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Skin Care Differences Between Men and Women

The differences in skin care for men and women and what ingredients men and women should look for in separate skin care products. Keeping your skin properly moisturized is essential to prevent wrinkles and retaining a youthful appearance regardless of sex. So, what ingredients should you look for in skin care products and what are the differences in skin care products for men and for women? Dr. Michael Tick of the Institute for Skin Sciences and Edimi explains.

Besides having facial hair, there are structural differences between a man’s skin and a woman’s. Androgen (testosterone) stimulation causes an increase in skin thickness, which accounts for why a man’s skin is about 25% thicker than a woman’s. In addition to being thicker, a man’s skin texture is tougher. Sebum (oil) and its production also differ. After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than females, which is attributed to androgen secretions and accounts for why men have longer lasting acne.

According to Dr. Michael Tick, regardless of age, men also have a higher collagen density than women. Dr. Michael Tick is a biochemist, laboratory director for The Institute for Skin Sciences and founder of Edimi, a line of organic skincare and body care products sold at luxury spas and salons around the world. “Because collagen content is directly related to the signs of skin aging, it has been said a woman’s skin is about 15 years older than a man’s of the same age. However, men are less sun savvy than women, meaning they don’t use sunscreens, and could contribute to why the “15 year” skin age difference is not readily noticed.  UV damage from the sun can add years to a man’s skin.”

Skin Differences: Men Vs. Women

  • The skin of a man is thicker than the skin of a woman and has more collagen; therefore women tend to age faster than men.
  • Women have more subcutaneous fat – fat below the skin – than men. Therefore women suffer from cellulite.
  • Men secrete more sebum (oil) and they secrete it throughout life. Women stop secreting sebum after menopause, therefore the skin looks coarser and drier as the woman ages.
  • Men sweat more than women and the sweat stays on the body longer. Men also have more body hair and therefore more surface area for bacteria to develop.
  • The female skin is also more functionally responsive than the skin of men. Therefore female skin has a greater tendency to redness and to irritation to skin care products and so women are said to have tender skin.

“It’s important for us to realize these important differences between the skin of a man and the skin of woman,” says Dr. Tick.  “These differences are important in developing skin care products, for example odor control is more difficult in males than in females, because of the presence of body hair and the increased production of sweat and of sebum. Facial stinging is also more prevalent in women and therefore we must test facial products and cosmetics more rigorously for sensitive skin in women. Less collagen in female skin combined with thinner skin means a larger anti-aging market for women. Lastly, the increased subcutaneous fat in women means that the market for the development of cellulite treatment is almost completely confined to this group.”

What Should Women and Men Look for in Skincare Products?

According to Dr. Tick, men and women should look for cleansing products that do not have sodium lauryl sulphate (or the like). These kinds of cleansers are alkaline based and alkaline are “drying agents”. “Both sexes should also look for products that have a high pH (potential hydrogen – a measurement of the acid versus alkaline in the body and the skin). The lower the pH, the more acid is available to “eat” the skin.”


Use products that have ingredients that cause better circulation such as:

  • Menthol
  • Tea tree oil
  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus

Use products with higher molecular structure to protect the larger pores:

  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Borage Oil
  • Flax Seed
  • Milk Thistle

Use products that have ingredients to tone the skin:

  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe Vera

Use products that have ingredients causing a reparative process:

  • Chinese Red Root
  • Comfrey
  • Golden Seal
  • Gotu Kola


Use cleansers that contain ingredients that “pull” the daily dirt off the skin and out of the pore as opposed to abrasively rubbing, brushing and peeling the skin:

  • Bay Laurel
  • Cucumber
  • Sage
  • Parsley

Do not use any toner – it will roughen women’s skin!  Use tightening serums that contain:

  • Collagen (preferably “plant” collagen)
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Hawthorne Berry Extract
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Willow Herb Extract

Use moisturizing/reparative creams containing:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Calendula
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
  • Elastin protein
  • Hyaluronic acid

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