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Men and women are very different. We don’t have to tell you that. We’re not going to indulge in gender stereotypes, but one of the main differences between the two sexes is the way their skin behaves. Dr Stefanie Williams explains more…
“Men and women's skin differs in certain aspects such as hair growth, sweat rate, oil production and pH. Until the age of 50, men's ‘trans-epidermal water loss’ (aka the invisible water that evaporates out of the skin) is significantly lower than women’s of the same age. This basically means male’s skin barrier function is better than women’s, so men have less tendency for dryness. (Yay for them.) However, they are oilier than women. (Yay for us.) Their sebum production gets higher and stays pretty much the same as they get older, whereas women’s oiliness decreases with age. So what does all this mean?
Men are more likely to get acne and women have a higher chance of having dry skin.
Annoyingly, women also tend to have a higher pH level, which may further contribute to impaired barrier function and dry skin.
Men’s skin tends to be more robust than women’s, so it can tolerate punchier ingredients, like retinol (vitamin A). However, both sexes should use an antioxidant serum and SPF in the morning and a repair cream containing a collagen stimulator, such as vitamin A, at night.
Whilst their skin is hardy, don’t be fooled, they have a weak spot; the beard area is particularly susceptible to irritation thanks to repetitive shaving. Things like ingrown hairs and folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles) are really common.
Women have a higher risk of hormone-related pigmentation such as melasma, so female skincare products often contain more skin lightening ingredients than those targeted for men. Although, if a male patient comes to see me with irregular pigmentation, I would treat them the same way as a woman.”
Dr Stefanie Williams is Medical Director of Eudelo London.
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