Smiling woman twirling her hair while on a date with a man.

It’s the weekend, and you’re going out with your boo thang. Face? Beat for the gods. Hair? Perfectly tousled. Fast forward to eight hours later, you end up looking frazzled and grimy – as if you’ve run a marathon. A fresh zit or two might also make a not-so-welcome surprise appearance. If this sounds familiar to you, you may have a case of "boyfriend air."

The idea that spending a long period with your male SO can glow you down has been one of the hottest of 2023. But as silly as it sounds, boyfriend air exists because of beauty standards that have long influenced your perception of attractiveness. Ahead, we examine the possible reasons behind this theory and tips to combat it. 

Your Boyfriend Might Be Innocent

It’s easy to blame your partner’s lack of personal hygiene as the sole cause of boyfriend air. But the whole “men are messy” cliché is a stereotype rooted in biased (a story for another day). Some guys are naturally neat and organized, just as some gals are untidy. If you’re that worried about his level of cleanliness, it’s a sign for you to buy new bed linens as a for him.

Others have theorized that all the canoodling also plays a role. After all, your makeup is bound to get smudged after a full day of romance, especially when he’s taking you out for an .

Additionally, your easily if he’s the type to pat your head every chance he gets. The natural oils that accumulate on the hands can be transferred to the hair upon contact. A small price to pay if you ask us. Besides, who has the time to do touch-ups when wrapped up in a lovey-dovey mood?

A Healthy Relationship Does Not Make You “Ugly”

There’s a preconceived notion that people – typically women – stop taking care of their looks once they’ve settled down. Of course, TikTok has a term for it: the boyfriend effect. Think of it as the second stage of boyfriend air, where the change in your appearance is more striking.

You’ll see lots of TikTokers sharing their own takes on the boyfriend effect. More often than not, the before photos show their best angles with meticulously done makeup and pretty ‘fits. The after photos are of the same woman, but this time with a , candid expressions, and au naturel hair.

The boyfriend air slash effect theory is by no means proof that women’s looks decline when they’re in a committed relationship. On the contrary, it highlights the unrealistic expectations to be effortlessly “perfect” 24/7 – an impossible feat even for .

Embracing your is far from “letting yourself go.” You should feel validated and loved by your partner, whether or not you choose to glam up. Nothing wrong with sporting a messy bun and your BF’s hoodie. He still thinks you look cute. And as Taylor Swift put it, you can definitely make the whole place shimmer whenever you’re feeling like it.

How to Counter the Boyfriend Air Attack

If you’re planning to stay at your man’s place or whisk him away on a vacation, there are tried-and-true strategies to refresh your skin and hair.

1. Level up your personal hygiene game.

It goes without saying that relying on your boyfriend’s 10-in-1 concoction in the shower is not the wisest decision. Everyone’s skin and hair have unique needs, so be sure to have a set of your go-to products with you. We’re talking shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, soap, face wash, and all that jazz.

If is one of your concerns, wash your face using Dove Facial Cleansing Mousse Moisture Care. It’s infused with 40% Active-Boost serum, , and to keep your skin moisturized for up to 24 hours.

2. Don’t forget your skincare essentials.

Moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens are mainstays in any beauty bag. Beyond these holy grails, having a face mist and masks in your arsenal can make a world of difference. These two items can revive your in a jiffy. 

Also, don’t forget to stash Eskinol Pimple Relief Spot Gel Corrector in your purse. This spot treatment has four acne-fighting ingredients: , cica, , and . Apply it to help soothe and shrink pimples before they get bigger.

3. Do the double priming method.

Want your makeup to stay on longer? Try the double priming technique. Take any oil-free primer and dab it onto your face. Next, layer it with foundation, concealer, and setting powder. Now, here comes the trick. Apply a small amount of the same primer on areas you want more coverage. This extra step mattifies your skin and gives you that blurring effect.

4. Pack a pillowcase.

Bringing along a pillowcase from home might seem a tad high-maintenance, but the benefits are worth it. The accumulated sweat and oil on a pillow can clog the pores and lead to breakouts. Yuck. So, pack a clean one in your weekender, to be safe. Maybe bring an extra one for your BF, too. P.S. A is a lifesaver for frizzy hair!

Boyfriend air is nothing to be afraid of. The connection you share with your SO alone is worth the occasional mussiness. And let’s be honest, you’re a 10/10 catch even when you’re feeling blah.