Many a times I have witnessed my boyfriend reaching for my Elemis Marine Cream to liberally slather it all over his face, without even cleansing first! After I warn him to slowly move away from the precious product shelf in my bathroom, he casually asks “why not? Skin’s all the same, isn’t it?”.
The answer to that is no, skin is not all the same. Not just when it comes to men, women and even children, but to age, ethnicity, and many other factors too.
But today, I want to talk about why your other half, father, friend or brother needs their own skincare routine to enjoy, to benefit their skin to the fullest.
First, for the science
- Mens’ skin is 25% thicker than women’s, due to its higher collagen content (jealous much?).
- Their oil glands are more active, meaning they produce more sebum. This means that their skin is more consistently hydrated in their adult years, but can also become more congested with blackheads and other debris. Whereas women’s is mostly dehydrated, even if they suffer with acne and have more oily skin.
- As a woman hits menopause, the skin will drastically change due to the decreasing oestrogen levels. As men age, due to their skin being thicker, they can tolerate the stronger anti-ageing retinols on the market, whereas women need to ease into it a little more.
- Men and women’s skin PH is a little different. Women’s is higher, leading us to understand why we are prone to dryness more. Men’s PH is lower, which can lead to more acne breakouts. However, a lower PH also locks in that moisture.
- Most also have a beard! They can suffer with in-grown hairs or folliculitis, which can cause irritation and inflammation.
So, all of this means that stealing a woman’s product may not be doing their skin any good, even though it may be more convenient.
I also believe that skincare is a mental experience as well as physically aiding your skin. Men tend to lean towards heavier, more woody smells. Whereas women sometimes like a lighter, perhaps more of a fresh smell. Skincare products take these factors into account too.
So, what type of products should men be using?
Now-a-days, many skincare brands no longer offer “men’s” and “women’s” ranges, although some still do, such as Elemis. This does not mean however, that every single product will work for you, regardless of age or gender. This is why it is important that if you are unsure, to speak to a professional who can offer their advice and recommendations.
There are some keywords and ingredients to look out for when buying your products.
For example, due to the oilier nature of their skin, men may prefer products with salicylic acid in them. This is an amazing ingredient for both men and women who have oilier skin and maybe suffer with acne or blackheads, as it goes deep down into the pores and asks like a corkscrew, cleaning the congestion out with regular use.
So, if a man suffers with blackheads, or even ingrown hairs on the beard area, any product with this ingredient in would work wonders.
Another thing to consider is that sensitivity that can be found after shaving. There are many products on the market specifically for this area, but anything with aloe, lavender or even ginger ,as it is anti-inflammatory, will really help to cool, calm and soothe the skin.
Dermalogica’s UltraCalming line is amazing for sensitive or sensitised skin, and can be used by men or women. The Calm Water Gel is one of my personal staples in my skincare routine. The lightweight moisturiser quenches skin without leaving it feeling heavy or sticky.
If they are looking for anti-ageing products, brands such as MediK8 have an interesting approach. They change nothing in their line-up of products, except for some sleek black packaging which can look more attractive to the male eye. The products, and price, are no different from the normal skincare line. They boast a wide range of Retinols and Retinals that will hit those fine lines, uneven texture and helps to resurface the skin.
Once again, I suggest that if anyone is unsure on their skincare choices, to always contact a salon professional for a chat, or to book in for a facial to properly assess the skin. Many salons offer male specific treatments to treat their skin in the best way, and nowadays, there is no stigma with men going to a salon. Many male celebrities boast their skincare treatments online!