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!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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