HomeHealthDoes men's skin really age better than women's?

Does men’s skin really age better than women’s?

Ageing skin, fine lines, and facial wrinkles are inevitable for everyone, but some people seem to age better than others. So, do men really fare better than women when it comes to ageing? 

It’s true that men generally have thicker skin than women, which can help to delay the onset of wrinkles. Furthermore, men typically have more collagen in their skin, which also helps to keep the skin looking youthful. However, there are plenty of women who have excellent skincare routines and who take good care of their skin, so it is possible for women to age just as well as men, if not better. 

Here are some differences between men’s and women’s skin.

Men have thicker skin

Literally, not metaphorically.

Dermatologists have found that, on average, men’s skin is about 25 per cent thicker than women’s skin. In particular, the deeper layer of skin called the dermis is about 20 per cent thicker in men than women.

This difference in thickness is due to the higher levels of collagen and elastin in men’s skin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that give skin its strength and elasticity.

Men produce more collagen

We all produce a protein called collagen, which makes our skin firm and tight, but we produce less of it as we age.

The collagen content in men’s skin declines at a consistent rate, whereas skin ageing in women is accelerated by hormonal decline. This means skin-thinning occurs at a significant pace after menopause. Hence, signs of skin ageing in older women are generally more pronounced compared to men in the same age group.

Dr Earim Chaudry, medical director at Manual, says: “Technically, there is some truth to men’s skin ageing better than women’s. Producing more collagen certainly helps, as it keeps the complexion firm and plump.”

Men have more sebum production

Men also have more sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, an oily substance that helps keep skin moisturised. Higher sebum production can cause more pimples as it can potentially clog the pores, but it also tends to make the skin look dewier and oilier.

While struggling with pimples can be frustrating when you’re younger, there is a benefit to all this oil production – it keeps the skin healthy, supple and hydrated. Hydrated skin reduces the appearance of wrinkles because it plumps up the skin.

Wrinkles appear differently

Men and women get wrinkles in different ways. Men tend to have fewer superficial fine lines than women but are more prone to the deep wrinkles that are caused by repeated facial expressions.

Research has found that the first wrinkles to appear on men are forehead wrinkles, and they tend to have more prominent wrinkles under the eyes compared to women. In women, wrinkles first appear near the mouth and lower cheeks.

Facial hair and its removal

Beards are a great protector when it comes to sun damage on the face. And, for those who remove their beards, shaving can help exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation is the process of physically removing dead skin cells from the superficial layers of the skin. Resulting in the skin feeling smooth and soft and appearing more even.

This exposed layer of skin is often more sensitive and needs to be looked after though. Men’s skin can suffer from shaving if using a dull razor.

Lifestyle choices

If it were just based on physiological differences, men’s skin would hypothetically age at a slower rate than women’s skin. However, this isn’t guaranteed as our lifestyle choices have a strong say in how our skin ages and men often engage in behaviours that can speed up signs of ageing.

Exposure to UV rays is a primary cause of premature wrinkles in both men and women but men are more likely to work outdoors and spend long periods of time in the sun without protection than women.

Men generally lack the same skin care knowledge that women are raised knowing. This gives them a significant disadvantage in preventing wrinkles and in recognising the signs of ageing.

In the end, both men and women age but luckily a good skincare routine can help you look after your skin and keep you looking as youthful as possible.

Does that research back up your experience? Do you have any skincare tips? Why not share them in the comments section below?

Also read: Could this be the key to healthy hair?

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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