Moisturizers aren't just for women -- men can and should use them, too. Cold weather, wind, electric heating and UV rays can all leave a man's skin dry, itchy, flaky, leathery or prematurely old. In addition, some studies suggest that men's skin may boast fewer age-fighting antioxidants than women's [source: DeNoon]. Moisturizers heal and maintain skin cells and smooth lines and wrinkles.
Many men don't like to use a moisturizer, and not just because of the "macho factor." Moisturizing creams and facial cleansers are often, or historically have been, thick and heavy. Men may be reluctant to use such products if they leave a greasy feeling on their faces.
There are some gender differences when it comes to skin. Men's skin is 20 to 30 percent thicker, on average, than women's, owing to extra collagen, fatty tissue and connective tissue [source: Sine]. Men don't necessarily need specially formulated moisturizers and skin care products, but men's skin care has certainly evolved, as has the modern man.Today, billions of dollars worth of men's skin care and grooming products are sold worldwide, and that number is expected to grow.
Men now have access to products that are better suited to their skin care preferences, if not needs. For instance, women's cleansers usually contain an exfoliant, which removes dead skin cells and allows new ones to grow. Men's skin care products can be made thinner because they don't need to have an exfoliant -- men exfoliate naturally with regular shaving. Many men's skin, however, would be better served by a lighter moisturizer because they tend to have oiler skin than women (we'll explain why on the next page).
Gender differences aside, finding the appropriate ingredients for your skin type is what matters most when it comes to choosing cleansing and moisturizing products. Products are available for an array of skin types and sensitivity levels, as you'll discover on the next page.