Do Bras Really Prevent Sagging?
If there’s one thing that we women all have in common, it’s this: our breasts eventually start sagging. It’s a fact of life — no matter how small or large your boobs are, no matter how good your genes are or how much you work out your chest muscles, they will inevitably begin to droop as you get older. So naturally, many of us eagerly seek out ways to halt this process. One common belief is that wearing a bra may help to ward off sagging. But is this true? And if it is, which kinds of bras are most effective?
Truthfully, it’s a complex subject — but we’re prepared to answer all your burning questions. Read on to learn how bras can or can’t play a role in stopping your breasts from going south.
Can bras stop sagging?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the reality is this: No, a bra cannot completely prevent your boobs from sagging. But before you get bummed, know this: There are things you can do to slow the process down.
Indeed, a bra will temporarily hold your breasts in a higher place. So if your breasts are already starting to droop, wearing the right underwire bra — whether a demi-cup bra or a push-up bra, can give you some major lift. However, that doesn’t mean that wearing those bras will stop them from sagging. Sagging is merely a fact of aging. As you get older, the ligaments that help keep your breasts looking perky begin to stretch out. Meanwhile, breast tissue gets gradually replaced with fat. And of course, your skin loses some of its elasticity as well. Now add in the factor of gravity and it’s easy to see why sagging is basically unavoidable.
That said, there are other lifestyle factors that come into play with sagging that you can control. And spoiler alert: one of them does have to do with wearing a bra.
Related: 4 Myths About Sagging Breasts Busted
What can you do to stop sagging?
Even though you may not be able to prevent it entirely, here are a number of things you can do to delay it.
One 2008 study at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine found smoking and having a high body mass index, for example, are risk factors for breast sagging. According to a separate study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, smoking breaks down elastin, a protein that gives skin its supple, youthful appearance.
It’s also worth pointing out that weight fluctuation can lead to sagging, as it causes the skin on the breasts to stretch out, so it’s best to avoid any yo-yo dieting.
While exercises like pushups, chest presses, and dumbbell flyes may not stop sagging (they don’t work the breast tissue itself), they will strengthen the muscles beneath your breasts, which can help offer a subtly lifted appearance.
You may want to think twice about sunbathing, too: when your breasts are exposed the UV rays, that can have a negative effect on the skin. You’ve heard how neglecting to put SPF on your face can cause wrinkles, right? Well, your boobs are no different. UV radiation breaks down the collagen in your skin, which accelerates sagging and wrinkling.
But without a doubt, one of the best things you can do to prevent premature sagging is wearing a supportive sports bra. When you work out — especially with exercises like dancing, running, and plyometrics — you subject your breasts to additional strain. Over time, that strain can stretch out the Cooper’s ligaments in your breasts, thus eventually causing them to sag. The right sports bra can minimize bounce, thus limiting strain and preventing that premature sagging from happening. Look for sports bras with adjustable straps and bands that are made with traditional cup sizes (as opposed to XS-XL.) Sports bras that combine encapsulation and compression technology are ideal, especially for high impact workouts. Look for sports bras that contain wide straps and sturdy underbands for maximum support as well.
The bad news? Bras may not be able to completely ward off sagging. The good news, though, is that there are still many things you can do to keep your breasts looking perky for as long as possible, such as avoiding smoking and sun exposure, maintaining a healthy weight, and wearing a supportive sports bra during workouts.
We Highly Recommend
Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.
Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.
If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.
Happy bra shopping!