Dr. Dennis Gross Tells Us The Skincare Ingredients That Are Beneficial For All Genders

When it comes to overall wellness, you have to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. In recent years, more and more people have finally begun prioritizing their mental health because, before, there were huge misconceptions associated with it and, of course, a major stigma attached to it too. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) recommends focusing on positivity, practicing gratitude, and staying connected with family and friends for self-care. 

Taking care of yourself mentally can also positively impact your physical health by decreasing your likelihood of diseases and increasing your energy, which applies to everyone irrespective of gender, race, or age. Similarly, it's essential to take care of your skin, the body's largest organ, because it protects you from pathogens and infections (via Healthline). While the importance of sunscreen cannot be stressed enough, when it comes to skincare products, they're primarily marketed to women, which leaves us wondering whether we really need more help with our skin compared to men.

The List spoke with New York City's highly acclaimed dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, the co-founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, to find out which skincare ingredients everyone should be using. As Dr. Gross told us, "Although male and female skin shares many similarities, there are a few key differences. The first is that male skin tends to be thicker and more oily than female skin." However, there are some skincare ingredients that will benefit everyone. 

These skincare ingredients work for everybody

The vast majority of beauty products have feminine packaging and fragrances, and they're typically advertised by female models. It's clear that most brands target female consumers, but are there any significant differences between men's and women's skincare products? "There is no significant difference in their formulation, ingredients, application, or how they are made. The difference is usually related to packaging and marketing," board-certified dermatologist Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, M.D., clarified to The Good Face Project

It all comes down to preference, and while there are tons of brands to choose from, we asked Dr. Dennis Gross which skincare ingredients are helpful for everyone. As Dr. Gross explained to The List, "Overall, all skin types (and yes, all genders) benefit from active ingredients like Vitamin C, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and LED." He added that Vitamin C helps to build collagen and reduce brown spots, while alpha and beta hydroxy acids help "to remove dead skin build-up for a smooth and clear complexion."

When it comes to anti-aging ingredients, retinol is key. Dr. Gross previously dispelled a major myth about retinol and he confirmed once again: "Retinol is the gold standard anti-aging ingredient." Dr. Gross added that "it also helps improve breakouts and overall texture." He loves hyaluronic acid for increased hydration, noting it plumps the skin up too. Elsewhere, Dr. Gross recommends LED light therapy for those struggling with inflammation and acne, and bonus, it also stimulates collagen production. 

Why skincare products shouldn't be gendered

It's easy to get influenced by beauty advertisements and buy skincare products modeled by a beautiful woman or a handsome man. However, it's important to purchase products suited to your specific needs. As Dr. Dennis Gross told The List, "It's imperative to identify your skin type, and then you can choose products that include ingredients that will best combat any concerns." You wouldn't buy an acne product if you didn't have acne just because you liked the packaging, would you? That's why you should prioritize the skincare ingredients that target your issues regardless of how attractive the packaging is.

Moreover, "Skincare should not be gendered because the skin-related differences between the sexes are relatively subtle," board-certified dermatologist Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin told The Good Face Project. Dr. Tonkovic-Capin added, "Any skincare should be decided based on your individual skin type, concerns, and conditions rather than on your biological sex." There you have it; your gender shouldn't dictate your skincare routine. Rather, your skin type and its needs are more important. 

There are still ingredients that work for everyone, of course, as mentioned above. In a previous interview, Dr. Gross told The List why he thinks it's time to throw out gender-based skincare altogether, sharing: "My motto has always been 'human skin is human skin,'" and we couldn't agree more. After all, skin concerns affect everybody, so why overcomplicate them further?