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May 31, 2021

Do Women and Men Experience Skin Problems Differently?


Skincare and how to take care of your skin can be a bottomless pit of knowledge for some. Many may not understand that achieving glowing, glass-like skin is more than just keeping up with the latest Tiktok trends and using a cleanser every night. The truth is, just like weight loss and other subjective matters, there is no one-size-fits-all solution — one would have to understand their own skin type and personal issues.

However, one defining factor to bear in mind is that our body’s physiology affects even our skin - including gender - and that the skin issues faced by men and women are affected by a multitude of hormonal factors. Interpreting the various skin types, hormonal factors and external factors aids in crafting a better skincare routine to target your troubled skin areas more effectively.

Skin Types

Normal Skin

Normal skin usually refers to well-balanced skin. It is neither too oily nor too dry. Normal skin produces balanced sebum production and good circulation. Normal skin also appears as fine pores, good blood circulation, a velvety or smooth complexion, no blemishes and skin that is not prone to sensitivity.

A simple skincare routine of regularly exfoliating and applying Vitamin C to your skin via a serum or moisturiser. This simple combination, along with a hydrating sunscreen, will maintain the natural turnover cycle of the skin, which keeps it looking healthy.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is also identified by the appearance of its flaky or rough texture. Dry skin may also appear dull and can feel tight. This may also cause irritation.

It is also used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum as compared to normal or eudermic skin. Due to the lack of sebum produced and impaired barrier function, there is an increased lack of lipids that are needed to retain moisture. Simultaneously, lipids are needed to build a layer of protection against bacteria, debris or dirt from external factors which come into contact with the skin.

Dry skin is also caused by a lack of natural moisturising factors (NMFs), especially in urea, amino acids and lactic acid which help to bind in water. This also includes epidermal lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol which are required for healthy skin barrier functions.

For an extra boost, using a serum with hyaluronic acid before using a moisturiser helps to replenish moisture in the skin. Using cream moisturisers will also help to seal in moisture after the dead skin cells flake away.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is identified by its greasy appearance. Individuals with oily skin may often notice a glossy shine and fairly visible pores. Oily skin is used to describe a skin type with excessive sebum production. An overproduction of sebum is known as seborrhoea and this could make you more prone to experiencing acne breakouts. [1]

Using natural oils such as argan and rosehip oil, will not clog one’s pores and may be quite effective in ensuring that the skin is fully hydrated. Additionally, using a lighter moisturiser that comes in the form of a liquid or gel would maintain the moisture of the skin without making it greasy.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is a mixture of a few skin types. In combination skin, the skin types vary along the T-Zone and cheeks. However, medical research and observations show that the T-Zone is often oily while the cheeks are dry.

Using a lightweight moisturiser does not stress out the skin and may also address the issues of both dry and oily skin. Incorporating products that balance the skin is paramount when it comes to caring for combination skin.

Sensitive Skin

Identifying sensitive skin can be challenging. Often, individuals whose skin reacts adversely to new skincare products or flares up when they consume spicy food, often have sensitive skin.

To avoid experiencing sensitivity or redness, use a moisturiser that contains ingredients that relieve the skin, such as physical sunscreen zinc oxide.

Differences in Skin Concerns (Men vs. Women)


Males produce testosterone which determines their typically masculine characteristics and moulds their unique facial structure. Females, on the other hand, produce more oestrogen and progesterone hormones.

According to medical research, men have about 20% thicker skin than female skin. [2] As such, the collagen production in men is higher, which gives men a tighter and firmer appearance as compared to women.

For women, collagen production reduces at an irregular rate due to the changes in hormones and the menstrual cycle cause the skin to be affected more drastically, especially after menopause. Female skin tends to thin out more as compared to male skin.


Men tend to have larger and more active sebaceous glands than women. This means that they have more pores than women and are more prone to impurities and acne breakouts. Due to this, the sebum production levels in men may be twice as high as sebum production levels in women. [3]

In terms of appearance, men would have oilier and shinier skin than females. Biologically, the pH level in men would be lower than that of female skin. However, adult males are less prone to dry skin than adult females.


The natural process of ageing occurs later for men but they may experience more changes erratically once the process starts. For men, they are most affected by sagging skin, puffy eyes and dark eye circles which make them look older and more fatigued.

In comparison, women are more likely to start ageing earlier in life. For women, their collagen production decreases and they are more likely to get wrinkles as compared to men.


While shaving is an external factor that not every individual practices in their daily skincare routine, shaving removes dead or flaking skin cells. This leaves the shaven areas exposed to impurities found in the air as well as other debris and may cause irritation or redness as the uppermost layer of skin loses moisture and protection. Daily shaving stresses the skin and makes it more sensitive and reacts faster to impurities.

Up to 40% of men have shaving-related skin problems where younger men and men who have fairer skin are more prone than others. [3]


Although there are great differences between female and male skincare needs, there are also a few things our skin needs in common. For example, across the board, we all need proper hydration and a clean face. This is why our daily routine usually includes moisturiser and cleanser that suits your skin type.

For an added hydration boost, you could consider OxyREPLENISH facial — a targeted treatment that nourishes the skin with oxygen for an immediate hydration effect. This helps improve the quality of your skin’s structure and the natural production of hyaluronic acid, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.


We hope this has helped provide a clearer understanding of how important it is to tailor your skincare routine to your individual needs. What works for some online may not work for others — so it helps to “listen” to your body and how it reacts to certain things you do, eat, or even apply on your face.

  1. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/seborrhoea
  2. Rahrovan, S., Fanian, F., Mehryan, P., Humbert, P., & Firooz, A. (2018). Male versus female skin: What dermatologists and cosmeticians should know. International journal of women's dermatology4(3), 122–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2018.03.002
  3. https://int.eucerin.com/about-skin/basic-skin-knowledge/male-and-female-skin


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