Top 10 men’s skin myths debunked:
When it comes to “anti-aging” and “hair loss”remedies for men, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The board-certified dermatologists at Vorteil set the story straight with the most common men’s skin myths, debunked of course.
Myth #1: Men’s skin is the same as women’s skin
Men’s skin is different than women’s skin. It is up to 40% thicker, pumps out five times more oil, and contains more sebaceous glands. Different skin and hair conditions are also much more frequent in men, including rosacea/rhinophyma (see Myth #5), acne scarring and male pattern hair loss, to name a few. Men’s skin also ages differently than women’s, losing collagen more rapidly after the age of 30. Men’s facial anatomy is different too. In fact, the team at Vorteil published the first scientific article on the differences in the forehead anatomy in men versus women. As a result of this study, wrinkle relaxing injections, such as Xeomin, in men should be performed differently to avoid feminizing the male face.
Myth #2: I don’t need to use sunscreen because I’m never in the sun
Yes, lying out at the beach does accelerate aging, but incidental sun exposure is still the number one cause of aging in men. Why? Just do the math. 20 minutes a day driving in your car and/or walking to and from the parking lot adds up (doing this monday through friday for 10 years is 833 hours of unprotected sun exposure). Only 5% of men use sunscreen daily. Using a sunscreen every morning (after shaving) is critical in fighting against skin aging.
Myth #3: Wrinkle relaxing treatments (neuromodulators) are for women
Neuromodulators are the most common anti-aging procedure in men. According to the latest statistics, over 389,000 men had the procedure last year, up 314% from a decade ago. Why? Because neuromodulator injections are extremely safe, take 10 minutes to perform, last 3-4 months, and correct wrinkles so well that most professional guys consider it essential if they work in an industry where looks matter.
Myth #4: Anti-aging creams and serums work
Over-the-counter anti-aging products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not required to show scientific evidence that they work. Most of these products contain a moisturizer (such as dimethicone or glycerin) which can improve fine lines through retention of water on the skin. Sunscreens (such as oxybenzone and avobenzone) are usually in the product as well, as they are proven to prevent skin aging. The antioxidants, caviar extract and other exotic ingredients have never been proven to fend off aging. The bottom line is that a $10 sunscreen and some Cetaphil moisturizer will work just as well as a $500 anti-aging cream, it’s just marketing hype and fancy packaging.
Myth #5: Men that get anti-aging procedures are “vain”
It’s not about vanity. It’s about function. Most men get anti-aging procedures to look refreshed and rejuvenated, not to look prettier. The aging process is relentless in every man; some choose to take action while others choose not to. Regardless, the necessity to stay competitive, both personally and professionally, is a major driving force in most men. Think restorative, not cosmetic.
Myth #6: Skin aging is caused by genetics.
Genetics only plays a very minor role in skin aging, depending mostly on a man’s skin complexion and pigmentation pattern. Basically, the lighter your complexion, the more susceptible you are to skin aging. According to the latest medical literature, the lion’s share (about 90%) of skin aging is caused by cumulative exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. A simple analogy for skin aging would be that if genetics loads the gun, sun exposure pulls the trigger.
Myth #7: Hair transplantation uses “plugs” and looks unnatural
Used in the 1970’s and 1980’s, plugs are now a thing of the past. Plugs consisted of cylinders of skin that contained 10-14 hairs each. When transplanted to the hairline, it produced an unnatural appearance that resembled “doll’s hair”. Modern hair transplantation is performed using a technique called follicular unit transplantation, whereby individual hair follicles are transplanted to the bald areas using sophisticated microscopes. When performed by a board-certified (MD) dermatologist, the results are undetectable. In fact, most barbers won’t even recognize them.
Myth #8: Redness of the nose means you’re an alcoholic
Redness of the nose is caused by rosacea, which is an inflammatory skin disorder with features of both acne and eczema. A subtype of rosacea is called rhinophyma and is more common in men. Rhinophyma results from excessive oil gland enlargement producing thick bumps and a bulbous nose. Although alcohol, in addition to spicy foods and hot showers, can flare rosacea, redness of the nose is not caused by it.
Myth #9: I have to use moisturizer in the morning.
Moisturizer works not by adding moisture to the skin, but by preventing moisture from leaving the skin. A high quality bland moisturizer, such as Cetaphil, can improve a man’s complexion by improving very fine lines, reducing redness and improving texture. Since the skin is in recovery mode during sleep, the best time to apply moisturizer is actually before bed. In the morning, apply a zinc oxide based sunscreen instead.
Myth #10: Finasteride (Propecia), used for hair loss, is unsafe and will cause permanent sexual dysfunction
Finasteride (brand name Propecia) has been rigorously studied in the medical literature. After proving its safety and effectiveness, the FDA approved it for male pattern baldness in 1997. Drug-drug interactions and allergies are rare if non-existent. The most asked about side effect is decreased libido, which is reported to occur in 2-4% of men. In all the major clinical studies, the men who stopped taking the drug reverted back to normal. In postmarketing analyses , some men have claimed that the side effects were permanent, which prompted the FDA to issue a warning in 2012. The validity and scientific explanation of these claims have not been elucidated.
Content provided by:
RYAN GOERIG, M.D., F.A.A.D.
BOARD CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST
AMERICAN BOARD OF DERMATOLOGY
VORTEIL | DERMATOLOGY AND AESTHETIC SCIENCE
33971 Selva Road – Suite 200
Dana Point, CA