It’s a Man’s World

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It’s one of the oldest rules in the book-never ask a women her age. But what about men? In the good old days, males didn’t worry much when wrinkles began to crease their faces and their moustaches were streaked with grey.

Today, that has changed- and how! Take a look at Suneet (who doesn’t want us to reveal his full name because he’s exceptionally touchy about his beauty treatments). Suneet keeps his skin glowing by cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day. That’s not all. He has regular scrubbing sessions to get rid of obnoxious blackheads and sunscreen is a constant companion.

So what are the new obsessions in Suneet’s life? Well, he’s always trying out the newest diamond scrubs, gold facials and other anti-age lotions and potions. He has even had a few rounds of Botox. And fillers are up next. Sunnet is thrilled that the beauty gurus and cosmetic giants are listening to and answering the cries for help – from men. “Cross the landmark 30 years,” he says, “and it’s time to go shopping for age-defying ammunition to keep those laughter lines, frown furrows and crows feet away”.

Did you think that women are the only ones fighting the age battle? Think again. Men are flocking to the salons in increasing numbers with a one-point agenda-they want to look younger.

Men are increasingly paying attention to their faces besides their physical fitness. They no longer shy away from facial treatments to improve their appearance, and a lot of them seriously go for skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing treatments,

As men start to primp and preen, everyone is taking note. The beauty salons are filling up with men who want to look better than before. And the top skincare and cosmetics companies are bringing out new lines, some of which target specially the men.

“Men over 30 must get on to some sort of anti-ageing products. Says Naveen Anand, vice-president, marketing, Amway India, a company that has a stock of potent anti-ageing treatment in its arsenal. He reckons sunscreen should be carried around a bit like a laptop and that day and night creams should never be far from reach. “the male skincare market is on the rise,” he says.

Men have a few advantages over women in the anti-ageing game.  The process of ageing is slightly different between men and women. The rate of ageing of a man’s skin is steady. It ages gradually and at the same rate, while a woman’s skin begins to show ageing signs markedly after menopause, mainly due to the fall in estrogen levels.

Those men have more collagen, and this protects the skin and keeps it looking younger, longer. By and large, as a result, men do age at a slower rate than women.

This is, of course, just a general rule. Some men age faster than others. For instance, Dr Sushant Shetty, vice-president, beauty services, VLCC Healthcare, point out that men with fairer complexions are likely to age faster. “There’s less melanin in their skin than darker men,” he says. As a result a farer person’s skin is more exposed to the harmful effects of the sun with consequent damage to the elastic and collagen.

Collagen (the supporting layer of the skin) is a key factor, which has everything to do with those lines and wrinkles. Collagen decreases with age in both men and women, though at different rates. But it can go faster in men who live in the fast track, don’t sleep enough and smoke and drink too much. The skin bears the brunt.

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