Do men need different skincare than women?

Is there a difference between men and women’s skin? Do they really need a dedicated line of skincare products, or can they use what we ladies use? Since many of our customers are male, it is about time we answered that question. And if any males in your life have trouble taking care of their skin, if there is one thing we learned is to keep it simple.

What is the difference between male and female skin?

Yes, and it is all down to hormones. Men produce more testosterone, and because of it, their skin is about 25% thicker than female skin. Likewise, men have more sebaceous glands and larger pores. They also produce thicker sebum, which makes their skin oilier, and when combined with larger pores, more prone to blackheads and acne. For comparison, our sebum is thinner due to higher levels of collagen.

Once we hit 30, both males and females start to lose collagen. However, men’s levels of collagen don’t decline as rapidly as women’s (which decline rapidly during and after menopause and then settle at a rate of 2% per year). Though signs of aging may hit them later in life, once it starts, the effects are visible quickly. Lifestyle plays a part, too, especially if they don’t moisturise and wear sunscreen regularly (men are at higher risk for skin cancer).

Many men shave on daily, and shaving exfoliates the skin. It can make the skin more sensitive and prone to irritation.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Use a sharp razor when shaving. It might sound like a given, but blunt razors can lead to razor burns, nicks, and cuts. These, in turn, can lead to infections.
  • Good shaving foam or a gel is a must. What do we mean by that? A product needs to lubricate the skin to ensure a smooth shave. But also, it needs to be formulated with ingredients that hydrate and soothe the skin instead of stripping it of its natural oils (which can happen with excessively foamy and alcohol-laden products).

Should men use different skincare products?

Not really. Regardless of gender, our skin’s concerns are the same. Determine your skin type and most pressing concerns and take it from there. Our skin needs to be cared for – hydrated and comfortable, protected against free radicals during the day, and treated with products that target the signs of aging. Most importantly – never, ever forget your sunscreen.

Ishtar products popular with our male customers


Ultralase Cleanse

Our bestselling Ultralase Cleanse is an option for all the gentlemen who are spot-prone. The formula combines 6% Mandelic acid and 6% Gluconic acid, and has a pH of 3.5. It gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, brightens the skin, targets breakouts, and prevents congestion.
You don’t need to use Ultralase Cleanse daily. If you are new to an acid-based routine, use one a day, every other day to see how your skin will respond (we all need different levels of exfoliation).


Cleansing Mousse with organic White Tea extract

Our Cleansing Mousse serves as a fab shave-cleanse combo. Formulated with 100% Ecocert ingredient and a blend of gentle cleansing agents, it cleans and revitalises the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

Bi-Phase Shikimic Acid exfoliant

Bi-phase Shikimic Acid exfoliant is a pre-cleanse treatment to condition and exfoliate. The water phase contains 10% Shikimic acid to gently exfoliate. The oil phase contains 2% Salicylic acid to deep clean the pores and eases congestion. It can be used as a pre-cleanse treatment and followed up with your favourite cleanser or as an intensive weekly treatment.


Hydro-Magic Collagen Catalyst

Hydro Magic Collagen Catalyst contains a 72-hour hydration complex that replenishes the skin’s natural moisture reserves. It also protects existing collagen from environmental damage and boosts collagen production. It is a fantastic treatment for dehydration, regardless of skin type.

Ultralase 10 Mandelic acid serum

Ultralase 10 contains 10% Mandelic acid serum and has a pH of 3.5. It is a leave-on treatment to treat and prevent breakouts and help ease congestion. Over time, it helps fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The formula has a hydrating base that combines natural prebiotics and stress protection molecule Glycoin. Ultralase 10 is the most effective strength for most skin types. We always advise you to start slow – apply twice per week in the evenings to see how your skin responds to the product.


Multi-Ceramide Concentrate

A disrupted moisture barrier can cause problems for all skin types. Multi-Ceramide Concentrate combines skin-identical lipids, sterols, and fatty acids to replenish and soothe the skin. It is a light fluid, so you can use it on its own as a moisturiser or as a treatment serum.

Roberta Striga