She also gave each participant a skin aging score (SAS) which would determine if that person looked older, younger, or exactly their biological age, all based on typical skin-aging factors (think wrinkles, dark spots, etc.).
The results: Those with higher oxytocin levels had a lower SAS—regardless of sun exposure. How could this be? “The oxytocin receptor, which is found on human fibroblasts has been shown, when activated by oxytocin, to inhibit senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP),” the report reads.
That SASP activation triggers the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which then contribute to skin aging. “Therefore, its inhibition by oxytocin would constitute a protective mechanism,” Hayre concludes.
Of course, this doesn’t mean a daily orgasm or bubble bath can sub in for your SPF when it comes to skin aging or general skin health—but if you need some motivation to put time and effort into loving yourself or another person, consider youthful skin another solid reason.
Yes, this study was extremely small, but it does present some interesting food for thought in terms of skin aging from within. At the very least, it’s a reminder that it’s not always about face creams, tonics, and expensive treatments; it’s about how much we tend to our well-being, mental health, and (in the case of today’s topic) our hormones.