Why should men purchase their own moisturizer when they can just swipe some from their wives or girlfriends? They shouldn't, necessarily. In many cases, men's and women's moisturizers are the same products, repackaged. But men's bodies -- including the skin -- are much different than women's, and a lotion that works for your wife or girlfriend might not be the best fit for you. Also, many women's lotions contain fragrances that smell, well, ladylike.
If someone says you have thick skin, they're probably referring to your ability to accept criticism and not take things too personally. But physiologically, men actually have thicker skin than women. In early 2011, Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer told the Washington Post, "Usually male skin has a thicker epidermis and a thicker dermis." (The epidermis is the outer layer and the dermis is the inner layer of the skin. [source: Tschorn].)
On average, men's skin is about 20 to 30 percent thicker than women's, but that isn't the only way that men's skin is different. It also contains more collagen and elastin, which gives the skin more elasticity and helps hold it tighter. In addition, hormones like testosterone affect the skin. Men are also much hairier than women (especially on their faces), and hair glands produce oil, which affects skin composition [source: WebMD].
Because men have thicker skin and bigger, oil-producing pores, their skin requires moisturizer that is formulated specifically for them. (And no, it isn't just the fragrance and the color of the bottle that is different.) In most cases, moisturizers for men have higher concentrations of active ingredients.
Education is another difference between men and women when it comes to skin care. Although it has become more accepted in recent years, many men are still less likely to devote much time or energy into skin care treatment.
Read on to learn about specific moisturizing regimens for men.