Is men’s skin different to women’s skin?

Men's vs Women's skin

Men’s and women’s skin is different. They have a different hormone metabolism, hair growth, sweat rate, sebum production, the surface pH is different and we accumulate fat differently.

The cosmetic industry has started taking notice of men as a whole new marketing stream.

Big brands have moved in and developed ranges targeted solely for men.  Clinique for Men, Clarins Men, Shiseido Men, Nuxe Men, Bulldog Skincare, and Tom Ford. 

The question is . .

Is Men’s Skin Different to Women’s Skin?

Hormones and men’s skin.

The reason that men’s skin is different from women’s skin is hormones.

Hormones affect every vital role in our daily function.

The hormones that a predominant in men are called androgens.

Androgens are hormones that trigger male characteristics. mainly testosterone.

Women also have and require testosterone and other androgens, they just have them in lesser amounts.

Hormones are chemical messengers, their job is to deliver signals.

If you look at a group of children under the age of 10 it is often hard to tell boys from girls.

Hormones and skin

They both have smooth plump, clear skin.

Their faces are still rounded and have a layer of subcutaneous fat.

Neither have facial hair or acne.

From a skin point of view, they are identical.

Then puberty hits and with it a large amount of hormone production.

For boys testosterone production increases and this has a big effect on their skin, as well as their developing bodies.

Oil Production in Men’s Skin

Men have larger pores than women and produce 75 per cent more sebum because of their much higher levels of testosterone.

Because men don’t enter menopause their sebum production remains the same throughout their life.

This sebum gives the skin more protection from water loss.

This is also why acne is more common in males. 

Men also have larger pores due to the growth of facial hair.

So overall men’s skin tends to be oiler than women’s skin, particularly during puberty.

Men’s Skin is Thicker

Men’s skin is 20-25% thicker than women and it thins gradually as they age.

Women’s skin thickness remains constant until around 50.

After menopause women’s skin thins rapidly.

The thickness of men’s skin is due to testosterone and the thinning of women skin is due to decreasing levels of estrogen.

Collagen and Men’s Skin

Collagen is a naturally produced protein and one of the most important components in elasticity and a smooth skin appearance.

According to Terri Vison, a cosmetic chemist

“The extra thickness of men’s skin is due to denser collagen fibres. Men’s collagen is more tightly packed and forms a mesh-like structure. Women have less dense collagen and it runs parallel. This may explain why some women appear to age after than men in the same environmental conditions.”

  Men also tend to retain higher concentrations of collagen as they age.

Whilst both sexes lose around 1% per year after the age of 30, women can lose around 30% of the remaining collagen stored in the first five years after menopause!

Hormones can be your friends or your foes depending on which end of the spectrum you’re on.

Testosterone levels and a greater density of collagen and elastin, make men’s skin less delicate and more robust than women’s. 

The extra thickness, (the stratum corneum is also 25% thicker than female skin) it makes it harder for skincare products to penetrate the top layers of the epidermis and get to the dermis where most of the good skin action happens.

Male products tend to be more intense and concentrated in order to penetrate the deeper layers effectively.

Mens vs Womens skin

Men Sweat Differently To Woman.

A lot of men pay little attention to their skin. Lucky for them their skin is naturally more hydrated.

Why? Because of a higher body temperature and the presence of facial hair and their sweat.

Yes, men really do sweat more and differently to women.

In fact, men sweat more than twice as much as women.

There is more lactic acid secreted by their sweat, a natural moisture retainer, coupled with a thicker barrier, they tend to have a higher level of tissue hydration.

More hydration means fewer wrinkles and mean do have less fine lines and wrinkles than women.

Does Men’s Skin Age Differently To Women’s?

Because of the higher levels of collagen and better hydration in men, they are seen to age better and have fewer visible lines than women of the same age.

Signs of ageing may appear later in men, however, when they do appear, they can seem more prominent and fully grooved.

Men generally get deeper forehead wrinkles as their skin tends more towards ‘folding’ rather than wrinkles.

This is because men have a higher level of fat loss as they age.

Men have a greater tendency to dark circles and sagging around the eyes making them look tired.

Women’s wrinkles usually appear first around the mouth and lower cheeks.

