“Collagen and elastin are two valuable skin proteins that keep the skin firm and looking young, but as the skin ages, these components start breaking down.”

Why Men Are Like Fine Wine

Have you ever looked at a man and woman who are the same age and wondered why the man looks significantly younger than the woman does? Some differences you might notice are that the woman has more fine lines and wrinkles on her face. Her complexion might look duller and her skin drier than the man’s does.

Posted: 28 March 13

Have you ever looked at a man and woman who are the same age and wondered why the man looks significantly younger than the woman does? Some differences you might notice are that the woman has more fine lines and wrinkles on her face. Her complexion might look duller and her skin drier than the man’s does.

Until a few years ago there was no way of proving such an observation because of a lack of scientific evidence to support visual observations such as these. Thanks to advances in the medical industry, however, research now validates the theory that female skin does in fact age faster than male skin does.

Scientific Evidence

New laser imaging techniques enable researchers to observe deep layers of men’s and women’s skin by measuring the amount of damage it sustains from factors such as sun exposure and the natural ageing process. Using this laser technique researchers were able to demonstrate that women lose collagen faster than men do.

However, as we all know, nothing relating to the skin is all that simple. Multiple factors contribute to the ageing process. In this article, we’ll examine some biological and environmental factors that contribute to the ageing process in men and women. We’ll also explain why men tend to age better than women do.

Biological Factors

The Breakdown of Collagen and Elastin

Collagen and elastin are two valuable skin proteins that keep the skin firm and looking young, but as the skin ages, these components start breaking down. Skin starts to lose firmness, wrinkles begin to take form and the skin no longer feels as smooth as it once did. One of the main reasons why collagen and elastin breakdown faster in women than men is due to the viscosity of the skin.

Skin Thickness

Men tend to defy age better than women because of an issue that you’d have to call skin deep: Men’s skin is 20 to 30 percent thicker than women’s.

Thicker skin is still susceptible to damage from environmental factors like sun and pollution, but the damage sustained is less visible. On women’s thinner skin, the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration are much easier to see.

Hormones and Ageing

Men and women produce different hormones throughout their lifetime that help keep the skin hydrated and well moisturised. However, one significant difference between men and women is how much of an effect hormones have on the skin.

Post-menopausal women experience a significant drop in estrogen, the hormone responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and supple. With a lack of moisture comes the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Men on the other hand, aren’t as affected by the drop in testosterone, the hormone responsible for counteracting dryness and preventing the formation of wrinkles. Men also have slightly oilier skin than women do, which may be another contributing factor to why they tend to age more slowly.

Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous glands produce oils on the skin, and as you get older they produce less oil. According to the Medline Plus website, men experience a marginal reduction in oil, but not until after they reach about 80 years of age.

Women on the other hand, begin producing less oil after menopause, making it even more difficult to maintain skin moisture and keep the skin hydrated. This lack of oil often results in skin dryness, irritation and the start of the skin ageing.

Environmental Factors

Shaving Habits

Shaving helps men receive the daily exfoliation their skin needs to be healthy. Shaving gets rid of old lifeless skin and reveals the new glowing skin underneath. Women don’t receive this type of exfoliation unless they use a gentle facial scrub designed for regular use.

Diet

Fat

There are also significant differences in the way men and women eat. Men tend to eat more fat. Fats derived from animals and vegetables provide energy and are responsible for producing healthy cell membranes, prostaglandins and hormones.

Fats lubricate not only your joints, but your skin as well. When you don’t receive enough fat in your diet your skin will lack suppleness. But not just any fat will do. It is important that you eat the ‘right’ fats. Foods high in essential fatty acids, like salmon and olive oil, are very good for the skin.

Protein

Protein is responsible for cellular repair. Statistically, most men eat proportionally more protein than women do. In fact, most women often don’t get enough protein in their diets. This is another reason men tend to look a lot younger than their female counterparts.

Protein is so important in the diet that when you don’t get enough protein you actually promote the accelerated ageing process. Unlike foods that can be stored in the body, protein cannot. Therefore, it is essential to include it in your diet at least a few times a week. When you don’t eat enough protein, cells that sustain damage from environmental factors like the sun aren’t able to repair themselves effectively, allowing the premature ageing process to gain ground.

As you can see, many factors influence the ageing process. Even though men are biologically designed to age better than women do, there are several lifestyle factors you can change to better your chances of ageing gracefully. Staying out of the sun, exfoliating regularly, drinking lots of water and eating enough protein and fat will help arrest the ageing of your skin.

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