Thinking about gifting Dad skin care this Father’s Day? Here are six great gender-neutral products that anyone can use

The evolution of men’s skin care has been quick: 15 years ago there were few products aimed specifically at guys who wanted to take care of their skin. Nowadays, there are dozens of dude-focused lines, smelling of dragon’s blood and testosterone, clad in black packaging.

One thing most of us have always accepted, though, is that there is women’s skin care and men’s skin care, and never the twain shall meet. But in the last couple of years, customers and brands are questioning that, a wealth of chic gender-neutral products have been launched, and man-specific stuff is starting to look a little passé.

There is some scientific basis for men having their very own skin care. “Men typically have thicker and oilier skin than women,” says Dr Shannon Humphrey, dermatologist and medical director of Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Dermatology. “That means they might need skin care that is lighter in texture than products aimed at women, and they can also tolerate products that are a little more aggressive in terms of exfoliation.”

But, she says, the differences between individuals’ skin are much larger than those between genders. Men’s and women’s skin care has a lot to do with marketing, too, and also with useagethe perception that all women love complicated skin care regimens and all men can’t stand them.

“That’s unfounded and untrue. It plays upon archaic and problematic notions revolving around gender stereotypesthat all women (or only women) wear makeup, and that the line that divides gender into two categories is firm and definable, rather than fluid and inconsequential,” says Meghan Campbell, brand and product trainer for B.C.-based Lush, which has never categorized its products by gender. “People don’t fit in boxes and so our products don’t, either.”

When beauty brands realize that skin is just skin, irrespective of gender, we all win, with smarter, better products for everyone.

Here, six suit-yourself cleansers, serums, moisturizers and more that can be used by anyone, regardless of need, preference, or gender...

 

1. Rodial Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

1Wake up your complexion with this cleanser, which contains brightening vitamin C, fruit acids to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of pores, and antioxidants that protect skin from environmental damage.
Rodial Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, $65, at Murale (click here to find your nearest store)

 

2. Lush BB Seaweed Mask

2This scrubby mask is designed to calm sensitive skin and reduce redness thanks to aloe vera gel, honey and olive oil. There’s also nutrient-rich seaweed, harvested by hand at dawn off the coast of Vancouver Island, and exfoliating ground almonds. It’s available only in stores, and is made from fresh ingredients so has a three-week shelf life.
Lush BB Seaweed Mask, $9.95, at Lush stores (click here to find your nearest store)

 

3. Non Gender Specific Everything Serum

3Tackle all major signs of ageing, from wrinkles to dullness with this serum. It has antioxidants, skin brighteners and moisturizing, plumping, firming, de-puffing, wrinkle-busting ingredients, and is instantly absorbed so it leaves no greasy residue.
Non Gender Specific Everything Serum, US$65, at Nongenderspecific.com

 

4. DiMorelli Hydration Kit

4Every skin needs hydration, whether it’s dry, oily, or somewhere in between. This cosmeceutical kit from Vancouver brand DiMorelli contains an oil-free moisturizer that doesn’t feel heavy on skin, and two sheet masks infused with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.
DiMorelli Hydration Kit, $58, at Dimorelli.com (click here to find your nearest store)

 

5. This Works No Wrinkles Extreme Moisturiser

5This rich moisturizer has hyaluronic acid for hydration, antioxidant moringa and crambe oils, and wrinkle-reducing time-released retinol. The British brand’s Deep Pillow Spray ($79) is also a beauty must-have. Spritz it on your pillow to calm you down so you get a decent night’s sleep. It works!
This Works No Wrinkles Extreme Moisturiser ($84, exclusively at Sephora.ca)

 

6. Schaf Eye Cream & Night Cream

6Toronto brand Schaf specializes in gender-neutral skincare. This light, but hydrating cream has line-fighting peptides, squalane and CoQ10 to boost elasticity, and hyaluronic acid and shea butter to moisturize.
Schaf Eye Cream & Night Cream, $60, at Schaf.ca (click here to find your nearest store)