According to a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), about 31% of men report they’re considering an aesthetic treatment and that number has been steadily growing as treatments become more mainstream, downtimes are decreased, and results appear more natural-looking. With roughly 60 million men ready and willing to commit to the right medical aesthetics treatment plan—hair removal is just one men’s grooming trend that’s on the rise—we’re starting to see a real shift with many medical aesthetics clinics now catering more to men.
But is there really a difference between non-invasive medical aesthetic treatments for men and those for women? Turns out, there is. Here, we look at the general difference between male skin and female skin and how this may impact those treatments you’ve been considering.
Fundamentally, male and female skin isn’t the same. Of course, attributes can vary by individual, but generally speaking, male skin is naturally thicker than female skin due to hormones . Androgens and testosterone, two hormones that are usually present in higher levels in men, can increase skin thickness by 25% on average compared to females. This helps to maintain skin structure and plumpness while fending off fine lines and cellulite.
As for estrogen, another common hormone, it’s typically present in much lower levels in men than women. Estrogen can affect collagen production and prompt collagen degradation. Because men have lower levels of estrogen, the decline in healthy collagen production tends to be less dramatic with age. In comparison, a female’s collagen production levels tend to sharply decline during perimenopause and menopause, when estrogen levels shift.
While thicker skin and higher collagen density tend to keep men’s skin looking younger for longer, it can also contribute to the development of deeper wrinkles, particularly when paired with a typically minimal skin care routine. Some other common skin care concerns for males are facial shaving, facial hair growth, and a typical lack of sunscreen use. While shaving can help to remove dead skin, regular shaving can also cause skin irritation, a loss of skin hydration due to damage to the skin’s epidermal layer, increased sensitivity to sun exposure, and an increase in collagen degradation, particularly if that regular shave isn’t followed up with proper skin care. Alternatively, facial hair follicles can offer additional firmness and structure to the skin, somewhat preventing more common signs of premature aging in the lower half of the face.
Considering these factors, for males, the upper half of the face, particularly around the eyes, tends to be a greater focus for medical aesthetic treatments. For those men considering facial treatments, increased muscle mass in the forehead may also influence the type of treatment recommended or how that treatment is delivered. For those unsure of how a customized medical aesthetics treatment may be adapted to meet your needs, this question is fair game during your consultation process—an experienced and certified treatment provider should be able to tell you how a treatment may be altered to meet your skin’s particular needs based not only on gender, but also your age and skin care history.
Historically, men have most often sought out cosmetic treatments for enlarged breasts, facial aging, and hair loss, as one aesthetics magazine notes,. In more recent years, that list has shifted to include hair removal, body contouring, wrinkle reduction, and skin resurfacing treatments. While the same technology and applications may be used for all patients for most procedures, there are some ways your treatment provider may alter a treatment for male patients to achieve optimal results. Here’s how anti-aging, body contouring, and hair removal treatments may work best for men:
To start, due to greater skin thickness, for those seeking skin resurfacing treatments for a smoother, younger-looking texture, your provider will likely use a machine that offers more customizable treatment settings and features, like the Venus Viva™ skin resurfacing system. This device offers treatment providers with adjustable settings that allow them to go below the skin’s surface and obtain improved skin resurfacing results compared to more superficial treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion. If your focus is more on skin tightening and wrinkle reduction, your treatment provider may choose to use something like the Venus Freeze Plus™ anti-aging system, which utilizes cutting-edge (MP)2 technology—a combination of Multi-Polar Radio Frequency (RF) energy and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF)—to deliver uniform heat deeper below the skin’s surface. This helps boost natural collagen and elastin productions for smoother, firmer skin without the downtime.
Likewise, body shaping treatment devices that deliver RF energy to multiple depths can better reach targeted fat cells beneath a thicker skin surface while effectively boosting collagen production for a smoother, more defined shape. In particular, your provider may recommend the Venus Legacy™ body shaping treatments. This device features the same cutting-edge (MP)2 technology as the Venus Freeze Plus™ along with advanced VariPulse™ technology, which helps to deliver homogeneous RF energy and heat to multiple tissue depths. With this technology, your provider can quickly and safely build up and maintain heat at the optimal temperature for better results with male patients. In addition, your provider may use VariPulse™ technology (adjustable pulsed suction) to better target fat cells and deliver energy deeper for those with thicker skin.
More often than females, males tend to make ideal candidates for aesthetic hair removal treatments. Due to higher levels of testosterone, vellus hairs—the thinner, almost invisible hairs—are transformed into terminal hairs—the coarser, darker type—at a higher rate in men than in women. Most often, hair removal treatments work most effectively on these thicker, coarser hairs, as the technology is better able to target and destroy larger hair follicles for permanent hair reduction. If you have a lighter skin tone and darker hair, you’ll benefit from Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatments, while those with darker and tanned skin tones can benefit from diode laser hair removal technology. Your aesthetics provider may also choose between a smaller or larger applicator tip to better treat areas in which men typically seek hair removal, such as broader areas, like the back and chest, or more precise areas, like the neckline or sideburns.
Interested in learning more about the top medical aesthetic treatment options for men or how to start your own customized treatment plan? Use our search field below to locate a certified treatment provider near you.