The past few years has seen an exponential increase in the gender- neutral skincare market as consumers progressively question gender stereotypes and molds. On this topic, we often get asked the question, ‘Should I be using gender specific skincare?’
In today’s excerpt we talk about the character differences between the male and female skin, why this divide exists and considerations individuals should account for when looking into purchasing skincare products.
The differences - in short.
Testosterone levels in men regulate sebum production, skin thickness and collagen levels. The male’s epidermis is 20% thicker and contains increased collagen levels, making the skin appear firmer. Men’s higher androgen levels can also increase pore size and stimulate sebum production, often making this skin type oiler.
These attributes really come down to hormones and genetics, which will vary, regardless of gender. Additionally, these characteristics and differences have been proven to shift depending on the individual’s lifestyle choices and environment. In terms of aging, the skin thickness for men starts to decrease at the average age of 45 due to collagen loss. A consequence of the hormonal imbalances associated with menopause, as it does in women.
So, why have gender specific skincare?
Creating a gender specific collection, increases product lines, which inevitably increases sales. Distributors who offer gender specific care do this to please their target market. A market based on the assumptions that men, generally, prefer quick, easy, low maintenance grooming routines, little or no skincare residue and appealing designed packaging.
Products are often formulated and packaged to suit these preferences. Many focus on stripping the 'excess' oils with strong astringents or detergents or, exfoliating off ‘the extra layers’, because often, this provides an immediate result that ‘feels good’ for their target market and their skin.
In skincare, the good short-term feels don’t always provide the best long-term results.
What to consider when buying skincare
The focus for an effective skincare regime should shift from gender to skin type.
Establishing your skin type and identifying your areas of concern is the most important first step when purchasing skincare. Selecting specific, considered, formulations to suit that type and assist with the healthy development of your skin is the most effective way to care for your skin.
Finding a range of products which will support your lifestyle and encourage applications and treatments is equally important. There is no point in investing in a five-product regime for holistic care when you’re time poor and unmotivated to use them.
The assumption that men have oiler skin than women, or they age slower than women, is wrong. As global advocacy for gender neutrality increases, so does a new inclusive standard in modern skincare focusing on skin types, conditions, selfcare and non-gendered nourishment.
Till next time,
External references cited
S. Rahrovan, MD, MPH,a F. Fanian, MD, PhD,b P. Mehryan, MD,a P. Humbert, MD, PhD,b and A. Firooz, MDa,⁎ Male versus female skin: What dermatologists and cosmeticians should know, PMC US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Int J Womens Dermatol V.4(3); 2018
Kopera D (2015) Impact of Testosterone on Hair and Skin. Endocrinol Metab Synd 4: 187. doi:10.4172/2161-1017.1000187