Leading skincare expert, Andrew Hansford, tells us if men really do need to use a different skincare range to women and we ask Is Male Skincare Stronger?
“I’ve often wondered if the fairy godmother’s insistence on changing the colour of Aurora’s dress from pink to blue in the fabulous Disney movie ‘Sleeping Beauty’ ever had a fable attached to it. Well with male skin care it’s rather apt.
“The differentiation in male skin care regarding smell, colour and placement is an art in itself. In recent years it has grown exponentially so of course the many companies and marketing gurus have really gone to town. Obviously, no self-respecting man would use a product in a pink bottle, far too girlie, but blue yes, very manly. Or would they? I know many that would definitely use their partner’s products in the confines of a locked bathroom. But is there a difference? Well technically yes, but less than you think.
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“”The biggest difference between male and female skin is due to the male sex hormones (yes I thought you would like that) known collectively as androgens. The biggie being testosterone. When men start to climb towards middle age, their testosterone levels steadily decline which can account for the changes in men’s skin and hair.
“There are a few areas that distinguish the sexes or for me ‘pink verses blue’.”
Skin thickness: Is approximately 25 percent thicker in men than women. It also thins gradually with age, whereas woman’s remains constant until around 50. Women also have more subcutaneous fat than men. Which leads to cellulite. Sorry ladies.
Collagen Density: Due to the thickness of men’s skin they have a higher ratio of collagen than women. Which in some camps is why some people believe women age quicker than men. Though with men not tending to use sunscreen speeds that clock up, evening up the race.
Collagen Loss: Men and women lose approximately the same amount of collagen naturally over the years, approximately about 1% a year starting around the age of 30. But as stated as men have more collagen to begin with they tend to get wrinkles later in life. Sorry ladies.
Texture: From a superficial standpoint men’s skin is different to women’s due to the thicker Stratum Corneum (top layer). Also men produce more sebum (oil) which can also account for men getting acne more than women.
Hydration: Men produce more Lactic Acid in their sweat that women and also sweat more than twice as much as women. However, having said this, male skin appears to be better hydrated than women’s, which is fortunate for them as there is less need for a hydrating moisturiser.
One major difference though in the development of male skin care products, is odour control, this is more difficult in males than in females, due to the presence of body hair and the increased production of sweat and of sebum.
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Treating a Man’s Skin
Of course the care and maintenance of a man’s skin is just as important as that of a woman. Even if the man appears to have tough, resilient skin, he may still have internal issues or surround himself in environments that will sensitise him and cause aging, pigmentation and other concerns. Men should mostly opt for an oil free face wash and a light moisturiser and definitely an SPF.
There is one other advantage men have – shaving. This will exfoliate the skin every time plus cosmetics penetrate deeper and more effectively post shave, so products like serums (post inflammatory if they get shaving rashes) should definitely be applied after shaving.
So in conclusion, men don’t really need different product to women but of course that would not look appropriate in their gym bag so by all means relate to Mr. Disney ‘make it pink, make it blue’.
Check out what TA Mag thinks of men’s skincare in MANOISTURISERS