Men want their skin to look and feel healthy. Just like women, they deal with issues such as sensitivity, acne and ageing, but skin does vary according to gender. A man’s skin is generally oilier, thicker and more acidic than his female counterparts, and needs specific solutions. Male and female skin differs structurally in a few key physiological aspects, and it’s all because of the difference in hormonal levels between the two sexes.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
More specifically, let’s talk about hormones. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, determines the masculine characteristics of male skin and gives it a different structure to female skin. In males, testosterone controls the skins hormone receptors which regulate sebum secretion, sweat production and hair growth. It also supports and keeps collagen and elastin levels consistent, which slows down the signs of premature ageing. It is this male hormone that tends to make men look more youthful than women of the same age.
On the other hand, estrogen, the main female sex hormone, can interfere with a woman’s collagen production, especially during menopause when the skin begins to thin and sag and become etched with fine lines. In fact, a woman’s skin ages at a rate of fifteen years more than that of a man. Talk about sexual inequality!
THICKNESS & TEXTURE
Male skin is somewhere between 20 and 25 per cent thicker than that of a female. This extra thickness helps men’s skin to better withstand the environmental stress that is thrown at it on a daily basis, and the extra moisture it contains also helps it to avoid that dull, dry look that can happen as we get older.
A male’s skin texture is also different than that of a woman. It is rougher and tougher because of a thicker stratum corneum that is responsible for the difference in facial wrinkling that develops over the years. While the signs of ageing may appear later in male skin, once men do start to age, they are prone to developing deeper facial wrinkles, and that appearance in age difference between the sexes usually evens out by the time people reach their 60’s.
A little helping hand with collagen production and protection can be beneficial to both sexes. Vitamin A has been proven to boost collagen production and sunscreen is imperative for keeping that freshly formed collagen safe from the sun’s damaging rays.
Interestingly, men have been found to be more susceptible to UVA and UVB damage, so should be extra diligent with sunscreen. DMK’s Soleil Defence SPF 50+ has been formulated to give non-greasy, broad-spectrum protection, and will help protect skin against sunspots, solar keratosis and premature skin ageing. The lotion is water-resistant for up to two hours, so is perfect for those active guys who prefer surf to sand!
Sebum provides skin with a flexible, protective, waterproof stratum corneum barrier. It is responsible for that plump, dewy, juicy look that is so desirable when it comes to skin. Men produce double the amount of sebum that women do, but it means their oilier skin is also more problem-prone to things like impurities, breakouts, clogged pores, blackheads and acne. Unlike women, a male’s sebum production remains the same throughout his life and does not decrease with age. Males also tend to have much larger pores than women and therefore secrete even more sebum.
When it comes to acne, an overproduction of sebum coupled with male hairiness, make for a lethal combination. The hair shafts are more likely to become blocked with dead cell material, debris and ingrown hairs, trapping acne bacteria. This results in an outbreak of pimples, pustules, condones, blackheads and whiteheads, and explains why up to 80 per cent of teenage boys are affected by acne.
DMK has developed a unique five-step product range called the Klear Collection that is suitable for use from mild to severe breakouts. The individual products cover everything from cleansing through to spot treatment and include products that kill the acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation and increase the essential fatty acids so the skin can fill up with water. They also make the sebum thinner and more liquid, so it flows through and up onto the skin surface.
FACIAL HAIR & SHAVING
One of the main daily grooming actives for men is shaving, and it can lead to more sensitive, easily irritated skin. It can cause cuts, razor burns, dryness, redness, ingrown hairs, and even hypersensitivity to products applied afterwards. Shaving effectively removes the upper skin barrier, and so anything applied on top of this area will penetrate the skin at a higher rate.
Regular shaving makes male skin more stressed than female skin, and up to 40% of men have shaving-related skin problems. Younger and fair-skinned men are particularly prone to these issues. When you take into account that on average, men who shave, do so over 16,000 times during their lifetime, it is a major concern. Applying sunscreen over shaved skin is especially important as this skin often lacks natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
CARING FOR MALE SKIN
It is estimated that men use up to 30 per cent of all (women’s) retail skincare products. However, males definitely benefit from a dedicated approach to skincare and from treatments and products that respect their unique biological attributes. We’ve seen that men generally have a thicker corneum, more copious sebaceous flow and a higher plasmatic reaction than females, hence the professional DMK treatments are often a bit more aggressive to deliver results.
Consult us at Skin4U Glenelg, your DMK Skin Revision Technician to discuss the treatment and Home Prescriptive products that are right for your skin. Whether you are a male or female, DMK is focused on improving the long-term health of your skin, not on quick fixes. Their products are devised around the DMK’s revolutionary concept of REMOVE, REBUILD, PROTECT and MAINTAIN, and work with the structure and function of the skin to generate long-lasting results.