Do Men and Women Need Different Skin Care Products?

It is not unusual to find brands marketing separate male and female skin care. But is there really any reason why men should use different skincare products to women? The short answer is that it does not matter what skincare is used – men can use women’s skincare products and vice versa. The bottom line is that a good quality product, is a good quality product. However, there are some differences between a man’s and a woman’s skin.

One significant difference is that, on average, men tend to have oilier skin. Sebum (oil) production is linked to androgen (testosterone) secretions and this accounts for why men have longer lasting acne after puberty.

The Difference Between Male and Female Skin
Male skin has a more hair follicles, produces more oil and sweat and has a greater density of collagen fibres than female skin.

It is not all bad news for male skin however. On the plus side, a man’s skin is about 20% thicker than a woman’s and is usually firmer because it is richer in collagen and elastin. Because collagen content is directly related to the signs of skin ageing, male skin is more wrinkle resistant than female skin, and is less likely to show the effects of sun damage. In this sense, a man’s skin can be said to need less care than a woman’s skin.

Nonetheless, this is only one aspect of maintaining a clear, healthy complexion. Because male skin tends to be thicker, oilier and more prone to breakouts deep cleansing is a must for men. In addition, male skincare should include daily exfoliation. For this reason men should incorporate Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) such as mandelic and glycolic acid into their routine. Such products exfoliate, preventing both congestion and ingrown hairs caused by shaving. They also have the added bonus of refining skin texture and reducing the visible signs of ageing. Even though men aren’t as susceptible to the signs of ageing as women are, that doesn’t mean they are completely immune.

[pullquote] Male skin has more active oil and sweat glands, which means that men need to pay particular attention to cleansing and exfoliating.[/pullquote]In summary, men and women do not need special men-only or women-only products. However, hormonal differences do mean that male skin has more active oil and sweat glands, which means that men need to pay particular attention to cleansing and exfoliating.

One last bit of advice for the guys – tougher skin does not make you immune to sun damage. Skin cancer kills more men than women. It is thought that this is not caused by differences in male and female skin, but is because men are less likely to pay special attention to their skin and/or seek early medical advice.