Wondering why your set isn’t quite as perky as it used to be? It turns out that breast tissue ages faster than the rest of your body, according to a new study published in the journalGenome Biology. We can all agree that’s totally unfair, so here are a few ways to keep your girls happy and healthy—longer!
No wonder the skin here tends to sag—your girls go through a lot! “Breast tissue goes on a roller coaster every time you gain and lose weight,” says Marisa Weiss, M.D., founder of BreastCancer.org. Not to mention how much they can fluctuate during pregnancy and before your period each month. The only way to save the skin is by moisturizing, says Weiss. She suggests sticking to a one-ingredient approach by rubbing something like organic coconut oil over them.
You know you need a good sports bra when you’re working out, but your girls should be properly supported all day long. Ask for help at a lingerie shop or department store to find a bra that fits. “Even running around in your everyday life, have the support you need to avoid some of the stretching out that happens with gravity,” says Weiss.
Seriously, schedule a date with your girls once a month. “You want to make sure you get to know your breast tissue over time so if any change were to occur that persists, you’d be aware of it,” says Weiss. Every month after your period, do a breast self-exam going from top to bottom, side to side, and front to back, says Weiss. Take note of anything out of the ordinary, like bulges, dimpling, rashes, nipple discharge, and changes in size or sensation.
You really can keep your girls looking perky with the right workout. “You can exercise your upper body, especially the pectoral muscles,” says Weiss. “The breasts sit on top of these muscles, so if they’re in good shape the breasts will sit higher.” Check out this breast-boosting workout.
THE BIGGER-BREAST WORKOUT
“We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” Remember that middle-school mantra, and the ridiculous “exercise” that accompanied it—elbows bent like chicken wings, pumping back and forth, back and forth? Lots of good that did any of our 13-year-old chests: We all got what Mother Nature intended, whether it was a perky petite pair or a full buxom set.
That’s because, of course, there’s not one iota of muscle tissue in human breasts. They’re made up of fat, milk ducts, and lobules, connective tissue, lymph nodes, and blood vessels—none of which respond to being “trained.” The only ways to make your breasts bigger are to get pregnant (most women go up at least a cup size when they’re expecting, and even more if they nurse their babies), a fix that’s temporary; or to get implants, a solution that can be permanent but is fraught with potential problems.
We don’t mean to deflate your hopes of enhancing your chest. Even though you can’t increase the size of your breasts themselves, you can make them more attractive. For starters, you can develop the muscles that lie behind your ladies—your pectoralis major and minor—with pressing exercises.
Whether your goal is to prive your pair or to look and feel better all over, here’s a 3-week plan that will help you achieve your goals. Add this circuit to your regular workout 2 to 3 times a week.
Aside from surgery and a solid push-up bra, the best way to fight sag is with perfect posture. Sitting up straight will make your breasts look substantially bigger, says Weiss. Plus, it’s way cheaper than that name-brand pushup you’ve been eyeing.
Hey, acne on your chest happens. Whatever you do, don’t touch it. “Anything on the front of the chest or cleavage can leave a significant scar,” says Weiss. “The skin on that area has seen a lot of sun over the years and doesn’t heal as well as other areas.” At the first sign of breakouts, use a gentle cleanser or topical acne medication, preferably for sensitive skin. If it persists, ask your dermatologist for something gentle but effective, says Weiss.
Don’t assume you only need SPF on your girls when you’re in a bikini. Even a low-cut top can put you at risk for sun damage on your set. “Just make sure that any personal care product you use is healthy for you,” says Weiss.
After all your breasts go through, it’s not too surprising that they often end up with a few battle scars. And unfortunately, these annoying little marks are largely caused by genetics. But here’s the good news: “The pink color and puffiness that goes along with relatively new stretch marks will fade and calm down over time,” says Weiss.