The difference between women and men's skin is sometimes very obvious, such as a man’s ability to grow a beard. However, the main differences are a little more hidden. These differences in the skin also create differences in how men’s skin should be cared for not only at home but also in the treatment room.
The first significant difference is in the general texture of men's skin as it appears much rougher. Men’s skin is actually 25 percent thicker than women's due to androgens such as testosterone. This thickness gradually decreases with age whereas women's skin stays the same until menopause when her skin will get significantly thinner. When it comes to aging of the skin, physical signs such as wrinkles are mainly due to a lack of collagen content. Overall men have a higher collagen density than women due to the thickness of their skin. Men and women lose about one percent of collagen a year after their 30th birthday. This escalates much further with women after the menopause for five years and then slows down to a loss of about two percent a year.
Hormones play a huge role in the development and condition of our skin. Puberty stimulates the appearance of facial hair in men and gives rise to sweat secretions. Men have more Lactic Acid in their sweat which means a lower PH level (.05 lower) than women. Lactic Acid is a known humectant, responsible for tissue hydration. Men are also much more prone to sweating - in fact they can sweat up to twice as much as women. So with this increase in sweat and hydrating Lactic Acid men also tend to have better-hydrated skin.
So from the comparisons so far you may have already guessed that men can generally appear to age less than women. However, it is not all good news for men as they have their own skin complaints and problems to cope with.
After puberty sebum production is great in males than in females, which is attributed to androgen secretions and accounts for why men, unfortunately, tend to have longer lasting acne. The cells in a man’s sebaceous glands have more positive receptors for androgens, which explains why they produce more sebum. Sometimes, men suffering from Rosacea can also experience a condition called Rhinophyma. This causes redness in the sebaceous gland and swelling of the skin on the nose - a condition only seen in men.
Of course, another difference between women and men's skin is facial hair. Many men shave regularly, sometimes every day and basic shaving can be quick and easy. However, a really good shave requires a little more time and know how so many men would really benefit from a consultation with a dermatologist and/or a barber to get the best possible shave.
Shaving is a type of exfoliation as it removes the dull looking outer layers and promotes fresh new skin growth - in fact shaving can remove up to two layers of skin. Things can go wrong for men when the shaving process is not completed properly resulting in Razor Burn, a small red rash which can develop into infected pimples or blisters. This type of rash can be extremely uncomfortable and itchy and severe cases can last a few days.
If you suffer from razor burn it is important to spend extra time to make sure your beard is thoroughly wet. Facial hair will absorb moisture up to 30 percent of its volume. Hair swollen with water will become weaker and therefore easier to cut. Cold shaving and applying products to a dry face is one of the leading causes of Razor Burn.
You should use a good quality shaving cream and leave it on your face for a minimum of a minute before cutting. This way the razor will glide smoothly over your skin with less resistance and scraping and therefore fewer nicks. One of the best tools a man can own to combat Razor Burn is actually a shaving brush as it helps raise the hair so the cut is as close as possible. The brush will also help remove dead skin cells reducing the chance of blemishes and razor bumps. Razor blades need to be of a good quality and you should always shave in the direction of the beard growth. If you shave against the beard this could result in you cutting the hair below the skin level causing ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs are not generally serious but can be irritating and embarrassing. They are essentially hairs that have curled around and grown back into the skin instead of rising up from it. Sometimes, dead skin can clog up a hair follicle and that can force the hair inside to grow sideways under the skin instead of upward.
An ingrown hair can really irritate the skin and causes a raised red bump - if caused by shaving the ingrown hairs can appear as a bunch of little bumps on the chin, cheeks or neck. Sometimes an ingrown hair can form a painful boil like sore. Ingrown hair will often go away on it’s own but if it doesn't it can become infected and even scar the skin if it has been picked at. If it appears that an ingrown hair has become infected it is best to visit your doctor who will usually remove is with a sterile needle and prescribe any medication needed.
The health of a men's skin is just as important as that of a woman's and although the treatments may differ the same care and attention should be given. It is really important to choose high-quality products and treatments which will encourage healthy skin and repair any damage.
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