Breasts are beautiful. I don't care what size, shape or hue, they're bomb. Yet if there's one thing that is pretty much unavoidable when it comes to them, it's the fact that sooner or later, they're not going to be quite as perky and youthful as they once were. A few things can cause that—breastfeeding, smoking, extreme weight loss or weight gain, multiple pregnancies, illness, menopause, having some really big girls and yes, aging.
While aging is something that none of us can avoid (and why would you want to? It means that you're being blessed with longer life), thankfully, there are some things that can be done to keep your breasts looking like they did, back when you would stare in the mirror, right after getting out of the shower, and smile because you liked looking at them so much. And the really cool thing is they are all-natural. So, are you ready to learn 12 ways to take a few years off of your girls? If so, keep reading.
1. Eat What Keeps Your Breast Tissue Healthy
In order to keep your breasts looking years younger, it's important that you do work from the inside out more than anything else. This starts with consuming a healthy diet; one that focuses on foods that are directly related to breast health. Let's start with omega-3s. Since they are fatty acids that help to balance out your skin's hydration levels and minimize signs of aging, of course, they had to get a shout out. Foods that are loaded with omega-3s include salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, spinach and Brussel sprouts. Citrus fruits, cabbage, broccoli, whole grains and watermelon are good for you because they're full of antioxidants and your breasts can always use some of those. If you're looking to increase your breast tissue growth (so that your breasts look plumper), foods that have monounsaturated fats in them (like olive oil, avocados, cashews, eggs and almonds) should go on your grocery list. And peaches, pears and apples (the apple's skin more than anything) have your back because the antioxidant polyphenol can help to keep your breast cancer risk at bay.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water flushes out toxins. Water moisturizes. Water aids in weight loss. Water helps your body to better absorb the nutrients that it needs. Water improves blood and oxygen circulation. And your breasts definitely need all of these things in order to stay healthy and to appear younger. That's why you should make sure to consume no less than 6-8 glasses of water a day. Shoot, do your breasts a solid and drink some infused water while you're at it. It will give them some extra vitamins and minerals. Plus, infused water tastes less…boring.
3. Work Out Your Pectoral Muscles
I can personally attest to this one. Although my breasts are still looking pretty good out in these streets (not literally but you know what I'm saying), I've gotta admit that they were perkier in my 20s and 30s. A lot of it doesn't have to do with aging. It's because I was more physically active then and definitely had stronger pectoral muscles.
I promise that while you're out here looking for the perfect bra in order to make your breasts look supple and youthful, if you'd just get your chest muscles right, it can take literal years off of your breasts' appearance.
Push-ups are kind of a given. If you'd like to learn about more exercises that can strengthen your chest muscles, check out Healthline's "Try This: 13 Breast-Firming Exercises".
4. Improve Your Posture
I once read somewhere that about 80 percent of Americans have really poor posture. That's not good because that can eventually lead to back pain, headaches, trouble sleeping, digestive issues and yep, you guessed it—sagging breasts. On the breast tip, bad posture is specifically problematic because it puts your breasts in a position that leads to droopiness. So, definitely be intentional about walking with your shoulders back and sitting with your back aligned to your chair. If you'd like to take a bit of a posture test to see how far off from good posture you might currently be, I read an article that can walk you through a quick exercise. You can check it out here.
5. Watch Your Deodorant
You might've heard somewhere that, due to a lot of the chemicals that are in many popular deodorant and antiperspirant brands, it's best to stay away from them. Why? Because they could increase your breast cancer risk. Although Cancer.org considers this to be an unfounded myth, I'm the kind of person who likes to be on the safe side; especially since my girls are large (36H) and I'm getting older. It's taken me a while to find an all-natural deodorant brand that doesn't irritate my skin (and works well). I finally have, though. A company called Deep Well Botanicals has safe and affordable deodorants that come in scents like lavender, bergamot and herbal spice that are made out of ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, zinc oxide, activated charcoal and Vitamin E oil. And since the less chemicals that go into your system, the healthier your breast tissue will be, you can see why it's a good idea to go the all-natural route.
6. Put on Some Sunscreen
I know we all think that Black doesn't crack (it actually can, if we're not careful; check out "Yes, Black CAN Crack. Here's What To Do About It, Tho."). Still, that's not a good enough reason to go without sunscreen. Yes, we have more melanin than other ethnicities and praise the good Lord for it. However, the fact that many of us have gone without protection from UV rays is rooted in the lack of education that a lot of dermatologists have when it comes to how to properly care for our skin.
And when it comes to our breasts specifically, when we don't apply sunscreen to them whenever we're wearing a sundress or bathing suit and the underside of our breasts end up "getting overheated" from the sun, that can lead to extra drooping up the road. It only takes a second to apply a little bit, so as the weather heats up, please make sure that you do.
