Why does (facial) skin require so much more care than the rest of our body?



Why does (facial) skin require so much more care than the rest of our body?

In: Biology

I’ve fallen down the dermatology rabbit hole and have realised peoples skin care routines are incredibly individual and usually quite complex.

I understand the skin on your face is thinner/more delicate than the skin on, for example, your back, however I’m confused as to why so many people require a half dozen steps outside of washing, moisturizing, and protecting against SPF.

In particular I’ve noticed many people use/need toners, cleansers, serums, masks, exfoliators, and the like.

It’s not that it requires much more care but that your face is the one feature that’s visible to everyone so many people want to have it looking especially good. Also the reason why manicure is more common than pedicure.

I would expect it to involve personal & individual needs, habits, and preferences – which very likely includes age differences (ie: a teen almost certainly has different needs than a 30-something), and differences between feminine & masculine identity.

Personally, as a mid 30’s male, I don’t really need to do much more than lather up & rinse off. Most of my male colleagues, coworkers, and friends don’t seem to do much more either – aside from medical eczema kind of creams, or the one or two guys that go an extra step (but that ends up being mostly to prevent adult pimples more than anything else).

Meanwhile I’ve observed a sister of mine carry around 1-2 bottles of face stuff in her purse, along with at least one general-purpose lotion, and another 3-4 bottles of product at her home bathroom. At least one of them is for reducing wrinkles, and another for reducing a blemish on her forehead; the others are basically for hygiene rather than beauty.

It’s exposed to the elements everyday, unlike the rest of your body. It’s not covered by clothing. It also expresses more so it’s prone to more wrinkles. If you start obsessive skincare routines in your 20’s by using moisturizers, sunscreen and a hat and don’t let your face touch the sun, your 50 yo skin will thank you. For exfoliating I like the Japanese blades by sheidedo. you can only use it maybe once per month since it’s pretty extreme.

The face has to put up with a lot.
The elements: it gets cold, so less blood supply. Heat and the sun dried it out and radiates it. The uncovered face also gets more exposure to germs/bacteria.
Many people use chemicals on their face, whether it’s make up or other products.
Most of your body doesn’t have to put up with the above, so has an easier time staying gorgeous.

because marketing.

facial skin doesn’t need anything approaching the ‘special care’ many people expend on it.

also, a lot of skincare stuff is not really so much abt objectively treating the skin so much as just doing something relaxing/pampering feeling. in that respect it can have real– psychological– benefits.

but if all those masques and serums and peels and exfoliators &c &c &c don’t float your boat, then just wash your face and use sunscreen.

Because it is exposed to sunlight and air.

Sunlight and air cause damage, and most other skin is continually covered.