Have you ever felt a bit grimy after hanging out at a boy’s house? Does your once flawless skin break out, and your formerly glossy hair go lank until you’re back at your place?
Well, there’s a name for that now.
TikTok has been aflame with talk of this phenomenon, with the girlies dubbing it ‘boyfriend air’.
For example, in one clip with almost 400,000 likes, TikToker Taylor Donoghue tells the camera: ‘I am so happy people are now talking about boyfriend air, because I actually thought I was going crazy.’
She goes on to say that she had spent a lot of time at her boyfriend’s New York apartment over the summer, and was left feeling ‘so dirty’ the morning after a shower.
‘My hair was getting greasy like crazy’, she said. ‘My skin was looking different, my makeup wasn’t staying on right. I was like: “What is going on?”‘
Many others have shared clips of them both before and after hanging out with their partners to demonstrate what they clearly feel is the impact of this ‘boyfriend air’
So what’s the deal?
I was truly shook to see other ppl also related to this😭💀 #boyfriendair
Kimberley Medd, Clinic Lead at Face the Future, said: ‘Many factors can affect the skin’s appearance. The boyfriend air theory isn’t directly linked to your skin’s health – there isn’t a direct correlation between having worse skin and being in the presence of your boyfriend.’
Instead, she said it could be down a number of things – from your skincare routine, eating and drinking habits to how much sleep and exercise you’re getting when you’re around him.
After all, how many cishet men have conditioner in their houses? Or even (shudder) moisturiser?
‘Do you do your usual skincare routine if you are at your partner’s house? If you’re skipping steps or not removing your makeup effectively, your skin is going to be more prone to blemishes, dryness and a duller appearance.
‘External factors such as air pollution are also going to influence the skin. Perhaps your boyfriend smokes around you or lives in a city with more air pollution. Air pollution has been linked to ageing skin, a decrease in skin elasticity and uneven skin tone and texture.’
On top of that, diet and stress are also big factors to keep in mind.
‘Perhaps when you’re with your boyfriend, you eat more junk food, or drink more coffee or alcohol, which is all going to change the skin’s health,’ said Kimberley. ‘You need to be eating foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids which will help support the skin’s barrier.
‘Another consideration is if you’re arguing with your boyfriend a lot or spending a lot of time worrying about your relationship, you may have a rise in stress levels. This causes an increase in your cortisol levels, leading to more oil production and a higher likelihood of breakouts and clogged pores.’
Hormones could also be at play here.
‘Hormones do affect our sebum levels – take Estrogen, which helps to stimulate collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production that helps the skin to stay plump and firm,’ Kimberley explains.
‘Our hormones dip just before menstruation, meaning testosterone levels are higher, releasing more sebum and smaller pores, which means it’s easier for bacteria to be trapped in the skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts.’
She also says if you make some lifestyle changes at your partner’s place, and you’re still worried about your skin, you might want to get advice from an expert.
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