Why is it Bad for Women to Use Men’s Facial Masks?

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Facial masks are all the rage these days! Both men and women seem to enjoy this relaxing and beneficial skincare ritual, which can be done professionally in salons and spas or with a store-bought product in the comfort of one’s own home. Right now, you may be curious as to whether or not it is okay for women to use men’s facial masks? Well, I have the answer for you below:

Since men tend to have thicker, oilier, hairier, skin, their facial products tend to be too harsh for women. These products often contain stronger concentrations of ‘active’ ingredients like charcoal, alcohol, and menthol which can irritate women’s skin. As women age, their skin becomes thinner, drier, and more sensitive. Therefore, they need specialized products, including facial masks, to properly address these changing needs.

Now that you know men and women should use facial masks designed for their specific skincare needs, let us take a closer look at this further and in more detail below. We will discuss the differences between men’s and women’s skincare products if it is okay for women to use men’s facial masks, and what the best all-natural and store-bought facial masks for women are. We will even include an example of a homemade charcoal facial mask for men and discuss if charcoal masks are good for women as well.

So, if you are ready to learn more, then please continue reading…

Is There a Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Skin?

Since men and women have different skin types, tone, and textures, it is imperative that they also have different skincare products. A study has shown that men tend to have thicker skin, oilier, hairier, and ages differently. This is due to the higher testosterone (or hormone) levels in men and is also responsible for the ‘manly’ or masculine characteristics of male skin.

Men have 25% thicker skin than women with larger pores that produce more oil. It contains more collagen which makes it appear tighter and firmer. The amount of collagen in men’s skin reduces at a more consistent rate than women, who tend to see sudden drops in collagen during menopause. This is the reason why women notice the signs of aging earlier on than men.

Men also have more oil glands in their skin than women which makes their pores appear larger and the surface look shinier. The pH level in men is lower than women, making them more prone to acne. Men are also less likely to have dry skin later in life than women do. They are also more likely to notice sagging skin and dark circles around the eyes sooner than women.

Shaving is a key factor that affects men’s skin and makes it tougher over time. It can also have the reverse effect and make it more sensitive. Razors bumps, ingrown hairs, and shaving cuts are common skin issues for men. Women, on the other hand, do not have these problems and are usually more concerned about blemishes, wrinkles, and discoloration.

What Do Dermatologists Say About Women Using Men’s Skincare Products?

Most dermatologists, including Dr. Adam Geyer, Consulting Dermatologist for Kiehl’s Skincare, would agree that women should avoid using men’s skin care products – including facial masks – and stick with toiletries designed for women. The main reason being that men’s and women’s skin is quite different, biologically-speaking, and each requires specialized care.

Men’s skin is much thicker (due to higher levels of collagen) and oilier (resulting from greater amounts of testosterone hormone). Dr. Geyer explains it as follows: “If we look at key physiologic differences dictated by our genetic code, men’s skin is typically thicker with 25% more collagen throughout life.”

Men’s skin also sweats more and produces more oil, which leads to larger pores and increased risk of acne. Oil production is a key factor in determining an appropriate skincare routine. Therefore, it is no wonder that men’s toiletries differ greatly from those created for women.

Dr. Geyer adds that although the active ingredients used to treat specific skin concerns can be similar in products designed for men and women, there are significant differences in the textures, scents, and concentrations of these ingredients to make them more suitable and appealing to the different sexes.

He concludes by stating that while using men’s toiletries might be handy, women should think twice about using them. He explains that “in a pinch, it is usually not a problem to use a man’s product, but I wouldn’t make a habit out of it.”

Can a Woman Use a Man’s Facial Mask?

Men’s facial masks often contain higher levels of ‘active’ ingredients like alcohol, charcoal, or menthol meant to address their thicker, stronger, oilier skincare needs. All three have the potential to irritate women’s skin, which tends to be thinner and more sensitive. That is why women should opt against using men’s facial masks unless they are all-natural and made specifically for sensitive skin.

On the other hand, many skincare products created for women are gentler and therefore okay for most men to use as well, especially those with dry, sensitive skin. Men with oily or acneic skin will likely not get the oil-absorbing or clarifying results they need from a woman’s mask which is why they too should stick to specialized skincare products.

Should Women Use Men’s Charcoal Facial Masks?

Activated charcoal is often found in men’s facial masks and acts as an oil-absorbing agent. It also works to draw out trapped dirt from the pores, making skin appear cleaner and clearer. Since most men are prone to acne, this is highly beneficial. Women, however, should be cautious when using charcoal masks designed for men and they are too harsh and cause dryness or irritation.

Instead, women should opt for a charcoal facial mask designed specifically for them. A great one to consider is Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask. It will help to detoxify the skin without irritating it or drying it out. The oil-free formula has a wonderful mattifying effect that absorbs oil, impurities, and environmental pollutants while leaving skin feeling soft, smooth, and renewed.

Check it out today – available online through Amazon.

What is the Best Store-Bought Facial Mask for Women?

As mentioned above, Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask is a great product for women with the combination (partly dry/partly oily) or oily skin. It is not as harsh as most charcoal masks for men, which also often come with added fragrances that can irritate women’s skin. This product is 100% fragrance-free and does not contain allergens, irritants, or ingredients that can age or aggravate the skin.

