Male vs. Female Skin: Do women age quicker than men?

Men and women are often pitted against each other when it comes to daily life but not many people think about skin differences despite skin’s importance. Skin is the biggest and most visible organ of the body after all. Unfortunately females have additional pressures when it comes to looking after it. Hormones can wreak havoc and makeup can often clog up the skin, while pregnancy and breast tissue can leave women with sagging skin and stretch marks, while men seemingly get away relatively easy. While women generally live longer, there’s another reason for men to be chirpy about ageing – skin thickness. Male skin is often around 20-30% thicker than female skin – helping resist wrinkles to a greater extent. Women often get the last laugh because women outlive men and many women have a skin care routine that helps to protect and nourish their skin.

male vs female skin

Male Skin

Androgens (hormones  like testosterone that are responsible for male characteristics) help increase the skin’s thickness. While this is good when we are young it’s not so helpful when it’s a big factor behind male pattern baldness – see our blog post on DHT. Men have a higher collagen density compared to women. It has been said that the intrinsic characteristics of male and female skin mean that male skin often looks younger for the same age. However male behaviour and sun exposure can limit this difference considerably. People often don’t realise just how much sun exposure without the right protection can damage the skin and how important a skin care routine is for vibrant skin. Some people are lucky and their bodies handle the damage better than others but why take the risk?

Nature and Nurture

Male facial hair also acts as a kind of support structure for the face. Men have more collagen and elastin fibres (connective tissue which gives skin its elasticity and strength). It’s been said that we lose about 1% of the collagen in our skin every year after our 30th year, accelerating for menopausal women. Hair glands produce oil which means male faces are often oilier than female faces. This helps trap more moisture, keeping the skin hydrated and giving it a plumper appearance. Men frequently do not use as much moisturiser as women and being oilier is partly why they may be able to handle not doing so to a larger extent. Shaving, a kind of microdermabrasion, is also a significant exfoliation process for the skin’s outer layers, helping improve the skin in the short-term but causing lasting damage in the long-term if not properly treated. Over time repeated shaving can also steadily break down the hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin – reducing the natural protection and lubrication.

It’s also important to note that men are just as vulnerable to skin cancer. 90% of all deadly skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet light from the sun so it’s always important to stay safe in the sun and check your skin regularly for any significant changes. And all that extra oil can be the right kind of breeding ground for the bacteria responsible for acne.

The Private Clinic

There’s so much to say about skin and so many ways to effectively treat it. We have a team of Dermatologists and experienced medical professionals to help treat men and women. We know that male and female needs and bodies are different. If you’re worried about sun damage, why not consider Laser Skin Resurfacing or a skin peel? For more info about how we can help you look rejuvenated and fresh, please see our website:

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