Men and women are equipped to age differently. Studies show that women are perceived to age better than men. However, men have a physiological advantage which combats wrinkles that women do not. This is the reason for the long-lasting stereotype that men age better than women. The issue is more complex and not down to one reason.
There are biological and psychological implications, as Laura Caswell writes for the Huffington Post, explaining “one of the main differences between men and women is arguably fear”. Women are a lot more conscious about looking older, whereas men don’t consider it nearly as much. Caswell argues that this is where part of the difference lies, as everyone worries about age but men spend less time thinking about it compared to women.
Psychology is certainly part of the equation, but from a physical standpoint here is what exactly makes men age differently.
1. Thicker Skin
A man’s skin is is 20 – 30% thicker compared to a woman’s, meaning they are less susceptible to the signs of ageing. This thick skin is more resistant towards wrinkles and sagging and enforces a firm facial structure throughout life.
2. Higher Collagen Density
Collagen is the protein found in skin and is responsible for keeping skin firm. Men lose collagen more gradually with age, at a rate of around 1% per day after 30, whereas women lose the majority of collagen after menopause, meaning a harsher and more dramatic transition into age.
3. More Oil
The higher testosterone levels of men provide more active sebaceous glands, keeping skin oily even throughout later life. The oil or sebum helps to counteract dryness and wrinkles while maintaining more supple skin.
4. Better Blood Flow
Men get more micronutrients delivered to the skin due to a greater vascular reserve than women. This is due to the amount of hair follicles men have on the face, which need a good blood supply of nutrients and oxygen to prosper.
Fortunately, we have some say in the ageing process and with the right approach, we can stall and even regress some of the effects the process has on our appearance and well-being. The best thing you can do is take action! Age is not a disease and shouldn’t be treated like one, you can determine how you age.