Our focus as an industry, much like mine has tended to surround skincare for women whilst neglecting the men in our lives! Being a mother, sister, daughter and wife, undoubtedly nourishes one’s enlightenment as we become older, wiser women, but often taking its toll on our skin. Quite insidiously, our men suffer the same skin maturing processes as us.
I have the opportunity to meet many patients in a dental capacity, and this is where I get the chance to ask some poignant questions about skin. Men have rarely entered my clinics requesting advice or aesthetic treatment but when I approached them about issues surrounding skin, much to my surprise they were very forthcoming with an overwhelming multitude of concerns, curiosities and complaints.
Large pores, blackheads, acne, shaving bumps, painful folliculitis, frown lines, patches, lumps, bumps, dark circles under eyes…
To perhaps understand many of these notorious male skin ailments we should explore a couple of the main underpinning physiological processes. The male skin differs from female skin, in that pores are naturally larger and they secrete more sebum. This sebum makes men significantly more prone to congestion of the skin and therefore spots and acne. The skin is thicker due to higher testosterone levels. Meanwhile skin surface cells, which readily exfoliate can adhere and build up on the skins surface, add to the higher risk of acne and blemishes. Counter to this, skin is thicker in nature acting as a protective barrier, have a higher amount of lactic acid production which helps naturally moisturise the skin and is also nourished with more collagen, thus men are genetically built to look younger than women. Many men however tend to carelessly neglect this dermatological advantage for example with reduced SPF usage, repeated shaving with poor skin preparation and aftercare. Hence we see the list of problems men are quietly suffering with.
When I asked a group of male patients why they would have aesthetic treatments, many of them said to look fresh. My other personal favourite was to enhance their self-confidence and to bolster the persona they wanted to reflect in both their professional arena as well as personal life. Skin treatments inherently improve both skin stature as well as personal confidence and self esteem. With increasing importance placed on professional progress and development, our face and the way we present ourselves be it “looking fresh,” and emanating confidence, it is no surprise that men are increasingly interested in skincare and aesthetic treatment plans.
With regards to facial aesthetics and beauty what makes a woman attractive differs from a man. For example men can get grey, bald, have sparkling wrinkly eyes and deep forehead lines and be remarkably attractive. It is a primitive notion, older men have survived, and they are wiser and have more to give because of this anthropological victory.
The treatment for men requires specially tailored thought.
Many men have steered away from invasive treatments as it was felt they were labour intensive and protracted in time. They seem to be open to management plans which are quicker, less invasive and do not show any tell tale signs of treatment.
The idea of even skin, less ingrown hair, or folliculitis and skin smoothing potential has gained a lot of interest. Furthermore this can be delivered through simple, short, regular treatments without an invasive necessity. The treatment called a superficial chemical peel uses a mild acid to gently exfoliate the outer surface of the skin and clean deep into the pores. Using a glycolic peel, collagen can also be stimulated to get an anti-ageing result too.
These skin treatments are quick, can be done at lunchtime, and minimal side effects. These are all things that are welcomed by men.
Toxin injections are used for smoothing out lines found usually in the upper face. I have had great feedback and results from men who have had treatment at the glabella lines or frown line which lie between the eyebrows. Without treatment these lines can be stubborn and create a look of worry or anger, which is vastly different to fresh, accommodating, confident and professional.
I have looked to also emphasise a holistic approach to skin health. Keeping in shape, understanding our diet and the care required for body aesthetics. The people that invest in these facets significantly aid the health of their skin long term.
The challenging and rewarding aesthetic management plans I am implementing for my male patients has been inspiring. I am very excited with this important growing wave of interest from men.
Dr Uma Jeyanathan is lead clinician for facial aesthetics and skincare at Mydentist Putney. Uma believes in a holistic approach when treating patients, addressing lifestyle factors, skin regime and interventional treatments collectively.
Contact Uma at email@example.com or visit her practice page on our website https://www.mydentist.co.uk/dentists/practices/england/london/wandsworth/unit-2-riverside-commercial