Screenshot of a TikTok "boyfriend air" video

What Is “Boyfriend Air” On TikTok? The Theory, Explained

Maybe it’s time to get an air purifier...

TikTok: @alon.nn

There are some days when you feel like a million bucks, and others when you’re just not looking your best. But TikTokers have noticed a certain pattern to those bad skin, face, and hair days, and according to them, there’s nothing random about it. Instead, users are blaming their boyfriends. Right now, the hashtag #BoyfriendAir has 37 million views on TikTok. The “boyfriend air” theory is simple. It stipulates that people tend to look worse after spending time with their boyfriends — perhaps due to something in the air (or maybe the makeout sessions?).

According to the boyfriend air theory, the more time you spend with your SO, the uglier you look. Think: disappearing makeup, messy hair, and new breakouts. On TikTok, hundreds of users seem to have experienced the phenomenon of boyfriend air — and they can’t stop talking about it. There are plenty of before-and-after videos on the app, showcasing what happens to your appearance after spending some quality time with your BF. As one user explained, “I remember taking a full body shower [at my boyfriend’s apartment] and the next morning, waking up and being like, ‘I feel so dirty.’ My hair was getting greasy… my skin was looking different.”

Apparently, this isn’t a unique experience. Here are some of the most telling comments about boyfriend air:

  • Bf air is so real, how do I come home looking like I was in a tornado every time.
  • He takes off my mascara. How? I have no clue.
  • I stopped wearing makeup to my bfs house for this reason.
  • I swear they steal our energy.
  • It’s not boyfriend air it’s boyfriend hands and mouth.

Below, videos proving the “boyfriend air” theory could be legit:

Some TikTokers are comparing it to “girlfriend air,” which supposedly has the opposite effect on your appearance. Whereas “boyfriend air” causes a glow-down, “girlfriend air” leads to a glow-up. As one user put it, “With the whole boyfriend air thing I saw someone talking about girlfriend air and ITS SO TRUE?! My boyfriend now washes his face regularly, uses separate shampoo and conditioner, is the sole dish washer, keeps our space tidy and so many more things I’ve instilled in him!”

Looks like girlfriend air is superior to boyfriend air, so do with that knowledge what you will.