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What is the difference between skincare for men and skincare for women?

Fragrance aside, are skincare products for men different to those for women? While there are common skin concerns that can affect us all – ageing, breakouts and sensitivity to name a few – testosterone gives male skin a different structure and some key differences to female skin and this may influence your skincare product choices.

Thickness of Skin

Androgen hormones such as testosterone affect the thickness of the skin and account for male skin being approximately 20-25% thicker than female skin. Although women have thinner skin to start with, its thickness stays the same until their late 40s and fifties before thinning significantly after the menopause when declining oestrogen levels reduce collagen production.

For men, skin gradually thins with age as collagen declines at a constant rate.

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Oiliness of Skin

Androgens also determine how much sebum the skin’s sebaceous glands produce. High in testosterone, male skin is not only thicker but also oilier than women’s – male skin produces up to four times more sebum than female skin.

This can mean it’s prone to more and larger pores and blemishes. It’s not all bad news though, although you’ll need to reach for targeted, lightweight products to help keep shine under control, men are less likely to have dry skin compared to women.

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Ageing of Skin

A thicker dermis can mean that wrinkles are less pronounced and less common for men, too. This can change with age though, as testosterone levels decrease in men as they get older so does the skin’s elasticity, which may allow wrinkles to form and cause skin to sag.

As testosterone declines at a more gradual rate compared to oestrogen in women, male skin tends to be firmer and wrinkle-free for longer.

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Facial hair

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between men and women’s skincare routines is that higher testosterone levels mean most men tend to grow facial hair and shaving is an extra step to consider – and one that can cause stress and irritation to your skin.

On average, men shave 20,000 times during their lives (equivalent to five months in total), and shaving-related concerns effect nearly half of them. As it removes the uppermost layer and skin barrier, shaving can cause dryness and sensitivity.

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Our Most Loved Men’s Products

Here at Kiehl’s we use dermatologically tested unisex formulas that are suitable for everyone. We also have more targeted formulas for men’s skin, including our Facial Fuel Range or our Age Defender Collection. To keep oily skin under control, choose lightweight and non-comedogenic skincare products that will help clear your pores of impurities and excess oil.

Cleansing regularly in the morning and evening and after exercise with a gentle cleanser, like our Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash for men, can help to purify pores and refresh dull-looking skin. Follow with our non-greasy moisturiser that’s formulated for thicker skin, the Age Defender Gel Moisturizer for men helps firm the feel of skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. For protection post-shave when your skin is more sensitive and at its most exposed, choose a moisturiser with SPF. Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment SPF 19 offers broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.

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