Men’s skin care seems to be a new frontier, one that has only recently been forged at a mass scale. What used to be a strict routine of shaving cream, aftershave, and cologne has now grown into oils, balms, moisturizers, cleansers, and eye creams. There was a stigma for many years that skin care was exclusively a female routine and there are still men out there that would never delve into this new territory for fear of doing anything that appears feminine. Fortunately, these gender limitations are being eliminated and men are able to enjoy great skin as much as women.
There are some key difference between men and women’s skin:
Their Skin is Thicker: Thanks to testosterone, men’s skin is 25% thicker than women’s and gradually thins whereas women experience an extreme thinning after menopause. Men also produce more sebum and have a thicker stratum corneum which accounts for a rougher texture.
They Age Better: Men have higher collagen density and have the potential to age better than women but since they don’t apply moisturizer or sunscreen as often, it’s not as noticeable. They also have the advantage of aging at a steady rate during their adult lives in contrast to women who experience an escalated loss of collagen after menopause.
Their Skin is More Hydrated: Men tend to grow hair on their face which increases sweat levels and lactic acid, naturally drawing moisture to the face. They also have higher sebum levels which locks in the moisture.
Men’s Skin Care ‘Must Haves’
Everyone needs to cleanse their face. Bacteria and environmental pollutants can easily make their way into pores, which can enlarge them and create pimples and ingrown hairs. A gentle gel cleanser is ideal for men since they are more on the oily side.
As a razor glides over the skin cutting hair, it is also opening up pores and making skin vulnerable to irritation so a gentle shaving cream with as few irritating ingredients as possible should be used. Shaving cream is important to create a slippery texture that will prevent nicks and not clog up the razor.
Aftershave acts very similar to toner in that it is astringent and helps refine pores to keep them free from contaminants. A good aftershave will contain healing, antiseptic ingredients that will keep skin free from harmful bacteria, especially right after shaving when pores are most vulnerable.
Men produce more sebum and and have better hydration levels than women but even with this hormonal advantage, they are still susceptible to dryness, especially in colder months when indoor heating and extreme temperature wreak havoc. Cold, whipping winds can do damage as well which is why using a moisturizer not only replenishes hydration but also provides a layer of protection. For men that shave, this layer of protection also doubles to keep bacteria out of vulnerable pores, which can turn into ingrown hairs or irritated bumps.
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