Skincare for men is on the rise, with an increasing number of products and brands targeting the male market.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether all of those new products designed specifically for men are really necessary, you’re not alone…
There’s no denying that, for some brands, the formulas used for men’s products are pretty much identical to their female-oriented products, albeit with different packaging, and perhaps a more masculine fragrance. Those brands are simply jumping onto the bandwagon, using the growing popularity of men’s skincare as a marketing tactic.
However, other brands truly do understand that there are some significant differences between male and female skin. As a result, separate formulas and ingredients need to be used. While there is nothing wrong with a man using a skincare product designed for a woman, a male-specific formula would be much more beneficial, for a few different reasons…
Men Have Thicker Skin
No, this isn’t a debate on whether women are more emotional than men – men literally do have thicker skin!
On average, a man’s skin is 25% thicker than that of a woman’s, which makes it much more efficient when it comes to retaining moisture. Up until the age of about 50, the amount of moisture that evaporates from a man’s skin is significantly less than what would evaporate from a woman’s skin.
This means that, while women need richer formulas that help to encourage moisture retention, men won’t benefit from these in quite the same way. While moisture-binding ingredients, such as humectants, are still key for men, the need for occlusives and emollients is much less.
Take the 24K Sir Eye Balm as an example – it contains multiple humectants, including glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, but does not include any heavier ingredients that would weigh a man’s skin down.
Thick Skin Means Stronger Ingredients are Needed
Since women have thinner skin, their skin also tends to be more sensitive. This means that the more powerful ingredients included in skincare formulas for women cannot be included at too high a concentration, otherwise they will just lead to irritation.
On the other hand, since a man’s skin is thicker, stronger ingredients are needed in order to penetrate through this extra depth and reach the more influential skin cells beneath. This means that an anti-aging product designed for women wouldn’t make much of a difference to male skin. Instead, a man would need to use one that contains stronger and more powerful ingredients.
Men Have Oilier Skin
After puberty, men produce large amounts of testosterone in their bodies, usually around 10 times more than women do. Testosterone stimulates oil production in the skin, which is why a man’s skin will usually be oilier than a woman’s skin.
Men also have larger pores than women, meaning that the amount of sebum their pores secrete is significantly larger. This makes men more prone to congestion in their pores, meaning an increase in acne breakouts.
Keeping the pores clear is vital when it comes to preventing breakouts, meaning that a good cleanser and exfoliant is a must.
Ideally, a chemical exfoliant, instead of a physical one, such as a scrub, should be used.
You might be thinking…
If a man’s skin is thicker than a woman’s, then surely it would be able to tolerate the friction caused by a scrub?
Generally, yes. However, whenever acne is involved, scrubs should always be avoided. While they do still exfoliate, they also end up spreading acne-causing bacteria around the skin, and could seriously exacerbate current breakouts too.
Men already tend to exfoliate more than women due to shaving their faces (more on this later), so a gentle exfoliant is all that is needed to keep pores clear. The 24K Sir Magma Peel does exactly that – it’s an exfoliating gel that gently but effectively cleanses, leaving the skin feeling fresh and clean.
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Men Have a Lower Skin pH
While the extra oil that a man’s skin has is a big contributor to the extra acne that men face, the pH level of their skin largely influences this too.
The skin’s pH level is determined by the outermost layer of the skin, also known as the skin’s protective barrier. This is made up of:
- Lactic acid
- Amino acid
An ideal skin pH would sit somewhere between four and six. Anything higher than this leads to excess dryness, while a pH that is too low leads to excess oil and greasiness.
Women usually have a higher skin pH than men, which is one of the reasons why their skin is more prone to dryness.
The pH of a man’s skin tends to be much lower, which easily triggers an acne breakout. This is due to men having more lactic acid in their sweat, which drops pH by about 0.5. Since men also usually sweat twice as much as women, their skin pH can sometimes be drastically lower.
While most skincare products are designed to not disrupt the skin’s natural pH level, cleansers are a little different. The ingredients required to effectively cleanse the skin interfere with the skin’s pH level – this is why toners are important, as they help to balance this back out after cleansing.
This means that men need to be especially careful if they are using a cleanser or a toner designed for women. Keeping your skin’s pH in check is vital when it comes to preventing everything from aging to chronic skin conditions, making it much safer for a man to use cleansing products designed specifically for men.
