What about skin care for men?

Historically, marketing of specialist skincare products has mainly targeted women. Then, throughout the 1990s, skincare brands started to realise that there was an increasing market in men’s skincare and began to introduce dedicated products lines for men that involved more than a bit of aftershave balm.

Nevertheless, skincare for both was still approached differently. Women’s focused more on luxury presentation and multi-product single use for specific areas or conditions, while men’s tended to be more focused on single product multi-use designed for speedy application, and focused on general skin health and function – almost as if marketing was leading the way rather than the advantages of the skin care products themselves…

So, marketing aside, the question remains, do different genders need different products?

Firstly, it is the case that male and female skin is different in structure. Generally, female skin is thinner and loses water more while male skin produces more sebum. It makes sense then that if male skin a bit ‘tougher’ it’s likely to take more potent ingredients better and be less sensitive.

Nevertheless, it also makes sense that different ingredients will work better for different skins and so the specific ingredients used to address, for example, acne concerns or oily skin or dry skin will be much the same regardless of gender.

Of course, having a beard requires maintenance and certainly differentiates between skin types. As with any body hair, shaving can exacerbate ingrown hairs and so regular (gentle) exfoliation should help. Remember though that skin will be more sensitive after shaving so post-shave moisturising is important, but caution is required when using retinols, retinoids, or AHAs.

So, if it’s more helpful to choose products for a skin type or condition rather than gender, it rather suggests that what’s good for skin is good for skin regardless. Salicylic acid products can help with acne while AHAs, retinols and vitamin C can help with pigmentation. Cleansers containing salicylic acid, green tea or tea tree oil can help oily skin and products containing urea, hyaluronic acid and ceramides can help dry skin. This rather suggests that product purchase surely should be led by need rather than packaging.

Really, the trick is to understand your skin and find the products you like, that address your requirements, within the budget you are prepared to spend.

And of course, for any specific concerns or treatments, you can talk to an experienced, qualified advanced aesthetic practitioner who will be able to advise you on the best approach to

looking after your skin.

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