What’s in a Kiss: How kissing benefits your health

What's in a Kiss: How kissing benefits your health

Kissing is a great way for couples to stay connected and for singles to find out whether they and a potential partner are compatible. Some women even say that “they can tell if a relationship is going to work after the first kiss, after the first night of kissing,” according to Michael Caine, author of The Art of Kissing.

It’s amazing how a kiss can be so dynamic: sweet, intense, or boring. But more than feeling oh-so good, kissing has a lot of benefits for your health. That tingly feeling you get whenever you kiss might just be your health bar replenishing! 

Read on to find out how exactly kissing benefits your health.

Boosts happy hormones

Kissing boosts the production of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which you also get when you exercise. These feel-good hormones relax and revitalize you, and even lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Reduces blood pressure

Kissing is good for your heart — emotionally AND physically!

Kissing revs up your heart rate and dilates your blood vessels. When this happens, blood flow increases and thus instantly decreases blood pressure.

Keeps cavities at bay

Kissing stimulates the salivary glands and makes you secrete more saliva in your mouth. The extra saliva washes away plaque and food debris so they don’t stick to your teeth. Thus, helping prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Relieves cramps and headaches

The dilated blood vessels and increased blood flow doesn’t just benefit the heart. These can also relieve period cramps and headaches. Kissing can also help prevent headaches by lowering stress levels, which is a common trigger of headaches.

Burns a few calories

Of course, kissing can’t replace regular exercise, but it can burn about 2 to 26 calories depending on how intense your makeout session is. It’s still a good way to shed some calories in a day!

Boosts self-esteem

As it increases your happy hormones, kissing also reduces cortisol, the stress hormones — and this potentially improves your self-esteem!

In a study in 2016, there were higher cortisol levels in participants who were unhappy with their physical appearance. Another study in Germany found that husbands who kissed their wife every morning before they left for work enjoyed better health, lived longer, and made more money.

More research is needed to explore the connection of kissing and self-esteem, but that temporary drop in cortisol levels whenever you kiss is a great way to perk you up any day!

Reduces stress and anxiety

Speaking of cortisol, kissing, hugging, and other affectionate communication lowers stress and affects physiological processes related to stress management.

Keeps cholesterol levels in check

One study showed that couples who kissed more often had better total serum cholesterol. Having healthy cholesterol levels keeps several diseases, including heart disease and stroke, at bay.

Gives a facelift

The fountain of youth might just be your partner’s juicy lips!

Kissing engages about 2 to 34 facial muscles. Working those lips and facial muscles regularly is like a workout for your face — and neck, if you get the passion burning!

This firms up your facial muscles and encourages collagen production, which helps in achieving firmer, youthful looking skin.


Longhurst, A. (July 13, 2018). 16 Reasons to Smooch: How Kissing Benefits Your Health. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-kissing 

Reiss, V. (October 31, 2014). 8 health benefits of kissing. CNN Health. https://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/14/health/upwave-kissing/index.html 

Davis, J. (n.d.). What’s So Great About Kissing?. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/kissing-benefits#1 

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