Four Key Differences Between Male And Female Skin (And Why It Matters)
In honour of Father’s Day, this month’s blog post is all about how to care for male skin! For many of us, it might seem like the only difference between male and female skincare lines are that men’s skincare like to use words such as SHARP and MUSK, and are often called BLACK or HUNTER. Names aside, it turns out there are several biological functions that are different in the makeup of male skin vs female skin — and let’s face it, our partners, sons, brothers and male friends aren’t usually the type to do a deep dive on the ingredients list before they purchase the first all-in-one bodywash/facewash/shampoo in the supermarket aisle. Understanding the difference between male and female skin can help you pick up specific products that can do wonders for the man in your life’s skin, no matter his age. Here are four key differences to understand and compensate for in male skincare!
No, we’re not claiming that men can take criticism better! What we’re reporting is that men literally have thicker skin — counted together, the dozen dermal layers which come together to form your skin, the largest organ of your body, is generally 20% thicker in men than it is in women. If you’ve often looked on your partner jealously for how plump and full his skin looks — don’t worry, you’re not imagining it. This thickness in male skin is derived from the fact that men have a higher collagen count than women — collagen, the gold that keeps you looking young and fresh and plump! What this means is that male skin has a higher resistance to harmful chemicals and can generally regenerate faster. What this means is that when you shop for skincare for your man — you can look for stronger ingredients which may be too harsh for you — given that women generally have drier skin — but may just be perfect for him.
Don’t worry — this is a good thing! For women, our collagen levels — though lower than men’s — tend to hold steady up until menopause, at which point production declines rapidly. This is why the bulk of female ageing tends to come later in life, once women hit menopause. On the other hand, men’s collagen levels are in a steady, constant decline from a much younger age. While anti-ageing chemicals such as AHA, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and retinol — which aren’t necessarily always lab-made as all of these acids can be found naturally — are as beneficial for women with our steady collagen levels, men can benefit from earlier, and more frequent use. Next time you’re shopping for your partner or friend, and you want to sneak in a little anti-ageing serum as a treat, don’t be afraid to go for a higher concentration!
STRESS, STRESS, STRESS
While men are blessed with copious amounts of collagen that works double time to repair damage, the act of daily shaving actually increases the sensitivity of their skin, often times to a point where it surpasses that of female skin. Men who shave average at 16000 shaves per lifetime — that’s 16000 times of raking a razor repeatedly over facial and neck skin, notoriously much more sensitive than the skin on your body. It doesn’t help that many men actually do not know how to shave: a blunt razor with inadequate amount of lubrication (or alcohol based lubrication) causes unnecessary stress for facial skin. Not only do you take off the uppermost layer of skin with hair, it also exposes the immature skin underneath to the harsh alcohol based aftershave that saturates the market. Not to mention the fact that men aren’t the type to apply sunscreen as religiously as women — leading to extended, daily damage from blunt razors, alcohol based products, and harmful UV. Next time you’re picking up skincare products for yourself — throw in a good, sharp razor and a non-alcohol based aftershave for your partner or son; you’ll be amazed at what such a little thing can do!
Testosterone has its benefits as a hormone. It’s the primary hormone that facilitates strength and muscle hypertrophy, increases bone density, and equalises fat distribution — in essence, it’s the hormone that’s responsible for keeping both men and women fit and active. However, as men possess roughly 8 times the amount of testosterone as women, they’re also much much more prone to the pitfalls of the hormone: oiliness in skin and large pores. This combination — heightened oil and sebum production then leads to build up and clogged pores, and means that men are on average much more prone to adult hormonal acne than women. Acne is an issue that can result in serious low self-esteem for many individuals, and shouldn’t be treated simply as a matter of vanity. Because of their increased oil production, men can tolerate more drying products than women which may help to lessen acne breakouts. Next time you’re shopping for your man, look for light moisturisers with oil control functions to keep the grease off him throughout the day!