Keep Your Breasts Perky With These Tips
Not long after your 40th birthday, certain things—like that third glass of wine, staying awake past 11 p.m. and gravity—start to hit a little harder. It's around this age, at the same time you're developing a penchant for "nice" Tupperware and practical shoes, that you might notice your breasts are a little less pert than they once were.
Sagging skin, along with wrinkles and gray hairs, is a part of aging. And the girls, like your lightweight bestie after a shot of tequila, go downhill fast—about two or three times as fast as the rest of the body.
There is some good news, though. While we're still waiting to find a way to turn back time (cue Cher), we're not entirely powerless against the forces of nature.
What causes sagging breasts?
Some people are blessed with seemingly perpetually perky breasts, while others' were never quite jaunty in the first place. If your mom has a perky pair well into her golden years, chances are you will too.
Another factor affecting everyone, great genes or not, is age. While some women's breasts begin to droop in their 20s, most notice a significant difference around the time of menopause. That's because as you get older, your body produces less collagen, the structural protein that gives skin its suppleness. At the same time, gravity is constantly pulling the breast ligaments, gradually stretching them and decreasing their elasticity. As breasts' structural integrity decreases, softness and sagginess increase.
Gravity is constantly pulling the breast ligaments, gradually stretching them and decreasing their elasticity. As breasts' structural integrity decreases, softness and sagginess increase.
As you might have guessed, the larger the breasts, the more prone they are to gravity's wiles. Tiny tatas aren't immune, but smaller breasts with a rounder bottom are less likely to sag significantly than their larger, narrower counterparts.
What can you do about it?
Avoid crash dieting
There are many reasons not to crash diet, including the fact that being constantly hangry is no fun, nor is it doing your metabolism any favors. Moreover, repeatedly gaining and losing significant amounts of weight (i.e., 20 to 30 pounds or more) can wear out your breast tissue like a pair of old gym socks.
Unfortunately, being overweight can also reduce your girls' resolve. For their sake and your overall well-being, if you want to lose weight, try to approach it as a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. It may take longer to shed the pounds, but you're more likely to keep it off and maintain your perky breasts too.
In case you hadn't heard, smoking is straight-up awful for you. In addition to increasing your risk of certain cancers and respiratory issues, it reduces blood flow and oxygen supply to the skin. This damages collagen and elastin, and contributes to sagging and wrinkles.
Stand up straight
Slouching is just giving another win to gravity. Practicing good posture can make your boobs instantly appear perkier and give them a leg up in the long run. If sitting and standing up straight is a struggle, try incorporating more core exercises into your workouts to strengthen the supportive muscles around your spine.
Wear a good bra
It's unclear whether Halle Berry's habit of wearing a bra to bed has anything to do with her impressively youthful pair. Most likely, it doesn't. However, wearing a supportive bra during the day, especially when working out, can help. Bouncing and swinging around can stress the breasts' connective tissues, causing them to sag more quickly. Invest in a well-fitted sports bra for the gym, if nothing else.
You can't change your genes or reverse the aging process, but certain lifestyle choices can help your breasts stay perkier longer. In addition to the above, perform regular breast self-exams (note: Some doctors no longer recommend self-exams, so check with your general practitioner) and ask your doctor about other measures you can take to maintain breast health for life.