This article on mens skin care comes from Hannah at Skin Actives. They have a whole line for men and will help men make their own skin care products.
The Skin of Men
Why is it that men don't need skin care? Is it because their skin is different from women's skin?
Beginning with puberty, mens skin is different from that of women in structure and feel, but I don't think this is why men don't "need" skin care. The expectations of society are different; women’s wrinkles take points away from the theoretical “10” while men’s wrinkles denote wisdom, power and money and, like power and money, can even be sexy.
Men and women produce androgens and estrogens, and the skin of both men and women have receptors for sex hormones, but starting before puberty the concentrations of sex hormones in the blood is different for boys and girls, and they will affect the skin metabolism through the receptors to which they bind with great specificity.
As androgen production increases, sebum secretion increases too, pores get larger and comedos and acne come in. Men and women have both estrogens and androgens, so unless the receptors for androgens are missing (a relatively rare condition) most of us are likely to get comedos and acne, whatever our sex.
Probably the higher androgen level is responsible for the thicker skin that men have in practically all the body, not just the face. The thicker skin may be responsible for the fact that men's skin seems to age more slowly than the skin of women. Another big factor is that estrogens, which affect the synthesis of hyaluronic acid and other dermis macromolecules, decrease sharply in women after menopause, while in mens skin the decline is slower.
Whatever our culture dictates, mens skin still needs to be protected from the elements, pollution and, more than anything, UV. Melanoma does not care about cultural expectations, although culture still determines where melanoma will appear: for women primarily at the back of the legs and for men on the back. In my opinion (and that of our male clients) men should still look after their skin, even if they get a better deal from Nature and society when it comes to skin aging. And they clearly should look after their scalp, because I don't know any man who does not care about his hair, and unless the scalp is well looked after, there will be no good hair. SAS hair serum with keratinocyte growth factor is probably the best scalp care product you can find anywhere.
Skin Actives Product suggestions for mens skin. All of Skin Actives products are suitable for men, because we don’t use any fragrances that may deter men from using our creams or serums. Even the few products that contain phytoestrogens like wild yam or soy are suitable for men, who have estrogen receptors in their skin.
For large pores and other "imperfections", our salicylic wash is a product that will benefit skin of men of any age, starting in the teen years. The SAS alpha/beta (lactic/salicylic acids) exfoliant is another option, followed by Biore strips it will remove blackheads and comedos, leaving the skin smooth and clean.
The acne kit by SAS is the best anywhere, complete with all its elements or just what you need for to control acne at each stage of development, from blocked pore to nasty zit. Don’t forget our antioxidant serum (CHAS) and cream (coffee fruit), especially if you live in a city. Our skin can deal with the free radicals our metabolism produces (we have complex antioxidant systems) but when you add city pollution and UV to the mix, it is too much unless you get additional help. We at SAS have the most complete array of antioxidant chemicals, botanicals and enzymes anywhere! Take advantage of what science can do for us in dealing with human-modified environment.
Some advice from Mark in Brighton (UK), an SAS forum member, reprinted from an older newsletter but still useful: 1) Many mens skin products contain fragrances to make them smell more masculine. These are often quite unpleasant, overpowering and possibly irritating. SAS actives and products do not contain fragrances.
2) Sea kelp bioferment mixed with the mild detergent makes an excellent shaving gel. You only need a very small amount as well (don’t need a separate cleanser).
3) Marine nutrient serum (MNS) is an excellent post-shave healer, add a layer of moisturiser if you have dry skin. Alcohol-based aftershaves will dry your skin, bad idea!
4) An observation is that women are better able to hide poorer skin, eye bags etc using makeup. Perhaps it is even more important for men to make sure their skin is in tip top condition because it is less acceptable for men to use makeup and/or concealers.
5) I don’t know if it is true but many companies say that men need to exfoliate to make it easier to shave and to prevent in-growing hairs. The alpha and beta exfoliator (don’t use straight after shaving) and pumpkin enzyme peel will be great for this.
6) Copper peptide would be good in a cream for after shaving because of its healing properties (according to Pickart).