Do Men and Women Really Need Separate Shower Gels?
Over the years there has been a lot of discourse over the unnecessary gendering of certain products, such as candles, toothpaste and kids clothing. This even extended to the snacks industry in 2018 when Doritos announced its intention of releasing a new line of ‘lady-friendly’ chips. While some products might be taking it too far at times, there are definitely products that do need separate versions for men and women. Especially when it comes to the skin care industry.
We all know that shower gels for women and those for men never come under the same aisle at the supermarket. But is there an actual reason behind this segregation? Or is it just marketing tactics and outdated gender stereotypes at play? If this is something you’ve wondered about too, then you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at what is really going on behind the (shower) curtains when it comes to bath products such as shower gels.
We don’t need to open a biology textbook to know that a man’s body works way differently than a woman’s. So naturally, it is a safe conclusion to make that men’s skin differs from that of women too. These differences arise from the difference in hormones, genetic makeup and biological evolution. And although they are small differences that go unnoticed most of the time, they can actually play a big role in what skin care routine looks like for men and women. Let’s dive in and take a look at where these differences lie and what it means for your skin care routine.
Smooth skin is a one-way street:
One of the main structural differences between a man and a woman's skin is that men tend to have thicker skin. And no, we don’t mean emotionally. The dermis layer of the skin in men is thicker on average than that in women's. This can be linked to the higher collagen levels and testosterone in a man’s body. However, the thickness of the skin does decrease with age in both men and women. Additionally, not only do men have thicker skin, the texture of their skin tends to be rougher as well. So men, the next time you’re struggling with coarse skin, you can blame it on biology!
Our recommendation- You need a men’s shower gel that can smoothen out roughness while effectively deep-cleansing skin. With Yardley London Gentleman Urbane Body Wash, you can effortlessly revitalize dull and rough skin. This particular shower gel for men is woody notes last all day long so your skin stays refreshed around the clock.
To age or not to age:
Collagen is the structural protein in our skin which plays a big role in keeping up a youthful appearance. With time, collagen levels in our skin decreases, giving way to signs of ageing such as wrinkles and saggy skin. The interesting fact about ageing skin is that men have a much higher collagen density than women, and their skin retains those collagen levels for a longer period of time as well. This means that on average, men will face signs of ageing much later in life than women. Sounds unfair right? But don’t you fret, take a look at our skin care for women guide to prevent ageing for solutions to skin that retains its youthful glow.
Our recommendation- As women, we have to worry about aging skin much earlier than men. However, with the right skin care products for women, you can easily add years of life to your skin and maintain that youthful glow. Try Santoor Hydrating Skin Body Wash for amazingly smooth skin that remains soft and supple. Infused with virgin coconut oil and Moringa extracts, it’s one of the best shower gels for women that give you an extra pampering bath experience.
Let’s talk pores:
When it comes to facial pores and sebum production, men fare far worse than women. You might have noticed that men’s faces tend to get oilier faster. This is because they have a greater number of pores and their sebaceous glands are twice as active, a difference that can be accounted for by the higher level of androgen secretions in men. Additionally, they also have comparatively larger pores than women. These factors translate into oily skin problems where the face appears shiny. It also means increased and longer-lasting acne for men. However, there is an upside to maintaining a skin care routine for men with oily skin too, the increased sebum production means that men are far less likely to suffer from dry skin than women.
Our recommendation- To deal with this industrial strength oiliness you need an equally strong men’s shower gel that will effectively cleanse your pores and drive the oiliness away. Which is why we recommend using Aramusk White Charcoal Shower Gel for Men. It effortlessly gets rid of impurities and excess oil, leaving behind a clean and fresh after-feel. This body wash also doubles as a face-wash, for an all-around refreshed feel.
Good ole’ hydration
Hydration is a big talking point when it comes to skin care. Nobody likes dealing with flaky, dry skin. And women have caused enough to complain in this area. Studies show that men’s skin retains more moisture than women's. This coupled with the fact that they have more active sebaceous glands means that dry skin is not usually a problem for them. Women’s skin however, shows higher levels of moisture loss, which means they have to take more care to keep that moisture packed in. Just another thing to add to our never-ending skin routines. The plus side is, this difference in moisture retention can easily be combated by using the right skin care products for women and regular moisturizing.
Our recommendation- There’s no need to worry about dry skin when you have Yardley London English Rose Shower Crème, by your side. One of the most efficient skin care products for women, its gentle formula is infused with the goodness of rose essence and nourishing shea butter to give you soft, creamy and moisturized skin. The soothing fragrance of roses will waft around you all day long! Interested in more options? Check out this handy list- Hydrating Shower Gels for Every Skin Type.
That about sums up all the main differences between a man and a woman’s skin. But of course, there are other factors at play too, such as the difference in hormones, lifestyles and routines. For example, the difference in facial hair definitely throws a twist in the tale. Since most men shave regularly, the act of shaving actually acts as an exfoliator by getting rid of dead skin. While this is great news for their skin, it also means that they have to be more careful with post-shave care and moisturizing.
As veteran skin care enthusiasts will know, your pH levels have a huge impact on the skin care routine for men and women. While there are quite a few skin care products out there for men and women to help you balance your skin's pH level, it’s interesting to note that the skin’s pH level differs slightly in men and women. Women are shown to have lower pH levels than men, meaning their skin is slightly more acidic.
Another perplexing difference is that women are more prone to skin diseases than men. There is not much consensus over the reason behind this, it is thought to be caused by multiple factors such as the difference in hormones. The same skin infection can actually end up affecting both the sexes in two different ways. Some of the common skin problems that may come up are-
Rosacea- This chronic condition causes redness and small, pus-filled bumps on the face. Sometimes mistaken for acne, rosacea is far more common in women than in men.
Psoriasis- Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease which causes red patches all over the body in response to certain triggers. This condition too, affects women more than men.
Eczema- This is an inflammatory skin condition which can cause dry and scaly skin, itching and redness. The condition is twice as likely to occur in women as in men.
Melanoma- Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that disproportionately affects women. The symptoms slightly differ between the two sexes, in women it usually appears on the legs whereas in men it affects the chest or back.
The bottom line
Now that we’ve gone over all these key factors, let’s come back to the main question at hand.
Do men and women really need separate shower gels?
The answer is a bit more complicated than that. As we have seen, there are quite a few differences between a woman's and a man’s skin. They face different skin types & concerns, so a different skin care routine is needed for men and women. At the end of the day, you pick your shower gel according to the skin concern you wish to address and not necessarily according to your gender.
Since men’s shower gels are aimed towards addressing the skin concerns commonly faced by them, you are far more likely to find the right solution to your skin problems in the men’s aisle. However, if as a woman, you struggle with coarseness, or as a man you suffer from dry skin, (or maybe you just enjoy floral scents) there is no reason why you can’t swap out for the opposite gender's body wash every now and then. It might even be fun to get a look at how the other side lives!