Retrouvé’s Gender-Free Skincare

Jami Morse Heidegger

I am frequently asked if men can use our products, and my answer is always a resounding “Yes, of course!” When I was first creating the products that eventually became Retrouvé, I wanted formulations that both my husband, Klaus, and I could use and thusly, from the start, our brand was intended for both men and women. Our preparations are not perfumed, and the packaging is designed to be appealing to all. At Retrouvé, we believe that the differentiating criteria for appropriate product selection should be based not on gender but rather, on skin type, also taking into account specific concerns and/or preferences, of course.

Admittedly, men’s skin can differ from women’s in a number of ways, some of them surprising. According to information put forth by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

  • The typical male dermis is approximately 20% thicker than the female dermis, which means that generally, men have fewer and less pronounced superficial wrinkles compared to women; however, men have a more robust skeletal musculature than women, which translates into deeper expression lines. (Interestingly, the concern regarding the development of wrinkled skin is shared across genders.
  • Research shows that men’s thicker dermal layer is more sensitive to environmental conditions than thinner female skin. As such, many men can actually have drier skin than women. (Anyone can experience varying degrees of dry skin, however.
  • Male skin is more sensitive to UV radiation – the single most important risk factor for both aging of the skin and the development of cancers – than female skin. The AAD states, “Because men are more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, they have higher incidences of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Not only do men have a higher incidence of these cancers, they also have a higher mortality rate. The reality goes against every idea we have of men’s skin being tougher and more resilient when it is actually more sensitive.” (Note that all genders are adversely affected by UV exposure.) Our Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream is a creamy squalane-based moisturizer that is ideal for those whose skin tends to be a bit sensitive. For those with sensitive skin, we recommend first applying a small amount of product to the inside of the wrist or elbow area and leaving on for several hours or overnight as a “patch test.” This test will help to determine whether a product is compatible with your skin type before applying to the face. (Rinse the area thoroughly should irritation occur.) Apply sunscreen after the moisturizer.
  • Men produce approximately four times more sebum than women. As a result, they can be more prone to develop large pores, acne, and acne scarring. (Across the spectrum, anyone can experience oilier skin and the subsequent consequences of this condition.) Our Nutrient Face Serum is beneficial for anyone with an oiler complexion who desires the benefit of our potent blend of skin-improving ingredients without a lot of added hydration. Further, the unparalleled level of Vitamin C in this formulation can be quite helpful for brightening and improving the appearance of textured skin.
  • The repetitive act of shaving can be quite traumatic to facial skin. (At present, this concern belongs primarily to men, although more women are now shaving their skin for hair removal (“blading”) and to gain exfoliating benefits and may possibly develop similar complications to men as a result.) Our Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer can be used as a luxurious pre-shave preparation to condition the beard and skin in the beard area. Please note that it may be preferable to use a facial product on the beard rather than a hair product, as we know that the face product is safe for the skin underneath the beard! Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream is beneficial for soothing the skin after the impact of shaving.

In considering the AAD’s research, it is clear that while the reasons for certain skin conditions may differ, all genders have the same need to protect their skin from the sun and to hydrate and treat it according to their individual needs. In my near 45 years of active experience in the skincare industry, I have been resolute in promulgating my belief that the consistent use of a sunscreen and a moisturizer best suited to one’s skin type will significantly help to protect the skin and its appearance over time.

In the year 2020, when gender is so fluid, it seems arbitrary to designate products for a single sex. Skin is skin! I have always advocated products based on skin type as opposed to gender, and I have never believed in using perfumes or packaging to appeal to any one group. Retrouvé is for any adults who are concerned about the health and well-being of their skin and want to delay the visible signs of aging.

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