We’ve all heard the rumor that going braless leads to boob droop. But does not wearing a bra *really* cause sagging? 🤔
The truth: Ta-ta turndown is usually related to age and genetics, not your clothes.
Here’s everything you need to know about what causes saggy boobs, what you can do to prevent it, and the role your bra does or doesn’t play.
Hate to break it to you, but breast ptosis (that’s the medical term for boob droop) will happen naturally over time. How much your ta-tas deflate is mostly out of your control.
Let’s dive into the most common causes of breast sagging. Spoiler alert: This list does not include any bra-related business.
Yep, the passage of time can do a number on your skin *and* your melons.
First, there’s the fact that the older you get, the longer gravity has to work against you.
But your body also changes as you age. Menopause may get rid of Aunt Flow, but it can also introduce other unwelcome visitors like mood swings, vaginal dryness, and saggy skin. The American Academy of Dermatology Association says your skin will lose about 30 percent of its collagen (the bounce factor) during the first 5 years of menopause. That’s a major loss of support for your boobs.
Your body’s natural breast density, skin elasticity, and boob size can all affect how your breasts look.
Every body with boobs has a different breast tissue ratio. Research shows that some folks have fatty boobs, while others have firm, fibrous melons. Heavy, pillowy boobs are more likely to sag than small, firm boobs. (Thanks, connective tissue!)
Of course, it’s not all about breast tissue. Research suggests that both genetics (the cards you’re dealt) and epigenetics (how you play those cards) affect your skin’s strength and elasticity. The skin you’re in might be thinner and less supportive. Or maybe you’ve got strong skin that holds your ta-tas high and tight.
Major weight fluctuations
Just went through drastic weight loss? You might notice your boobs have gotten smaller and your skin is looser.
Unfortunately, losing body fat = losing boob volume. You might go down a bra size or two. You might experience sagging or nipple migration to the south. This is all normal.
It’s also common to have some loose skin after weight loss, especially if you lose weight quickly. Wearing a supportive bra can help hold things in place, but it won’t promote or prevent true sagging.
A small 2010 research review pinpointed the most common causes of saggy boobs. Here’s what they identified in addition to the Big Three listed above:
- number of pregnancies
- high body mass index (BMI)
- bigger boobs (🎵 “Whoa, gravity is working against me…” 🎶)
- frequent smoking, which can mess with your skin’s elasticity
Oh, and wanna know which factors the researchers found didn’t cause sag?
It’s tough to plump up wrinkled melons without medical intervention or overall weight gain. You can’t have your bod magically produce more collagen and elastin (the stuff that makes baby skin so soft and bouncy).
That said, there are a few tricks to look more lifted.
Perk up your posture
Yes, seriously. Good posture sounds basic, but it works.
Hunched shoulders or a bent back can make your boobs hang low. This emphasizes sag *and* puts more pressure on your breast tissue, potentially causing even more droop.
Wanna see the difference? Try this.
- Gently engage your core. Gotta start with a strong foundation!
- Straighten your spine. Imagining a string lifting the crown of your head. The goal is to un-hunch while maintaining the slight natural curve in your lower spine.
- Tuck your chin. It’s common to jut out your chin when you’re working at a computer or scrolling on your phone, but proper posture requires drawing it back just behind your collarbone.
- Open your shoulders. Gently roll your shoulders out wide and back. You should notice a little lift in your chest. #SagNoMore
- Breathe. Inhale, exhale, and notice how your boobs rest slightly higher.
If you notice yourself sagging and slouching on the reg, try breaking up your workday with some stretching and posture exercises.
Get a better bra
Not wearing a bra does *not* cause sagging… but wearing a well-fitted, supportive bra *can* perk up your pair.
Whether you’re into supportive sports bras or underwire push-ups, the key to looking lifted is finding a good fit. Dr. Google offers plenty of fitting guides to help you calculate your size. Sometimes the sales associate in a lingerie department is also trained to help you find your best fit.
Pump some iron
Some folks claim that upper body exercises can perk up saggy boobs. Research doesn’t really support this, but it does make sense that pectoral muscle mass can help tighten saggy chest skin from the inside out.
Regardless of whether weightlifting reverses boob droop, it’s bound to help you feel healthier and stronger!
Tighten your skin
Full disclosure: The best skin care routine in the world won’t replace lost breast volume. However, tighter skin *can* make your boobs look younger and perkier.
A few ways to keep your skin as tight and bouncy as possible include:
- Nutrition. Nourish your skin from the inside out with fresh whole foods, skin-loving antioxidants, and vitamins for healthy skin.
- Skin care. Using collagen creams, thick moisturizers, and high quality sunscreens can help keep your skin supple, which makes it look and feel tighter.
- Med-spa stuff. Your local dermatologist or med-spa pros can help you sort through options like ultrasound skin tightening, radiofrequency treatments, and chemical peels. (Heads up: These can be $$$.)
Seek help from the pros
The only way to physically re-plump deflated boobs is medical intervention. But breast augmentation is no small (or cheap) thing. If you want to address sagging boobs with surgery, do your research. Schedule a consultation with one or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your region.
Here are some ways to keep your ta-tas as perky as possible.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Yo-yo diets put major stress on your boobs. Do your best to keep your weight in a healthy, moderate zone — and if you choose to gain or lose weight, take it slow and steady.
- Nosh on skin-loving foods. Keep your skin snappy with nourishing foods like salmon, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, and olive oil.
- Stay hydrated. Support healthy skin with a good old H2O.
- If you smoke, try to stop. Tobacco products speed up your skin’s aging process, which could lead to saggy boobs.
Just remember: Saggy boobs are usually related to age and genetics, so there’s no foolproof method of prevention.
Not wearing a bra will not cause your boobs to sag. Boob perkiness is influenced by a combo of things, including:
- skin elasticity
- number of pregnancies
- and more!
If you’re worried about saggy boobs, focus on maintaining a healthy weight, eating whole foods, and exercising your body to maintain muscle mass and good posture. As for whether to wear a bra? You do you.