There’s nothing like the luxury of being single. You have all of these free hours to pour into yourself, fleshing out an exhaustingly complex skincare routine and investing in the finest linens to doom scroll in by 9 p.m. This upkeep, however, can become a bit unraveled when you enter a relationship. Suddenly, you’re drinking less celery juice and more red wine, and that glass skin starts looking a bit rocky.

Commonly known as “boyfriend air,” more and more girlfriends are beginning to notice the deterioration of their hotness the more time they spend with their boyfriends. Love is supposed to make you glow, not glow down, so what could be to blame for this wicked phenomenon?

What Is Boyfriend Air?

The discourse around boyfriend air started on TikTok, as hundreds of mirroring stories began to emerge of girls feeling like their skin, hair and makeup wasn’t as slayed after spending the night with their partners.

Waking up at their place feeling dirtier and needing an immediate morning shower, freshly washed hair suddenly looking knotted or greasy, make up not laying down as in-tact or lasting as long are all symptoms of boyfriend air.

As if your foundation evaporates once you’re within five feet of them, day one hair turns into day three hair after a boyfriend sleepover, though this doesn’t tend to happen when you’re having a slumber party with your gal pals! So what’s really going on here?

What’s the Science Behind Boyfriend Air?

Dating someone new usually means a shift in habits, whether it’s our eating, sleeping or consistency with hydration. Spending so much time intimately also means our skin is suddenly coming into contact with things once foreign to it, like facial hair and aftershave products, which can be triggering for sensitive skin.

They may use a different detergent or not wash as consistently as you’re used to. This means you’re laying in the build up of the dead skin, sweat and bacteria belonging to two people, which could make even the toughest of skin break out.

Boyfriend air is even more complex than you may think, though. While it may be a product of their lack of cleanliness, they may not be the only one to blame. As we ease into the comfort of being in a relationship, it’s easy to spend less time caring for ourselves and pouring into our self-care. There may be less thought put into our outfits, our routines and the focus once rightfully devoted to ourselves. The dwindling hotness could not only be related to hygiene, but self-neglect, as well.

How To Combat Boyfriend Air

You’re not doomed to being a less hot iteration of yourself just because you have a partner. If you think you’ve been poisoned by boyfriend air, here are some courses of action you can take:

Don’t Compromise on Your Care

Love can be quite convincing, making it harder to stick to your meal prep when you just want to cuddle and eat a frozen pizza together. Life is meant to be lived and rigid rules can be confining, but don’t be afraid to say no if you know that dairy is your enemy and you won’t wake up feeling like the best version of yourself. Boundaries without enforcement are just suggestions, and you can only rely on yourself to advocate for your needs.

Bring Your Own Things

If you think your case of boyfriend air is a product of your partner’s lack of cleanliness, it may be a little awkward to tell them that they need to grow up and wash their sheets more often. While the conversation should definitely still be had, in the meanwhile, bring your own satin pillow case, bonnet, or face masks to use while staying at their place. Think of it as your Emergency Stay Hot Tool Kit.

Take the Necessary Space

While it may be a bit more difficult if you’ve moved in together, it’s important to take the necessary time apart to feed and nourish your self-care. The distance can enhance how good it feels once you’re back together, plus your body will outright thank you for the much needed break.

You Deserve to Preserve

Love is a beautiful, rare occurrence, and the beginning stages can be dizzying as you find your footing. While it’s important to relinquish control and surrender to the experience, it’s important not to let boyfriend air stop you from living to your fullest potential.