Why is it that men are commonly referred to as “distinguished” when they have salt and pepper hair, yet women don’t receive the same props? The locks of silver haired male icons Richard Gere, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery drip sex appeal, though they are well on their way to over the hill. Is it a societal norm instilled through the media or is there a genetic factor that contributes to this phenomenon?
Society may influence our perceptions of male and female beauty, but science has a lot to do with it! Men’s skin is thicker than women’s because of male hormones i.e. testosterone. Consequently, women are more susceptible to damaging UV rays because their skin is much thinner than men’s. This is why men generally have fewer wrinkles than women, which in turn keeps their skin looking younger.
As women enter the big M, the lack of estrogen depletes the skin of collagen and elastin, making the skin vulnerable and less resilient. Men’s skin also thins as they age, but at a much slower rate, roughly 1% per year. Women’s skin is much more likely to suffer from hyperpigmentation and rough texture because of an increased sensitivity to sun damage. Whereas men are less susceptible to damaging UV rays because their thicker skin acts as a shield to the sun. Sun damage accounts for roughly 80 percent of the aging process to the skin. As always (women especially) don’t forgot the sun block! We like La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Melt In Sunscreen Milk and SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 30. For oily skin types we suggest La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid.
Many other factors also contribute to the aging process such as smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, diet and genetics. Living a clean and healthy lifestyle will help you age gracefully into your golden years.
Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation