Skin performs the same primary functions for every person, at every age. It creates a physical shield that stops the outside world from getting in. It’s also the organ that assists with temperature control, senses pain and pleasure, absorbs vitamin D, and helps maintain optimum moisture levels within the body.
Although everyone’s skin functions in pretty much the same way, there are some physical difference between men’s and women’s skin. These differences are mostly textural and cosmetic. (The information below refers to the conventional understandings of sex and gender: Miss & Mr understands that gender is non-binary, and you might relate to aspects of both.)
The amount of oil (sebum) that your skin produces is partly dictated by your hormones, specifically testosterone. Since men naturally produce more androgens (‘male hormones’ which include testosterone), they tend to have oilier skin than women and are more likely to experience acne for longer.
As menstruating and menopausal women experience fluctuations in their hormones, they may find their skin becomes more oily or acne-prone as their hormones change. Estrogens, on the other hand, are the ‘female hormones’ and have been associated with anti-inflammation, wound healing, some protection from skin photoaging and increased collagen levels.
Thanks to higher levels of androgens, men’s skin is thicker and more densely packed with collagen than women’s. This means that signs of aging caused by collagen depletion, such as wrinkles, are likely to appear earlier in women.
Men also experience less transepidermal water loss than women until around the age of 50. From that age on, a man’s moisture barrier may become less effective: but only slightly less effective than the moisture barrier of a woman of the same age.
Men who shave their face are more likely to experience dryness around their chin and jawline. This is because as a razor cuts through hairs, it will remove a thin layer of dead skin with it. Since shaving exfoliates the skin, if it isn’t properly moisturised afterwards it can lead tightness, itchiness or dryness.
Every skin type, gender and age will benefit from a routine that cleanses, restores moisture and protects from environmental damage. This means creating a daily routine with a gentle cleanser, a multi-purpose serum, an effective moisturiser, and sunscreen.
Until next time!
Love from team M&M xo
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