Although skincare has traditionally been viewed as a women’s domain, it’s just as important for men to take care of their skin. In fact, with the rise of men’s grooming and the increasing awareness of the importance of self-care, more men are beginning to pay attention to their skin health. In this article, we’ll explore the unique characteristics of men’s skin care, provide tips for building a men’s skincare routine, and address common skin concerns that men may face.
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- Skin differences between men and women
- How sex hormones affect skincare
- A guide to creating a men’s skincare routine
For decades, the beauty industry has placed a focus on targeting skin care advertisements toward women. But as today’s society eases up on the rigid gender norms of the past, more attention is being placed on skincare – for men.
Luckily – knowing the basics is all it takes to start catching up in the skincare game.
On The Skin Report podcast, Dr. Simran Sethi, an Internal Medicine doctor and Founder of RenewMD medical spas and Skin by Dr. Sethi, explores the basics of skincare for men. Read on to learn all about the influence of sex hormones on the skin and how men can apply skincare products and routines to treat their skin needs.
The Difference in Men’s Skin
Today, more men feel comfortable showing an interest in skincare – which is a great thing! Taking positive measures to care for and nurture your skin is important for everyone, regardless of sex or gender orientation.
Still, our biology can influence certain aspects of our skin, including the care it requires. These differences in the skin’s biology are primarily due to our sex hormones.
While all people have testosterone, this sex hormone is more predominant in males. Additionally, testosterone in males is converted to its stronger, more active form in the pilo-sebaceous unit. This means that men’s skin generally produces more oil than women’s, and they may have larger pore sizes.
Another difference in male skin is its thickness. Males tend to have thicker skin than women, which means that they often produce more collagen.
Male skin is also known to have better water retention, which may be attributed to the thickness of their skin. This can lead to less water loss through evaporation from the skin and a stronger moisture barrier function.
So if the higher testosterone levels in men cause them to produce more oil, collagen, and have better moisture retention, what does this mean regarding their skincare? Well, these factors can cause the skin to be stronger and less prone to damage from wrinkling. While this seems like an advantage, having higher testosterone can have drawbacks.
The sex hormone’s effect on sebum production can cause men to have oilier skin and larger pores. Men can also experience differences in their skin as it changes over time.
Men Skin Types
It’s crucial for everyone, especially men, to recognize and comprehend their skin type to achieve the best results in skincare. Here’s a list of the five primary skin types and their distinctive characteristics:
Sensitive skin: This type may experience stinging or burning sensations after product use.
Normal skin: This skin type is clear and not sensitive to most products.
Dry skin: This type can be flaky, itchy, or rough to the touch.
Oily skin: This type tends to be shiny and greasy and may produce excess oil.
Combination skin: This type is characterized by dryness in some regions and oiliness in others.
Men’s Skin Care Routine
Now let’s build a skincare routine that will address the needs of male skin that we discussed above. This task may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!
The table below breaks down each step of a basic routine suited for men’s skin needs.
||Cleanse and Exfoliate
||For healthy skin, men should cleanse their skin each morning and at the end of each day. This is especially important because men produce more oil and tend to have larger pores, so cleansing them can keep them clear from acne-causing debris.
Exfoliating the skin can be beneficial for avoiding oil and debris becoming trapped within the pores. Trapped substances within pores can cause them to increase in size, but using an exfoliant daily can keep this from occurring.
Dr. Sethi recommends that men use both chemical and physical exfoliants. This will be effective in cleaning out pores without damaging the skin.
The Skin Polish is an exfoliant that uses a light botanical pomegranate for ‘chemical’ exfoliation and contains microparticles that provide mechanical exfoliation.
Alternatively, men can use a salicylic (BHA) chemical exfoliant daily in the morning and a mechanical exfoliant at night.
||Moisturizers and Serums
||Serums are beneficial in a skincare routine, as they can deliver additional ingredients to refine and nurture the skin.
An antioxidant serum like Vitamin C or Green Tea can help repair damage and build collagen.
On the other hand, some serums and lotions can provide extra moisturization to the skin. Although males’ testosterone levels can cause them to produce more sebum, men can still have dry or combination skin that requires extra hydration.
||Incorporating eye creams into a routine earlier in life can slow down the process of aging. Men commonly show more significant signs of aging and skin laxity beneath their eyes, and a firming eye can help delay this from occurring.
||Men can and will benefit by using retinol to correct skin damage and increase collagen production. This Vitamin A derivative is helpful for both men and women.
An excellent retinol product is the Retinol Lipid Complex. It is a combination of retinol and lipids that fortifies the skin barrier without adding excess oil. This can protect the skin against the dryness, sensitivity, and pigmentation that can otherwise accompany retinol use.
To learn more about retinol and how this ingredient renews and transforms the skin, check out episode 32 of The Skin Report!
||Sex hormones aside – all skin needs protection from UVA, UBB, and HEV (blue light) rays. That said, sunscreen or sunblock is a must and should be applied daily, rain or shine!
There are many different skincare products and practices out there that can be applied to further transform your skin. But for now, stick with this basic routine, and you’ll notice positive changes to your skincare.
Once you feel comfortable with these practices, you can learn about more concepts surrounding skin health and care by visiting The Skin Report website to catch up on podcast episodes. You can also get the scoop on the latest trends in science-backed skincare by watching the SKIN by Dr. Simran Sethi Youtube channel!
For more information on men’s skincare, how men’s skin changes with age, and popular aesthetic procedures that men get to treat their skin, tune in to Season 1, Episode 37 of The Skin Report podcast.