AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY?
Gentlemen. You may not be as tough as you think. Relax – we’re referring to your skin.
A big misconception is that a man’s skin is “tougher” than a woman’s. In fact, while overall, men have 20% thicker skin than women, men’s skin is more susceptible to sensitivity, skin conditions and infection.
Surprised? Here’s why…
YOUR GENETICS DETERMINE YOUR SKIN
Skin sensitivity is a big part of your genetic makeup. Men’s skin tends to have higher sebum production (oilier skin) and larger pores which can lead to skin conditions and irritation. This is related to high testosterone levels. Depending on these levels, everything from skin texture, hydration, pH, aging and more will be affected.
And, of course, another major difference is because of shaving habits and facial hair, something women don’t deal with, at least not on a daily basis. On average, men will shave their faces over 10,000 times in their lifetimes. This leads to more sensitive skin and many men will opt for beards to avoid shaving or to cover irritation or conditions. Daily shaving can also lead to skin trauma, micro cuts and inflammation as well as bacterial and viral infections not normally seen in women.
The American Dermatology Association reports that wounds from skin trauma take longer to heal in men than women due to the additional and daily manipulation of skin. Male skin also has more sensitivity to ultraviolet light than female skin, contributing to more rapid signs of aging as well as an increased risk for skin cancer.
Male skin has higher collagen levels, yet that collagen decreases steadily as skin ages. This causes a more “weathered” look and because of the thicker texture, wrinkles appear more prominently, primarily on the forehead. Expression lines are more pronounced and eyelids tend to droop faster. Female skin, though thinner, has stronger collagen and estrogen levels. These remain steady until menopause when skin thins dramatically, breaking down collagen, elasticity and hydration levels due to dropping estrogen levels.
HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN WITH THESE DIFFERENCES IN MIND?
Basically, men need to pay more attention to their skin. Despite the differences in skin, women’s skin tends to look better longer because of their routines and habits. Women seek out targeted skincare, specifically formulated for their skin type and concerns. They have dermatologists on speed dial and research the latest medical and cosmetic procedures. And, they use SPF products. Men rarely do any of these things.
Men need to find products specifically formulated for their skin; skincare for men. Just using a daily moisturizer with SPF can help, but a daily skincare regimen is best. This should consist of a gentle cleanser, a day moisturizer with SPF and a night moisturizer.
WHAT TO AVOID
Steer away from skincare that contains menthol, denatured alcohol, peppermint or eucalyptus. These ingredients can irritate skin, so can highly fragranced products. Also avoid facial scrubs as these can cause micro tears and additional irritation on skin. Pass on the all-in-one products. These formulas can also be rough on skin.
When shaving, wash your face with a gentle cleanser first, to help soften hair. Shave at the end of your shower when your skin is most hydrated. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause redness and drying. Use a clean razor, rinsing it repeatedly and replace blade often. Follow with a fragrance free, gentle moisturizer with SPF in the AM, and use a moisturizer, specifically formulated for night use, before bedtime.