Clearly, men and women are different – from their hair down to their shoes. So doesn’t it make sense that there would be a difference between male and female skin, too?
Of course there are differences, which we’ll chat about but there are also similarities. Men want healthy looking skin just as much as women do. And just like women, they deal with issues such as skin sensitivity, acne, and aging. They may not be as regimented as women in taking care of their skin, but they do care.
The testosterone hormone is what determines the masculine characteristics of male skin.
Although women have facial hair to some degree, it is typically not as thick or coarse as that of men. Daily shaving stresses the skin and can cause irritation, nicks, cuts, razor burn, and bumps. That’s probably why most of the products men do use are centered on their facial hair.
On average, male skin is about 20 – 25 percent thicker than women’s, as well as having a tougher texture. Additionally, male skin contains more collagen, which gives it a tighter, firmer appearance. Interestingly, however, the collagen in a man’s skin reduces at a constant rate over the years, while the collagen content in female skin reduces later in life, mostly after menopause. Because the thinning is more dramatic over a shorter period of time, the effects of collagen reduction in female skin is more pronounced.
Sebum (oil) production in men is double that of women, and they have more and larger pores. This means that not only is male skin oilier and shinier than female skin, but that they are also more prone to acne and less prone to dry skin.
The higher collagen density in male skin means that it ages slower than female skin. In fact, a woman’s skin is about 15 years older than a man’s of the same age. However, since men are less sun savvy than women and don’t typically use sunscreen, the “15 year” skin age difference is not readily noticed. UV damage from the sun can add years to a man’s skin and negate the benefit of slowed intrinsic aging.
Caring for Male Skin.
To look at all the skin care advertising and packaging out there, you’d think that only women have a need for skin care routine. But that just isn’t so. Because of their unique differences, male skin could also benefit from a tailored skin care routine to help keep their skin at its natural best.
One of the biggest areas where male skin could benefit is in shaving. Careful shaving is important, particularly for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions. Here are some tips:
- First, protect and lubricate the skin with quality shaving products to help the razor glide smoothly over your skin to help avoid nicks and cuts.
- Be sure to use products that are mild and soothing, with antibacterial properties to protect your skin from irritations.
- Always use a clean, sharp razor. This will not only give you the closest shave, but will help you avoid razor burn and bumps.
- And contrary to what many men have been taught, always shave in the direction hair grows, not against it.
To keep skin looking its best for many years to come, men should also consider using moisturizers and anti-aging products specifically tailored for men. These products should be light in texture because heavy, greasy products can aggravate male skin that has been sensitized by shaving.