We don’t know about you, but we’ve always wondered how similar men and women’s skin really is.
Men seem to be less prone to irritating whiteheads, though sadly are just as likely to suffer from cystic acne. So, we’re determined to get to the bottom of it: is men’s skin different to women’s skin?
The make-up of skin
No, we don’t mean foundation et al - although we’ll get to those later. We’re taking it all the way back to basics, and looking at how the body creates skin.
Crucially, men have higher levels of testosterone. This leads to a thicker layer of skin, preventing it from being quite as delicate as women’s.
In fact, men’s skin is generally about 20% thicker than women’s skin! Combine that with boosted collagen production, and you’ll find that men tend to have far fewer wrinkles or fine lines compared with women of the same age.
Collagen is a key component in how our skin remains elastic and bouncy, and as we age, our levels decrease.
Does shaving affect skin?
While that pesky testosterone is responsible for spots, it's also in charge of facial hair.
You might choose to grow it out into a magnificent beard - but chances are, you'll want to shave some part of your face at some point in your life.
Does shaving affect your skin, though?
Recently, several women have waxed lyrical (no pun intended) about the exfoliating benefits of shaving your face!
A gentle shave can help your skin to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your face, and potentially leave you glowing.
However, the benefits can be negated by the way you shave and the products you use.
How to shave - properly!
While men's skin is thicker, and so can stand being shaved more frequently, it will still be left open to tiny cuts and tears if you're not using a sharp razor.
Blunt razors drag along the skin, causing nicks - which just invite infection and inflammation!
The bacteria that causes acne can then seek out weak points and put down roots, which is less than ideal if you're trying to stay fresh faced.
Before you get down to the actual shaving, though, we recommend you wash your face. We know, it’s an easy step to skip - but you’ll thank us when you’ve tried it!
Washing your face first, with warm water, allows your hair to hydrate and thicken. This makes it easier to cut, leaving you feeling smoother.
Try to reach for a cleanser that is aimed at your skin concerns: our favourite multi-purpose option is our Daily Detox Facial Wash.
Not only does this wash gently cleanse your skin of any impurities that have built up, it’s also packed with Moringa peptides which protect your skin from pollution throughout the day.
If you really don’t have the time - or effort - to put into washing your face, at least take a hot shower or splash some warm water on your face, which will have a similar effect.
On top of cleansing, you need to be using gentle products to lubricate the blades and soothe your skin.
Harsh products often include ingredients like Sodium Laureth Sulfate to create a frothy, foamy lather.
Sadly, this stuff does more than just bubble up - it strips the skin of its natural oils, and can leave your skin more dry and irritated than if you had used nothing at all.
Try reaching for something that soothes and hydrates as it goes - Aloe Vera is a great ingredient, as it’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal. Phew!
Even if you use the sharpest blades and the gentlest shaving cream, though, you still need to follow up with the right steps.
Post Shave Routine
Remember, shaving physically exfoliates skin - so you need to treat it as if you just used a face scrub.
As with choosing a cleanser, it’s preferable that any products you put on your skin after shaving should be tailored to your skin type and any concerns you have.
As a general rule, skin needs more hydration after exfoliation, so tapping a little hydration serum into your skin is a great idea.
We love our Hyaluronic Serum 200, because it uses an incredibly potent hydrating ingredient - Hyaluronic Acid.
Specifically, it uses lower molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid, which allows the product to sink down into the deeper layers of your skin and act where other products might not reach.
Having added that first dose of hydration, you should follow up with moisturiser. Ideally, this will soothe, calm, and moisturise your skin as a bare minimum - we’re fans of products that do a little more into the bargain!
If you do find that high testosterone levels have left your skin alarmingly oily, the mattifying effects of our True Balance Lotion will be a game changer.
Simply smooth on and feel your skin light up - but not in a greasy way, thank goodness!
Need more help finding the right moisturiser for you? Check out our handy blog!
The similarities between men’s skin and women’s skin
There are plenty of things that separate men’s skin from women’s - but at the end of the day, it’s all the same organ.
Yes, we did say organ - in case you didn’t know, skin is classified as an organ, and as such is the largest organ in your body.
We’d say that means it’s worth looking after! And step one in taking care of your skin? Sun protection.
You know how we mentioned earlier that men’s skin could look around 15 years younger than female skin on humans of the same age?
Well, that fact is slightly crooked - it’s actually pretty rare that you’ll see a noticeable difference in skin age between genders.
This is pretty much down to one factor: women are more clued up when it comes to protecting their skin from the sun.
