Expert Topic by Joanne Rendell
Written by Skin Therapist Joanne Rendell
This week we take a look at the different challenges men face with their skin - It’s stating the obvious to say that there are many differences between men and women – but how does their skin compare? While it’s logical to think that ‘skin is skin’, there are some key physiological differences. Every individual’s skin has its own personal characteristics, of course, but to summarise, men’s skin is usually thicker, hairier and oilier. It tends to age differently, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean that male consumers need a completely different range of ‘men-only’ skincare products. But it does mean that choosing formulations that suit and address these specific issues will achieve the best results.
Let's Talk Testosterone
Hormones affect skin (both male and female) in a variety of different ways. Although women produce it too, albeit in smaller quantities, testosterone is the key male sex hormone that regulates a huge range of functions, including hair growth, sweat production and sebum secretion. Sebum per se isn’t bad – it provides your skin with a flexible, waterproof protective barrier. But you can have too much of a good thing: excess oil or sebum is one of the four key factors that can cause acne. Higher levels of testosterone often mean more sebum, which is why men are generally more prone to frequent outbreaks and oilier skin than their female counterparts. In addition to more active sebaceous glands, men also have more (and larger) pores.
How to get rid of blackheads
When a manual scrub is used every other day it can help prevent and get rid blackheads – but do not overdo it! Scrubs are not meant to be used daily please follow product guideline.
“What’s wrong with soap? – Soap contains a strong detergent with an alkaline pH. It strips the skin removing the protective barrier.”
Not every man wants to spend ages in the bathroom I get that, so if you are a 2-step kind of guy stick with a cleanser that exfoliates and a moisturiser containing an SPF30+ - if you work outside all day, please remember to add a top up SPF30+ throughout the day every day regardless of weather.
Wanting a little bit more in the routine why not add one, or all of these to the above?
Wash your face – using products with salicylic acid, Exfoliate your face with a scrub, Applying a clay mask to nose, cheeks, chin and forehead for 15 minutes 1-2 x per week, Hydrate your skin using Hyaluronic acid, use a Moisturise – SPF30+ and Vitamin A in the evening.
Don’t neglect blackheads on other parts of the body – Your face isn’t the only place where blackheads can pop up. Make sure you use an exfoliating body scrub this will help with the removal of blackheads.
Are pre-soaked in a maximum-strength clarifying salicylic acid serum, these cotton pads dissolve oil and dirt from deep within the pores to counter problem complexions. The alcohol-free formula protects against dryness and helps preserve your skin’s natural moisture balance. Use after cleansing to counter all blemish concerns. Suitable for the face – and for larger areas such as the back, neck and arms – to decongest breakouts.
During adolescences, men tend to have a much higher level of androgens (men’s hormones) these result in thicker skin, more oily skin and more severe cases of acne on the face and the body. It is important to remember that lifestyle plays a huge part as we get older on how the skin reacts and becomes irritant.
Shaving – Anything that physically irritates the skin can lead to acne that is why it is particularly important to reduce physical irritation.
- Shave more regularly
- Use a blade with 2-blade +
- Use lather from a gentle facial cleanser to shave
- Apply hydrator after shaving
Masks, helmets and lids can also be acne prompters - anything that is left on the skin and rubs can either cause or irritate existing acne. If you are noticing that in areas where a mask, helmet or lid meets the skin your acne is worse, or you have new acne be sure to keep a strict acne treatment regime. Medik8 Intelligent Retinol 3-10TR is a time release retinol that addresses signs of acne, oily, ageing skin. Always start on a 3 – formulated with 0.3% retinol, making it perfect for first time vitamin A users. (Always wear SPF daily when using retinol).
Body building – Any time men, or women for that matter increase calories the body tends to increase in hormones, which in turn can lead to more acne. When bulking up it is important pay extra care to your skin routine – Cleansing as quickly as possible after working out to remove any sweat and impurities paying extra care to the hairline. Medik8 Clarifying foam is designed for blemish-prone skin, this purifying, antibacterial cleanser gently removes oil, impurities and makeup, without causing dryness or irritation. This special formula helps to balance the skin’s natural protective oils while banishing blemish-causing bacteria. With regular use, skin tone and texture are significantly improved – it can be used on the face and body!