Taking care of Mens Skin

Although all skin is basically the same there are some differences between men and womens skin.

  1. Texture: Higher levels of testosterone cause mens skin to be about 25% thicker than womens.
  2. Collagen: Men naturally have more collagen than women.  Loss of collagen over time can give rise to the appearance of aging, so in theory at least, mens skin shouldn’t age as quickly as womens.
  3. Acne: Men produce more sebum (a naturally occurring skin oil) than women.  This can clog up pores and may explain why boys suffer from acne more than girls and why boys acne tends to last longer than girls.

There are some extra tips men can take to keep their skin in good condition.

  1. Shave properly: Wet your skin before you shave to soften it.  Do not stretch your skin taut when shaving.  Always shave in the direction of hair growth-shaving ‘against the grain’ can cause hair follicles to become infected (a condition known as folliculitis barbae).
  2. Wash your face twice daily and after exercise: use a gentle cleanser, wash your face with warm-not hot-water and tone the skin afterwards with cold water.
  3. Check your products: Skin sensitivity is not common in men (only about 5.8% of men described themselves as having sensitive skin in one study1).   If using products on your skin, always check the label.  Try to use products that are ‘non-comedogenic’ ie don’t clog pores and that don’t irritate the skin.  Aftershave is fine but if your after shave is alcohol-based it may cause stinging and irritation.
  4. Sunblock: Men have more collagen than women and this protects their skin from aging but it still helps to apply at least SPF 30 to help prevent wrinkles, age spots and even cancer.
  5. Cancer: Men have a higher risk of melanoma than women.  Check your skin regularly.  If you notice anything unusual, or any moles that have changed in appearance, always check with your doctor.

1 – British Journal of Dermatology 2001, Aug 145 (2) 258-63.