Is Skincare for Men Different Than Women? Let’s Find Out!

For a long time, men’s skincare was practically non-existent. However, it was different during the olden days. History tells us that men used to use all kinds of skincare and cosmetic ingredients. But with modernization, “skincare” has become synonymous with “women.” 

But, the modern skincare industry has demystified male skincare. Pampering your skin is a delight and there should be no gender stereotyping here. The harsh weather condition, omnipresent bacteria, and other adverse environmental factors do not discriminate between the two sexes and affect the skin equally.

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid!

Studies have established that radiant, flawless skin can help boost one’s self-esteem. Today’s men are not only concerned about their skin, but also invest in personal grooming products. It has been found that men now start to care for their skin from a young age. 

But, do men’s skincare differ from women’s skincare ingredients, or do they have similar compositions? This article will explore whether men really need specialized skincare ingredients or are all skincare products for men just marketing hoax?

How Does Men’s Skin Differ From Women’s Skin?

Biologically speaking, men’s skin is different from women’s skin with respect to pH level, sebum production, sweat glands, and hair growth. This is why men have different skin care needs. Let’s take a look at the factors that make male skin different from female. 

Hormone: The male hormone, testosterone, contributes to developing the masculine characteristics of the male skin. Higher testosterone level in men makes their skin thicker and increases sebum production than in women. The male hormone also slows the aging of male skin. 

Skin Thickness: Male skin is 20% thicker than female skin. Men also have higher collagen which makes their skin firmer and more resilient. Unlike women, who begin to experience a drastic decline in collagen production after they hit menopause, collagen degeneration in men is slower.

Sebum Production:  Sebaceous glands in men are more active than in women, They also have larger skin pores. Men produce almost twice the amount of sebum as women, making their skin oilier and shinier.

pH Level: Men have lower skin pH (mean pH =5.8) than women (mean pH = 5.54) which attracts impurities and makes their skin more susceptible to developing acne.

Aging: Men’s skin age much slower than women’s. However, they may experience skin sagging, dark circles, and puffy eyes. 

Frequent Shaving: A man shaves their face approximately 16000 times in their lifetime. Regular shaving removes the superficial skin layer, making the skin more sensitive and more prone to irritation. However, shaving also helps newer skin cells from underneath. A large number of men also experience shaving-related skin issues. Using blunt blades or lack of lubrication can cause nicks, cuts, or razor bumps. 

Can Men Use Female Skincare Products?

Contrary to the advertisements that often shame men who use women’s female skincare products, there is no harm for men in using them. However, those products might be unnecessary for male facial skin. 

As male skin does not age like female skin, they do not need expensive anti-aging creams. More sebum synthesis in men also keeps their skin moisturized for a long time, thereby limiting the need for frequent moisturization. 

Shaving also helps exfoliate dead skin cells from facial skin, thus, limiting the need for chemical or physical exfoliants. In addition, sun rays can affect both men’s and women’s skin and cause photodamage. Thus, good broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential for both sexes.  

What Should Men Include In Their Skincare Regime?

As we have learned earlier, men’s skin is biologically different than women’s. Their skin concerns are different from women too. Most men are distressed with razor burns, ingrown hair, and bumpy facial skin due to frequent shaving. Men also develop hormone-induced pimples, especially during puberty. A simple yet moderately invasive skincare regime can help relieve the common skincare issues faced by men. 

1. Cleanser

Cleansing the skin is important for both men and women. But regular soaps do not usually help cleanse the skin properly. Skincare experts recommend using gentle cleansers with simple formulations. 

You can look for cleansers with activated charcoal. It will help pull out dirt, grime, and microbes from the skin pores and reduces the risk of developing acne. Dermatologists also recommend avoiding ingredients like parabens, phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and fragrances. 

2. Toner

Toner is an essential component of a proper skincare regime. It helps maintain the balance of the pH of the skin and helps restore the natural oil balance of the skin. 

Men usually have large pores than women, which increases the risk of clogging and breakouts. A good toner helps tighten open pores and reduces the risk of pore-clogging. As a result, dirt and microbes have a hard time penetrating the skin and cause acne. 

3. Moisturizer

Harsh weather affects both men’s and women’s skin adversely. Thus, you can never compromise on a good moisturizer irrespective of your gender. Though men produce more sebum than women, harsh weather conditions can steal the natural moisture of your skin. A good moisturizer helps replenish the lost moisture and protects the viability of the skin cells. 

Regular shaving can make men’s skin hard and prickly. It can also over-exfoliate the skin and remove its protective barrier. Using a decent moisturizer helps soothe the skin, and restore and strengthen the natural defense mechanism. 

Though much later than women, men do show signs of aging eventually. The regular moisturization helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and retain your youthful look for a long time. 

Skin experts recommend men use retinol-infused moisturizer before retiring to bed can help reverse signs of aging. Retinol helps promote collagen production in the skin, thereby making the skin firmer and more resilient.

4. Chemical Peels

As mentioned earlier, regular facial shaving helps exfoliate dead skin cells. But, it does not help remove dirt and grime that clogs the skin pores. Also, frequent shaving can increase the risk of ingrown hair. This is why dermatologists often suggest men use chemical peels. 

These ingredients not only help slough off the dead and dried-up skin cells from the superficial dermal layer but also helps reduce the risk of ingrown hair. It will also help stimulate new skin cell production, make the skin tighter and smoother, reduce wrinkles, and make the skin look more youthful.

5. Broad-spectrum Sunscreen 

The sun does not discriminate! Prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage the integrity of skin cells, thereby lowering their immune power. It also causes sun spots, sunburn, redness, and irritation. It can also trigger the premature appearance of signs of aging. Thus, a good broad-spectrum sunscreen should be an indispensable component of everyone’s skincare regime irrespective of their gender.

Acne Care for Men:

Frequent shaving and excess sebum generation contribute to the development of acne and breakouts in men. Active ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help treat acne and give you smooth skin. 

When to Use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a mild Alpha Hydroxy-acid that acts as a pre-shave exfoliant. This ingredient is particularly beneficial for men with anti-inflammatory acne. It helps get rid of dead skin cells, dirt, grime, and microbes from the skin layer. Also, salicylic acid helps remove the excess sebum, thereby reducing the risk of skin breakouts. Salicylic acid is also an antioxidant ingredient that helps combat skin irritation, rashes, and redness caused due to frequent shaving.

When to Use Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a potent skincare ingredient that helps treat inflammatory acne by reducing the growth and proliferation of acne-causing bacteria. However, Benzoyl peroxide is comparatively harsher than salicylic acid. If applied in high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation and redness. Dermatologists recommend using no more than 2.5% of Benzoyl peroxide on your skin.

Take Away:

Men’s skin differs biologically from women’s. Though they do not need specialized products for their skin, they often need a different approach to improving their skin health. 

The skincare regime for men is usually simple and fuss-free. They do not need much to take proper care of their skin. A mild cleanser, a proper toner, and a suitable moisturizer can go a long way. 

We hope this article has helped you understand why and how men’s skincare differs from women’s. If you have any more concerns about your skin, make sure you consult your dermatologist. Till then, enjoy self-care!