The Gender Differences in Male Skin - iS CLINICAL

The Gender Differences in Male Skin

The aesthetics industry tends to focus on female skincare, but men are increasingly more interested in learning how to care for their skin. Male skincare is one of the fastest growing market segments.

Like women, men experience shifts and changes throughout life that impact the skin. Here we will discuss the life stages of men, focusing on considerations of maintaining skin health at any age.   

Male Skincare in Infancy: Avoid Irritants, Limit Sun Exposure

We love the soft and delicate nature of a baby’s skin. That softness comes with a higher sensitivity to irritants. Irritation can occur in response to many factors: sun exposure, some fabrics, chemicals, heat, cold, moisture, and others. Products must be carefully chosen to avoid irritants.  

Sun Exposure and Infants

Protection from sun exposure is critical for an infant’s skin. Babies must have proper shade, clothing, and sun avoidance. A cloudy day must not be mistaken for a sunless day since the sun’s rays pass through clouds or glass and damage a baby’s skin. Unlike UVB rays that cause redness, UVA rays damage skin without showing any signs of redness.

Sunscreen is recommended for babies six months of age and older. High-quality sunscreens with microencapsulated physical blockers are the best choice as they provide excellent protection yet are not opaque. These may be too pricey for some clients and, in that case, opaque sunscreens with traditional physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium oxide may be recommended. Cheap drugstore sunscreens with large amounts of chemical sunscreen actives should be avoided as these can irritate and damage sensitive skin.

Avoiding overheating or overcooling is essential. Babies’ bodies have not yet mastered temperature regulation and they can easily become uncomfortable. If an infant is having difficulty regulating temperature, then signs of skin redness, moisture, irritability, or lethargy may appear.

Male Skincare in Childhood: Focus on Sun Protection

Just as baby’s sensitive skin requires smart sun care, that of older boys does also. Children love to play outside and while this is great for their health and development, it does increase the risk of sun damage. High quality, non-irritating microencapsulated sunscreen should be used and reapplied every two hours.

In addition to sun care, boys should begin to learn good skin care habits in childhood. This is an excellent time to teach proper cleansing with gentle soaps and exfoliants.

Male Skincare for Teens: Clear Acne

The teenage years brings major biological changes for both boys and girls. For teenage boys, testosterone levels skyrocket, leading to increased production of sebum that can block and inflame pores. Because of higher testosterone levels in boys, male acne is generally more severe than in females. The result is acne and its complications: cystic acne, scarring, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Teenagers tend to be open to methods of improving skin. In addition to aesthetic treatments, an important aspect of teenage skin health is diet. Teenagers tend to eat foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, dairy, and refined carbohydrates. These foods tend to increase acne and skin inflammation and should be avoided if possible.

Skin and Mental Health for Teen Boys

The mental implications of acne can be quite difficult. Teens who suffer from moderate or severe acne often experience emotional distress, embarrassment, and poor self-confidence as a direct result of their skin condition. The teen years can be particularly emotionally volatile. For many teens, acne can contribute to increased depression or even suicidal thoughts.

Aesthetic treatments are more than skin deep. Teens should receive support and assistance in managing both skin health and mental health. Helping teens overcome acne also sets them up for a lifetime of better self-confidence, mental health, and success.

Sun Exposure and Teens

Healthy sun exposure is important at any time of life, but teens are particularly vulnerable to poor sun care habits. Many teens enjoy getting a tan because they think it helps the skin look better. However, excessive sun exposure causes damage and photoaging. Advising teens on proper sunscreen use is helpful.

Exfoliation and Teenage Skin

Gentle exfoliators can be a great way for teens to manage hormonal skin and breakouts. Exfoliation clears away pore-clogging debris and encourages a healthy skin cell turnover. Teens will benefit from skincare education and a regimen designed by a professional.  

Male Skincare in Young Adulthood: Encourage Best Practices

As males age past puberty, testosterone helps their skin remain thicker and more resilient. This helps men keep a youthful look when paired with proper skin care techniques. Excess sun exposure and poor habits, however, can negate the youth-giving benefits of testosterone.

Trends in Male Skin Care

Young men are increasingly more interested in taking proper care of the skin. The men’s skincare market now offers a wide range of products formulated specifically for men’s skin, habits, and preferences. Men tend to seek aesthetic consultation when they wish to address a specific issue. Males tend to be results-focused and respond best to practitioners who can offer effective, to-the-point instructions with rapid, tangible results.

Male Skincare in Middle Age: Prevention

Male skincare in middle age echoes that of early adulthood. In middle age, men remain focused on results-driven products and treatments with simple packaging, instructions, and design. This age group begins to express interest in preventative products to maintain healthy, young-looking skin.

Middle Age and Balding

Male pattern baldness begins in middle age, often starting around the temporal areas and the crown of the head. Men looking to reduce or replace their hair loss can turn to hair transplant procedures. Skincare experts should remind men to apply sunscreen to balding areas of the head to prevent accelerated sun damage.

Male Skincare in Old Age: Healthy Aging

While women have a defined period of transition with menopause, men have a less distinct phase. Male hormones gradually decline until about, age 70, when they dip more precipitously. This stage is called andropause.

With this drop in testosterone, male skin produces fewer barrier lipids and experiences more trans-epidermal water loss. The results? Thinner, dryer, more fragile skin and hair. Collagen production also slows dramatically, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Inadequate sun protection earlier in life may now reveal prominent photoaging, precancerous skin lesions, and skin cancer development. Surveillance should be done periodically for suspicious lesions, both at home and by skincare professionals looking for changes in moles or pigmentation.

Protecting Men’s Skin Through Every Stage of Life

While the aesthetics industry has long focused on female skincare, many more men are taking skin health seriously. It is important for aesthetic professionals to understand the subtle changes in men’s skin with age, as well as key aspects of men’s skin to provide the best care.

To learn more about treating men’s skin health and other topics, enroll in a professional course through iS University ( or iS CLINICAL Education (

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