When it comes to the beauty and skincare industry, the marketing divide is clear: products are mostly marketed toward women (often in distinctly feminine packaging with cursive fonts), and those that aren’t are clearly labeled “for men.”
But skin is skin, right? Do we really need completely different sets of products?
There are some biological differences between male and female skin, and that’s largely because of hormones. Men’s skin is, on average, 20-25% thicker than women’s, and also tends to have higher collagen density (lucky!) with more sebum and hair follicles.
By contrast, women’s skin is generally thinner and loses moisture more quickly. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, studies have shown that women can lose up to 30% of their skin’s collagen during early menopause. This lack of collagen results in common signs of aging (lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots).
Daily shaving is another factor to consider. Because it harshly exfoliates the skin, regular shaving can cause irritation from razor burn or ingrown hair follicles. On the flip side, the intense exfoliation from shaving can lead to a smoother, younger-looking complexion.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that women’s skin is always more dry or that all men’s skin is thicker and oilier. It’s just that, on average, men tend to have oilier skin that is thicker than most women’s.
Aside from these baseline differences, the truth is that much of skincare is universal and not bound by gender. (Skin imperfections can happen to anyone!)
Below, our top 5 unisex skincare favorites that can be boldly displayed on either side of the shelf.
When dryness strikes (winter is coming!), reach for hyaluronic acid. This magical molecule actually works to hydrate skin on a cellular level, which delivers deep, lasting moisture.
Our favorite hydrating serum is designed to plump, soothe, and brighten for super-fresh, balanced skin. The unscented formula is gender-neutral and safe even for those with sensitive skin (artificial fragrances are known to cause irritation).
Tip: Dry skin is also a skin type, not just a temporary or seasonal condition. If this is you, you’ll want to use products with intense hydration to combat dry, flaky skin year round.
An eye cream is an essential skincare ingredient for every one no matter your age or gender. Delicate skin around the eyes is prone to wrinkles, so keeping the area hydrated is essential to looking youthful.
Our Vitamin K Contouring Eye Cream is made for everyone, with lightweight moisturizers and brightening antioxidants. This all-natural dream cream is packed with eye-opening ingredients for beautiful, bright, awakened eyes — and none of the harsh chemicals in most conventional eye creams.
Studies have shown that Vitamin K suppresses pigmentation, which reduces the appearance of dark circles. Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea keep puffiness and undereye bags away.
The transformative effects are so stunning, you won’t believe your eyes (wink, wink).
The assumption is often made that a man’s skin does not require the same type of gentle care as a woman’s. Not true! Men’s skin is no less sensitive or prone to aging than women’s. Men’s skin may be thicker, but harsh chemicals and rough scrubs can cause damage all the same.
For those with more sensitive skin, both oily and dry, micellar water is a great way to cleanse without drying or aggravating. Our favorite micellar water is formulated with pure ingredients and a fresh scent to cleanse, hydrate, and revitalize any skin it hits — male or female! Cucumber plumps and brightens, while white water lily extract purifies and Egyptian blue lotus extract calms and soothes to leave skin soft, smooth and even.
If you’re into high intensity workouts that make you sweat, the Ignite Intense Coconut Sweat Activating Gel is for you. Ultra-nourishing ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter help maintain hydration and boost natural skin healing properties, while helping to encourage additional heat and sweating during cardio exercise.
This firming formula packs some serious moisturizing power along with a clean coconut scent to keep you smelling fresh during tough workouts.
Note: This product doesn’t replace a proper warm-up (so no cheating!).
When it comes to multi-purpose beauty products, you can’t beat classic coconut oil. Our 100% virgin organic coconut oil comes from the highest quality fair trade sources and is packed with skin-loving vitamins, nutrients, and essential fatty acids.
Studies show that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, fights premature signs of aging, and makes an effective moisturizer.
Some of our favorite ways to use this unisex skincare staple:
Tip: If you decide to try coconut oil for skin, always buy organic and unrefined. Look for labels reading “raw,” “virgin,” or “cold-pressed.”
We recommend shopping by skincare concern rather than gendered packaging. Everyone’s skin is slightly unique, so whether you’re dealing with dryness, photodamage, acne, or some other imperfection, it’s important to make sure the products you use are meeting your individual skincare needs.