Men Don’t Get a Pass on Skin Care
Many men think skin care is just for women, but that simply is not the case.
It’s a challenge to get men committed to a skincare regimen. I’ve heard every excuse possible including, “Skin care is just for women.” Sorry guys, that’s just not true. There are differences between men’s skin and women’s. But, that doesn’t mean men don’t need to use skincare products just as much as women do. In fact, in some cases, men need skin care even more than women.
One of the most obvious differences between men’s facial skin and women’s is that men grow hair on their face. They can grow a mustache, a beard or even sideburns, if they prefer; something that women can’t do. But, from a structural perspective, there are other differences that aren’t so obvious. A man’s skin tends to be thicker, oilier, higher in collagen density and different in overall texture. But even with these differences, men suffer from the same skin conditions and concerns as women do. They too can experience breakouts, uneven skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and more. Here a few key differences between men’s skin and women’s:
How thick a person’s skin is depends on many factors, including their sex, age and the location of the skin in question. For example, skin on the eyelids is very thin, while skin on the palms is very thick. On average, a man’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than a woman’s. This is primarily due to testosterone. Men’s skin will gradually thin with age, while the thickness of woman’s skin remains steady until around the age of 50, when it too will start to thin, especially after menopause. Because men have thicker skin, they also tend to have more elastin and collagen than women, making their resistance to the signs of aging greater than women’s. Unfortunately, women show the signs of aging faster than a man and are much more vulnerable to the damaging UVA rays of the sun.
Oily vs. Dry
Because men have thicker skin, they also have more sebum-producing glands. A woman’s oil production starts to decrease a lot sooner than men’s, on average by about 20 years. And, it’s these natural oils that help to protect the skin, keeping it feeling softer and smoother. So, while a woman may experience more skin dryness, men may experience larger pores and be prone to more blackheads and whiteheads. Women also do notice an even further increase in dryness of their skin during menopause, a time when a good moisturizer becomes a girl’s best friend.
When it comes to skin texture, there is a big difference between genders. Men have skin that is rougher, primarily due to the fact that the outer protective layer of their skin is thicker. Throw in differences in hormones, oil and sweat production, facial hair, and shaving, and there are bound to be textural differences. Men tend to have acne that lasts longer, they experience more skin irritation and suffer from a condition called rhinophyma, which is only found in males with extreme cases of rosacea.
Sun spots, age spots, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation are things that will affect both sexes. However, since men are less hormonal than women, they are less likely to develop dark spots or signs of hyperpigmentation. In other words, compared to women, men are lucky! As a result, the cosmetic “cover-up” business is booming and, unfortunately, all of us women have had to invest in a foundation or two over the years.
Shaving: Bumps and Sensitivity
Finally, there’s something we women can be happy about: We don’t have to shave. But because men do, they are definitely more prone to shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and skin sensitivities, primarily brought on by daily shaving. Shaving damages the hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin, which erodes the skins natural lubrication and protection. Shaving can also cause nicks and scrapes on the skin, allowing for a man’s skin to become more sensitive and easily irritated than a woman’s.
So what should every man do when it comes to his daily skincare regimen? Easy…
Skip the bar soap.
Invest in a gentle facial cleanser to wash your face. You may have gotten used to using an average bar of soap, but that isn’t doing your skin any good. They contain harsh detergents and deodorizers that aren’t meant for the face. They can disrupt your skin’s pH balance and strip the surface of your skin of the healthy oils it needs. Choose a facial cleanser that can target excess oil, thoroughly remove dirt, oil, sweat, debris and provide much needed hydration. Look for formulas that do not contain sulfates or parabens, but do contain antioxidant vitamins and aloe vera for added hydration.
Due to the thickness of a man’s skin, exfoliation is necessary and can be done more frequently than a woman. Scrub away that dead skin buildup on a regular basis, which will help clear out your pores and ease the frequency of white and black heads.
No more aftershave.
Most post-shave products contain alcohol, hence the burning and stinging when applied to the skin. It’s time to ditch those irritating products because they just aren’t healthy for your skin. They can cause dead skin-cell build-up, which causes hair strands to get trapped in the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and irritation. Invest in an antioxidant-rich facial skin toner that is alcohol-free to help soothe the skin post-shaving. No more stinging and burning for sure.
Applying sunscreen every day before going outdoors is essential for both men and women. But, it’s super important for men. Men tend to be exposed more often than women to environmental factors as, on average, they spend more time outdoors. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 46,870 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 29,510 in women will be diagnosed in the United States alone in 2016.* There is also great risk of incidental sun exposure just from walking the dog, doing a bit of yard work or simply driving your car (Yes, the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass.). So, men and women must always apply a moisturizer containing SPF 30 sunscreen to help fend off the signs of premature aging.
Bottom line, men and woman alike need to take care of their skin. Everyone benefits from a daily skincare regimen that will clean, protect and moisturize their skin. We all need to take care of our skin so it can continue to take care of us. After all, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful!
*Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2016. American Cancer Society. http://ift.tt/20tjte3
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
*Results may very from person to person