Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Skin Care: It's Not Just for Women

Experts explain how men's skin can stay healthier with help from a range of products and regimens.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

For many men, "skin care" is something their wives or girlfriends do. Reaching for the shaving cream, they knock over bottles of moisturizers and creams and wonder if all those expensive potions and their exotic ingredients are even worth the plastic they're packaged in.

So it's not surprising that many men react to new male-oriented lines of skin care products by assuming they're mere marketing ploys aimed at separating self-absorbed men from their money.

Recommended Related to Men

Alonzo Mourning's All-Star Rebound

First and foremost, we're trying to bring as much attention as possible to kidney disease; educate the general public about risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and family history; share the warning signs and the importance of regularly seeing your doctor; and highlight organ donation. So many people have kidney disease and just don't know it, which is why it's so important to create a relationship with your doctor. The National Kidney Foundation provides free kidney screenings...

Read the Alonzo Mourning's All-Star Rebound article > >

Yet skin care isn't just for the growing ranks of urban "metrosexuals." Dermatologists from across the country tell WebMD that growing numbers of older men are seeking advice on how to stay looking younger for longer.

"No matter how well you dress, how nice your haircut is, and how healthy you are, if you have skin that is dull and freckly and blotchy you're not going to look your best," says Jeffrey Dover, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.

And proper skin care isn't just about looking young; it can also prevent deadly skin cancers. More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are reported each year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Nearly 8,000 of those cases are fatal.

Fortunately, there are simple skin care options available for men that require a minimal investment of time or money. In fact, men have an edge over women in the skin care game. Still, there are a few products that can help guys' skin look its best at any age.

Men's Edge in Skin Care

If you've ever cursed the need to shave your face each day, consider the upside: all those hair follicles will help to keep your face wrinkle-free.

Men's facial hair acts as sort of support structure for the face, Rebecca Tung, MD, a dermatologic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, tells WebMD. Men also have more collagen and elastin fibers -- the connective tissue that gives skin its strength and elasticity -- and a tighter network of fatty tissue directly under the skin.

As a result, men's skin is on average 20% to 30% thicker than women's skin, Tung says. And thicker skin does a better job of resisting wrinkles.

Hair glands also produce oil, which means men's faces are naturally oilier than women's, notes Seth Yellin, MD, chief of facial plastic surgery at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. The oil traps moisture, which keeps skin hydrated and gives it a plumper and more youthful appearance.

Finally, shaving gives men an edge in skin care. "Shaving is a dramatic exfoliation of outer skin layers, which leads to a more youthful skin appearance," Yellin says.

Still, men's faces do age. Men are just as vulnerable to skin cancer. And more oily skin makes men more prone to skin problems such as acne and blackheads. But there are steps men can take to protect themselves.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Slideshow
Preacher Curl
Slideshow
 
testosterone molecule
Article
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Slideshow
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow