How skincare has become a welcome and essential part of life for men

Thank you @laura_m_kennedy and @irishtatler for inviting Prof Niki Ralph to share her thoughts on men’s skincare in the Men’s Style Issue. Below is an edited excerpt, you can read the full feature on

Kennedy writes: “Men’s skincare, in particular, is a major growth area, with male beauty brands becoming much more common. It’s a good thing too. According to Professor Niki Ralph, co-founder of Institute of Dermatologists Ireland and consultant dermatologist, La Roche-Posay, men’s skin differs from women’s in a number of key ways and while it doesn’t always necessarily need different products, it certainly needs a simple, tailored care routine. “Men’s skin tends to be thicker, rougher and tougher due to the influence of the male hormone testosterone”, Ralph says.

In what most women might be tempted to consider yet another biological injustice, male skin also tends to age better provided they look after it, Ralph suggests. “This is also partly due to collagen. Men have higher or denser levels of collagen which makes their skin appear firmer for longer.” Ralph says that men’s skin also tends to be more hydrated in its natural state than women’s skin.

However, due to larger sebaceous glands and higher testosterone levels, Professor Ralph says that “four percent of men still suffer from acne as an adult into their 40s. Men also don’t have quite the same choice of treatments as many of the hormonal options to treat acne cannot be used in men.” If you are suffering from acne, don’t despair. Ralph advises that, “there are many treatment options including topical prescription therapies, oral antibiotics, and isotretinoin for more severe variants of acne.”

Apart from oiliness and congestion, men are also prone to issues with shaving-induced sensitivity, irritation, and redness. A simple skincare routine will make an enormous difference, but SPF should be a priority for men especially, Ralph advises. “Ireland has the highest mortality rate in Europe from both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and this is much higher in men compared with women… One should apply SPF daily regardless of what the weather looks like.”