Male Skin Structure 101
The skin we see on the surface is just the beginning when it comes to its intricate structure, with numerous layers nestled beneath. Everyone has three layers of skin - the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. The thickness and composition of these three layers of skin vary in males, resulting in distinct skin characteristics associated with higher levels of testosterone.
The epidermis is typically thicker and contains more sebaceous (oil) glands. These glands produce sebum, an oily substance that helps protect the skin and retain moisture. This increased sebum production may result in a shinier or oilier complexion in men - more on this later. In addition, male skin tends to have larger pores, which means the skin can pick up more external debris and potentially lead to congested skin. Éclat de Lait is a perfect gentle leave-on exfoliant that can help keep congested inflamed skin at bay and lifts and repairs at the same time.
The dermis, the middle layer of the skin, is thicker and firmer, with a higher density of collagen fibers and elastin fibers in the dermis layer that provides the skin with firmness and resilience. This is another key characteristic that makes the skin less susceptible to wrinkles.
The hypodermis, also known as the subcutaneous layer, is generally thinner in males with less subcutaneous fat. Instead, it tends to have more muscle mass in its subcutaneous layer. Although it provides less insulation, this increased muscle contributes to the skin's overall firmness and strength.
Role Of Sebum Production In Male Skin
Sebum production is a part of the skin's continuous natural self-renewal and protection mechanisms. Sebum is produced in sebaceous glands, which are mainly found on the face and scalp but exist throughout the body, except for the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These glands are often connected to hair follicles, forming the pilosebaceous unit.
Hormone signals, mainly androgens such as testosterone, trigger the sebum lifecycle. They stimulate the sebaceous glands, signaling a new round of sebum production. Sebum is produced from cells in the gland, which accumulate lipids like triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene, vital components of sebum.
The cells eventually become engorged with these lipids and disintegrate in a process known as holocrine secretion, releasing sebum into the duct of the sebaceous gland. The sebum then travels up the hair follicle and onto the skin's surface, where it helps to maintain skin integrity and protect against environmental stressors.
These natural processes are essential for maintaining proper skin function and appearance. However, excess sebum can lead to a variety of skin issues, including excess oil production, acne and inflammation. So it's important to maintain a balance in these natural processes to promote healthy, clear skin. Products formulated for oily skin such as Neige Éternelle, can help regulate sebum production, reducing the risk of clogged pores and acne.
Differences In Collagen Density And pH
Collagen is the protein responsible for providing strength and structure to our skin, and it turns out that male skin has a higher collagen density. This is likely why male skin tends to be thicker, ages slower and develops fewer wrinkles. Additionally, the pH of male skin is typically lower, which means it is more acidic. This can be a double edged sword, as a lower pH can provide some protection against harmful bacteria, but it can also lead to sensitivity and dryness.
Let's also not forget that everyone's skin can be affected by lifestyle choices and changing weather - skin is multidimensional and our needs can change by the day. On days that your skin needs some extra hydration or if your skin is more on the normal, combo or dry side, you can opt to use Perle D’Eau which will focus on hydrating and protecting your skin from external aggressors.
It's important to understand these physiological skin differences when it comes to skin care so that each individual can tailor their skincare practice accordingly and ensure their skin stays healthy and vibrant. Remember, it's essential to listen to your skin and provide it with the care and attention it needs. With knowledge of our unique skin chemistry, we can make informed decisions about the products we use, creating a more personalized and effective skincare ritual. At BIONASSAY, we believe in empowering individuals with knowledge so that they can confidently care for their skin, regardless of gender.