Skincare Differences Between Men and Woman

August 20, 2013

As a huge skincare freak, I am always on the lookout for the best products for my skin. With all the products advertised, we tend to think these products are one size fits all. Trust me, I’m easily seduced by Carrie Underwood’s Olay commercials or those damn Lancôme ads where they use a number of models ranging from different ethnicities ensuring it works for everyone.

But all skin and skincare products are not created equal. Before you look at what your skin needs are, take a step back and understand that women and men’s skin are different. Dermatologist, Dr. Tick explains the physiological difference between the two and what each sex needs to look for in a product.

“Men and women should look for cleansing products that do not have sodium lauryl sulphate (or the like). These kinds of cleansers are alkaline based and alkaline are ‘drying agents’. Both sexes should also look for products that have a high pH (potential hydrogen – a measurement of the acid versus alkaline in the body and the skin).  The lower the pH, the more acid is available to ‘eat’ the skin.”

The basics to know:

  • The skin of a man is thicker than the skin of a woman and has more collagen; therefore women tend to age faster than men.
  • Women have more subcutaneous fat – fat below the skin – than men. Therefore women suffer from cellulite.
  • Men secrete more sebum (oil) and they secrete it throughout life. Women stop secreting sebum after menopause, therefore the skin looks coarser and drier as the woman ages.
  • Men sweat more than women and the sweat stays on the body longer. Men also have more body hair and therefore more surface area for bacteria to develop.
  • The female skin is also more functionally responsive than the skin of men. Therefore female skin has a great tendency to redness and to irritation to skincare products and so women are said to have tender skin.

What to look for in a product for your specific needs:

For Him

Use products that have ingredients that cause better circulation such as:

  • Menthol
  • Tea tree oil
  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus

Use Products with higher molecular structure to protect the larger pores:

  • Evening primrose oil
  • Borage oil
  • Flax seed
  • Milk Thistle

Use products that have ingredients to tone the skin:

  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe Vera

Use products that have ingredients causing a reparative process:

  • Chinese red root
  • Comfrey
  • Golden seal
  • Gotu Kola

For Her

Use cleansers that contain ingredients that “pull” the daily dirt off the skin and out of the pore as opposed to abrasively rubbing, brushing and peeling the skin:

  • Bay Laurel
  • Cucumber
  • Sage
  • Parsley

Do not use any toner! It will roughen a woman’s skin! Using tightening serums that contain:

  • Collagen (preferably “plant” collagen)
  • Grape seed extract
  • Hawthorne berry extract
  • Green tea extract
  • Willow herb extract

Use moisturizing/reparative creams containing:

  • Aloe vera
  • Calendula
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
  • Elastin protein
  • Hyaluronic acid

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