Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Product stealing


My girlfriend always has a go at me for pinching her stuff from the bathroom. Is there any real difference between men’s products and women’s products?

Rick, Norfolk

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

I understand. You’ve (un?)intentionally slept over and only have a matter of minutes to spruce yourself up before you’re due at that morning conference. One quick glance at her overstocked bathroom shelf and– if you overlook the mountain of half-used makeup and bizarre ‘feminine hygiene’ stuff – there are a couple of things that should (in theory) work on your rugged, manly mug. And if you have no intention of ever calling her again, you probably even pinched them too.

Astute and savvy consumer that you are, you don’t imagine there’s a world of difference between men’s and women’s products other than the packaging, fragrance and a bit of fancy wording on the bottle. And you’d be right. Sort of.

Women’s products will work on a man’s skin (I’m partial to a bit of Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm or Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair when I’m feeling secure about my masculinity) but the real question is whether they will be more (or just as) effective as a specialist ‘men only’ product.

Given that men’s skin is considerably denser and oilier than women’s – and is exposed to a razor on a daily basis – guy-focused formulas will usually differ in objective, consistency and technology (as well as fragrance, packaging and all the other peripheral stuff). Skin is skin, irrespective of gender, but there are specific concerns that are unique to men, that don’t trouble women - and vice versa.

And that’s where targeted men’s products have their place in the world: you’re not really going to find a decent ingrown hair formula, aftershave balm or back treatment marketed towards women. Feel free to gender-hop when it comes to things like a face wash (cleanser) or sunblock but if you’re in the business of solving serious issues (ageing, chronic oiliness, shaving rash), then you’ll need a targeted men’s formula.

More importantly, if investing in your own toiletries will save you a hissy fit, it’s probably worth the time and money.

Find Ahmed at theexfoliator.com

(Image: Rex)



How to grow a beard


Oil Control


Problem-solve profuse perspiration



What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016

New 3D printing technology could cure baldness

What a time to be alive...and bald

by Jamie Carson
10 Oct 2016

Winter's about to destroy your skin, here's how you can stop it

A guide to essential men's grooming that'll fight the cold

by Jamie Carson
04 Oct 2016

13 brilliant tattoos of Tim Burton movies

Dark Shadows not included, because that was garbage

by Jamie Carson
30 Sep 2016

Here's what your barber secretly thinks about you

We asked some (anonymous) hairdressers just what they think of you

by Jamie Carson
28 Sep 2016

15 famous faces with and without beards

It's official, beards do make you look better - and here's proof

by Jamie Carson
26 Sep 2016

12 hair care tips you need to know

The simple daily mistakes that could be damaging your barnet

20 Sep 2016

Meet the celebrity tattooist who sets his work on fire

We sit down with Scott Campbell to discuss his anarchic life of tattooing

by Jamie Carson
16 Sep 2016

Beards officially make you sexier, says science

Just make sure you wipe the cereal milk from it in the morning

by Jamie Carson
14 Sep 2016

Are you making any of these common grooming mistakes?

Ensure you're not falling victim to any of these schoolboy errors

by Paddy Maddison
13 Sep 2016