His and Hers Beauty: 15 Professional and Prestige Skin Care Brands That Are Actually Gender Neutral

BY Deanna deBara · September 18, 2018

Allies of Skin Products

Until recently, the skin care industry is what most would consider a “woman’s world.” But the truth is, wanting a great complexion isn’t a desire exclusive to women.

“Men are becoming more educated [on proper skin care], and socially, it is becoming more acceptable to take care of men’s skin,” says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio. “Skin care for men is starting to be considered maintenance, and no longer considered only for women.”

As the “traditional” skin care customer is evolving, the skin care industry is evolving right along with it—and, as a result, gender-neutral skin care brands are on the rise.

Gender-neutral skin care are brands and products that cater equally to both men and women—whether through their marketing, their packaging or their formulation. Until recently, most skin care products were marketed toward women—and the products and brands that were marketed toward a male audience were clearly labeled “for men.” But skin care brands are realizing that creating products exclusively for men or women is limiting their appeal—and for no good reason.

While there are some minor differences in male and female skin (for example, “men have a thicker dermis and have more active sebaceous glands…[and] women’s skin tends to be more prone to dryness,” says Mauricio), there’s no real reason that men and women can’t use—and get results from—the same skin care products. “Skin care product ingredients do not know the gender of the skin they are applied to,” says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey. “So dry skin in a woman is treated the same as dry skin in a man.”

Clearly, taking a gender-neutral approach allows brands to reach a larger audience—and deliver results for consumers, regardless of gender.

So what are some of the best gender-neutral skin care brands on the market? Here are 15 brands to try if you want to see real results with your skin (whether you’re a man or a woman):

If You’re Into Professional Skin Care Brands

1. SkinMedica

Founded by dermatologist Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, SkinMedica is known for its potent ingredient profiles, which include anti-aging powerhouses like retinol, vitamin C and vitamin E. Their flagship products, the TNS Essential Serum and the TNS Recovery Complex, leverage a patented blend of amino acids, antioxidants and naturally occurring proteins that are so effective at reversing the signs of sun damage and aging, they were mentioned on some publications as an alternative to plastic surgery.

SkinMedica’s potent formulations, sleek packaging and neutral color palette (which includes soft shades of gray) make this skin care line a favorite among men and women.

2. SkinCeuticals

Founded in 1994, SkinCeuticals focuses on bridging the gap between science and nature by combining highly effective clinical ingredients with botanical extracts. And the result? Formulations that both treat and nourish the skin.

Their Anti-Aging System—which includes Resveratrol B E, an antioxidant-rich night serum; C E Ferulic, a daytime serum that firms and brightens the skin with vitamin C; and A.G.E. Interruptor, a targeted anti-wrinkle treatment—is widely considered one of the most effective systems to target both the visible signs of aging and prevent against further damage.

Because aging is a universal issue, SkinCeuticals’ appeal isn’t exclusive to any one gender—and their gender-neutral packaging (which incorporates various shades of blue, white and black) makes it equally accessible to both men and women.

3. Obagi

When it comes to creating highly effective regimens, no brand does it quite like Obagi. This dermatologist-created line has targeted products for everything from fine lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to acne—all organized by concern and/or skin type into easy-to-follow regimens (like the Nu-Derm Fx System or the CLENIZderm M.D. Acne Therapeutic System) that are equally as effective (and appealing) to both men and women.

4. Dermalogica

Created by the founder of The International Dermal Institute, Dermalogica products have been appealing to a gender-neutral audience for more than three decades. The Dermalogica line, which includes staples like Active Moist moisturizer and AGE Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50, appeals to both genders thanks to its straightforward formulations, marketing and packaging (which sticks to a mostly black, white and gray color palette).

5. PCA Skin

Winner of various industry awards (including a 2018 Beauty Award from Cosmopolitan and a 2017 Beauty Choice Award from NewBeauty), PCA Skin has been formulating products for more than 25 years. Developed by an esthetician/dermatologist team, the line focuses on daily care staples formulated for a variety of skin types (like Clearskin, a moisturizer for oily skin, or Collagen Hydrator, a favorite of people who struggle with climate-related dryness)—and their simple, straightforward branding is accessible to both genders.

6. iS Clinical

iS Clinical’s approach to skin care is all about technology. Leveraging cutting-edge research and pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, iS Clinical has a reputation for creating efficacious products that aggressively treat skin care issues while also balancing and nourishing the skin. Their gender-neutral packaging (a soothing blue is the focus color) and easy-to-understand product offerings (like the Cleansing Complex, which delivers gentle cleansing benefits to all skin types) makes this brand a hit with men and women alike.

7. EltaMD

Everyone needs to protect themselves from the sun—and EltaMD offers some of the best sun protection on the market. Formulated using zinc oxide, these potent sunscreens (like the UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 and UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50) offer hours of protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays—protection that everyone, male or female, needs to keep premature aging at bay.

8. First Aid Beauty

Sensitivity is an issue that affects both men and women—and First Aid Beauty has the products those sensitive skin types need for their best complexion, regardless of their gender. All of First Aid Beauty’s products (like the Ultra Repair Cream or the Facial Radiance Pads) are formulated without anything that could potentially irritate the skin (like harsh chemicals or artificial dyes), making them a go-to for anyone—male or female—who struggles with sensitivity.

9. Dr. Dennis Gross

Featured as one of New York Magazine’s Best Doctors, Dr. Dennis Gross is one of the most well-respected dermatologists in the country—and his line of products, developed based on his in-office treatments, have a reputation for delivering some of the best results in the skin care industry.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s straightforward packaging and powerhouse formulations (the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel—which is based on one of Gross’ popular in-office treatments and combines potent ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C and retinol—has developed a cult following in the skin care world) have made this brand a go-to for both men and women on the market for simple skin care that works.

If You’re Into Prestige Skin Care Brands

10. