Traditionally, it has been women showered with Valentine’s Day gifts. However, the battle for gender equality has countless benefits for the male population. One of which is increased spending on Valentine’s Day gifts for men.
Commercial as some may claim it is, Valentine’s Day certainly falls in a place on the calendar where many of us could do with some celebration. January is long and there’s the post-Christmas blues to deal with. February is short but usually bitterly cold and still feels so far away from brighter nights and warm sunrises. If Valentine’s Day helps to remind us of the joy of having one another and encourages us to reflect on gratitude then it appears a pleasant tonic to take.
These days, one of the best ways we can show love is to ensure our loved ones are showing it to themselves. Self-care has become a big priority in the past two years and encompasses all sorts of acts from a Sunday night of pampering to setting boundaries in our relationships. Looking after our mental health, we’ve discovered, is a matter of daily routine that involves taking care of ourselves both on the inside and outside. Perhaps this is why self-care promoting Valentine’s Day gifts are expected to be popular in 2022.
However, there is a particular item that is a dark horse for stealing the title of best-selling Valentine’s Day gifts for men in 2022, and that’s skincare.
Yes, skincare for men is on the rise. According to a study by Global Data, the male skincare market grew by an unbelievable 44% between 2011 and 2017 and it’s not looking to slow down. Whilst once men were expected to splash their faces with cold water, throw a log on the fire and head out each day to take on the world (in a very masculine way of course), the modern man is starting to embrace the notion of looking after their appearance. Unsurprisingly, it seems the rise of online shopping has much to do with this. When Mrporter.com encompassed male grooming into their online retail ranges they were staggered to see a 300% growth in male beauty product buying in just two years. Could it be that men are big fans of taking care of their skin, just so long as they can do so behind closed doors? If so, this makes skincare an ideal gift to buy the man in your life for Valentine’s Day.
How Is Men’s Skin Different From Women’s Skin?
First, let’s look briefly at the makeup of men’s skin generally. In general, men have thicker skin than women (in a literal way only of course). Androgen aka testosterone stimulation causes an increase in skin thickness, resulting in men having 25% thicker skin than women. Which explains why men and women form wrinkles differently. Whilst wrinkling in women tends to be clusters of fine lines, wrinkling in men’s skin tends to be deeper and caused by straining of facial muscles over time. Meaning frown lines and smile lines predominantly. As women age (please see our article on women’s skin during perimenopause), wrinkles are developed as estrogen drops and the skin thins.
Men’s skin also shows signs of ageing earlier but at a slower rate. This is because men lose collagen at a constant rate throughout their adult lives. Whereas women retain much of their collagen until perimenopause when estrogen prepares to leave the party, resulting in a faster more dramatic drop in collagen. Another effect of having thicker skin is larger pores and, as a result, more oil in the skin. Sebum is your skin’s natural oil and it’s a magical ingredient. It hydrates us, blocks bacteria and is our very own body-made moisturiser. However, sebum must be kept in balance because high levels result in oily skin.
One major challenge for men’s skin is irritation caused by shaving. Shaving the face not only removes hair from the face but also the top layer of skin. Shaving with a razor that’s not sharp enough can also pull on hairs and snag the skin.
Why Is Soap Bad For Our Facial Skin?
Why are we talking about soap? I’ll tell you why - because soap is often the main product and sometimes the only product that some men use in their skincare. Soap is a fantastic product. Especially hard soap that requires no plastic packaging. However, soap is for the body, not our faces.
The ingredients that go into soap are great for harder skin, such as that on our feet and other parts of our body. However, the skin on our face is much thinner, even for men, which makes using soap on our faces a little like washing dinner plates with a scouring brush. It’s too heavy-handed and it can dry out our lovely soft skin.
What Skin Products Should Men Use?
Just like women, men need to keep their skin nourished and hydrated with a rich moisturiser. As the largest organ in the human body, our skin should be a pretty high priority, for both genders.
What’s interesting is that although men and women’s skincare is usually sold separately and in different containers, what’s inside is usually the same! Which is absolutely fine because men’s skin doesn’t require anything different, they just need a little more.
Much like men require more calories each day, they need more food for their skin to stay nourished too. So it’s arguably even more important for men to invest in skincare. Apart from the fact that it’s cheaper too!
Did you know that face cream for women is a whopping 34% more expensive than men’s skincare products? Despite them using the same ingredients. It’s become known as the ‘pink tax’. The pink tax refers to the systematic marking up of female beauty products for no other reason than that they are willing to spend more. It’s something we at Olive & Joyce are fiercely opposed to, which is why all our products are gender-neutral and ethically priced based on the quality of the natural ingredients we use.
Skincare Products That Make Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts For Men
One thing men should prioritise in their skincare is a good all-natural oil cleanser.
Skin oil products have many benefits including:
- Removing impurities
- Preventing premature ageing
- Protecting us from the sun
- Gently exfoliating
- Balancing the oil levels in our skin
- Feeding the skin with healthy oils
Face oil gives men the extra softness it needs and helps to combat the effects of shaving, as well as ageing. This is why we recommend that women use an oil cleanser once a day and that men cleanse twice per day.
Therefore, for Valentine’s Day gifts for men, skincare is an ideal option. Showing love by giving someone a gift that promotes self-care is highly reflective of what Valentine’s Day is really about - caring and pampering a person in your life who deserves celebrating.
Olive & Joyce’s skincare products are gender-free. All-natural, vegan and handmade with love, our products are food for the skin for both men and women. If you’re searching for Valentine’s Day gifts for men take a browse through our collection. Highlights include our Established Skin Set which includes our combination skin oil cleanser and face cream and our Exquisite Skin Set which is ideal for men with sensitive skin.