We all have skin, so we all need to take care of it. But there are some distinct differences between a man’s and a woman’s skin and as a result, differing skincare needs.
In this blog, we’ll anatomise men’s skin, provide our dos and don’ts, and share our best skincare for men.
is a man’s skin really different from a woman’s?
Yes! Besides having facial hair, there are structural differences between men's skin and women's skin. Androgen (testosterone) stimulation causes an increase in skin thickness, which accounts for why a man's skin is about 25% thicker than a woman's. In addition to being thicker, a man's skin texture is tougher. What’s more, higher testosterone levels is why men tend to produce more oil, as testosterone is the lead hormone sebum (oil) production.
what about men's acne?
As mentioned, sebum production is greater in males than females, which accounts for why men have longer-lasting acne. Though men have smaller oil-secreting sebaceous glands, they generally have oilier skin.
does men’s skin really age slower?
Regardless of age, men have a higher collagen density than women. Lucky, right? Because collagen content is directly related to the signs of skin ageing, it has been said a woman's skin is about 15 years older than a man's of the same age. However, men tend not to use sunscreens as much as women, which could help explain why the "15 year" skin age difference is not readily noticed. UV damage from the sun can add years to a man's skin and negate the benefit of slowed intrinsic (genetic) skin ageing.
do men need to use male specific skincare?
It’s a common misconception that skincare is gender specific. Although there are differences between men and women’s skin, skin is still skin! What we know about men’s skin, is it’s typically oilier and therefore experiences congestion, breakouts and uneven texture. Also, many men shave, which can leave skin vulnerable and prone to redness and sensitivity. When it comes to creating a skincare routine for male skin, it’s about selecting products that help address and balance these particular challenges. For example, if your skin is on the oiler side, opt for a foaming or clay-based cleanser and a light, oil-free moisturiser.
Even though there are shared skin similarities among men, every skin is unique and can experience an array of skin conditions. At Dermalogica, we have an extensive range of products to target multiple skin types and concerns – it’s designed for every skin.
male skin: dos and don’ts:cleansing
Cleansing is essential and especially for helping to remove excess oil, dirt and grime, all of which can cause, dullness, blackheads and breakouts.
- Don’t use soap as your face cleanser. Soap leaves the skin tight, dry and irritated. This is because soap has an alkaline pH, whereas our skin is more acidic. Instead, chose a cleanser that is pH balanced to the skin.
- Do cleanse every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Although you may feel your face isn’t “dirty” when you wake up, it is! Overnight your skin still produces oil, sheds dead skin cells, plus sweating whilst we sleep and bacteria from our pillowcases all contribute to a skin in need of a clean!
Just like cleansing, moisturising is a daily (AM and PM) skincare essential.
- Don’t skip this step! Oiler skins are often tempted to not moisturise at all, to avoid adding extra “weight” to their skin. But be warned, if a skin is left thirsty and lacking water, it produces more oil in an attempt to hydrate itself.
- Do moisturise your skin daily - just opt for a lighter moisturiser if you’re on the oiler side. Hydration is essential for our skin to function.
This intense exfoliation of the outer skin layers can lead to a more youthful skin appearance. But it can also irritate skin and lead to more ingrown hairs or bumps if your not careful.
- Don’t shave against or across the direction that the hair grows as this will increase chances of irritation, redness, ingrown hairs and razor burn. Shave with the grain!
- Do change your razor blade every 3-4 uses if you shave often, or whenever the razor starts pulling, nicking or rusting. This will help ensure their razor stays sharp for a closer, more accurate shave. You can prolong the life of a razor by drying it off after shaving.
Not every ingredient is necessarily good for the health of the skin, and not every ingredient, although popular or trending, is going to be beneficial for your unique skin. Know your skin type and condition and select your skincare and ingredients accordingly and avoid those known to worsen male skin challenges.
- Don’t use artificial fragrances, even if the product smells great! They are a common skin offender and can cause skin sensitivity and allergies.
- Do looks for ingredients that help decongest the skin and reduce redness. Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that’s lipophilic, (oil loving). This enables the acid to penetrate blackheads and exfoliate in the pores. Salicylic Acid acts like a corkscrew, diving down into pores to clear impactions. Oatmeal, Hyaluronic Acid and botanicals help to soothe, ease redness and strengthen the skin.
Just as skincare is important for all skins, so are professional skin treatments - regular skin treatments with a professional skin therapist will ensure your skin is in its heathiest condition.
- Don’t see professional skin treatments as a “pampering” or “fluffy” service. A professional skin treatment combines advanced ingredients, techniques and technology for powerful results, especially for chronic conditions such as breakouts and redness.
- Do invest in skin treatments and partner with a professional skin therapist. Our PRO Clear targeted treatment addresses all types of breakouts with a thorough, clearing skin treatment. Whether skin is congested with blackheads or active breakouts, PRO Clear helps clear and calm skin’s congestion and post-breakout inflammation, using professional-grade actives and skin soothing techniques, such as lymphatic drainage massage. For a complimentary professional skin analysis and recommended skincare routine, reach out to your local Dermalogica professional skin therapist. You can find your nearest Dermalogica treatment centre via our store locator.
our top skincare picks for male skin:
- Special Cleansing Gel: You can’t go wrong with Dermalogica’s most popular cleanser, Special Cleansing Gel. Every skin can use this soap free foaming cleanser – it leaves skin clean, without feeling stripped or sensitised. It loves water, making it easy to use in the shower and it’s fluffy, light consistency means it can double up as a shaving foam. Be sure to only use a small amount of gel and plenty of water, to create the perfect foam.
- UltraCalming Mist: This cooling, hydrating toner reduces redness fast, making it great to use post-shave and throughout the day.
- Awaken Peptide Eye Gel: This firming and hydrating eye gel, featuring Peptides and Caffeine, helps minimise the appearance of puffiness and fine lines. It’ll help you look more well rested in just 10 minutes, but more importantly, it delivers on long term, visible results. Use in the morning on a clean skin when puffiness is most notable.
- AGE Bright Clearing Serum: A potent lightweight treatment to help clear breakouts and blackheads and smooth skin. 2% Salicylic Acid helps clear pores and reduce breakouts, whilst Niacinamide works together with White Shiitake Mushroom to promote brighter, more even skin tone. It can be used one to two times a day, applying before your moisturiser.
- Calm Water Gel: An ultra-light weight, ultra-hydrating, gel-based moisturiser that quenches the skin like a cooling glass of water. This almost invisible moisturiser contains Dual Hyaluronic Acid technology alongside soothing botanicals, making it a tremendous post-shave remedy and moisturiser in one.
- Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50: Mother nature gave men great collagen so it’s only right to prolong and preserve it by protecting against the number one cause of skin ageing – the sun. This daytime moisturiser and sunscreen in one makes sun protection easy. It’s hydrating, non-greasy and packed with ingredients that help minimise signs of skin ageing. UV Rays are present all year, not just when it’s hot and sunny, making sunscreen a daily skincare essential.