We’ve all heard the old saying men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Cliché? Perhaps. Mostly true? Definitely. In all the ways that men and women differ—from the observable physical differences, to the way we navigate the complexities of the world—there’s one differentiator that’s often overlooked: our skin.
In some skin-related ways, we are alike. Men get wrinkles just like women do. Women have to deal with acne also. But how and when these skin issues affect us can vary dramatically between the two sexes.
Here is what you need to know about the differences in how skin ages in men and women:
- Men and women both have specific hormones which help promote collagen production and elastin.
- Women lose their skin-protecting hormone much faster than men.
- Lifestyle choices have a far greater impact on how our skin ages.
Sebum (Oil) Production
Have you ever noticed that men tend to suffer from severe acne more than women? There is a scientific reason for this.
Not only do men have bigger pores than women, they also have higher sebum (oil) production than women. This is due to the fact that men have higher amounts of testosterone in the body.
While struggling with acne breakouts is the worst, there is a benefit to all this oil production—it keeps the skin healthy, supple and hydrated. Hydrated skin reduces the appearance of wrinkles because it plumps up the skin.
Of course, too much oil can be a problem for men. Finding the right skin care regimen that won’t dry out your skin is key to keeping your skin clear and vibrant.
Skin Thickness and Texture
The sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) have a lot to do with the differences between men's and women's skin. Both hormones influence our skin’s texture and thickness.
Estrogen and testosterone both help protect the skin as we age by slowing the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are proteins which keep our skin looking firm and youthful.
In women, the breakdown of estrogen is associated with dry skin and wrinkles (see claim: “Aging is associated with declining levels of several hormones, including estrogen”). This degradation begins around age 30 and drops more quickly around age 40.
Testosterone is what makes a man’s skin thicker and oilier compared to that of a woman. Although men also see testosterone begin to dip in their 30s, this drop is far more gradual compared to women’s loss of estrogen.
To sum things up, men keep their skin firm and wrinkle-free longer than women because they experience a slower drop in testosterone.
It’s a simple fact of life that both men and women will develop wrinkles as they age. However, men and women get them in different areas and with varying degrees of severity.
For example, scientists have found that males generally get deeper forehead wrinkles (see claim: In women, periorbital lines were the first visible wrinkles, in contrast to the forehead lines in men”) and more prominent wrinkles under the eyes compared to women. In women, wrinkles appear first near the mouth and lower cheeks.
For decades, women have enjoyed a wide range of anti-aging products marketed specifically for them. Only in recent years have men been given more options to help them retain their youthful-looking skin.
Today, men can finally enhance their youthful good looks with the aid of facial firming serum and eye cream formulated especially for men. Designed specifically for a man’s skin, these products can help men reduce deep wrinkles and treat under-the-eye bags to restore their good looks.
Given the physiological differences in our skin, a man’s skin appears to age at a slower rate than a woman’s skin does. However, this is far from guaranteed.
Our lifestyle choices have a strong say in how our skin ages. Unfortunately, men often engage in behaviors that can speed up signs of aging.
Exposure to UV rays is a primary cause of premature wrinkles in both men and women. However, men are more likely to work outdoors than women and spend long periods of time in the sun without protection.
Men generally lack the same skin care knowledge that women are raised knowing. This gives them a significant disadvantage in preventing wrinkles and in recognizing the signs of aging.
It’s not all good news for the women. Women are more susceptible to developing depression and anxiety (see claim: “Women and men are at risk for different types of stress-related disorders, with women at greater risk for depression and anxiety”) as a result of stress, which can wreak havoc on the skin.
Slow Down Aging with a Better Skin Care Regimen
When it comes to our skin, men seem to have things pretty good. We lose our skin-protecting hormone gradually, which allows us to hold on to our youthful good looks for longer than women.
Still, this doesn’t mean that men are immune to wrinkles. If you want to pump the brakes on signs of aging, it’s critical that you use skin care products made for men.
With a regular skin care regimen, you can keep your skin healthy, hydrated and handsome for years to come.