Unisex cosmetics: Can’t women also use men’s products?

Do we need cosmetics for both sexes?

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There are many new products that no longer differentiate between male and female skin, but only between individual skin types. So it doesn’t matter if she reaches for his cream pot.

Is gender-specific skin care still relevant today?

When we ask science, it says very clearly: yes and no … Because there are actually some proven differences between men’s and women’s skin. The connective tissue structure, for example, is much more flexible in women. Sure, a baby needs a lot of space in the tummy. Unfortunately, this also makes them more prone to slackening. In addition, the woman’s complexion tends to be more dry and sensitive. Men’s skin is usually more robust, but often tends to increase sebum production, which often leads to a greasy and large-pored T-zone. This is due to the hormonally controlled sebum gland activity: Male (androgens) namely stimulate sebum production, female (estrogens) inhibit it. “But it is even more important to pay attention to the respective skin type. Because regardless of whether you are diverse, woman or man, your own skin condition is often outside of gender-specific tendencies,” says Dr. Michaela Arens-Corell, head of the medical-scientific department at Sebamed. “The individuality of the skin always beats the gender difference.”

How then do unisex products work?

They are great for the intersection of different skin types. So that are neither prone to extreme dryness nor to increased sebum production. A special focus is on smell, texture and handling, because unisex products mostly rely on neutral scents and quickly absorbed consistencies that are easy to use. And if you have the same skin type as Schatzi, you can save a lot of space in your luggage!

What does the summer complexion need?

Summer belongs to the stress-free time of the complexion, because apart from UV rays it has to endure much less without dry heating air and freezing temperatures below zero. In addition, mild temperatures really stimulate his instinct for self-preservation. “Our sebum, for example, is like butter: rather firm straight from the refrigerator, beautifully spreadable at room temperature. The warmer the air, the more evenly it spreads over our skin, preventing irritants and harmful substances from penetrating,” explains Dr. Arens-Corell. In addition, when exposed to sunlight, our cornea (yes, we also have the skin layer on our face) almost doubles in size. “This so-called light callus is an absolute miracle: It protects against UV rays and all kinds of irritants and prevents moisture from escaping,” says the expert. Nevertheless, the skin needs a care aid in the sun. “Otherwise, at the end of summer, your complexion can look like old chamois leather.” The highlight of the ultra-light summer care product is that it is easy to spread, absorbs super quickly and cools you down. Compared to “normal” creams, gel-like textures do not rely on fatty lipids, but rather on moisture as the main component. This nourishes the complexion weightlessly.

Hot hype

The new care trends include cooling, yoghurt-like textures for the body. Enriched with AHA acid (from English for “Alpha Hydroxy Acid”), they declare war on dead skin and promote cell renewal. The refreshing spray from the bottle is also happy about an upgrade, because the extra portion of moisture is now available with an integrated self-tanner for a nice, even color. In addition, all fans of the full beard can now get through the summer in a soft, caressing manner. Nourishing cleansing foam penetrates through the head of hair and supplies the area that is often neglected with nutrients. But when it comes to summer care, hyaluronic acid is and will remain the Hulk of ultra-light moisturizers. It binds 1000 times its weight in water, replenishing the skin’s moisture depots and smoothing out small wrinkles. No question about it, we’re taking it easy this summer!

This article originally appeared in Guido issue No. 08-09 / 2021.