Obviously, everyone’s skin is different and depending on genetics and lifestyle (hello, bad diet, excessive drinking, smoking and never moisturizing), people will physically age at different rates. But it’s pretty safe to say that men tend to look a little more youthful longer. Unfair? Maybe, but don’t fret. Studies show that once a man hits 50, the aging process can be swift, meaning men and women will probably look about the same age by their sixties.
While you can’t go through life without accumulating a few well-earned wrinkles, no matter who you are, you’re probably keen to keep your skin looking as youthful as possible. So we turned to Johnson & Johnson training manager Kirk Brierley to explain the differences between men and women’s skin and for ways women can benefit from this knowledge.
“While clearly they have many things in common as the largest organ in their bodies, men’s and women’s skin differs generally in a couple of key ways. Men’s skin is typically thicker than women’s. The other key area is in the sebaceous glands. Men tend to be more oily—not necessarily acne prone, simply have more natural moisture,” says Brierley.
So how does this equate to looking younger? “Because their skin is thicker, it is more firm and can withstand all the abuse and stress thrown at it from the environment on a daily basis a little more. Also, because men’s skin has more natural moisture, they can avoid the dull, dry look that can happen as we get older. This all tends to help avoid early signs of aging such as fine lines and sagging skin.”
And while physically and permanently changing the makeup of one’s skin is pretty much impossible, there are ways to mimic men’s skin and slow down the aging process. First, exercise has been proven to stimulate collagen production, making skin thicker and more youthful-looking. But keep in mind, although a quick workout will get your blood flowing and may enhance the look of your skin in the short term, long term benefits require long-term commitment and a regular routine. Strength training, in particular, has been shown to increase levels of human growth hormone and thicken skin. So that gym membership may be an even better investment than a medicine cabinet full of luxury face creams.
Another way to get the baby-faced complexion of many men is to exfoliate regularly. Men who don’t have beards do this every day. “Shaving acts as a natural exfoliator—removing the fine top layer of skin on a daily basis,” says Brierley. “This can help skin renewal, and maintain a fresh-faced look.” He recommends exfoliating a couple of times a week to achieve similar results. “It is important though to ensure that the scrub is not too harsh. Using a product that aids in cell turnover, such as one containing retinol, is also a good idea,” he adds.
Finally, male or female, young or old, there are a few tips that everyone should follow for younger-looking skin, according to Brierley:
- Start young with a regime that fits your needs and skin type!
- Change and adapt your regime as you age to suit your changing needs.
- Moisture and hydration are always important.
- Wear sunscreen on a daily basis all year round.
- Find a good cleanser that suits your skin and remove your makeup at the end of the day thoroughly.
Products Kirk Brierley recommends:
Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub, $11.99 at London Drugs
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer – Night, $32.99 at London Drugs
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Creamy Cleanser, $11.99 at Well.ca
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen SPF 45, $16.49 at Well.ca
Curious about men’s skin and what you can expect when he turns 68? Check out this men’s aging skin chart!