Men seem to look younger for the same age group when compared to a woman. Societal conditioning and the idea of a 'real manly man' deters many men from appearing as though they care about their skin. However, this notion is starting to change. Given the strenuous routines young people follow and the extreme Indian climate, we thought it best to break down a quick and easy skin care routine for men in India.
Let's start with the basics. Here’s how men’s skin is different from women:
- Skin Thickness: Men’s skin on average is 25% thicker than women.
- Collagen Density: Collagen protein provides tautness to the skin and is one of the two proteins that form the support structure beneath the dermis. Men have a higher collagen density than women, which is why women seem to age faster.
- Decrease in Collagen: Both men and women lose collagen at the same rate after the age of 30. However, this rate increases significantly for women in the first five years after menopause.
- Hydration: After puberty, men produce more sebum (oil produced by skin) than women. Men also sweat twice as much as women, and they sweat more easily too. However, their skin appears to be better hydrated than women.
Sure, there are many differences but to why do boys have all the fun?
The largest difference is due to the male sex hormones known as the androgens. The dominant sex hormone in this group is testosterone, which is very potent and which men have in 10 times the quantity as women. Testosterone works by affecting the androgen receptors throughout the body, making men sweat more, produce more sebum, resulting in thicker and coarser hair.
Due to testosterone, men age slower than women but they also take longer to heal and to restore the natural moisture barrier of the skin. As such, the perfect routine for men evolves over time and certain steps are added at each point. Read below to discover the perfect skin care routine for each age group:
Light-skinned, young boys can develop patches of freckles and accumulate sun damage. Before any signs of puberty show up, boys need a simple high SPF sunscreen. Sun exposure is easily the greatest problem for men. Sunscreen should be reapplied after every couple hours because the sun protection ingredients have a short life before degrading.
Boys in their teen's
Testosterone increases oil production starting from puberty and lasting thereafter. The oil found on human skin is a mix of sebum (produced by the sebaceous glands), sweat and lipids (that compose the natural moisture barrier of the skin). This oil moisturises the skin naturally but also forms a suitable environment for bacteria to grow. This leads to boys having much worse acne than girls, often extending into adulthood and well past the age of 20. Under normal circumstances, oil production stablises afterwards so acne doesn’t return after a certain age.
Maintain your skin by following this simple, 3-step routine each day:
- Cleanse: Use a face-wash twice each day. To remove the excess oil, use strong cleansers specifically meant for acne. Pay extra attention to the forehead and chin.
- Wipe: Boys involved in sports need wet wipes containing salicylic acid. These should be used to wipe off the dirty skin surfaces while resting after playing. Salicylic acid is the bane of acne as it prevents bacteria growth for a long duration.
- Lightly exfoliate: The large production of oil can easily clog the pores of the skin. Exfoliate lightly once a week to free up the pores and let your skin breathe normally. Always rub gently in circles in upward-outward motions so as to not stretch the skin.
Young men in their 20’s:
Oil production slows down in the 20’s, but aging effects barely appear on men’s skin due to the high collagen density. It is time to choose a different, more powerful sunscreen than what you’ve been using. If your skin type is dry, go for a moisturizer that has sun protection ingredients mixed into it. It’ll save you a step which means less work. Something that every man wants. Otherwise, you do need to moisturise well now that the horrors of acne are gone. The benefits of higher collagen density might be undone by sun exposure. Always wear a sunscreen whether you’re in the sun or not. The sun’s UV rays can in fact reflect off of many surfaces such as glass or concrete and still manage to stay just as dangerous.
Pro-tip: If you have an exhausting lifestyle or lack sufficient sleep on a regular basis, then you should think about using eye creams and toners.
- Eye Creams: They can brighten the skin around the eyes, reduce signs of crow’s feet and make the thin skin more taut. Apply it twice daily, one of which is right before you sleep.
- Toners: Toners are special skin care products that are created keeping in mind the normal functioning of the skin. Toners are used to supply nutrients, water-soluble active agents, and other ingredients to create an optimal environment for the renewal of skin. Toners are especially useful when your skin isn’t getting proper circulation for some reason. Only use alcohol-free toners and make sure you do not exfoliate if you use a toner regularly.
Grown men in their 30’s and 40’s:
Signs of ageing aren’t visible until men enter their 30’s. These signs are due to loss of collagen and elastin in the skin, which is lost at the same rate as women. As long as the previous steps of the routine are being followed, men actually don’t need any more additions as they age. If you have suffered significant sun damage over time, then you can optionally use products that boost collagen in the skin.
- Collagen-boosting Products: These are products such as creams that help increase the collagen amount under the dermis by externally introducing collagen into the skin.
- Retinoids: Retinoids are a range of vitamin A derivatives that visibly decrease ageing effects. They boost the body’s production of collagen and also act as antioxidants, meaning the skin’s support structure is not harmed by the free radicals moving about inside the skin. They even reduce darkening of skin and help with skin conditions like acne and rosacea (redness of skin).
- Balanced Diet: Apart from introducing such products, you need to add food rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Men’s skin is quite different from women but this does not mean they don’t deserve the same focus or care as women, as they have their own host of problems.
Now you can consult our dermatologists for a General Skin Care checkup and get the perfect skin care routine.