Health & Fitness

By Kate Becerra

Let’s face it. The passage of time seems to wreak more havoc on our breasts than on other areas of our bodies. Pregnancy, weight gain and loss, and just every day gravity all take their toll and cause a combination of effects that change the appearance of the bust. While the marks from glorious life events such as childbirth should ideally be worn with pride, most women would like to be able to feel that their bodies can remain as smooth and firm as possible as they grow older. And to a certain extent, they can.

Stretch marks, once they have appeared, will not go completely away, nor will the sagging that naturally occurs with age. Breast tissue contains no muscle, only ligaments and fatty tissue, and once these have stretched there is nothing short of surgery that will change that. But exercises and skin care can go a long way toward maintaining the texture of the skin and the muscular support underlying the breast.

If you take care to keep your skin moisturized during pregnancy and afterwards or during any major weight gain or loss, you can help diminish stretch marks. Several products on the market are made especially for the maintenance of the bust.

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Orlane makes a firming gel for the bust as part of their B21 Thalassotherapy line, based upon a complex formulated from seaweed form Brittany’s Brehat archipelago.

The science: Fortifying and firming the support fibers of the bust through cell renewal.

The aesthetic: Smells absolutely great, goes on light, quickly absorbed.

The result: Provides a supple-feeling skin with the appearance of firmness.

Price: 85.00 Sold at fine department stores.

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Elizabeth Arden doesn’t make a bust-specific product, but rather encourages consumers to use Ceramide Firm Lift Body Lotion on all parts of the body that they would like to see become firmer.

The science: A retinyl complex and special skin-firming ingredients firm the body.
The aesthetic: Silky and light, pleasant smelling, and skin really does feel firmer immediately after applying. Can be used on the entire body with same results.

The results: More noticeable immediately after application than several that hours later. Long-term firmness noticeable.
Price: 36.00

Darphin has a two-pronged approach to bust firming, the light spray-on Complexe Profile Buste which is massaged in, and the luxurious Profile Buste lotion.

The science: Darphin asserts that Complexe Profile Buste actively fights against breast slackening using plant extracts such as centella asiatica, and ginko biloba, Sage, rosemary and lavender oils are meant to firm breast tissue.

The aesthetic: The fluid Profil Buste is an oil-free, lightly scented lotion that absorbs quickly and leaves skin tingling slightly. The spray Complexe, while great smelling, feels slightly astringent and mildly irritated my skin, which is sensitive.
The result: These products, pleasant as they are, can not fulfill the promise they make that the user will regain firmness and that ‘beauty will be restored.

Price: Bust Profil Complex 100.00 dollars
Bust Profil Firming 60.00 dollars

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Where to purchase: Fine department stores.
Pevonia Botanica, an independent line of cosmetics that uses plant formulas to regenerate skin’s texture and elasticity promises to leave skin surfaces smooth, hydrated and youthful.

The science: A combination of plant extracts aimed at smoothing skin.

The aesthetic: The Ligne Esthebuste gel concentrate feels as if it is penetrating the skin and does render the skin feeling taut after application. The Specific Neck and Bust Cream is rich with an herbal light scent and leaves skin feeling deeply moisturized.

The results: Lives up to its promise of leaving skin smooth and looking and feeling hydrated.

Where to buy: www.pevonia.com lists distributors.

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Life Works, an online beauty products company, makes a Beautiful Bust Liquifying Cream. It promises to liquefy on contact and discourages users from rubbing the cream in but rather to let it remain on overnight.
The science: Apparently allowing the product to coat the breasts overnight is meant to make the breast feel smoother and silkier, creating a ‘young supple feeling.

The aesthetic: This waxy, odorless product is reminiscent of Vaseline. After application I was tempted to wipe it off immediately.
The result: I found this product un-useable. However, as the goal in preventing stretch marks includes keeping the skin of the breasts lubricated as the skin stretches during pregnancy, this product may very well provide exactly the necessary components to achieve this.

Where to buy: Online at www.healthwagon.com, and at 9.95 it could end up being a real bargain as a stretch mark prevention measure.

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Sisley has two breast care products, the Phytobuste Botanic Intensive Bust Compound and the Crème Pour les Seins.

The science: Utilizing natural plant extracts (surprise surprise!) such as soy, focus, horsetail and tomato, the products are meant to be massaged in for ten consecutive days, several times a year.

The aesthetic: I cannot imagine using these formulas for ten days and then stopping. I LOVE these two products! After using the Botanical Intensive Bust Compound, I swear my breasts glowed, and the rich, dense bust cream was by far the most hydrating product that I sampled.

The results: It remains to be seen whether ten day usage at intervals over the year leaves me with the same results but on the short-term I found this to be the best product.

Where to buy: Better department stores.

SO the bottom line (wait, let’s save the bottom line for next month’s issue.)
The final thought on these bust creams is that there is nothing in a jar that will lift your bust line to where it once resided or to erase stretch marks.

Prevention is the best way to ensure that the skin surface of your breasts undergoes the least amount of change during pregnancy, weight loss or gain, and aging in general and certain of these and many other products can contribute to that prevention. Be sure to check labels for recommendations of safety of use during pregnancy or nursing.

Originally published October 2003
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