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Prof. Luca Valgimigli, BeC Scientific Director

Men's hasty attitude towards their skin now belongs to the past and men have understood that the well-being of their skin is also an important element of self-care. However, male and female skin have important differences that must be considered to choose the right product and obtain the best results.

It must have happened to many men (as it happened to me) to wear an excellent moisturizing cream designed for women and to find it "heavy", to start sweating or to have the impression that it was "too much" for their skin. The reason for these sensations lies in the differences between female and male skin.

What are the differences between male and female skin?

Given that men's and women's skin have the same structure and are mostly the same, there are specific differences linked to the different structure of sexual hormones and the different habits between men and women.

The male sexual hormone, testosterone, prevails in men, having levels approximately 10 times higher than those of women, in which estrogens prevail, which are, together with progestins, the female hormones. Testosterone and estrogen influence the development of the skin and its appendages differently, as well as its metabolism, explaining the differences.

Due to testosterone, men's skin is about 20% thicker than women's and ages differently. In fact, human skin contains more collagen and elastin, proteins that give the skin its mechanical properties, resistance and elasticity. Human skin therefore ages more slowly. However, the thickness gradually decreases over time after the age of 20, unlike what happens in women, in which it remains rather constant until menopause, and then drops sharply due to the sudden drop in estrogen.

But be careful: men's skin also ages! Wrinkles appear later but when they begin to appear they deepen much more rapidly than in women and become more pronounced. Therefore, it is important for men too to treat the skin with effective anti-aging products while there is time!

Among the main differences in male skin, testosterone induces greater sebaceous secretion, which after the age of 20 is on average double in the skin of men compared to that of women. The greater presence of sebum leads to a different composition of the hydrolipidic film in men, which on the one hand offers valid protection to the skin, on the other makes it "intolerant" of treatments too rich in oils with low diffusivity or rich in waxes, which they could be "heavy" or occlusive, but are instead much appreciated by those with low sebaceous skin. The greater secretion of sebum can also lead to greater acne proneness in men before the age of 20 and, later, to folliculitis.

Another difference between the two sexes is the pH of the skin. In men, due to the greater secretion of lactic acid, the average value is around 4.5 – 5, therefore it is a little more acidic than in women, where it is around 5.5-6. This defends men's skin from bacterial infections, compensating for the greater immune-stimulating effect guaranteed in women by estrogen. However, the greater acidity also makes men's skin more sensitive to irritation, also favored by shaving.

How do different habits influence the characteristics of male skin compared to female skin?

The male habit that most affects the skin, at least that of the face, is shaving. Shaving is an aggressive operation that causes a daily mechanical removal of part of the hydrolipidic barrier, as well as causing small lesions and abrasions on the skin.

If performed in the traditional way with shaving foam, this can have a very high pH, ​​even 10 or higher, and can profoundly alter the acidic pH of the skin which, especially in men, is an important element of defense. Shaving makes the skin vulnerable, repeatedly exposing it to inflammation and infections, which should not be underestimated.

A second important element, as underlined by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) is man's lesser habit of using hydrating products after cleansing or showering with soaps or products that can raise the pH or be too aggressive and remove part of the protective hydrolipidic film. In other words, men physiologically have a greater production of protective elements, but they take less care of them than women do, paradoxically becoming more exposed to dehydration.

Which treatments are best suited to men's skin?

Starting from shaving which is a critical factor, it is advisable to use a shaving foam that does not significantly alter the pH of the skin, such as Shaving foam by BeC, rich in hydrating components and formulated in 100% aloe gel, to immediately soothe redness and irritation.

After shaving, even for those who use an electric razor instead of foam and blade, it is important to restore the hydrolipidic film and soothe any irritation with a product that has a light and non-occlusive texture such as VelvÈ  which also helps the repair of small wounds and skin hygiene by protecting against infections. However, old alcohol-based aftershaves should be abolished.

Since men have a greater production of sebum, resulting in oily or combination skin, non-greasy and rapidly absorbed products are needed, which do not give a feeling of occlusion. At the same time, measurements of TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) indicate that the need for hydration in men is similar to that of women, who compensate, thanks to estrogen, with the higher lipid content of the dermis.

An ideal product for daily hydration could be organic cream PuraBi , based on witch hazel water or, the Crema Balsamo CRB which also has an effective sebum-regulating action, reducing excessive sebaceous secretions. These are particularly suitable even at a young age, to treat acne-prone skin, or in case of folliculitis. To contain excessive sebaceous secretions, we recommend a skin-purifying and oxygenating mask at least once a week, for example using Nuova Maschera by BeC.

Male skin has a duller complexion than female skin, due to less cell renewal; therefore, the use of Crema Balsamo CRB which promotes the renewal of the epidermis could be doubly useful.

As we have seen, men's skin also ages and does so differently from women's skin. It is therefore important to treat it in time with a product specifically designed for the characteristics of male skin, such as Titanyum which provides everything necessary to reduce wrinkles (and prevent them), improve elasticity and hydration, while having a light, dry and non-occlusive touch, with rapid absorption which makes it perfect for the needs of men's skin.


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