While a skin care routine itself shouldn’t be gendered (read: Anyone can benefit from daily skin hygiene), the actual steps involved may vary, as there are some structural differences in men’s and women’s skin to note. Of course, everyone’s skin has individual needs, but men do have some common qualities.
First, we should unpack the pervasive notion that men’s skin is thicker than women’s, which is why they tend to experience fewer fine lines as they age. This is only half-true: Research has found that the dermis (aka where elastin and collagen are produced), is 10 to 20% thicker in men than women. As a result, many believe men are able to maintain the dermal layer for longer and experience fewer visible signs of aging, like fine lines.
However, says Zeichner, the thickness of the stratum corneum (aka, the outer layer of the skin or epidermis) is the same in men and women. So we can’t exactly say that men’s skin, overall, is thicker or tougher.
Men’s skin also tends to run on the oily side: Not only can they have larger, more concentrated oil glands, says Zeichner, but they also typically have more testosterone, which can increase oil production. Finally, men generally have more terminal hairs (thick, strong hairs; opposite of vellus, peach-fuzz hairs) than women, which may require more targeted treatments for things like facial ingrowns and razor burns.