Some people claim that using certain topical oils on the breasts can make the breasts grow bigger. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. However, using oil on the breasts may improve the appearance of the skin.
In this article, we will look at the claims surrounding breast oil, what the research says, and the potential health benefits of massaging the breasts with oil.
Proponents of breast oil products argue that certain oils can help breasts grow larger, or otherwise stimulate breast health.
These claims can apply to a wide range of oils, including:
- almond oil
- jojoba oil
- olive oil
- flaxseed oil
- soybean oil
- wheat germ oil
- evening primrose oil
- essential oils, such as rose, jasmine, or lavender
Some companies create proprietary blends to sell as breast oil, while others sell individual oils and oil mixes.
There is no evidence that any of these products influence breast growth.
Some of the unproven claims companies may make about breast oil include:
- that it fights infections
- that it reduces the risk of cancer
- that it promotes blood flow to the breast, encouraging more growth
- that it penetrates the skin and encourages growth by promoting fat development
- that it contains essential oils that trigger the release of hormones that influence breast growth
There is no evidence that any topical skin product can affect breast growth, or change the shape or appearance of the breasts long-term.
Breast growth is a complex process that begins in puberty. The rate and amount of growth depends mainly on internal factors. These include:
- Hormones: Female sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence breast growth throughout life. Events that cause fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can also change the shape and size of the breasts.
- Body weight: To an extent, weight gain or weight loss can change the shape and size of the breasts.
- Aging: As someone ages, the skin naturally becomes less elastic and firm. This can lead to the breasts changing shape. Sun exposure, gravity, and other factors can increase these visible signs of aging.
As a result, unless a product can significantly change these internal factors, there is no reason to believe a topical oil could cause breast growth.
However, there is some limited evidence that essential oils – which are highly-concentrated plant extracts – may impact hormone levels.
The role of essential oils
A 2018 study presented at the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting suggests that some of the compounds in common essential oils may affect sex hormones.
Research has linked the topical application of essential oils such as lavender and tea tree to breast tissue growth in males. Additionally, laboratory studies have found that numerous compounds in essential oils can either suppress the activity of male sex hormones, or increase the activity of estrogen.
This suggests that topical application of some essential oils may influence sex hormones, and so have the potential to influence breast tissue growth.
However, it is important to note that all the research so far focuses on breast tissue growth in males. Scientists have not investigated the impact on females.
Additionally, scientists do not know the long-term effects of the hormone disruption essential oils cause. Until the benefits and risks are better understood, it is safer to use only carrier oils, such as jojoba or almond, directly on the breasts.
Another way in which some claim breast oil can improve the appearance of the breasts is through tightening the skin. The idea is that the oils can promote collagen production and make the skin look firmer.
There is very little evidence that topically applying oils can promote collagen production. A 2018 laboratory study suggests that andiroba oil may promote collagen synthesis, but this did not involve human participants.
No studies have assessed whether certain oils can promote collagen production in the human body, or whether this could tighten the skin around the breasts.
However, keeping the skin moisturized can improve overall skin health. Oils can do this by sealing in moisture, helping the skin stay hydrated.
Massaging the skin can also increase blood flow, which may help the area feel temporarily firmer.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that no home remedy for stretch marks consistently works. Many creams, lotions, and oils have no impact on stretch marks at all.
This includes popular stretch mark remedies, such as:
Some products that fade stretch marks may work if a person uses them as early as possible, and then consistently for weeks.
There is no evidence that skin oils will directly improve breast health. However, they may have some indirect benefits, such as:
- Encouraging regular checks: Regular breast massage may help a person become more familiar with what is normal for their breasts in terms of size and texture. This can make it easier to detect lumps and other changes that could indicate cancer or an infection.
- Moisturizing the skin: People with dry skin may find that using oils helps keep the skin hydrated.
- Helping with lactation: Massage may help stimulate milk production while a person is breastfeeding. Some oils can also help with nursing-related skin irritation. For example, olive oil may help soften and remove milk blisters.
Massage can also be pleasurable, either alone or with a partner, which could be reason enough to try it.
However, it is important to note that applying oils may not be beneficial for everyone. Some may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation in response to certain oils.
Additionally, people who are nursing should take care to only use edible, nontoxic oils that are unlikely to cause any harm to a baby. A doctor can recommend suitable choices.
If a person wishes to try breast oil, there are a few things they should consider.
First, if a person has not used oils on the skin before, it is best to choose a single carrier oil, such as jojoba. This allows people to determine if specific ingredients work for them, and if they enjoy using them.
After choosing an oil:
- Patch test the oil on a small area of skin. If any irritation occurs, do not use it any further.
- If no reaction occurs in 24–48 hours, pour a small amount of oil into the hands and rub the hands together to warm it up.
- Gently massage the oil into the breasts in whatever way feels comfortable.
- As long as a person is not breastfeeding, it is safe to apply oil to the nipples.
There is no reliable, scientifically-backed way to enlarge the breasts without surgery.
Some people find that certain exercises, such as pushups or pullups, can help the breasts look perkier due to the impact these exercises have on the pectoral muscles. However, this does not work for everyone.
The medical options for breast enhancement include:
- breast implant surgery
- breast lift surgery
- cosmetic procedures to reduce scars or stretch marks
These procedures can be expensive, and involve risks such as infection, scarring, and pain.
It is normal for females to have breasts that are different shapes and sizes. There is no “right” or “best” size. Beauty ideals can have a negative impact on self-image, particularly in young girls and women. This can affect self-confidence and mental health.
If a person is feeling distressed because of how their breasts look, they may wish to consider talking with a doctor or seeking support resources.
There is no scientific evidence that breast oils can help the breasts grow, tighten the skin, or increase fat deposits around the breasts.
However, applying moisturizing oils to the breasts may improve the appearance of the skin by keeping it hydrated.