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"Skin Deep Equality: Exploring Whether Men and Women Can Authentically Share the Same Skincare Products"

In the world of skincare, traditionally, skincare has been marketed as a one-size-fits-all solution, divided into separate categories for men and women. However, as the beauty industry evolves, there's a growing recognition that skin type, concerns, and needs should take precedence over gender. Can men and women truly use the same skincare products?

"Skin Deep Equality: Exploring Whether Men and Women Can Authentically Share the Same Skincare Products"

Men and women both love to pamper their skin and tend to have similar skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. "Both skin types eventually require sun protection, eye creams, moisturisers, and pH-balanced cleansers and hence men can use all the popular skin care products as per their needs," said Dr Akanksha Sanghvi, aesthetic dermatologist, founder, Oprava Aesthetics, adding that skincare is a vital aspect of overall health and well-being and is not limited by gender.

While there are some biological differences in skin composition and needs between men and women, the fundamental skincare principles apply to all genders.

"Skincare ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, antioxidants, and peptides, offer benefits to everyone, addressing individual skin concerns like ageing or acne. Both men and women can use the same skincare products, provided that these products address their specific skincare needs," said Dr Kuna Ramdas, senior dermatologist, Kamineni Hospitals, L.B Nagar, Hyderabad.

Where is the similarity?

Dr Sanghvi agreed that skincare product has no gender specification. "Men can also use skin care products that are popular among women as most of these products are designed according to skin type or skin concerns," said Dr Sanghvi.

Skincare should be personalised based on skin type, concerns, and individual preferences rather than gender. "A person's skin type, whether oily, dry, or sensitive, should guide product selection. Ingredients such as sunscreen, antioxidants, moisturisers, and exfoliants are universally important, irrespective of gender," said Dr Ramdas.

According to Dr Tanvi Vaidya, consultant dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr Vaidya's Specialty Clinics, there is far more similarity between a prescription "I would give a man and a woman with acne than there could be between two men with oily and dry skin respectively"

Skincare is usually customised by a dermatologist keeping in mind an individual’s skin type and texture and targeting common skincare concerns such as dullness, acne, rosacea, pigmentation, or ageing. "The bottom line is that men and women can use similar products that contain ingredients that can specifically treat their skin concerns. For example, a serum containing niacinamide can be used by men and women who suffer from acne or open pores and serum containing hyaluronic acid can be used to address early signs of ageing and dehydration regardless of gender," said Dr Sanghvi.

But where does the similarity end?

The only time Dr Sanghvi thinks that men's and women's skincare products would differ would be in the case of body washes, and shaving products.

Men might require products tailored to facial hair care, such as beard oils, and may be more prone to certain skin conditions like ingrown hairs. Women may focus more on products for hormonal changes, such as acne treatments. "The key is selecting products that align with one's skin goals and concerns," Dr Ramdas noted.

Anatomically, there are differences in the structure of the skin between men and women. "For example, men have 20 per cent more thicker skin than women with a greater number of hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. Similarly, the ageing pattern in men and women also tends to differ. While men age gradually due to a gradual decrease in the collagen content over a man’s life, females on the other hand, tend to age dramatically in the latter half of their life, typically after menopause," described Dr Sanghvi.

Dr Vaidya noted that historically, skincare companies have used gender-based marketing strategies to sell products. "Men were often targeted with rugged packaging and earthy scents, while women were sold products in elegant bottles with floral fragrances. This approach perpetuated the myth that men and women needed fundamentally different skincare. We’ve all seen men use excessively harsh facewashes with menthol and whatnot to cater to their supposedly “rough and tough skin”," shared Dr Vaidya.

A lot of time skincare products can be gender specific due to preference and lifestyle. "A lot of men prefer a simpler low-maintenance routine. However, women don’t mind using skincare products in a layering technique and hence tend to be more compliant with it. Due to this, usually, we tend to prescribe multi-action products with multiple active ingredients for men that can treat various skin concerns in one application," Dr Sanghvi elucidated.

What to note going forward?

The good news is that many skincare products are formulated to be universally effective. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants can benefit anyone, regardless of gender. Unisex or gender-neutral skincare brands are gaining popularity, offering products designed to cater to various skin types and concerns. So what is different?


While most skincare products are unisex, there are some specific cases where different products may be needed. For instance, men very often have oily, photo-damaged skin and more facial hair, which may require different shaving and moisturising routines. Women who regularly wear make-up may also need additional products like makeup removers. However, these differences are more about individual needs and preferences than strict gender lines, said Dr Vaidya.

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