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Caring for Male Clients Across the Generations

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: July 1, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Men typically have:

  • A thicker dermis and epidermis;
  • Higher sensitivity;
  • A different hormonal make-up;
  • More sebum;
  • Larger pores; and
  • More facial hair than women.

Some studies have shown a difference in the acidity of the pH level of men’s skin, as well, changing the make-up of their acid mantle, which is a combination of sebum and perspiration.4 Additionally, men battle skin issues specifically related to shaving, such as ingrown hairs, dryness and razor burn.

To compensate for possible differences in the acid mantle, skin care professionals should be cognizant of the pH levels of the cleansers and topical products used. Products with higher pH levels may elevate the overall skin pH and disrupt the acid mantle, which serves as an important protective barrier. Of course, there are many other components that will impact the skin’s pH, such as diet, sleep, medications and environment, but skin care professionals do have an opportunity to help clients get back on the right track.

Testosterone also plays a significant role. In the epidermis and dermis, it is responsible for increasing collagen production, blood flow and the number of granular cells. With sebaceous glands, testosterone stimulates the production of sebum and toughens hairs in the follicle. For any treatment or formula to be effective, it must address men’s sebum, hair and sensitivity factors, as well as their thicker epidermis and lower pH level.

Getting men on the right track

There are three key steps that men in any age group must implement for healthy skin.