Should Men and Women’s Skincare be Identical?
The wide variety of skincare products available on the market makes a clear distinction between men’s and women’s needs for facial and body care. However, are there significant differences between products outside of powerful marketing and different scents? Dermatologists have found enough differences worth noting in the various options for men and women.
The Difference Between Skin Types
Many women have complained that men age differently than women or that it seems they don’t age at all. There is some validity to this! Men’s skin is thicker and has higher collagen levels, which helps them seem ageless at times. Men have very active oil glands that create in-out moisture well into adulthood. These two reasons are why some men “never age.” However, their skin is aging, but they have consistent benefits that change for women when they approach menopause. Lowering estrogen levels can have dramatic effects on skin health and appearance. Many women’s products are anti-aging, whereas men’s skincare products do not have the same emphasis.
Products Supplement What is Lacking
Men’s skincare products often have retinol in them, and this is because men’s collagen levels will gradually decline. Additionally, many men’s products, especially for facial care, include soothing ingredients in gels to help ease some of the discomforts of shaving. Products are available that help men address bumps and rashes after shaving that most women do not experience because the face is significantly more sensitive to razors. Treating ingrown hairs and acne from the shaving process is another challenge men face in grooming. Although products claim to minimize ingrown hair irritation, this is often a condition a licensed dermatologist would recommend a treatment plan to manage.
Women’s skincare products focus on adding moisture to the skin since lower sebum production naturally happens with age. Sebum is an oily substance with antibacterial properties that come from the sebaceous glands on the skin. Produced as protection from allowing the skin to get too dry, as sebum production slows, many face hurdles to maintain the body’s moisture. As hormones change dramatically for women, some experience teenage-like acne even if they never had it as a youth. Products focus on exfoliants, but these can often be harsh and should be used cautiously. Acne treatments can also have powerful ingredients that may worsen the skin’s condition. If this occurs, contact a reputable and professional dermatologist to help get your skincare back on track!
Lotions, and Serums, and Creams, Oh My!
Although many skin care products could be considered unisex, there are different needs between men’s skin and women’s skin, especially with age. Depending on some of the issues or concerns, most people will try over-the-counter products first because they are more accessible. This can be completely acceptable if it is simply dry lips or sunscreen for the beach. However, when people typically adopt skincare routines, there is a specific issue they want to address and improve.
Let’s take finding eye area skincare, for example. There are day creams, night creams, brightening creams, and tightening creams (this is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book!). The question most ponder, staring at option after option on the counter, is, which do I need more? This confusion is often because people want solutions to all the above, and rarely do creams claim to do all things in one simple package for the eye area. See last month’s blog on layering, and that gives you an idea of the length people are willing to go to get the results they seek.
What most people don’t consider is that asking a licensed dermatologist can simplify the process to get the results, but it can happen more directly and faster. Targeting areas with dermatology recommended products can incorporate many issues such as dark circles, wrinkles, and dehydration into a manageable and affordable skincare routine. Gone are the days of only the wealthiest people getting professional skincare help – many dermatologists make their practices available to a broader audience. If you reside in the Atlanta area, Dr. Sherrie-Ann Straughn with Buckhead Dermatology is a perfect example of someone passionate about her practice who works diligently to offer services to many who usually wouldn’t seek dermatological help.
Dermatologists are experts at identifying skin issues, and professionals will only be able to offer treatments to men or women, but both. Knowing the typical cycle of men’s and women’s skin helps unravel the complexity of some skincare issues and offers the best solutions. If you face skin concerns that you have tried to address at home without success, reach out to a local and reputable licensed dermatologist because your skin is worth it. As men and women age, they are allowed to age gracefully, and having confidence in your skin’s appearance can have a significant impact!