June 11 – 17 is National Men’s Health Week and with Father’s Day around the corner, we decided to give a little love to the guys in our lives. After all, they have skin too, but contrary to popular advertising campaigns, they do NOT have hides! If “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”, let’s take a look at some of the ways this Martian skin is different than the Venutians’.
- OK, male skin is thicker and men do produce more collagen (this makes me envious) but, unlike that cowhide your skin has been compared to, human male skin can also start to thin 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 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 our guys tend to resist using adequate sun protection on a regular basis.
- Men sweat more. Uh, we knew that. The reason? More androgen’s + more hair = 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 tuned with us as we talk about some common (and annoying) skin problems for men and tips for good, balanced skin care to help keep you healthy and looking good!