And that's not to say that all of these products are bad — they're not! We want to initially note that if certain branding speaks to you and makes you feel confident using those products, that's excellent, and you should use what makes you feel good in your skin.
This piece, however, will speak more to the truth that ultimately your skin care routine should be tailored to your skin's unique characteristics. “It all comes down to skin type. The marketing toward men and women is just BS,” notes Heyday Education Director Shea Amiruddin.
It Starts With Skin Type
We can learn a lot about disentangling gender and skincare from how our estheticians assess skin during facials or virtual consultations. “We start with the premise that skin is skin. Our estheticians determine your skin type and conditions based on how your skin presents and your skin history,” says Shea. This is to say, someone’s gender identity does not equivocate what care their skin will need.
Instead, it comes down to the composition of someone’s skin, determined by genetics, product usage, and environmental circumstances. One main contributor to one’s skin is its hormones—like testosterone levels that can determine hair growth, skin thickness, and oil production. However, a variety of factors can determine testosterone levels, from treatments like hormone therapy and conditions like PCOS. These hormone levels can help determine one’s skin type and conditions—commonly an oily skin type and breakouts for those with higher testosterone levels. This is not to say that those with more testosterone will never experience conditions like dehydration, or that it’s impossible to have a dry skin type. Rather, that everyone needs a skincare routine tailored to their own individual needs.
New To Skincare?
Due to stereotypes, misinformation, and the limits of labeling, many people may still be confused about how to go about picking products and treating their skin. That’s why we created our Skincare Starter Guide to help anyone, no matter where you’re at in your journey, begin or build out a skincare routine.
- Learn the fundamentals about starting a skincare routine.
- Learn about the difference between skin type and skin condition, and what products are suitable for yours. Or take our Skin Quiz.
- Learn how to incorporate new products into your routine.
Gendered labels are ultimately irrelevant simply because of the science of skin types. “It all comes down to skin type. The marketing toward men and women is just BS,” notes Heyday Education Director Shea Amiruddin.
The Minimalist’s Ideal Routine
No matter who you are, if you’re looking to keep it simple and stick to the basics, here are some expert picks just for you.
A Multitasking, Non-Stripping Face Wash
Morning and night, cleanse and exfoliate skin in one fell swoop with this foaming cleanser that removes excess oil for more hydrated, radiant skin.
A 2-in-1 SPF + Moisturizer
Each morning, shield skin from the sun’s rays with broad spectrum protection while evening out skin tone for a hydrating, matte finish.
A Pre-Shave Exfoliant
From head to toe, no matter where you’re performing any sort of hair removal, it’s imperative to prep and soothe your skin to minimize irritation. Use this exfoliant to strengthen and restore resilience in skin before you shave.
A Post-Shave Soother
Then, apply a few drops of Lapis Oil to newly smoothed skin (steering clear of any open wounds!) to reduce inflammation and restore hydration.
So, what’s the takeaway here?
Like we mentioned earlier, if products targeted toward your gender expression make you feel empowered and confident using that product, that's awesome and you should use those products!
But always know that the best skin care for you will ultimately be the skin care that works best for your skin type. We all have skin, so we all have skin to take care of. It’s simply a matter of choosing the products that are right for your skin’s unique structure and conditions. Need a place to start? Our site lets you find what you’re looking for simply by filtering by product type, skin condition, skin type, and brand.