This post originally appeared on Details.com.
It’s a question you’ve probably asked yourself while deliberating over which grooming products to buy. Do you really need a different set of cleansers and creams than your girlfriend?
Are the products that claim to be created specially for men a gimmick or perhaps just women’s skin or hair care packaged in a black bottle and finished off with a scent of smoke and leather?
If you’ve been buying said products, don’t worry: You have not been had. It turns out that men’s and women’s skin are, in fact, significantly different (time to stop raiding your girlfriend’s medicine cabinet). Here are the four biggest discrepancies and the products that are essential for your routine.
Beards With Benefits
Yes, facial hair is an obvious difference, but it’s worth noting. Even though there are mornings when you curse the need to shave, the ability to grow a beard has its perks. All of those hair follicles actually give your skin structure and help keep your face wrinkle-free. Another positive? Shaving exfoliates your face. As you drag a razor across your cheek, it also scrapes off microscopic pieces of dead skin. In order to keep follicles from getting clogged and causing ingrown hairs, we recommend a post-shave treatment like Urth Skin Solutions for Men’s Post-Shave Elixir, which contains lactic and salicylic acids to smooth away bumps and treat redness and irritation.
Thanks to testosterone, men literally have thicker skin than women — 25 per cent thicker, in fact. That means men need heavy-hitting products in order to fully absorb their benefits. Using a good scrub (like Triumph and Disaster’s Rock and Roll Suicide Exfoliating Face Scrub) will help cleansers, moisturizers, and other facial treatments penetrate through to the deeper layers.
After puberty, men produce significantly more sebum than women. Once again, this is related to androgens (basically, male hormones). It means that guys are more prone to oily skin, breakouts, blackheads, and clogged pores. In order to achieve balance, men need skin-care products that focus on fighting oil production and unclogging pores. To keep skin blemish-free, try the Valobra Soap Bar, a facial soap for oily skin types, as well as Recipe for Men’s Anti-Shine Moisturizer to keep shine at bay all day long.
Good news, guys. Men’s skin tends to have a naturally higher collagen density, which translates into fewer wrinkles and slower ageing. This doesn’t mean you can get away with not using sunscreen, though. UV radiation can quickly add years to your face, so protect what you’ve been lucky enough to start with. Use a daily moisturizer with SPF (like Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20) to guard against early signs of skin damage.
More from Details:
The Best of Men’s Fall Fashion 2013: Tips, Trends & Editors’ Picks
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.