Have you ever wondered if marketing skin care to men is really only all about the packaging? I mean, most men start out by using their partner's or sister's skin care anyway. So are marketers really just re-packaging the exact same women's products to make them more appealing to men - or are men's skin care products truly different?
Let's start by considering the ways in which men's skin is actually quite different to women's:
- Wrinkles and Fine Lines.
You may be surprised to learn that men actually develop wrinkles earlier in life and with a greater severity than do women - regardless of whether they use an SPF. While women’s wrinkles increase sharply from around 40+ years of age, men tend to have a clinical onset of wrinkles from around 25 years of age. This is not due to their being in the sun more, or some other environmental factor, but it is due to the quite different composition of male skin – for example:
Women have a much higher volume of collagen fibres in our skin, which gives us more elasticity during our younger years. But before we become too complacent - it is also the case that our collagen fibres decrease rapidly with age. Men, on the other hand, have a much lower collagen density and fibre volume in their dermis but theirs decreases more steadily over time. Both men and women, however, can benefit from Founder's Formula award-winning Phyto-A+ Australian Native Tobacco Serum. This serum has been clinically proven to stimulate collagen production at four times the rate of Vitamin A and works equally on women and on men.
- Skin Extensibility
Women tend to have a much higher skin extensibility and distensibility (ability to swell and expand) compared to guys, but in turn, male skin has a better ability for recovery after episodes of swelling or skin expansion.
- Subcutaneous Hydration
Subcutaneous hydration (or the amount of water held underneath the skin) is again different in men's and women’s skin. Women's skin levels of subcutaneous hydration remain stable – or even increase – over a lifetime, whereas male skin levels progressively decrease after the age of 40. Hydrated skin is key to a dewy, healthy looking skin. All Founder's Formula serums contain multi-weighted hyaluronic acid, as well as peptides and plant extracts that increase the skin's ability to hold water. Both women and men can benefit equally well from products that foster healthy hydrated cells.
- Sebum Production
Sebum production (oil produced by the body) can be one of the main causes of oily skin. Conversely, low sebum production is a cause of dry skin. In men's skin, the level of sebum production is higher than women's and remains on a similar level with increasing age. Women's sebum production, on the other hand, decreases over our lifetime. Using an oil cleanser such as Founder's Formula Macadamia Omega-7 Cleansing Oil, rich in Omega 7 and squalene, is an excellent way for women to daily re-introduce healthy oils back into skin.
Lastly, a difference between male and female skin is the pH levels. pH levels determine whether or not something is acidic or alkaline. Male skin pH level is usually below 5 pH (more acidic), whereas female skin pH levels are usually higher than 5 (more alkaline). Purslane and Commelina Gentle Balancing Toner re-establishes healthy pH levels at 5.5. So perhaps this one product is better suited to women's skin.
At the end of the day, though, there is surprisingly little research that compares the efficacy of skin care actives on men's skin compared with women's. Studies tend to focus on the efficacy of the ingredients where the subjects are either all male, or all female. Where studies include male and female subjects, gender differences are not reported on as a relevant variable. With more men's skin care coming on the market I think we can expect that to change - I will let you know in a future blog when it does!