Testosterone affects men in many ways, including the structure of their skin. So it's hardly surprising that men's and women's skin is different. It is essential to understand male physiology to develop a fine line of men's skincare and take a share in this booming market.
Male sex hormones, known collectively as androgens, wield much power. Testosterone, the chief sex hormone, acts on androgen receptors directly or by converting into the more potent activator, namely DHT (dihydrotestosterone).
Testosterone levels remain relatively stable during childhood and spike during puberty. After puberty, males continue to secrete testosterone resulting in facial and body hair, a deeper voice, muscle development and body odour. By middle age, testosterone levels start to drop and have been linked with hair thinning, baldness and skin changes.
Many men have been accused of being thick-skinned, and for a good reason! Male skin is thicker than female skin, thanks to androgens and the presence of hair follicles.
Advantages: Men's denser epidermis increases protection from collagen and elastin loss in the dermis. Thereby reducing photodamage and delaying photo-ageing.
Disadvantages: Traditionally, their more youthful skin made the men's skincare market a harder nut to crack. However, the tide is turning.
Solution: Men, especially the younger generations, are making more effort to care for their appearance and overall health. The result is a booming male grooming business.
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Testosterone drives the growth of body hair on the face, underarms, genital area, arms, legs, chest and sometimes even back.
Advantages: A full beard is as good as a hat and sunscreen for providing adequate sun protection. Numerous benefits stem from this, including protection from UV rays that cause collagen to degrade and damage the skin. So, there is obvious merit in the trend towards growing a beard.
Disadvantages: Men's facial hair is thicker and coarser than head hair and has a flatter hair follicle, resulting in curly whiskers. Unfortunately, this also provides the perfect platform for razor rash and ingrown hairs after shaving, causing irritable skin inflammation.
Solution: A sharp razor and shaving product that reduces friction and softens facial hair will prevent or minimize the occurrence of razor burns.
The oil secreted by the sebaceous glands increases when testosterone levels rise, as any teenage boy suffering from an outbreak of pimples will tell you.
Advantages: Sebum comprises cholesterol, free fatty acids, squalene, wax esters and glycerides. It prevents water loss and provides the skin with natural moisturization and protection from environmental aggressors.
Disadvantages: Often, the amount of sebum produced during puberty can't effectively be absorbed by the skin, resulting in clogged pores and hair follicles that cause inflammation. Sebum and sweat on the skin also provide the perfect breeding ground for acne bacteria. Therefore acne can be more severe and long-lasting in males than females.
Solution: Sebum control skincare aimed at young males. Take advantage of Trulux's bulk buys, ready-made precise skin products.
A significant function of the skin is to repair itself. The epidermis is a highly organized tissue that responds rapidly when distressed through dehydration or foreign matter penetrating the surface.
Advantage: If you cut yourself, the skin responds quickly and efficiently, healing the wound.
Disadvantage: Studies have shown that testosterone can negatively affect wound healing and the epidermal barrier function to maintain a perfect balance. This can concern men, especially older men, who shave regularly and frequently cut or nick themselves.
Solution: Men's skin care needs to assist in skin repair and protect the integrity of the skin's barrier.
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