Gender-Neutral Skin

Gender-Neutral Skin

Caring for the skin is part of presenting yourself well.

This is a gender neutral fact.

For long skincare has been a female domain. This is only one side of the story though.

A dress is part of a female’s wardrobe, but this does not state or imply even remotely that only females wear clothes. Both the sexes need clothes to cover the body equally!

Male skin is as main-stream as female skin!

Hair and skincare used to be a part of grooming as much for men, as it was for women, in the Eastern and Western aristocratic cultures alike.

Fortunately today, it is as acceptable for men to look after their skin as much as their suits and shoes.

There is a whole new concept of the metrosexual male, more so in the wake of K-Pop culture! Korean music has taken male grooming to a whole new level.

Physiologically speaking, all of us have similar basic skin structure.

Every little square of skin has layers within (epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous tissue). Each little skin square has an abundance of cells, hair follicles, blood vessels, oil glands, sweat glands and a large network of nerves etc. to carry out the required functions.

Skin also has similar basic functions for all humans.

It protects and ‘encases’ all organs and systems within the body.

It carries all the sensations for pleasure, pain, heat, cold and sensitivity without considering gender.

Skin secrets sweat and oils (sebum) through the pores to release toxins and retain the natural moisturising factors. This balance and the collagen fibres maintain the skin form and flexibility, which, in turn, delay the ageing process.

None of the above give skin the notorious territorial feminine claim!

Of course, there would be differences in the way we care for skin for the two sexes. Hormonal differences make the skin behave slightly differently for males and females.

The point I am making is that both still need skincare even after considering the ‘conditioned influences’ of various factors.

A few examples:

Acne:

When the skin secretes too much sebum, the pores sometimes get clogged. This leads to blackheads and acne.

No one likes an oily, pimply skin; whether it’s a male or a female. It affects the confidence in presentation for both equally.

Acne is a combination of genes and the hormone androgen. This hormone is naturally more in males. The approach to address this skin concern, therefore, would differ. It could take longer to bring it in control for men.

However, the choice of cleansers, clearing lotions and course of action would be customised on the basis of the level of bacterial activity, inflammation, oil flow, lifestyle etc.; not on the basis of gender.

Exfoliation:

It is a great idea to exfoliate for everyone. It sloughs off the dead cells and pollutants from the skin’s surface. Exfoliation enables better penetration of the rest of the products, which enhances skin performance.

The choice of exfoliants and the frequency in the week would depend on factors like oil flow, sensitivity and age.

Men need less of it due to shaving routines. Interesting fact I learnt is that they also have lactic acid in their sebum. It facilitates for a natural mild exfoliation so it looks better hydrated and ages slower.

Pigmentation:

UV rays spare none. The mighty sun leaves its mark on the skin in different degrees on different skin types.
The ravages of sun exposure are more aggressive when the UV rays party hard with the melanin in the skin.

The sun affects skin’s ageing and pigmentation journey on the basis of genetics and race, not on gender.

However, hormonal changes, pill, childbirth…are the factors which add to the pigmentation woes in females to a whole different degree. So the skin solution would be chosen to address these ‘conditioned influences’.

Sensitivity:

Wellness concept accepts that skin speaks the language of emotions.

Flushed skin, rashes, capillaries, inflammation, breakouts, impaired skin barrier etc. are all sensitivity issues which do not discriminate by gender.

The effect of the hormonal cycles and the like makes female skins more prone to such issues. Some ‘conditioned influences’ may be more apparent on a female skin. Blushing is a good example of the emotional aspect of skin, as are hormonal breakouts.

Male skin may be less prone to sensitivity. Nature did not grant them complete immunity from inflammatory conditions. Broken capillaries, bulbous nose are an example.

Naturally, then, the treatment course would differ.

But the ‘less is more’ rule would apply the same to a sensitive skin, regardless of the gender.

Ageing:

Hydration levels and collagen structures affect the ageing process in different ways and different degrees for everyone.

Females need more layered care (serums, for example) due to the hormonal factors and child-birth which affect skin collagen.

Men do not escape skin ageing either. It is just slower for them due to the lack of above mentioned factors and a thicker skin texture topically.

Stress Quotient:

Skin speaks the language of stress unabashedly, without a gender-bias.

It can make a person look much older than he/she might actually be.

If food and alcohol are the escape roots, and sleep deprivation is a part of the equation too, then the impact can be hard to mask.

Dark circles, inflammation, dull skin are some of the tell-tale signs.

A skincare regime for a stress-impacted skin would be priority-based (on the condition needing attention first); and the skin type rather than the gender.

Hope more people become attuned to skincare. It is a lovely gateway for self-care and confidence.

 

Whichever way we look at it, skin needs care gentle and tender…

Easier now, because skincare is free from the clutches of gender!