Young men who consistently use sun protection cosmetic products have better skin barrier function, and young men without such habits have differences in echogenicity reflecting changes in the skin associated with aging, according to study findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Men seem to have a sociocultural barrier to the use of cosmetic products.
Researchers sought to examine how skin care habits involving protection from the sun can affect biophysical and morphological skin characteristics of young men.
To accomplish this, they conducted a survey in Brazil of 60 participants (18 to 28 years of age; 100% men; 100% White; no selection process mentioned) questioned about sunscreen and cosmetic product use. The participants were divided into groups based on their answers: those with photoprotection habits (PP habits; N=24), and those without photoprotection habits (no PP habits; N=36). Exclusions included smokers, use of oral isotretinoin, skin diseases, and hypersensitivity to cosmetic products.
Among the participants, those with no PP habits did not apply sunscreen often, and 80% of all participants did not use any other skin care products. It was noted that even in the PP habits group, regular use of sunscreen was not consistent. Measured by biophysical and skin imaging techniques, the no PP habits group showed an increase in transepidermal water loss and sebum level, a reduction in stratum corneum hydration, and changes in the skin associated with aging.
Study limitations may include an underpowered sample size and selection bias, as no mention was made if the 60 participants were chosen randomly.
Researchers noted a correlation between skin health and habits of photoprotection. They concluded that, “along with age, biological sex or nutritional aspects, and the habits of self-care, [such] as sun protection, [can influence the structural characteristics] of the skin.” Differences were seen in the no PP habits group in changes to the skin associated with aging, and researchers also noted that skin care is not common among young men which could lead to future cumulative effects of exposure to the sun especially in a tropical region like Brazil with year-long high UV incidence.
Hugo Pacagnelli Infante V, Melo MO, Maia Campos PMBG. Impacts of sun protection and skin care habits in the biophysical and morphological properties of young men skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. Published online April 4, 2022. doi:10.1111/jocd.14965