It’s easy to get the impression that men don’t need to worry about skin care, even though the small percentage of skin care products targeted for men has been increasing over the last several years.
Sales of men’s products currently make up about 4% of the overall U.S. skin care market, though some guys use products purchased by the women in their lives.
A first look at the science can nudge your conclusions in that direction: Men have an average of 25% more collagen in their skin than women, and their glands produce significantly more sebum (oils), so their skin retains more of its moisture, elasticity and youthfulness during the aging process.
But go just a little deeper and you’ll find men have their own skin care needs, some of which are best addressed with products formulated for them.
- Shaving sensitivity — This is where you guys have your Achilles heel, as far as your skin is concerned. Shaving your face as often as daily puts you at higher risk for skin irritation from old or dirty blades or just by repeatedly scraping off the top layer of your skin.
Always wash your face first, use a clean, sharp razor with a soothing shaving cream or gel to keep it gliding smoothly, and apply a nongreasy moisturizer afterward to reduce irritation and keep your skin healthy.
- Collagen loss starts earlier — While men have more collagen throughout their lives their process of losing it starts earlier, which means you should begin taking steps to slow it down at least as early as women do.
Retinol serum is a good thing to start including in your nightly routine by the time you hit 30, and products with hyaluronic acid promote more production.
- Big pores, big oil — Your higher sebum production puts you at an advantage when it comes to healthy skin aging but also can lead to unsightly acne and other problems that are related to having naturally larger pores.
You should still moisturize your skin but water-based, oil-free products are your best bet. If you choose to use a toner as well, finding one that eliminates excess oil without stripping the skin is the best choice.
- A different wrinkle — Due to your thicker skin you aren’t likely to see as many of the notorious fine lines and wrinkles that women are always fretting about, but you’re more likely to see those deeper “expression” lines form from repeated facial expressions like smiles and frown lines and forehead wrinkles and creases.
Maintaining a basic but effective skin care routine is your best shot at minimizing these, on top of a generally healthy lifestyle.
- Solar storm — Men are more likely to develop melanoma, have more tumors and to die from it. This has been attributed to their being more likely to have outdoor jobs and being more resistant to using sunscreen than women, but some researchers believe their skin is also more sensitive to UV radiation.
So whatever else you do, slather yourself with sunscreen every day!