• advisorsolution
  • Can men use the same skincare products as women?

    Despite a growing aesthetic market aimed at men, they still tend to be largely overlooked when we talk about skincare. Skincare for women remains a huge and booming industry, with men’s products focusing on moisturisers and the odd cleanser – in sporty, ‘manly’ packaging.

    So for a man who wants something a bit more, does that mean they can just use the same products as women, if they feel so inclined? Or do they need to stick to the smaller range of products that are designed for them specifically?

    Men and women have different skin.

    Firstly, men and women have different skin. Men have facial hair, but there are also differences in skin thickness, oil, or sebum, production, and collagen density.

    Increased skin thickness is caused by testosterone production, and is what accounts for a man’s skin being approximately 25 percent thicker than a woman’s. The production of oil is also greater in men than in women, which again is attributed to the secretion of testosterone and can cause longer-lasting acne. Men also have higher collagen density in the dermis (middle skin layer) than women – meaning they can actually look younger for longer, as collagen is what keeps our skin firm and elastic. This may sound pretty unfair, but bear in mind women still have a tendency to keep better care of their skin than men – which can make a difference to signs of ageing over time. Overall though, men do have tougher skin less prone to sensitivity and irritation.

    Male daily skincare routines can generally be described as much simpler – perhaps washing with water only, or using whatever is on hand, without much time given to thinking about cleansers and primers and serums, or any sort of focused daily skincare.

    But this is changing.

    Consider this – in 2008, the Independent reported that the average man was spending £2.38 a year on skincare and that the male skincare market was worth £57 million, less than a tenth of the women’s. In 2012, it was reported that these figures had risen to an average spend for a man of £1786 per year – almost as much as a woman’s £2462 yearly average skincare spend. While of course there are differences between individuals, countries, between urban and rural areas, there is a growing acceptance among men of skincare as a part of daily life. The younger generation is no longer content with a bar of soap and some aftershave. More and more, skincare companies are designing consultations and treatments specifically for men.

    Do men need different skincare products?

    However, the differences between men and women’s skin doesn’t necessarily mean men need different products to women. For example, men’s excess oil production is often balanced by shaving, which exfoliates the skin and can lead to dryness. And certain shaving foams and creams can be quite harsh, which dry it out even more. Men are also just as susceptible to harmful elements in the environment, including harsh UV rays, pollution, and cigarette smoke, all of which give power to pesky and harmful free radicals.

    Today, men are increasingly turning to, and searching for, a greater range of products: skin clearing washes – because even men get blackheads – cleansers, lip balms, moisturizers with an SPF factor, shaving creams and aftershave balms, and even cooling eye gels.

    The benefit of multi-functional products

    pHformula’s unique multi-functional products can be used by men and women, regardless of age or skin type. The S.O.S rescue oil and S.O.S cream are particularly beneficial to sensitive and dry skin – whether from shaving, from over-exfoliating, from exposure to extremes in temperature.

    The S.O.S rescue oil, containing an innovative combination of oils, in addition to vitamins C and E, infuses the skin with a healthy glow and boosts collagen production, meaning it tackles fine lines and wrinkles and also provides a natural barrier protection.

    The S.O.S rescue cream is a rich product that forms a shield on the skin’s surface for superior protection. Perfect for dryness, or even wind burnt skin and lips, it reinforces the skin’s barrier function, which is one of the most important aspects of healthy skin.  A compromised barrier function can lead to breakouts, dehydration, sensitization and premature ageing.

    Gone are the days in which men might feel embarrassed spending money on skincare products. The environment around us can be a harsh one and all skin often needs a little extra attention to help it remain as happy and healthy as possible.

    Petru van Zyl
    Petru van Zyl

    Petru van Zyl is the founder of pHformula and one of South Africa’s leading skincare therapists with over 18 years of experience to share.

    Petru is also a researcher and author of some of the most acknowledged and influential educational material used and applied in more than 28 countries today.