Men’s vs Women’s Skin: Understanding the Difference

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Are you someone who borrows skincare products from your partner? Well, you are not the only one who does so.

At some point in time, you might have seriously pondered over the question if women’s skincare products are suitable for men. We also understand that it is not really a question you’d be comfortable discussing with anyone. 

Here is everything that you need to know.

The article is a part of our comprehensive series on “Skincare for men.”

Are skincare product’s unisex? 

There are a lot of differences between male and female skin. As male skin is thicker and oilier than a woman, the products that are specifically designed for women won’t be suitable for a man.

However, the concept of unisex products is not new. Scientists are trying out various natural extracts to design products that can be used for both men and women.

Difference between male and female skin

Here are some of the main differences between male and female skin.

1. Thicker skin

Male skin has a tougher texture, and it is 20-25 times thicker than a woman’s skin. This is mainly because male skin contains more collagen, which gives a firmer and tighter appearance. 

Male skin constantly loses collagen through out life, while females start seing the reduction after menopause.

2. Facial hair

Men have thick facial hair, while women have soft and refined hair. Shaving daily puts more stress on male skin and can cause burns, bumps, cuts and irritation.

3. Oiliness

Men’s skin has more oil than that of women. This is because they have larger and more pores for releasing oil. Thus male skin is more prone to acne than their female counterparts.

Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

4. Ageing

Since the collagen density is more in a man’s skin, it ages less than that of female skin. Compared to a man’s skin of the same age, a women’s skin is 15 times older. However, since men won’t take care of their skin like women, the difference is not much noticed.

Your skin suffers more if your razor is dull. Keeping the same razor around too long also makes it more prone to issues. 

Reasons why men should have different skincare products

Here are the main reason why men should use different skincare products from women.

1. pH levels are different

The outer layer of the skin is layered with natural oil along with amino and lactic acids. This creates a pH that is between 4-6. If the pH level is low, skin gets greasy, and higher pH levels give dry skin.

Since women have a higher pH level, there is a higher tendency for women’s skin to be dry. On the other hand, a man’s skin won’t get dry that easily.

For this reason, women skin care products are often added with ceramides and fatty acids.

However, if a man uses these, his skin will end up feeling greasy. On the other hand, men’s skincare products contain oil-free moisturisers.

2. Testosterone impacts

Although oestrogen is the predominant female sex hormone found in women, for men, it is testosterone. 

This hormone also contributes to making the male skin oily. In addition, as men have more pores, large amounts of sebum will be pumped out, which makes the skin greasy, clogging the pores.

Thus men should look for products that help to wash off the accumulated layer of sebum and dead cells.

3. Men age differently from women

The collagen content in the skin will start to decline in the late thirties for male and female skin. However, the decline will happen more rapidly in women than in men. This is why female skin ages more rapidly than male skin.

In addition, studies have indicated that the male skin can tolerate higher concentrations of anti-ageing ingredients such as retinol.

4. Different sensitivity areas

As male skin is frequently exposed to shaving, they should look for products that could naturally repair the skin as shaving could remove the natural lipids formed on top of the skin.

In addition, their skin also suffers from ingrown follicles and hair. Choosing the right male skincare product could restore the damaged skin and prevent the formation of ingrown hair.

Difference between male and female skincare products

The pores of the male skin are blocked by dead cells and sebum, which will result in pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.

Although men deal with it throughout their life, using the right skincare product be a big help to your skin.


The article studies some key differences between male and female skin.

Owing to these, it is best for males to seek out the products that are designed for men. In short, you should choose products that are highlighted for men and generally avoid products that claim to be unisex.

Speak to our team of medical experts to create a skincare routine that works for you.

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