All shapes and sizes of breasts are beautiful, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, the younger-looking and perkier, the better when it comes to our own. Whether you’ve always been on the flatter side or your boobs have begun to sag in recent years, you might be looking for ways to get the girls up and take a few years off them. We talked with experts about ways to get younger-looking, perkier breasts from the least invasive, like simply wearing the correct size bra, to the most invasive surgery options that offer amazing results.
Fort Myers, FL plastic surgeon Ralph R. Garramone, MD says breast augmentations with implants are “the most reliable way to increase the size and improve shape.” As such, it’s one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures, says Houston, TX, plastic surgeon German Newall, MD. “The ultimate goal of a breast augmentation is to enhance a patient’s natural proportions and create a more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing breast profile,” explains Dr. Newall.
Breast augmentations are most commonly performed with silicone gel implants these days, although saline implants are a good alternative if cost or silicone are of concern, says Dr. Garramone. “In some cases, fat can be transferred to the breast. This gives a very natural result but does require liposuction of one or more body areas to ‘harvest’ the fat,” he adds. Occasionally a hybrid breast augmentation is employed, which uses both an implant and fat transfer. This technique is ideal for patients with asymmetries, notes Dr. Garramone.
According to Tucson, AZ plastic surgeon Raman Mahabir, MD, in 2020, breast lifts are extremely popular—there were almost 90,000 performed in the United States alone. A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy “is a surgical procedure that removes excess tissue and tightens the skin in the surrounding area,” explains Dr. Newall. It tends to be best for someone with saggy breasts who wishes to “lift the position of the nipple, reduce the size of the areola and reshape the breast to a perkier look,” says Dr. Garramone.
Although it’s often performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation for those who want a fuller appearance, it can be done on its own. “Those who have excessive breast tissue may choose to have a breast reduction along with a lift to create a more proportional appearance,” says Dr. Newall. “In addition, the size of the areolas may be reduced for a more balanced look to your breasts.”
Dr. Mahabir says the newest technology is radio frequency devices marketed to tighten skin without surgery or scars. “By applying thermal energy to the deeper surface of the skin and deeper tissues, there is a slight contraction or shrinkage of the tissues,” explains Dr. Mahabir. He says that while this option may work for some people, namely young, healthy people with good skin elasticity, the results vary. Dr. Mahabir says he doesn’t offer it in his practice because it tends to “over promise and under deliver.” However, if you’re young with fairly tight skin, it may be worth a try.
Work out your chest muscles
If you’re willing to put in some hard work to achieve results, Dr. Garramone suggests weight training that focuses on the chest. This will help enhance the pectoralis muscle that lies beneath the breast, which “will add volume but not necessarily to the breast itself, but in a bra, you will notice an increase in size,” says Dr. Garramone. Some examples of chest enhancing exercises Dr. Garramone recommends include chest presses, push-ups, chest flys and planks.
Dr. Mahabir says body tightening creams, like Revision Skincare Bodifirm ($260), do work, but “the effect is transient.” He says that as long as patients understand the results will only last as long as they are diligent about using the cream, then it’s a reasonable tool to consider.
Push-up bras, bra inserts and tape
Your middle school self probably owes a lot to push up bras, and the good news is they can still do the trick. “Yes, push up bras work, as evidenced by the enormous success of Victoria’s Secret,” says Dr. Mahabir. However, obviously, the effect disappears the moment the bra comes off.
“A push-up bra will give the illusion of more volume and will enhance your cleavage, both of which can be accentuated by the correct choice of clothing,” says Dr. Garramone. “A bra insert will give the appearance of additional volume and will also enhance your cleavage. Some women, especially celebrities, will use tape to accomplish the same effect.”
Wearing the correct bra size
You may not even need the help of a push-up bra—you may be one fitting away from your best breasts. “The simplest thing is to make sure you are wearing the correct size bra. Studies have shown that up to 80% of women wear the wrong size bra,” says Dr. Garramone. “Get measured and get fitted. A well-fitting, correctly sized bra will give you the most support and will help your breasts look their best.”
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