In both sexes, diet lifestyle and genetics play a huge role in how our skin ages.

Taking care of ourselves by reducing sugar, exercising especially weight-bearing exercise as we age, not smoking and having a great skincare routine can help not only our skin and our physical health but also our mental health.

pH Levels of Men’s Skin vs Women’s Skin

The “pH level” measures the level of acid in a substance.

The skin has an acid mantle. Your skin needs this acid mantle to protect it from bacterial invasion an to protect its barrier function from damaging free radicals and UV radiation.

Keeping this acid mantle slightly acidic at just below 5 is beneficial for healthy skin.

The acid mantle is balanced by microflora made up of sebum and sweat. Men naturally sweat more lactic acid than women do.

Because of this, they have a more acid environment than women which means they are able to fight off bacteria and damaging free radicals better than women.

Facial Hair and Men’s Skin

One of the biggest differences between men and women is facial hair.

Both sexes have it, but men have more of it, and it’s a lot thicker.

The average man shaves his face 16,000 times in a lifetime.

Each time we shave, we remove the top-most layer of cells, exposing premature, sensitive cells to external irritants.

Up to 40% of men suffer from shaving related issues including ingrown hairs and shaving rash. 

Shaving is basically exfoliation, and any intense exfoliation can be irritating to the skin, but it also has benefits.

This could also be the reason men have less fine lines and wrinkles as well as an even skin tone.

They do intense exfoliation more than we do.

The latest beauty trend of dermaplaning  – where the top layer of skin is removed with a surgical blade –  is what men do to the top layer of skin when they shave.

Shaving with blunt razors and insufficient lubrication can result in cuts, razor burn, and bumpy texture.

So a clean sharp razor and good lubrication are always recommended.

Those who maintain beards or other facial hairstyles can benefit from the protection hair can provide from sun damage, which can be one of the biggest contributors to visible ageing, although a good SPF is still recommended.

So when it comes to skincare men have different skin to women but they still need a skincare routine.

Although men possibly don’t want to start a 10 step Korean skincare routine their skin can benefit from a simple and effective 4 step morning routine.


I am a big believer in keeping your skincare routine to a minimum regardless of your gender status.

Fortunately, even though men have different skin to women’s if your co-habitation partner is the opposite of you, there are products you can share.

Products You Can Share

Men’s skincare is pretty straightforward. Like everything in life whether it’s exercise, writing a blog or skincare establish a daily routine, and then stick to it.

Consistency is key.

If your a man and you shave everyday cleaning is not going to be that much of an issue for you.

Although your forehead, eyes and the top of your cheeks will benefit from a gel or foaming cleanser twice a day.

Again exfoliation is not going to high on your list but your forehead and cheek tops will benefit from a chemical exfoliation a couple of times a week so bear that in mind.

Products that you both can use every day are:

Chemical Exfoliators

Chemical exfoliation (also known as direct acids) is about removing excess sebum and dirt and achieving balance with your skin.

It evens your oil levels to optimizes facial pH. 

This allows moisturizer to sink in more easily, penetrating below the surface to thirsty tissues that lie beneath.

A lot of women use chemical exfoliators pretty regularly, men aren’t as aware of its benefits.

It’s a great way to target forehead sheen and treat acne.

Keep in mind that men have more active oil glands than women. This is great for natural moisturizing but can, on some faces, be a little too much.

Chemical exfoliators are the answer.

Added Benefits for Men

For those painful, inflamed ingrown hairs men so frequently get after shaving, toner has a less-known benefit; it can prevent these hairs when applied after a shave.

Remember that men need to use chemical exfoliators just once daily.

So let him sneak a cotton ball-full in the morning, but keep it out of reach for nighttime routines.

Vitamin C Serum

Although men and women experience the effects of ageing in different ways, both are susceptible to the hands of time.

Let’s highlight the differences first. A man’s skin is naturally thicker to sustain hair growth.

Men also don’t experience hormonal fluctuations to the same degree as women.

This means they don’t need quite the same anti-ageing products, such as peptides.

What men can benefit from is your vitamin C serum.

Just as women lose collagen, so do they.

This causes the skin to also lose elasticity.

A daily nutrient-rich serum can stabilize and grow crucial collagen molecules, just as it does for your face.

