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The Difference Between Male and Female Facial Cleansers

Is there a difference between facial cleansers for men and women? Here's what to know. Pick the right one for your skincare needs to love your look.

Facial Cleansers for Men Vs. Women

Personal care products generally do not appeal to both genders at one time. Men and women need to keep up basic hygiene including keeping the face clean. Men are from Mars and women are from Jupiter, though, right? Apparently in many more ways than just personality traits and thought process. Personal care products can differ between the sexes not just by the marketing but also by composition. Men’s physiological needs do differ from those of women's. What's more, their senses and preferences differ as well. So how exactly are men’s and women’s facial cleansers different?

The Complexion Of A Man

Until puberty sets in and those sex hormones start to take a stronghold on humans, both men and women have similar skin structures. After puberty, the divide makes the skin of the sexes much different. A man’s face is naturally oiler, the skin is thicker and tougher than that of a women's and the reason behind this is due to the makeup of the skin. Men have more collagen, as such their skin tends to age slower than women, sorry ladies! While collagen loss hits both men and women the same with time, because women have thinner skin to start, when collagen degradation hits, they see the signs sooner.

Additionally, men have facial hair, and they will generally engage in shaving the face regularly. This shaving does more than just slice hair close to the skin, it also exfoliates. Testosterone plays a factor in hair growth on the skin and more testosterone means more hair growth which relates to less wrinkles-specifically on the face. Testosterone is also the means for which larger oil glands are present on a man’s face which is why their face tends to be more oily than females. As more natural oil is present, the amount of hydration and lubrication is increased which leads to less dry skin and wrinkles in men versus women.

So it may seem like men have it easier than women do naturally. This argument may have some strength, but in reality, the majority of women will take more time to care for their skin than men. The result is that while women appear to have a biological disadvantage in terms of the aging process, their behaviors such as wearing sunscreen, use a facial moisturizer, buying skin-appropriate facial cleansers, etc., tend to make a positive contribution which can help that deficit.

The Complexion Of A Woman

Sex hormones are different between genders and the way testosterone plays an important part in men’s skin, so does estrogen for women. Estrogen causes the sebaceous glands, oil glands, to be smaller in size which results in less oily skin. This hormone also thins sebum out. Sebum is fatty and a thinned sebum means far less fat which equals less plump appearance. If only women could have this effect on the body, considering women’s bodies contain far more fat than that of men’s! As women age, they also lose lipids that are present in the skin. The loss of lipids is a result of declining estrogen in older years.

Facial Cleanser Ingredients

The differences in the natural makeup of men and women also dictate formulations of facial cleansers for the sexes. Because men pay less attention to specialty formulated hygiene products overall, they have a higher tendency to use bar soaps for all of their cleaning needs. But bar soap is not a good option for either men or women because they are often made with very harsh detergents that will strip the natural moisturizing effects of the face’s oils.

Products specializing in the upkeep of male skin are far less restrictive than those for women because male skin tends not to be as sensitive to various ingredients the way female skin is. Marketers understand that men want more efficient products so they will tend to design male facial cleansers to work not just for the face but also provide a dual function by also being a body wash. This makes male cleansers more comprehensive in their use, less expensive overall, and easier to use which are all factors that appeal more to males.

In general, male facial cleansers will be made to aid in shaving. Exfoliants to reduce painful and unsightly ingrown hairs and soothing aloe for softening that facial hair is commonly seen. Because male skin varies amongst each other, a man can also find products that are not just male-centric but also speak to these variations. Facial cleansers can have all the benefits that suit male skin and also address dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin.

Due to the distinct differences in the skin of men and women, the best advice when looking for a facial cleanser is to search for a product you like that was specifically designed for your gender. For instance, women’s skin is far more sensitive than men’s and so a cleanser that a male uses could be too harsh for women. Women, who suffer early signs of aging at a faster rate then men are also going to want to find cleansers that are composed of quality moisturizers.

Resources— American Academy of Dermatology, National Insitute on Aging, Leaf,

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