Tell your lady to ditch her anti-aging facial creams. Then add that she can also start saying goodbye to her plastic surgery plans (if she indeed has). A new study claims a healthy sex life is the real secret to looking younger.
A research headed by Dr. David Weeks, a clinical psychologist and former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, claims that regular sex can make a person look five to seven years younger.
According to the study, sex triggers the release of endorphins, the "feel good" hormone acts as a natural painkiller and reduces anxiety, aiding sleep. Sex also boosts blood circulation (good for the heart) and the distribution of the human growth hormone (makes the skin look more elastic).
Dr. Weeks and his team interviewed 3,500 men and women on a variety of lifestyle topics. The participants ranged from ages 20 to 104, with most of them belonging to the 45 to 55 age group.
For the first part of the experiment, a six-judge panel tried to guess each participant's age by observing them through a one-way mirror. The participants were then asked about how they deal with stress within relationships, sexual experiences, and even how often they had sex and whether they enjoyed it.
The researchers found out that those who the judges thought look seven to 12 years younger than their actual age were the ones who claimed to have sex an average 50 percent more—equating to around three times a week.
“A strong sex life was the second-most important determinant of how young a person looked. Only physical activity proved more important than sex in keeping aging at bay,” wrote Dr. Weeks.
But that doesn't mean you should spend most of your time cozying up inside the bedroom. The study also states that those who have frequent sex—more than three times a week—didn't seem to enjoy any added benefits.
On the other hand, it was also discovered that casual sex with different partners speeds up the aging process, as it causes premature aging from worry and stress.
"The sex doesn't work [as a "cure" to aging] without a good relationship," shared Dr. Weeks. "It works via a relationship that is very supportive and emphatic, in which both people are physically and emotionally compatible."
He added: “Casual sex would bring a lot of the detrimental things to staying youthful such as anxiety and the absence of security. Both those things are associated with a loss of youth.”