Encourage your man to apply your favourite serum as the final step in his skincare routine, and he’ll help stave off common signs of ageing like skin sagging and folding.

Charcoal Face Masks

We know you love your charcoal face mask.

That fresh, invigorated feeling that takes over your skin unlike any other product in your arsenal.

Lucky for your man, you can share that same feeling with him. Just as charcoal draws impurities and removes pore-clogging bacteria from your skin, it can do the same for him.

Additional reasons to share this mask include:

  • Brighter complexions for both you and him
  • Dead skin cell removal
  • Improved hydration
  • Blackhead removal and prevention

Men can also benefit from the 15 to 20 minutes of downtime the mask needs to activate.

Together, the two of you might share this time as the charcoal works to reduce under-eye circles, stamp down inflammation, and improve blood circulation.

These effects will have you both glowing after you remove your masks, and who knows where such shared attraction might then lead.

Skincare Demands Moisturizer

We’ve already established that, in general, men have more hydrated skin than women.

They make more sebum. But that doesn’t mean men can skip the moisturizer.

Just like on women, this product helps safeguard the skin’s natural barrier and keeps cells looking plump and smooth.

So, what kind of moisturizer can men and women share?

The answer is oil-free, which most women have in their medicine cabinet or bathroom drawer.

By sharing with your man, you can ultimately keep fewer products in the house and give his skin the hydration it needs.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

A moisturizer with sunscreen is even better – for both of you. Combining these two products gives your man one less thing to remember without sacrificing proper protection.

It also ensures each of you safeguard your skin on overcast days when you might think sunscreen is redundant but still remains necessary.

Men are twice as likely to suffer from melanoma and other skin cancers than women.

Using sunscreen every day reduces the risk of skin cancers as well as a host of other skincare benefits.

You should both be wearing a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every day. Also add in a few other protective measures such as:

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses especially if you work outside.
  • Seek shade whenever possible. Give up tanning please I beg you.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when possible.
  • Try to stay out of the sun when the sun’s rays are strongest (From10am to 2 pm).

Lip Balm

Lips are so important to how we communicate as humans. they convey expression both verbal and non-verbal.

Lips smile, kiss and allow us to talk among many other things.

In the last 10 years, lip filler has skyrocketed as we seek out juicy plump lips.

Interestingly lips do not have sebaceous glands, being as they are not hairy.

Because they lack there own moisturizing source they can quickly become dry, flakey and cracked.

Your lips can only get moisture in three ways. Through the water, we drink, from our saliva – and licking your lips only makes them moist momentarily.

The salvia evaporates and ends up leaving them dryer than before which then makes you want to lick them again.

The third way to add moisture to lips is by applying it.

Men need lip balm just as much as women.

Not the glossy, lip-plumping kind you like to wear out unless that’s his thing. I m not here to judge.

He may prefer a subtle but richly-formulated one that repairs, softens and protects the delicate lip skin.

Here’s another helpful point: waxed-based balms keep moisture from escaping the lips, while oil-based options nourish the lips but don’t necessarily keep moisture locked in.

Another alternative, the lip mask, rejuvenates lip tissues but doesn’t provide hydration

. Like a lot of things when it comes to skincare you are abundant in choices!

The Difference in Products Men vs Women

The main focus for men should be quality shaving products which make for a smooth, clean shave.

Antibacterial cleansers, clean and sharp razors, and good lubricants will all make a significant difference in your facial appearance.

Because men’s complexions tend to be oiler, heavy-based creams should be avoided.

Products that target excess oil and fighting shine are recommended.

With the extra thickness, higher concentrated products work well and are better absorbed, whereas, in women, they may be too strong and lead to adverse reactions.

For men, who typically spend less time on skincare routines, multi-functional, higher concentrated products work best and fit with lifestyles.

Generally speaking, women’s products tend to concentrate more on moisturization because of their lower levels of sebum and less effective barrier.

Stronger anti-ageing products may be needed by women because of thinner skin and lower collagen levels.

In conclusion, yes, men and women have big differences when it comes to their bodies’ largest organ; however, the ingredients found in skincare will work for all genders.

The important thing is to find products that work for you and use them consistently.

And wear sunscreen, always wear sunscreen.