Men, there are plenty of ways to improve your look. You can put together a great outfit. You can get a new haircut. You can whiten your teeth. At the end of the day, though, you can only look as good as the foundation of your appearance: your skin.
Before you raid your girlfriend's medicine cabinet, stop yourself. Men's skin and women's skin have their differences, so male skin care is different than a woman's skin care. Here's what you need to know. Our skin is different from women's skin in many ways both visible and invisible.
No, this isn't our way of saying men are tougher than women. Dermatologists have found that men's skin is literally thicker. In particular, the deeper layer of your skin called the dermis is about 20% thicker than a woman's dermis. It varies from person to person but the general percentage stays the same. This is why men and women get wrinkles in different ways. Men tend to have fewer superficial fine lines than women.
However, men are more prone to the deep wrinkles that are caused by repeated facial expressions. We're talking about frown lines between your eyebrows and smile lines around your mouth.
Earlier Decline in Collagen
All of our bodies produce a protein called collagen, which makes our skin firm and tight. Our bodies metabolize that collagen little by little and when we're young, we produce enough new collagen to keep up. As we get older, we produce less collagen. Around age 20, our bodies aren't producing as much as we're losing, so we lose collagen overall. That collagen loss makes our skin become thinner, saggier, and more prone to wrinkles. That same process happens to both men and women but at different rates.
Men lose collagen at a constant rate throughout our adult lives. Women lose less collagen than we do when they're young but when they hit menopause, they start losing collagen faster. In other words, men age more at a younger rate than women.
If you aren't familiar pores are the tiny openings that look like dots in your skin. You can see them if you look closely in the mirror. Pores are essential because they let your body release sweat, oil, and other essentials onto your skin's surface.
What few people realize, though is that men have more pores than women. Our pores also tend to be larger and more prominent than women's pores, which isn't a good look.
Higher Oil Levels
If you think back to your teenage years, oil was probably your enemy. Sebum, or the natural oil on your skin, serves an important purpose of hydrating you and blocking bacteria. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, though.
If you always thought you had more acne than the girls around you, you were right. Men have more oil glands or sebaceous glands than women. We also produce about twice as much sebum than women overall. If that sebum is too much for your skin to handle, clogs your pores and leads to acne.
Higher Risk for Irritation
While there are plenty of biological differences between men's and women's skin, there's one problem we create ourselves: shaving. As much as you may love the look, shaving can wreak havoc on a man's skin.
The act of shaving puts added friction and stress on your skin. It also gets rid of your top layer of skin cells. The exfoliation is great but it exposes a more sensitive layer of skin that's prone to irritation.
Your skin suffers more if your razor is dull. Keeping the same razor around too long also makes it likely that the razor will have bacteria. Under the wrong circumstances, it can lead to a troublesome infection.
Male Skin Care Tips
Knowing about your unique skin is great but it doesn't do you any good if you don't know how to apply it. Here are your handy takeaways.
Remember how we mentioned that men are prone to aging at an earlier age than women? That means you have to start staving it off sooner.
Start incorporating anti-aging skin care products into your daily routine. A little moisturizer and a regular face mask will go a long way.
You may also consider preventative Botox injections. These injections can keep you from forming those expression lines that plague men so often.
Get In the Habit of Cleansing
Cleansing is a vital but underused technique for men. You should use a facial cleanser to clean your skin twice per day.
This gets rid of unnecessary sebum and debris to keep your acne risk to a minimum. Clogged pores also look like larger pores, so this is a great way to make your pores less prominent too.
Shave With Caution
Finally, take some precautions with your shaving routine. We aren't saying you have to stop shaving as often. Just make some changes to your technique.
Use plenty of shaving cream on your face. This limits the friction of the razor on your skin so your skin doesn't get so irritated.
Also, replace your razor often. As we mentioned above, a dull razor and an unclean razor are major hazards. Just think about how much cheaper it is to buy a new razor than to spend hundreds on a dermatologist.
We know there's a stereotype that men don't take care of their skin as well as women, but that needs to change. Men have just as many skin issues as women do, and often more.
Follow the male skin care tips above and invest in skin care products that are designed for a man's skin. It's never too late to have healthier, more attractive skin.
To get started right away, come in for a facial treatment, traditional wet shave, oil based massage, body scrub, trimming and tidying, waxing, men's manicure and pedicure, laser hair removal or any of our male grooming specialities.