As more and more men start adopting skincare routines, one question is consistently asked by all genders: “are skincare products gender-neutral?” The short answer is “yes,” but the long answer is complicated, especially when skincare is approached from a marketing perspective.
While beauty isn’t just exclusive to women, other genders are often turned off from skincare products because they feel it doesn’t apply to them. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Dissecting Sex-Based Skin Challenges
On average, cis-born men tend to have skin that’s 20-25% thicker than cis-born women. Men’s skin tends to produce more oil, while women’s skin contains more elastin and collagen.
Dermatologists play a big role in ensuring the products you use are suitable for your skin. Nava MD treatments, which are formulated to meet your specific needs, can account for normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin types. But do brands need to be concerned with thick skin?
Apparently not. Daily skincare regime basics should be the same, regardless of sex or gender. The most important factors of any effective skincare routine are skin type and areas of concern, like dark spots, acne, or anti-aging. Men don’t need an entirely separate regiment.
Dissecting Skincare’s Importance
All genders benefit from the adoption of a skincare routine. A consistent skincare regimen can help your skin stay in good condition, preventing acne and reducing signs of aging. Skincare also provides health benefits, including better vitamin absorption and disease protection.
Men should start thinking of their skin as an organ that needs to stay healthy. Our skin can tell us a lot about our overall health. For example, if you have Rosacea, you may be drinking too much alcohol. If you have eczema, you’ll need to moisturize your red patches to regain comfort.
Even dandruff, which still counts as skincare, can indicate you’re not drinking enough water.
How are men going to reduce acne, dark spots under their eyes or mitigate the effects of aging if doing so produces feelings of shame? These examples are common skin conditions that can be reduced very easily through the use of topical creams and products.
Skincare shouldn’t have anything to do with gender norms or stigmas. It should be treated as a necessary evil at worst, just like eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
Dissecting Gender Norms
South Korean men have long embraced beauty products that were deemed to be unmarketable to Western Men. About three-quarters of South Korean men undertake grooming or beauty treatments, including at-home facials, salon treatments, and multi-step skincare regimens.
It’s not at all uncommon for Korean men to wear makeup, and yet, they’re still considered “masculine.” Why? Because gender norms are wildly different depending on the culture, and “masculinity” isn’t static. Men have worn makeup and used skincare products throughout history.
Dissecting Gender-Based Marketing
It’s no secret that beauty products are exclusively marketed towards women in the West, despite the fact that men also want to feel handsome and/or beautiful. Although terms like “beautiful” and “pretty” are seen as feminine, they don’t have to be in the modern era.
It’s known by academia that gender is a social construct. We can look to South Korean men to see that fact first hand, but it goes beyond beauty. We’re all conditioned from a young age to classify everything from colors to hobbies to toys as either being “masculine” or “feminine.”
To make skincare and makeup masculine, it’s essential not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s much easier to use masculine tropes and traits to market to men, for now.
As skincare becomes more accepted, marketers can use gender-neutral colors, like green and yellow, to break down masculinity. Then, the products will speak for themselves.