Breast feeding, age, genetics – they may all play a role in your breasts hanging a little lower than you’d like. But these uncontrollable life forces aren’t all that can cause your breasts to sag. Here are five surprising everyday habits that can cause sagging.
#1 – Smoking
There’s a long list of reasons to stop smoking, and you can add “causes droopy breasts” to the top of it. A small study found that more women who sought breast lifts had sagging breasts from smoking than from breastfeeding. Smoking breaks down the proteins in breast tissue that gives breasts their firmness. It also affects the breast skin the same way it does in any other area – by drying it out and creating wrinkles.
#2 – Yo-Yo Dieting
Breast tissue is mainly fat, so when you lose and gain weight repeatedly, the fat cells within the breasts expand and then shrink. The breasts are often the first place you gain or lose fat, and when it happens over and over, it wears down the elastin proteins in the breast and causes them to be permanently stretched.
#3 – Poor Posture
Your mom was right when she told you to, “Sit up straight!” If you need another reason to put your cell phone down and take a break from the computer, perky breasts are that reason. If you spend a lot of time hunched forward, it can take a toll on your neck, back, shoulders and, yes, even your breasts.
Regularly sitting or standing with poor posture means gravity is pulling the breasts further downward and stretching the tissue and elastin fibers in the breasts. So stand straight, sit tall, and try to do some releasing, chest opening stretches daily to help keep your breasts up where they should be.
#4 – The Way You Sleep
Some people have indicated that sleep can affect breast aesthetics. It can be tough to control how you sleep – since you’re asleep at the time. But your sleeping position at night might impact how perky your bust looks by day. Bad news if you’re a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper: over time, those positions can affect the shape of your breasts. Sleeping on your stomach compresses your breasts into the mattress and can prevent healthy blood flow to the area, while sleeping on one side can cause the ligaments and tissue to stretch unevenly as gravity pulls the breasts down further on that side.
Sleeping on your back or using a body pillow for support while you sleep on your side are the best ways to prevent the effects of gravity from working their dark magic on your unsuspecting breasts while you sleep. Wearing a bra while you sleep may or may not help. For women with larger breasts, a bra could be more comfortable and provide added support and lift that will fend off the dreaded sag.
Dr. Adams does not think there is any scientific proof for the sleeping position nay-sayers, but getting plenty of sleep in itself may help your body more than any physical harm that sleeping in certain positions may produce.
#5 – Skipping Sunscreen
Another “no-no” we all know but sometimes ignore: skipping sunscreen. Not wearing sunscreen can also have detrimental effects on your breasts. Breast skin is sensitive, and it should be protected from the sun to the same degree as the skin on the face or neck any time it might be exposed.
Experts recommend daily sunscreen use for the face and neck anytime you’re outside, even if you’re not sunbathing or exposed for extended periods of time. The same rule of thumb should apply to exposed skin on your breasts. When you apply your daily moisturizer with SPF, just extend it a little further down. Don’t forget to lather up with SPF from head to toe if you’re heading to the beach or pool. A tan looks good, but vibrant skin and perky breasts look even better.
Are bad habits causing your breasts to droop a little more than you’d like? We hope these tips help you to keep your breasts in tiptop shape for as long as possible. If your breasts have already succumb to sagging, all is not lost! Breast lifts can restore your youthful breasts by raising and reshaping sagging ones. Just take a look at our patients’ before and after breast lift photos here!