Physiological differences: Shiseido research finds men’s skin is more susceptible to oxidative stress

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido has found that men’s skin is less tolerant to oxidative stress. [GettyImages]
Shiseido has found that men’s skin is less tolerant to oxidative stress. [GettyImages]

Related tags: men's grooming, Research, skin immunity, Skin health

A new study by Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido has found that men’s skin is less tolerant to oxidative stress, suggesting it is more delicate and in need of more tailored skin care solutions.

The company undertook this research to clarify how the physiology of skin between men and woman differ fundamentally.

Previous research has uncovered that in general, men’s skin has a reduced barrier function and tend to produce more sebum.

The firm conducted a survey of men and women in their 20s and 30s and found more characteristic differences such as male skin being more susceptible to UV damage than women.

In particular, the researchers found that male skin was more susceptible to oxidative stress due to its ‘weaker antioxidant power’.

According to researchers, when oxidative stress increases due to UV damage, the skin's ability to maintain moisture, transparency and firmness deteriorates.

Furthermore, an examination of inflammation indicators associated with skin ageing found that the indicators of weak inflammation were higher for men than in women

Researchers believed that these factors were some of the root causes of differences in male and female skin physiology.

Additionally, researchers reported that ageing and other skin concerns were likely to be more severe for men as the demographic tends to be less conscious about skin care and sun care compared to women.

Hormonal effects on skin

In a separate but related study published simultaneously, Shiseido found that androgens, a group of hormones found largely in males, contributed to the weakening of skin.

This study drew on the findings Shiseido and the Cutaneous Biology Research Center (CBRC) made this year on Langerhans cells and its link to skin immunity and vitality.

Published in October, the study said maintaining the function of Langerhans cell progenitors (LC progenitor) was crucial in preventing the decrease of Langerhans cells.

With the new study, Shiseido found that androgens, a group of ‘male’ hormones were found to inhibit Langerhans cells function and growth by reducing the expression of the progenitor cells.

“Skin immunity plays an important role in keeping the skin healthy, suggesting that men need care that enhances the protective function of the skin,” ​said Shiseido.

The study went on to suggest the use of a camellia complex, which is extracted from camellia flowers and leaves, to combat the effects.

According to the firm, the camellia complex extracted was found to have ‘remarkable effects’ at suppressing the effects of androgens on Langerhans cells.

From both studies, researchers concluded that a combination of camellia and green tea extracts to help reinforce the skin’s tolerance against oxidative stress and in turn help maintain the health of the skin.

Shiseido said: “Going forward, we will utilise the results of our many years of research on skin physiology by age and gender of our customers to propose a new approach that is unique to Shiseido and is tailored to the characteristics of male skin physiology.”

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