Maybe it’s because we’re conditioned from a young age to be afraid of ageing and wrinkles - or maybe we just don’t like to burn.
Either way, studies have shown that around 31% of men are likely to forgo sun protection - even on sunny days - while just 15% of women would do the same.
We cannot say this often enough: everybody should be using sun protection, pretty much whenever they’re outside.
UV rays penetrate even through cloud cover: have you ever heard the saying ‘if you cast a shadow, you can burn’?
It’s a good rule to live by - as is wearing sun cream, or a hat.
Aside from being the major contributing factor in causing skin cancer, UV has a significant impact on the way skin looks.
Some studies have the figure at around 80% - that is, 80% of visible ageing is thought to be caused by UV damage.
In a recent WHO report, it was noted that the elasticity of the skin was weakened with prolonged overexposure to the sun.
They also pointed out that this can cause wrinkles, sagging, and even cause your skin to bruise more easily.
Looking After Your Skin
Even though there are biological differences between men’s and women’s skin, there are a huge number of similarities - including how delicate it really is.
There’s a multitude of things that attack our skin every day - it’s our first layer of defence against the world.
There are internal factors, like what we eat and drink, which can be remedied by taking a thorough look at which foodstuffs affect us negatively.
Read more about the best foods for healthy skin:
Then there are external factors, which can be either easier or harder to tackle.
One key factor, for example, is if you wear make up. Whilst this can lend an extra layer of protection from external irritants - especially if we choose products that contain SPF or antioxidant ingredients - it can also block pores.
Popular nightly routines therefore often involve a double cleanse, which is designed to remove first any traces of makeup, and then do a deep clean of the skin
If you don’t, you can probably skip the second cleanse - but we’d still recommend you do something!
Our preference would be to choose a cleanser that tackles another external skin destroyer: pollution.
If you live or work in a busy city, this is especially important - your poor skin is attacked hour after hour by all the fumes and smoke that fill the air. Yikes.
Air pollution generates free radicals - and free radicals are bad news indeed.
They can actually damage our skin’s DNA by pillaging electrons, which contributes to higher rates of visible ageing.
The good news is there’s an antidote: antioxidants. We’re sure you’ve heard of them - most famously in blueberries (and red wine!).
Luckily, you can provide antioxidants topically as well as ingesting them. A potent source of them is Goji Berries, which you can choose to eat or slather on your face.
Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to make a DIY face mask (although you can, if you want!)
Our Daily Detox Facial Wash boasts a whole heap of helpful ingredients, including Goji Berries. It also won’t stain your face red. Promise.
If you’re looking to get started in the world of skincare, you can stick to two simple steps: cleanse and moisturise.
If you’re a little further along, or a bit intrigued, you could develop your own basic skincare routine, comprising of mask, cleanser, serum, moisturiser - in that order!
You could even use a facial oil on top, if you fancied - but don’t worry if that seems daunting. You can read more about the benefits of using a facial oil here, if you’re interested.
Men and Slow Beauty
What we’re really trying to get at is yes, men’s skin is different to women’s. Its biological makeup is slightly different, and it’s often subjected to different stressors and pollutants.
However, that doesn’t mean to say that men’s skin doesn’t deserve just as much pampering as women’s - and did you know that skincare can actually have mental health benefits?
We believe in a philosophy of slow beauty: appreciating the quality of the ingredients you’re putting on your skin, using only what you need, and choosing sustainable alternatives.
Part of slow beauty is a mindfulness aspect - taking the time to actually feel the movement, and take a moment to appreciate how your body is responding, both to the products and to your day.
Practising some form of mindfulness can help you get a handle on your emotions and reactions, and can even help to suss out what caused them.
Of course, there are many ways to introduce a little mindfulness into your life but most of our favourites involve pampering yourself!
Who doesn’t love going to a spa? The feeling of being totally relaxed and at one with your body is one we long for often - and we have good news!
Sorry, we can’t whisk you off to a spa every time you’re feeling a little stressed - but we can tell you how to give yourself a relaxing calf massage, or an at-home facial.
You could even just try a few minutes of deep breathing after smoothing on a face mask - our Miracle Organic Face Mask works in under five minutes!
|DAILY DETOX FACIAL WASH||MIRACLE ORGANIC FACE MASK|
A delicately foaming facial wash to detoxify and rebalance normal to combination skin.
This delicious miracle face mask blended with 100% natural fruit acids including Glycolic Acid from Sugar Cane delivers instantly smoother plumper skin.
If neither of those sound like your cup of tea, you can check out our tips on unwinding here.
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