What’s the difference? Men v Women Skincare
Are we really all so very different after all? Do men actually need their own dedicated skincare products or is this just marketing?
Well, let’s explore the facts a bit so we can decide if men really are from Mars and women from Venus!
So guess what? Hormones are the main culprits for any physiological variation in our skin. Who’d have thought right?! Isn’t it always hormones?
Specifically it is the hormone testosterone that defines the main structural differences between men and women’s skin and why men are perhaps perceived to age slower than women.
Testosterone controls the thickness of skin and the amount of sebum production in the skin. Indeed, men’s skin is around 20% thicker than women’s.
Collagen too, behaves differently in men’s skin, decreasing at a regular rate throughout life while for women, the decrease becomes dramatic later in life, especially post menopausal when the loss becomes more pronounced. (Hormones!)
Counter to the physiological differences, women are in general, more likely to invest in their skincare regimen, to protect their skin and understand the behaviour and needs of their skin. This links back to the nature versus nurture discussion, regarding skin behaviour over time (link to blog here), understanding what can help build a healthy environment in which skin can thrive.
Knowing men are traditionally less driven to build an appropriate regimen, brand marketing has attempted to reach out through a traditionally biased palette of colour, fragrance and language while the actual performance of the products and the ingredients used, is often very similar to that in “female” skincare. Men and women alike are concerned about the signs of damage to the skin, breakouts, protection and overall skin health and vitality.
All that being said, one thing that cannot be discredited as a key consideration when discussing differences; is shaving.
While acknowledging anomalies and the trends in facial hair, it is otherwise undeniable the stress that shaving can have on skin. It is estimated that men will shave around 16,000 times in their lifetime. Traditionally, shaving products will include ingredients and fragrances that contribute towards dehydration and stripping barrier function, combining this with the premature reveal of immature skin and the stress, reactivity and damage can manifest in blocked pores, shaving bumps, razor rash, dehydration and ingrown hairs.
As Dr Marisa Garshick, Consultant Dermatologist states:
“Men do put more stress on their facial skin when it comes to shaving so it is especially important that men take that into consideration and remember to proper shaving techniques, remembering to change the blade, utilizing gentle cleansers to help soften the hair prior to shaving and regular use of a non-comedogenic moisturizer to minimize clogging of the pores, but keeping the skin smooth.”
Dr Garshick recommends using 001-Pu Purifying Mask to prep the skin for shaving. By cleansing and clarifying the skin it will help provide a deep cleanse, soften and open pores. After washing the mask away prior to shaving, skin is left softer and smoother, helping the glide of the blade and reducing the potential of problems associated with regular shaving. Followed this with 001-Pu Purifying Cream post shave, to help replenish hydration, purify the skin, regulate sebum and soothe the newly revealed skin.
As Dr Marisa Garshick, summarizes:
“In clinic, when we approach specific skin related issues we do take into account some of the differences in men and women’s skin and facial structure. That said, as you understand your skin type and what works for your skin, it is important to stick with it. More research is needed to better understand if and how any of these gender differences should impact our approach to skincare.”
Here at Good Science Beauty, we have made our skincare solutions genderless, fragrance free and suitable for all. Whether your concern is breakouts, environmental and lifestyle protection, hydration – we have a concise range of performance products to choose from, with the promise of real results and skin kindness.