Breastfeeding, fluctuating weight, hormonal changes, and simply aging are all purported to take a toll on the appearance of our breasts over time. In fact, I explore this in depth in The Bra Book. While I’ll say it until the sun goes down that the proper-fitting bra will take years off of your appearance (the perkier the girls stand, the younger you will look), until now, there’s been no evidence that any lotion or potion could make the skin on and around our breasts and décolletage look more youthful.
But, according to a new study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, things like breast feeding and moisturizing may stall the signs of aging on breasts, while smoking, sun exposure, alcohol, having a higher BMI, having a larger cup size overall, and multiple pregnancies can age your boobs.
The researchers followed 161 pairs of identical twins for three years and discovered that women who breastfed or moisturized their décolletage had firmer breast skin with less wrinkles. Those who had hormone replacement therapy after menopause also seemed to have more “attractive” breasts.
So is this study further reason to breastfeed your baby? Not necessarily, as the researchers couldn’t determine if doing so was actually the cause of prettier boobs. Breastfeeding in general neither makes your girls look better or worse—something many women mistakenly think.
Related: Are you wearing the wrong bra? Find the right bra and change your appearance.
Pregnancy, on the other hand, may cause changes in your breasts’ appearance due to hormonal and weight fluctuations.
And while the moisturizing finding isn’t surprising, it’s a reminder that you need to apply lotion all over your body, not just on your face and any dry spots. Matthew Schulman, M.D., a plastic surgeon based in New York City, recommends using a product that includes peptides, cholesterols, and hyaluronic acids. "These penetrate the outer layers of the skin and deliver hydration to the deeper layers where it is needed," he says, "whereas petroleum-based moisturizers merely sit on the surface of the skin and are not effective."