Men are fortunate to be able to keep their skincare super simple and still see incredible results! Not only do they age differently, but they also shave their faces more regularly and hit their prime later in life than women. Did you know that regularly shaving your face helps with exfoliation, encourages cell turnover, and collagen production, which are all key to anti-aging? The down side is that shaving can also cause skin irritation in men which can lead to rashes and acne. Let’s take a look at why men and women have different skin as well as the ideal facial care routine for men!
Do men and women have different skin types?
Yes! Thanks to different hormones and different skin structures, there are some very apparent differences between men’s and women's skin.
Oil Levels—Men’s sebaceous glands (oil producers) are hyperactive compared to women’s meaning that they’re less prone to dry skin but more prone to acne.
Skin Thickness—An early noughties study, shows that the second layer of men’s skin (the dermis) is nearly 20% thicker than women’s skin. This means women get more fine lines, whereas men get deep expression lines like forehead wrinkles, laugh lines and deep wrinkles around their eyes.
Pores—Surprisingly, men have more pores than women and they’re often more visible which isn’t a good look.
Collagen Levels—Although both men’s and women's collagen levels decrease over the course of their lives, men start with more collagen and have more collagen than women at any age. Collagen is a must for youthful, plump skin!
Now that we know the key differences between men’s and women’s skin, keep scrolling for the ideal easy skincare routine for men!
Cleanse your face at least twice a day
Be sure to start off your daily skin care routine with a quality cleanser. Look for a cleanser with salicylic acid, tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide. They are acne-fighting powerhouses great for oily, acne-prone skin—and since men have more pores and produce a lot of oil they can definitely benefit from one of the three.
Salicylic acid is a BHA which acts as a chemical exfoliant and clears away dead skin cells which can clog pores and cause acne. On the other hand, Benzoyl peroxide is antibacterial and tackles acne by killing P. acnes, the main bacteria that causes acne. Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient that has been dermatologically proven to treat pimples and zits due to its strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Finally, Use your cleanser twice a day to clear away daily grime and keep bacteria at bay. You’ll want to use lukewarm water, use your fingertips to wash in small circular motions for 30-60 seconds. Afterwards gently pat dry and follow with a toner.
Adjust your pH level with a Toner
A pH balanced toner can be a great addition to men’s facial care. When it comes to pH levels, it’s important to keep your skin balanced. pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14 with 1 being acidic and 14 being alkaline. Alkaline skin pH can cause dry skin and a weakened skin barrier. Acidic skin pH can increase acne.
Ideally your skin stays within a range of 4 to 6 for optimal skin health. Dr. Alicia Zalka tells Elite Daily, “Skin relies heavily on its pH to be [at] a certain set point to achieve optimal functioning. The protective ‘layer’ of the skin that maintains the skin's health is known as the acid mantle. If the acid mantle is disturbed with a prolonged state of too high or too low pH, skin disorders and discomfort may ensue.”
Since men’s skin is typically more acidic, look for a pH toner that is a bit more alkaline. Use your toner twice a day directly after you wash your face. Apply it when your skin is still damp for best absorption.
Find the best serum that suits your skin type
Although there are tons of skin serums that could make a big impact to any man’s skincare routine, let’s keep it simple and find just one for you to add to your daily routine. Let’s look at three serum ingredients you should consider:
Azelaic Acid—this naturally occurring acid is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory making it great for squashing acne. It also helps increase cell turnover which reduces the signs of aging and keeps the skin youthful!
Once you find a serum you prefer, be sure to add it to your daily skin care routine twice a day, after your toner and before your moisturizer. Serums can be applied to your fingertips, spread to your other hand and gently applied to your face. You can also use the serum dropper to apply the serum directly to your face then gently rub it in.
Moisturize after applying serum or ampoule
Even though men rarely battle dry skin, a good moisturizer is still a key step to any man’s skincare routine. Moisturizers obviously keep your skin hydrated, but they can also help manage your skin oil levels and increase the efficacy of all your other products. It’s especially important to use a moisturizer after you shave to soothe your skin and help protect the newly exposed layer of skin. Be sure to use your moisturizer twice a day!
Wear a sunblock
Everyone needs to wear sunblock every day, but especially men. According to Water’s Edge Dermatology, men are more likely than women to get skin cancer. “Regular use of sunscreen reduces the risk of developing skin cancer by up to 50 percent.” Aside from preventing skin cancer, sunscreen also decreases visible signs of aging and protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Exposure to UV rays can damage your skin barrier and lead to acne as well as other skin conditions. Obviously, you only need this skin care step in the AM. Most people don’t add enough SPF. To be sure you’re using enough, hold out your index finger, and apply a line from your first knuckle to your fingertip. Unlike your other skincare products, you’ll want to apply your SPF once your skin is completely dry.