Men Have Better Hydrated Skin
In addition to lowering the pH level of the skin, the excess sweat and lactic acid produced by a man’s skin also has quite a hydrating effect.
Because lactic acid is a natural humectant. This means that it is able to draw in moisture from the air and hold on to it, releasing it to the skin as and when it’s needed.
All of this extra moisture, combined with the higher level of sweat, helps to keep a man’s skin better hydrated.
This means that thicker creams, fatty acids, and oils are not usually needed by a man. In fact, these could cause more harm than good by increasing the chances of a breakout.
On the other hand, female skin is more prone to dryness, meaning that those richer and greasier creams are often much-needed.
Men Have More Collagen in Their Skin
Ever wondered why men don’t seem to visibly age at quite the same rate as women?
It all comes down to collagen…
If you have ever looked into anti-aging products or ingredients, then collagen is something you’ve probably heard mentioned quite a bit – it’s a key protein when it comes to keeping your skin firm, smooth, and tight.
Well, unfortunately for women, men have more collagen in their skin, which is why the visible effects of aging don’t show up on male skin quite as early on in life.
Collagen loss exacerbates this even further…
Yes, both men and women lose collagen from their skin as they age – usually around 1% a year after the age of 30. However, once a woman reaches menopause, collagen loss rapidly escalates for the next five years or so. After this, it slows back down, but still at a higher rate of 2% per year, compared to 1% for a man.
This means that, while anti-aging products are still important for men, they don’t need to start using them quite as early on. They can also get away with going for a wider range of ingredients, while women are usually best off focusing on those that increase natural collagen production.
The fine lines and wrinkles on a man’s face will develop quite gradually. Once a man begins to notice these, he can often get away with using a specialized treatment that targets these individual areas of concern, rather than needing an entire anti-aging regime.
The 24K Sir Syringe De-Liner is perfect for this. The powerful solution within is applied directly to the skin through a unique applicator, after which it will immediately reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While it has been designed to have instant effects, it also contains a number of other beneficial ingredients that can help to minimize any wrinkles in the long term, such as:
- Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A)
- Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E)
- Cucumber Extract
- Acetyl Hexapeptide-8
- Sodium Hyaluronate
Men Regularly Shave Their Faces
Did you know that, on average, a man shaves his face 16,000 times in his life?
This is something that women don’t really need to do, and all of that extra shaving can really take its toll on a man’s skin.
In a few different ways:
- Razor burn
- Ingrown hairs
Shaving also removes some of the skin’s natural oils in that area, which is why after-shave products are so essential. These enable a man to replenish the parts of his skin that have just been shaved. They also usually containing soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, to calm any post-shave irritation.
Shaving Exfoliates Too
In addition to removing some of the skin’s natural oils, shaving also takes off the outermost layer of dead and old skin cells, which is exactly what an exfoliant does.
This has both advantages and disadvantages…
All of this extra exfoliation can lead to irritation. It also means that a man needs to be more careful when actually exfoliating, spending less time on the areas of skin that are regularly shaved. As mentioned earlier, gentle exfoliating products are important for men.
However, on the plus side, the regular exfoliation stimulates the skin into producing fresh, new skin cells, as well as more collagen. This helps to keep the skin looking younger, firmer, and brighter.
The irritation that comes from shaving can also be negated quite easily with the use of the right products. The 24K Sir Volcanic Mask contains powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as Aloe Vera and Arnica Montana, along with a number of other vitamins and antioxidants that can help to give the skin a boost. You could choose to use it just on the parts of the skin that are shaved, but this is a product that the entire face would really benefit from.
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Men Often Need Products Containing SPF
The sun doesn’t discriminate between gender when it comes to the damage it causes to the skin, but research shows that men do not usually use sunscreen as often as women.
For women, applying SPF is usually a regular part of their skin care routine, with the application of a dedicated sunscreen coming right at the end. However, men often skip this step, which is why a product that has been formulated with SPF can sometimes be beneficial.
This way, whenever that moisturizer or lotion is applied, the skin will also be receiving some sun protection. UV rays can significantly exacerbate the skin aging process, even in the thicker and stronger skin of a man, making this something worth paying a little extra attention to.
When it comes down to it, men and women really do need separate skincare products. While a man can sometimes use products for women with no negative results, the wrong ingredients can end up causing greasiness and breakouts. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, try to stick to products that have been formulated for your gender.