggle. According to a 2017 survey, only 65% of heterosexual women reached orgasm during sexual intimacy compared with the 95% of heterosexual men, who agreed they regularly orgasm. So how do we get there to reap the skincare and other benefits?

Essentially, youve got to experiment. We all have our own erotic blueprint, comprised of scenarios or plots that really turn us on, explains Sonnenbaum. Personally, my clitoris has always been my pleasure safe haven, which mightve made me lazy with finding other locations. So, I set myself a task to see if these different spots unlocked more skincare benefits.

This Pokmon-esque assignment to catch em all was at times frustrating, confusing and challenging, but also fascinating, giving me a whole new appreciation for my body. Each O break had a different agenda, and afterwards, I studied my skin to see if I could spot the difference, but even Sherlock Holmes wouldnt have been able to work it out. While the orgasms varied in sensation, I couldnt confidently say that various methods affected my skin differently.

If, like me, youre struggling to see any downsides in this approach, Sonnenbaum has some useful tips to get you going. If your partner has a penis or is using a strap-on, she recommends experimenting with angles and depth of penetration. Use a wedge or pillow to lie on during missionary and change positions often, to doggy style or on-top ones, she says. Go slowly and stop between them to let sensations develop.

Another option is getting creative with your toys and scenarios. A fun exercise you can do naked or fully clothed is pretend to make love in a wild way, rolling around, moving and breathing a lot, Sonnenbaum suggests. Set a timer for three minutes and have a giggle together. Then, take turns to explore the receiver is the boss and gives instructions.

If youre following a strict orgasm schedule like myself, youre not always going to have a partner nearby to help you out. In this case, Sonnenbaum advises letting go of any expectations and focusing instead on different sensations. Powerful waterproof wands can be used in the bath on the bony structure of the body, such as the clavicles or sternum, before approaching the pelvic bones and the pubic bone, she says. For internal vaginal and anal arousal zones, I recommend straight, thin toys to explore your arousal map. Take time to breathe breath helps us feel sensations more.

My personal fave is maude's Vibe Personal Massager. Without it, this feature wouldn't exist (yes, it's that good).

Maude maude Vibe Personal Massager

Maude maude Vibe Personal Massager

If theres anything Ive learned, its that your mind has got to be on board. Using fMRI analysis which looks at blood flow to the brain Dr Wise found that women only have to think about being penetrated by a dildo to create an orgasm effect on their brain. Which all goes to show that you should never underestimate the power of a vivid imagination.

No expert could give me a definitive timeline for how long Id need to stick to my orgasm routine to see long-term effects past the regular afterglow. Similar to how a serum affects skin, it differs for everyone. As routines go, however, this wasnt a hard one to stick to. Although I started to see a difference in my skin within two weeks, its still a routine I try to keep up to this day. Maintenance is key, after all.

Following my many orgasms, one thing was conclusive: putting my pleasure first had made my skin happier than Id ever seen it before. Monthly breakouts reduced, while the telltale glow became a regular occurrence.

That being said, Im not sure Ill be chucking away my whole skincare wardrobe just yet. For starters, no climax can provide you with sun protection (sorry), and SPF is essential, no matter the weather. If you also struggle with specific kinds of acne or other skin conditions, your first port of call should always be a GP to discuss the routes you can take.

For me, a skincare and orgasm routine work together in perfect harmony, giving me the best of both worlds. Its similar to keeping a houseplant alive; in order for them to thrive, they need daily watering and the right amount of sunlight. In my case, that means applying my vitamin C serum after Ive had my morning orgasm.

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Orgasm skincare benefits: Is your best skin one orgasm away? - Cosmopolitan UK

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