It’s all down to hormones...
Is your other half always ‘borrowing’ your beauty products rather than investing in a dedicated men’s skincare line? He isn’t alone as 64% of guys don’t consider men’s skincare an important factor, according to market researcher Mintel.
That’s a bitter pill for the grooming industry to swallow. It has spent countless millions peddling the benefits of ‘his and her’ bathroom shelves and the idea that a mysterious alchemy makes men’s skincare different from a woman’s.
So does skin have a gender? Word in the derm office is ‘yes’.
‘Skin is very sensitive to male and female hormones,’ says cosmetic doctor Dr Maurice Dray. ‘Men have much higher levels of testosterone, which makes their skin 25 per cent thicker and behave differently to a woman’s.’
So without the right high-performance ingredients men may not be doing as much to help their skin as they should.
Here’s four reasons your man should step away from your products and switch to his own skincare regime…
Reason 1: Men produce more testosterone
In women, the predominant hormone is oestrogen. ‘Conversely, adult males produce about 10 times as much testosterone as women, which makes their skin oilier,’ says Dray. ‘Men typically have larger pores and pump out more sebum, which is thicker and causes congestion.’
It’s also harder for oily skin to shed dead cells, so men should look for a cleanser spiked with salicylic acid to dissolve the paste-like mixture of oil and dead cells in pores. Try Lab Series Skincare For Men Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask.
Lab Series Skincare For Men Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask, £23, Look Fantastic
Or, if he’s more traditional in his approach, Baxter of California Deep Cleansing Bar Charcoal Clay, absorbs impurities.
Baxter of California Deep Cleansing Bar Charcoal Clay, £16, Look Fantastic
Reason 2: His skin’s pH is lower
Our skin’s outermost layer, aka the skin barrier, is made up of sebum [skin’s natural oils] plus lactic and amino acids. These create the skin’s pH, which should hover between 4-6 – anything higher and skin becomes drier than the surface of a lasagne; lower and it is greasy and spotty.
‘Women have a higher surface pH than men, which may explain why we have a greater tendency for dry skin,’ says Dr Stefanie Williams, medical director at the Eudelo skin clinic.
That’s why ingredients such as ceramides and fatty acids are key in women’s skincare.
Men, meanwhile, have higher instances of acne because their pH is lower. But, on the plus side, their skin barrier is stronger and better at locking in moisture.
‘Up until the age of 50, the amount of water that evaporates from a man’s skin is significantly lower than a woman’s of the same age,’ says Williams.
So the men’s skincare he’s investing in should include a moisturiser that is both oil-free and mattifying. The Body Shop Green Tea & Lemon Mattifying Moisturiser For Men does the job perfectly.
The Body Shop Green Tea & Lemon Mattifying Moisturiser For Men, £12
Reason 3: Men suffer sensitivity around the beard area
One area where men may need extra help is the beard. On average, men subject their skin to 16,000 shaves in a lifetime.
‘As well as mechanical irritation, he may suffer from ingrown hairs and folliculitis,’ says Williams.‘Look for ingredients aimed at daily repair as shaving can remove the skin’s natural lipids along with the top layer of skin cells.’
Redken Brews After Shave Balm, £18.50, Look Fantastic
Tom Ford For Men Shave Cream, £54, Space NK
It’s also a good idea to change razor blade every six to eight shaves to avoid razor burn. Worried about the impact on the environment? Bulldog Original Bamboo Razor comes with an eco-friendly bamboo handle.
Bulldog Original Bamboo Razor, £12, Boots
Reason 4: Men age differently
Both men and women lose about one percent of collagen per year after their 30th birthday. That said, collagen and elastin don’t degrade as rapidly in male skin, which is denser.
Another reason he should be using different skincare to you: ‘Men’s skin can tolerate a higher concentration of active anti-ageing ingredients such as retinol,’ says Williams.
Kick off with Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 at night and wear David Beckham’s House 99 Broad Defense Face Moisturiser SPF20 in the day. The immediate draw is the added SPF20 as retinol makes skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 Refining Night Cream with 0.3% Pure Retinol, £55, Look Fantastic
House 99 Broad Defense Face Moisturiser SPF20, £22, Look Fantastic
Clinique For Men Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Hydrating Concentrate SPF40 contains an alphabet of anti-agers including repair enzymes and caffeine to energise sluggish cells.
Clinique For Men Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Hydrating Concentrate SPF40, £40, John Lewis
Or try Neal’s Yard Remedies Age-Defying Moisturiser for Men with antioxidant cactus stem cells.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Age-Defying Moisturiser for Men, £35
Proof wouldn’t you say that separate skincare products for men and women go beyond just gunmetal grey and pink tubes?