These simple tips will help with your overall look, confidence & overall breast health.
Start from the top
Take care of your neck and your décolletage. The skin here is under some strain and needs all the help it can get. It can be stretched with the weight of a heavy bust if not wearing a supportive bra. After the age of 25, the natural amount of collagen that keeps your bust perky diminishes. It’s important to take care of your sensitive skin, just like your face, with the following basic steps:
Cleanse, Moisturise and use sunscreen
The skin on your neck and décolletage is thin and lacking the fatty tissue of your face, cheeks and your bust. If you have any sun exposure, it’s important to use a sunscreen daily just like you would on your face and backs of hands to avoid any sunspots later in life. Sunspots are a telling sign of damage, so avoid these and avoid the damage. If you are not too keen on wearing a sunscreen, keep a cotton scarf handy to throw on when your are caught in the sun. The breakdown of collagen that causes sagging occurs faster from sun damage than aging, so cover up when you can. The higher the SPF, the better.
Moisturise with a thick shea butter or cocoa butter that is similar to a nightcream. Use immediately after showering to ensure maximum absorption or you may want to use specialised bust oil instead. The more collagen produced in this area, the slower the aging (and sagging) process. Massage the cream or oil in with upwards movements until fully absorbed.
Hold them in place
The less weight that is forced on your skin, the better. Support your bust during the day with a well-structured bra that is suited to your body type. If you are fuller busted – invest in bras with good shape and support, with maximum comfort.
Your breasts connect to your chest wall with ligaments and fibrous tissue. If these ligaments are stretched and strained, then sag will occur. Your breasts will sag naturally over time as gravity is unavoidable, but you can help. They can be stretched during puberty, from high impact exercise without support, during pregnancy and from milk production, so it’s best to be fitted by a professional bra consultant to ascertain your correct size and styles that suit your body.
80% of women are wearing the incorrect size bra or even if they are wearing the correct size, don’t know how to adjust their straps and back band to ensure they are achieving the maximum support and lift. Everyone is different.
Most of the time, the reason is because they are buying a size that is too big around the band, the band rides up their back and is not offering the desired support. The wires are not splayed enough to fit and then they dig into your breast tissue that is most uncomfortable. The straps are not firm enough and slip off your shoulders, so the only reason you are wearing a bra is to cover your nipples because it’s not supporting you and this is also another prime time when ligament damage unknowingly occurs.
Fitting your bra
Work out your band size first. This should be firm and snug and parallel to the floor. If it is riding up your back at all – it’s too big around the body. Go down a band size. Many times women think they are a 36D but wear size 10 in clothes. They are actually a size 32F or 32DDD. The cups will be the same as their 36D but the band will be firmer to offer the proper support.
Then work out the cups: If you are fitting wires, make sure that the wire is against your chest wall at the sides and at the front. If it’s not sitting between your breasts, there is not enough fabric in the cups. So, go up a size or 2 to make sure that your breasts aren’t being squashed. If there is a cup seam, make sure your nipple is on the seam and not being pushed down. Avoid double boob (when your top cup edge is too tight) by making sure you can run two fingers between your cup edge and your breast tissue.
Then tighten your straps to ensure they are firm without being tight or loose.
When you first put on your bra every day – make sure the band is firm, that your breasts are scooped into the cups (use your hands not a spoon), that they wires or frame is against your chest wall and that the straps are firm. Over time, wash and wear; the straps will start to slip. Check that they are at a good adjustment to remain firm and therefore doing their job.
Judy Bloom wasn’t far off with her mantra “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” in the 80’s but there’s no way to increase the size of your bust through exercise. You can improve your bust by doing exercises that improve your pectoral muscles. If these are well toned, they can create the look of more fullness and if well maintained can better support your chest.
When you lose weight quickly, it will usually drop firstly from your chest and this can result in the skin to stretch. Then when you put it back on, it will usually go firstly onto your hips. So, no yo-yo dieting.
Exercise of any shape of form is always a good idea as it may be key in preventing breast cancer through generating natural endorphins and alleviating stress and this wards off nasty free radicals. There’s no definitive outcome yet but research and studies show that women who exercise have a lower chance of developing breast cancer also because they have a lower body fat. This means that the storage levels of estrogen are lower that trigger some forms of breast cancer.
We’ve all been told to self-check each month but not many women do this despite the continued recommendations. It’s best to do this check in the days after your period, but not restricted to this time either. Pay attention to any lump that is hard and doesn’t wiggle around. It is recommended that if it doesn’t wiggle and persists, bring this to your doctor’s attention. As well as these monthly checks, book yourself in for a mammogram. Especially if you are over 40 and annually after your 50th birthday. Early detection is the best method for getting on top of a cancerous lump; so make sure you don’t skip this vital step.