Today’s man is waking up to grooming magic that is skin care. You’ll find it much easier to convince a man to use a hydrating moisturizer today than you would have a decade or two ago. Of course, the rugged look being the pop culture symbol of masculinity in no way helps that effort.
Instinctually we know that a man’s skin is very different from a woman’s. And men also seem to look younger for the same age group when compared to a woman. This has contributed highly to a mans continued avoidance of skin care. But to what do men owe these gifts that most women would kill for? I don’t know, I wasn’t listening when my doctor was speaking.
But really, 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, God’s own sculpting clay. The 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 their 30th birthday. But 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’s many differences. But to what do men owe these differences to?
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 androgen receptors throughout the body, making men sweat more, produce more sebum, making hair thicker and coarser, and so on.
Due to testosterone, men age much slower than women. But they also take longer to heal and longer 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:
Fairer skinned young boys can develop patches of freckles and accumulate sun damage. Before any signs of puberty show up, all boys need is 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 need to be habituated to applying sunscreen regularly.
Testosterone increases oil production all over the body starting from puberty and lasting thereafter. The oil found on human skin is a mix of sebum (produced by your 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 20th birthday. But men soon stabilize oil production afterwards so acne doesn’t return after a certain age (under normal circumstances).
- Cleanse: To remove the excess oil, use strong cleansers specifically meant for acne. Pay extra attention to the forehead and chin.
- Wipe: Boys tend to be 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 daily 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.
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. Men age slower than women, but 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. 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 them 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 (product specific) 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.
30’s and 40’s:
As men age much slower than women, signs of aging 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, however, they have suffered significant sun damage over time or if they choose to, then they 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 aging 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). They’re the new “hero” of skin care but might cost a pretty penny.
Apart from collagen boosting, all you need to add to the routine at this age is food rich with 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. However in conclusion the upkeep of men’s skin is still much easier.
Now you can consult our dermatologists for a general skin care checkup and get the perfect skin care routine.