7. Take a Collagen Supplement
Something that our skin needs is collagen. A part of the reason why is because it's a protein that provides our skin with the elasticity that it needs. As we age, it's pretty common for our collagen levels to drop. A way to prevent this from happening is to take a collagen supplement. It's a smart move when it comes to your breasts because collagen is actually able to make the skin around your breasts appear more youthful; fuller too. That's why it's a good idea to add a collagen supplement to your daily regimen. You also might want to add more foods to your diet that have collagen in them like citrus fruits, egg whites, fish, white tea, bell peppers, tomatoes and bone broth.
8. Wear the Right Bra (Sometimes a Sports Bra)
While some folks believe that the ever-popular statement that 80 percent of women wear the wrong size bra is more of a myth than anything else, chile, I'm not so sure. It was just a couple of years ago that I thought I was a 36DDD, only to get fitted and find out that I was a 36H up in this mug! Moral to the story—if it's been a while since you've had a professional bra fitting (as opposed to a personal bra guessing), there is no time like the present to see what's really going on with your girlies. Once you do get the right measurements, make sure to go with a bra that offers great support over one that is just "pretty". Also, avoid wearing push-up bras a lot. Believe it or not, when it comes to making your breasts look younger, that kind of bra can work against you because it can actually weaken the muscles that support your breasts and that can lead to sagging.
Speaking of bras, if you're someone who works out or your girls lean towards the larger side, make sure to have a few sports bras in your possession. They're specifically designed to help keep your breasts' ligaments from stretching which can also cause droopiness. Plus, you'll feel more comfortable and confident as you're exercising.
9. Wear Your Bra Less, Though
Are you ready to trip right on out? While I was doing some research on breasts, in general, I happened upon some quotes from a book entitledDressed to Kill--Second Edition: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. Something that really stood out to me was that the amount of time that we wear a bra can be directly linked to how much our breast cancer risk increases. For instance, it said that women who wore a bra 24 hours a day had a three out of four chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer; women who wore one 12 hours a day had a one out of seven risk; women who had one on less than 12 hours a day had a one in 52 chance of getting this kind of cancer, and women who never wore a bra had a one out of 168 chance of having cancer.
While I definitely see the purpose in bras and I'm not gonna flat-out cosign on not wearing one, what I will say is if you think about the fact that our vaginas need time to breathe after wearing underwear, why wouldn't our breasts need a break too? Especially if we've been sweating and those toxins get trapped in our bra material and our breasts aren't able to "escape". Yes, bras are supposed to offer up support. At the same time, going without can actually increase blood flow and, believe it or not, can help to improve muscle tone over time.
So, if your grandma had you believing that you damn near had to live in a bra every waking and sleeping minute, let that old wives' tale go. Taking off your bra as soon as you get home and sleeping without one can be the absolute best ways to keep your girls looking younger.
10. Apply Sweet Almond Oil During the Day
I've been a big fan of sweet almond oil for a while now. While I started using it for my face and neck (if you want to remain youthful looking, definitely pay close attention to moisturizing your neck), I've started putting it on my breasts as well. Sweet almond oil is awesome because it contains nutrients like fatty acids, vitamins A and E, protein, potassium and zinc that can help to improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of stretch marks (if you happen to have any on your breasts), can reverse sun damage (over time), deeply moisturize your skin and provide a natural sun-kissed glow to it. So, when you step out of the shower in the morning, apply some sweet almond oil before drying off. You'll love the way it makes your breasts look and feel.
11. Apply Wheat Germ Oil at Night
Before turning in at night, how about adding another oil into the mix? Wheat germ oil is also wonderful because it's loaded with iron, phosphorus, zinc, folic acid and vitamins B, D and E. This powerful nutrient combo is known to provide anti-aging results. Plus, wheat germ oil has been known to soothe the effects of skin ailments such as psoriasis and eczema. So yeah, if you apply sweet almond oil in the day and wheat germ oil at night, you will be well on your way to having absolutely gorgeous skin as far as your breasts are concerned.
10. Take a Hormone Test
As we get older and head closer to menopause, that can cause our hormones to be a little all over the place. This can especially be the case when it comes to our estrogen levels. Unfortunately, when they start to drop, the connective tissues within our breasts can become dehydrated and the elasticity within our breasts can begin to wane too. It can be kinda difficult to simply guess where your hormone levels are on your own. That's why it's a good idea to ask your doctor to check them for you, the next time you have your physical. Being clear on where they're at can let you know if you simply need to eat more phytoestrogen foods (plant-based estrogen ones such as peaches, berries, garlic, sesame seeds and flaxseeds) or if it would be wise for you to receive actually hormone therapy. Either way, balanced hormones mean a healthy body and some pretty good-looking breasts too!
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock