Men's skin is different than women's—what guys need to know

When it comes to skin, physiology differs between the sexes and guys need more than just women’s skincare products with the words "for men" slapped on them. Using skincare made for guys will provide more tailored benefits and noticeably healthier skin. 

You might think that facial hair is the main difference between men and women's skincare needs but it doesn’t stop there. There are actually key structural differences between a man’s and a woman’s skin.

Let's break it down:

Men have a different rate of hair growth.
Fairly obvious and so we won’t go too much into how this plays into the need for shaving and problems that arise from that. Essentially, with 16,000 shaves in an average guy's lifetime, men have a higher chance of mechanical irritation from shaving and have more issues with ingrown hair and folliculitis in the beard area.

Different sweat rate.
Sweat is natural and it’s part of who we are as humans and when we're kids, there's not much difference between how boys and girls sweat. The difference starts when testosterone kicks in. Scientists have found it enhances the male sweat response. (Women need to get hotter before they begin to sweat.) Guys tend to sweat more because they’re often bigger, which produces more heat, requiring more sweating to cool off.

Different oil production.
Men have more active sebaceous glands, and more pores, than their female counterparts. A guy’s oil glands and pores are larger, too. In fact, oil production is double in males, meaning a guy’s skin is oilier and shinier. This is why acne tends to be more of an issue for men over women. Lastly, with that increased sebum, men need higher concentrations of active ingredients to penetrate their oilier skin.

Different skin pH.
You might be wondering why pH is making a come-back from 10th grade science, but it is an important factor for skin health. The average pH of the skin is mildly acidic, between 4-5, thanks to what’s known as the acid mantle, which acts as a protective barrier on the surface of skin’s top layer. The acid mantle helps keep vital moisture in and environmental aggressors out. In men, the average pH can be lower due to high rates of oil production (which leads to clogged pores).

Moisture and water retention.
Until the age of 50, a man’s skin retains on average more water than that of women of the same age. Because of that, dryness is less of an issue for men than it is for women. It’s one reason why guys usually want very thin and airy moisturizers whereas women prefer thicker, richer products to address more pronounced dryness.

These differences between men and women's skin make skincare products specifically designed for men the better option for guys who are looking for optimal skin health.