Another great commercial face mask for women is Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Mask + Scrub. Available online through Amazon, this product is easy to use and suitable for all skin types. Its dual-action formula works to detoxify and exfoliate the skin in as little as 5 minutes! Natural bamboo and kaolin clay help remove impurities and pollutants while silica beads gently refine skin’s tone and texture.

What is the Best All-Natural Facial Mask for Women?

The best natural face mask for women should address specific skincare needs. First, determine your skin type, whether it be a dry, combination, oily, or sensitive. From there, you can create your own facial mask from ingredients you likely already have on hand in your fridge or pantry. A great one to try that is good for all skin types includes the following:


  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel


  1. Start with clean skin – wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser, rinse with tepid water and pat dry.
  2. Puree the cucumber in a blender until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency.
  3. Grind the oats in a coffee grinder until they reach a fine powder consistency.
  4. Mix the pureed cucumber and ground oats with the aloe vera gel in a bowl with a wooden spoon until well blended.
  5. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse off with lukewarm water followed by a splash of cool water.
  7. Pat dry gently with a soft towel and apply toner and/or moisturizer.

Just a word of caution. Before applying oils or any homemade skin formulas, it is important to perform a patch test on your skin. Even if you have never had a prior history of any skin irritation issues you may find that concentrations and different mixtures may cause slight irritation like rashes, swelling, itching, or even burning. To learn how to perform a patch test on your skin CLICK HERE  

This all-natural, inexpensive face mask will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. The hydrating agents in the cucumber combined with the exfoliating benefits of the oats and the nourishing properties in the aloe vera will make dry, combination, oily and even sensitive skin look younger and healthier. Try adding a few drops of essential oil like chamomile, lavender, or rose for an added aromatherapy boost.

This is a wonderful alternative to many commercial face masks on the market today – especially sheet masts – that often contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that can be toxic. And since many of these ingredients (including dyes, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates) can be found in men’s facial masks, it is not recommended that women use these products.

What is the Best All-Natural Facial Mask for Men?

The best natural face mask for men is unlike the one outlined above for women. Not only are the ingredients different but the usage is unique as well. Since men have thicker, oiler, hairier skin, their mask needs to address these concerns. A great recipe to try at home that is simple, affordable, and effective includes the following:


  • 1 teaspoon of bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon of charcoal powder
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spatula or spoon. If the mixture is too dry, add a few drops of water to create a smooth, paste-like consistency.
  2. Apply the mask evenly to clean skin but avoid the delicate eye and lip areas.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly and rinse out the bowl.
  4. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes
  5. Remove with soap, warm water, and a washcloth.
  6. Finish with a splash of cool and dry with a soft towel.
  7. Apply moisturizer or aftershave lotion, if necessary.

This all-natural, homemade mask is ideal for men. The charcoal and clay draw out oil and dirt from the pores while the apple cider vinegar helps remove dead skin cells from the surface. For an aromatherapy experience, try adding a few drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil which will also work to shrink pores and reduce the appearance of blemishes or blackheads.

To make this mask more moisturizing for men with dry or sensitive skin, omit the apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil and add 2 teaspoons of water, ½ teaspoon of honey, and a couple of drops of lavender oil instead. Then, follow the instructions outlined above. As you can see from just this one example, facial masks for men are quite different than those recommended for women.

Are Men’s Charcoal Facial Masks Bad for Women?

There is little research to-date regarding the use of charcoal on the skin. At present, it appears to be safe and is even being added to beverages and toothpaste! However, the overuse of charcoal in the peel-off facial mask form is not recommended as it can cause skin sensitivity, dryness, and even discoloration.

Since women have thinner, more delicate skin than men, using a charcoal mask designed for men can lead to redness, irritation, and (in some cases) hyperpigmentation. Therefore, applying a charcoal mask created specifically for women – once or twice a week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time is enough and will provide the best results, especially for those with combination, oily or acneic skin.

How Often Should You Use a Facial Mask?

Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, how often you use a facial mask depends upon the type of skin you have. Once you have correctly determined your specific skin type – whether it be dry, combination, oily, or sensitive – you can personalize your skincare routine based on your skin’s unique, individual needs.

Those with dry or sensitive skin should use a gentle, hydrating mask every other day to keep skin soft, moisturized, and wrinkle-free. People with combination or oily skin should use a facial mask designed to clarify, exfoliate, and detoxify the skin. As these formulations tend to absorb more oil, they should be only once or twice a week.

While you may not know it, most dermatologists advocate the importance of regular facial mask use for both men and women. This highly beneficial treatment works to effectively balance oil levels in the skin while reducing and eliminating blemishes and blackheads. It also exfoliates to remove dead skin cells from the surface and reveal healthier younger-looking skin.


To conclude, facial masks are a quick and easy way for both men and women to nourish the skin and improve their complexion. Since men tend to have thicker, oilier, and hairier skin, their facial products tend to be too harsh (not moisturizing or nourishing enough) for women. Therefore, it is recommended that women do not use skin care products, including facial masks, designed specifically for men.

As women age, their skin often becomes thinner, drier, and more sensitive. As a result, they require specialized skincare to address these ever-changing needs. Making your own facial mask is an easy and affordable alternative to costly store-bought products or time-consuming professional treatments. Just be sure to use one geared towards your specific type or one safe for all skin types.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful.