Is semen good for your skin? Read this before chucking out your moisturizer.

We already know that sex is good for us (hurrah!), but what about the gooey stuff that comes with it? There’s one question anyone who’s been on their knees blindly trying to locate the nearest tissue has wondered: is semen good for your skin?

Spit, swallow, or... rub it on your face?

Woman touching her face looking confused

Semen (cum, ejaculation, man juice, etc) is made up of 2 parts: the sperm and the fluid (otherwise known as plasma). Some people (men, we’re looking at you) have tried to convince the rest of us of the magical health benefits of semen forever. And for a while, lots of us believed them.

When semen facials, which involve literally coating your face in a mask of cum, started becoming on offer in beauty parlors, many people returned to the important question: is semen good for your skin?

Semen facials.

Semen facials became particularly popular a few decades ago, after former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown told women to "spread semen over your face [because it's] probably full of protein as sperm can eventually become babies. Makes a fine mask - and he'll be pleased."

Since then, the great semen debate has continued. And many people (men, we’re still looking at you) continue to argue for the blemish-healing and anti-aging powers of ejaculation.

Happy woman in facemask

Benefits of semen: myths.

Semen and acne.

Part of the appeal of sperm facials is the belief that semen can treat acne. And it is true that semen contains spermine, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as zinc, which has anti-inflammatory, cell repair, and collagen production properties.

Unfortunately, semen does not contain enough of these substances to cause any noticeable improvement to your skin. Semen is known to mildly (emphasis on mildly) hydrate and exfoliate the skin, but not much else.

Semen and anti-aging.

Semen facial supporters boast about the antioxidizing powers of semen for anti-aging. While, yes, semen does contain some antioxidizing properties, as well as more than 200 separate proteins, there is no science to suggest these actually help you look younger.

One study found that injecting spermidine (contained in semen) into cells can help slow the aging process. However, there is still not much evidence for these benefits found from applying semen onto your skin.

So, seriously, is semen good for your skin?

Sorry men, but it’s not as great as you say. While semen does contain beneficial properties, they are not in a high enough quantity to make your skin any better.

Woman ignoring her partner in bed

Sticking to your cleanse, tone, moisturize routine and eating well is a better, but arguably less fun, way of getting the movie-star skin you’ve always dreamed of.

But there are other surprising health benefits of semen!

It’s (sort of) an anti-depressant.

That’s right! Semen contains mood-elevators like estrone and oxytocin, cortisol, as well as anti-depressant prolactin, and serotonin. One recent study actually found that sexually active women who “never” used condoms showed less depressive symptoms than those who “always” or “sometimes” did.

Of course, bear in mind that safe sex is always important. So unless you are in a long-term relationship and you have made other safe sex arrangements, this might not be for you.

I guess all we can say is: keep having all the sex!

It can aid sleep.

Semen also contains melatonin, a hormone that lets your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. This means intaking semen (through the vagina or mouth) in the evening could help you fall asleep, and in the morning could help you wake up!

(Sidenote: it will only have a slight, barely noticeable effect, so please, stick to your morning coffee instead!)

Semen for breakfast? Anyone? I think I’ll pass.

So, what’s our conclusion?

Worried young woman in the shower

Only put cum on your face if you’re really into that sort of thing.

And don't let anyone (men, we're still looking at you) persuade you that semen is something that it's not.

Is semen good for your skin? It’s not bad, but it’s also not good.

Our main advice: if having cum on your face is a turn on, go for it. But don’t go paying someone to do it. And keep hold of that moisturizer - you’re going to need it.