Men’s vs. Women’s Skincare Products: Is There Really a Difference?

March 16, 2023
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
A picture of a male model and a female model looking in the mirror

It’s clear that there is a distinctly different market for men’s and women’s skincare products, but when you really get down to it, is there that much of a difference in the formulations? Aside from the most obvious contrasts — like packaging, fragrance and product names — the differences between men’s and women’s skincare products are less meaningful than you may think. Ahead, we consulted with dermatologists to find out how the formulas in men’s products differ from those geared towards women.

How Does Male and Female Skin Differ?

There are some differences between male and female skin, but it’s important to note that not every man’s or every woman’s skin is the same (and that not everyone identifies as a man or a woman). “There are some differences in skin between men and women, but there are also differences in skin between this man and that man and this woman and that woman,” Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, previously told “It’s best to find a regimen that works for you and stick with that, whether it's for men or for women.” 

According to Dr. Ted Lain, a Texas-based board-certified dermatologist and consultant, some of the differences between men’s and women’s skin lie in oil production and skin thickness. “Men's skin is thicker due to higher collagen content,” he says. “The oil glands in men are more active, allowing for greater innate moisturization over the adult years. The aging process is more gradual from a young age in men, whereas women's skin maintains thickness and moisture content consistently until menopause, when decreasing estrogen levels cause dramatic changes.” Despite this, some women still have oilier skin than some men, and vice versa — again, skin type varies greatly from individual to individual. 

Is There a Difference Between Skincare Geared Toward Men and Women?

So what does this all mean when it comes to the products we buy? Some women’s skincare products may be more moisturizing than men’s, says Dr. Lain. Other than that, the ingredients in men’s and women’s skincare products are typically the same, according to Dr. Hartman. 

Your best bet is to base your skincare routine off of your specific skin type and concerns, rather than relying on gendered skincare products. For example, the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men may be targeted toward men, but the lightweight and non-greasy formula works for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The Lancôme Clarifique Pro-Solution Serum is marketed towards women, but it’s a great pick for anyone who’s looking to brighten up dark spots and reduce the look of post-acne marks. 

The key takeaway? Pay attention to your skin’s needs, whether it’s dry, oily or somewhere in-between, and look for products with ingredients that support them. 


Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Daily Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men and Lancôme Clarifique Pro-Solution Serum

Additional reporting by Ariel Wodarcyk


Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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