There are certain perceptions that are purely gender based; for instance, men are usually represented as thick-skinned and rough while women are portrayed as being more sensitive and soft. Whether these views hold truth is debatable, however, when it comes to each gender’s skin, they are indisputably correct descriptions.
The reason behind why men have different skin than women can be attributed to the hormone called androgen (testosterone is the primary and well known androgen).
Androgen stimulates collagen and elastin production, thus generating stronger and coarser skin mostly associated with men. Androgen also increases the rate of the cell turnover resulting in the thickening of the skin. What’s more, androgen increases the size and activity of the sebaceous glands that are responsible for the production of oily or waxy matter, called sebum, which acts as a lubricant (this can cause acne but it also keeps the skin from becoming dehydrated).
In addition, men tend to sweat more and their sweat contains more lactic acid, which is key to healthy and smooth skin. Foods and topical products that contain lactic acid are known for reducing signs of aging.
Lastly, another male perk, shaving acts as a natural exfoliant, opening the pores on a man’s face to remove excess oil.
In contrast, women’s prominent hormone, estrogen, controls sebaceous glands producing finer pores and drier skin. On the plus side, estrogen also stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which in turn gives the skin the ability to resist stretching, maintaining firmness and moisture of the skin, giving the skin a smooth, soft feeling most associated with women’s skin. Unfortunately, hyaluronic acid reduces with age. Therefore, women’s skin lacks the tougher skin androgen creates to withstand time, unlike men’s skin.