Including sex as a beauty routine might sound far-fetched, but a study from Scotland’s Royal Edinburgh Hospital states, frequent sex can make a person look up to seven years younger.
The 1999 study led by David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, interviewed 3,500 European and American men and women of ages who ranged from 20 to 104 years old over the last 10 years on their sex life.
Factors on whether the participant appeared younger than their physical age included how frequently he or she had sex. Weeks stated in his book, “Secrets of the Superyoung,” that an active sex life is one of the key ways to become younger looking.
Publications like Women’s Health Magazine and The Daily Mail recently revived interest in the provocative study, but two K-State professors would not advise using sex as a beauty routine.
Kelly Welch, assistant professor of family studies and human service, said she believes that sex is not the only factor in a youthful appearance. Most of the time, it is genetic and whether or not the person takes care of him or herself, she said.
David Thompson, also an assistant professor of family studies and human services, said sex is a form of exercise, which can help a person look younger.
Thompson went on to explain that the chemical oxytocin, which is released during an orgasm, makes a person feel pleasurable.
“When one is in a good, harmonious relationship, and the couple are able to deal with the stresses through mutually satisfactory ways, including ‘sex,’ it seems obvious that the person is going to feel less stress,” Thompson said. “Therefore (they are) likely to feel better and look younger than those who are unhappy or stressed.”
Sidney Westervelt, sophomore in family and consumer science education, said when she feels better she tends to feel younger; however, she has reserved feelings regarding using sex as a beauty routine.
“I would not have sex for simply that reason,” Westervelt said.
Cosmetic youth is especially popular in Hollywood, and Weeks includes in his book examples of prominent stars who look young and have active sex lives, such as recently deceased fitness expert, Jack LaLanne, and “Murder, She Wrote” actress Angela Lansbury.
Other factors have great impact on how young a person looks, Welch said. A woman in her 20s would look younger than a woman going through menopause because her skin would have more elasticity, for example, she said.
However, Welch did not dismiss the suggestion that sex could make a person appear more youthful. She warned of the results of the lack of frequent sex as males get older who might have troubles achieving erection.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it,” Welch said.
Thompson agreed with Welch’s opinion on genetics playing a key factor in a person’s youthful appearance.
“One very critical component of aging well and looking younger in the process that is not mentioned is that of genetics,” Thompson said.
Thompson and Welch agreed that the study itself is interesting to read, but the science behind it has yet to be proven because only one study has been conducted