Is there really a difference between men’s skin and women’s?
Today, the cosmetic market is flooded with options for both men and women. Whether you need a moisturizer, a facial cleanser or even a product to fight those ageing signs that insist on popping up, the stores will always have a product or combination of products to sell to you. But is there really a difference when choosing a product for a man or a woman?
First of all, let’s analyse the differences in the skin of each gender:
Men vs. Women
At a hormonal level, we are well aware that the main difference between men and women are the levels of Testosterone and Estrogen.
The sebum/oil production of the skin is influenced by these hormones, being increased by higher levels of Testosterone, or supressed by higher levels of Estrogen.
In general, this means that men are more likely to have oily skin and be prone to adult acne.
The skin’s natural pH can range from 4 to 7 in the pH scale (measures levels of acidity or basicity), being the estimated average of 4.7.
Comparing the skin of both genders, Women tend to have an average pH of 5.6 while Men have an average of 4.3. This means that Men’s skin tends to be more acidic than women’s and closer to the healthier value of just below 5.
Keeping a balanced pH of the skin is important to control moisture and protect the skin from dangerous microorganisms.
Another clear difference of a male skin is that it is thicker and more enduring. This is related to the amount of collagen produced in the dermis (the middle layer of the skin), which is higher in a male skin. Collagen is part of the skin’s structure, providing it with strength and elasticity.
Regular shaving also leads to an increased sensitivity of the male’s facial skin; however, it can also have an exfoliating effect(a common step in anti-aging routines).
All of these together (unfortunately for the ladies) means that men’s skin tends to age slower than women’s. However, skin aging is not only dependent on genetics, but it is highly influenced by the environment and behavior.
So let’s do a quick analysis on this last factor.
In general, men are more likely to be exposed to the sun, due to work or leisure activities, it is more common for this gender to spend larger portions of time in the sun. And even though women’s skin is thinner and more prone to suffer with the harmful sun radiation, their daily routine is more likely to include sun protection. (This difference in behavior actually puts men at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.)
Also regarding a daily routine, women tend to be more concerned and cherish their skin as a whole, taking care of the body as well as the face, carefully choosing daily moisturizers for the face and the body as well as cleansers. Men on the other hand, mostly just feel the need to moisturize the face and as far as cleansing goes usually just grab whatever is at hand.
How to buy?
So what about the products? Are woman’s products strictly for women and vice versa?
Due to these general differences, products are studied and marketed to come upon the needs of each gender, taking in consideration usability, texture, scent, packaging etc… But is it really necessary?
In spite of the general genetic or behavioral variations, some women can also present oily skin, some man can have dry skin, not all women take the time for a full cosmetic routine, and men have grown more and more concerned with their skin care.
Whether you were born male or female, the important thing is to choose the right products for your skin type, your needs, and that you feel comfortable with. ?