The Difference Between Men and Women’s Skin
by Deborah Spalla
You’d think that skin is one thing men and women would have in common. Actually, there are several differences between men and women’s skin. These differences determine the types of skincare products individuals should use, as well as the steps that should comprise every individual’s skin care routine.
And, in case you were wondering, men should have a skin care routine too!
The Main Differences Between Men and Women’s Skin
Here are some of the main differences between men and women’s skin:
Men have thicker skin
On average, men’s skin is about 20% to 25% thicker than women’s skin. This is partially due to higher levels of collagen (more on that next), which makes a man’s skin feel firmer for longer. Men’s skin will thin out gradually as they age (they lose about 1% of collagen stores each year after they hit 30), whereas women’s skin will not tend to thin until around the menopause years (at which point women lose a significant percentage of collagen, and 2% every year after menopause). This is one reason why men who take care of their skin may appear younger than their equally age-wise counterparts once they reach their 50s, 60s and beyond.
Of course, women have the benefit of hair coloring, multiple hairstyles and natural makeup options to help bridge that gap when necessary.
Women have less collagen
The thicker skin layers mentioned above are largely due to denser collagen stores. Collagen is a structural protein that gives strength and elasticity to connective tissues in the body – including the skin. Male skin has denser collagen stores, which typically makes male skin firmer than women’s.
While these collagen stores gradually decrease with age for men, they decrease rapidly in women once they hit menopause. As a result, on average, men are seen to age better than women. That being said, diet and lifestyle play a tremendous role in how our skin looks on the outside, so living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way to looking great at whatever age you are.
Textures vary between sexes
While the parts that comprise the skin – outer and inner skin layers, hair follicles, oil (sebaceous) glands, etc. - are the same between men and women, they look very different under a magnifying glass.
For example, the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) is thicker on men, and this makes it look bumpier. Hence, women typically have softer feeling facial skin than men, regardless of their lack of whiskers. Men’s hair follicles are flatter and this yields coarser, curlier facial hair – allowing men to grow mustaches, beards, goatees, sideburn chops, etc. However, because these follicles are larger, there is more room for the combination of bacteria, oil, product and dirt to build up. Men are also more prone to ingrown hairs on their face and neck.
It’s also important to note is that most men have larger oil glands than women and male oil glands produce more oil than women after puberty. This feature makes men more prone to acne, and makes acne a longer-lived issue than it is for most women. Also, male oil glands have more positive androgen (male hormone) receptors. This is why men are the only ones who suffer from proliferations and red swellings of sebaceous glands on their nose; the extreme version of this condition is called rhinophyma. On the flip side, women are more prone to getting adult acne as a result of hormone fluctuations that occur during pregnancy and/or menopause.
When you’re dehydrated, your skin is dehydrated – and this will show up in terms of dry skin, as well as more wrinkly or saggy skin. One of the differences between men and women’s skin is that men’s skin tends to be more hydrated than women’s, so men are far less prone to having dry skin than women. This is probably a good thing since men tend to pay less attention to skin care and regular moisturizing than women do.
However, because men sweat more than women – and shave their face using products with potential irritants – they can suffer more from facial skin irritation, acne or clogged pores.
Take Great Care of Your Skin Regardless of Gender or Age
Interested in learning how to take better care of your skin? Visit Skin Deep - local, licensed aestheticians. We’ll help you choose skin products and lines that are personally tailored to the differences between men’s and women’s skin, your own skin type, your lifestyle and other personal factors.
The team at Skin Deep is here to help you enjoy the benefits of healthy skin, which will help you look and feel your best. Bring us your current skin care products, shaving products – even your shampoo, conditioner and soap preferences. We’ll take a look and let you know if we see room for improvement, or if we suspect the wrong products are the cause of your skin concerns. Contact us to schedule a consultation. 510-522-7487.
Jul 30, 18
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