June is National Men’s Health Month and with Father’s Day around the corner, we decided to give a little love to the guys in our lives. We know men tend to put off (or completely ignore) self-care, here’s a link to send him with some good basic reminders of what self-care actually looks like! But since we’re talking specifically about skin health here, let’s address some of the real differences between male and female skin. Contrary to a popular advertising campaign from a few years ago, men do NOT have “hides”. So what are the real differences between male and female skin, and why does that require different skin care?
- OK, male skin is thicker and men do produce more collagen (this makes me envious), and it might even feel “leathery” at times but unlike that cowhide your skin has been compared to, human male skin can start to thin – even earlier than a woman’s. In fact, it can start thinning as early as your 20’s.
- Hormone’s – in particular androgen’s or male hormones (testosterone) have a big impact on male skin. Because there are more receptors for these androgen’s in male skin, it acts differently. These are some of the effects:
- Male skin is oilier. There are more sebaceous or oil glands in male skin and they produce oil at a faster rate than women.
- Male skin heals more slowly because testosterone can slow the immune system. This can make men more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.
- Skin cancer. Men have a greater risk for skin cancer in particular, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. This is may be compounded by the fact that guys tend to resist using adequate sun protection on a regular basis.
- Men sweat more. Yeah, we knew that. The reason? More androgen’s + more hair follicles = more sweat glands. Sweat is actually odorless as it leaves the body, but warm conditions and bacterial growth actually cause the unpleasant smell.
- Men’s skin is usually cooler. That sweating thing? That’s what helps him keep his cool.
So what do all these differences mean for men’s skin care and general skin health? Stay with us as we talk about some common skin problems for men and tips for good, balanced skin care to help keep him healthy – and looking good!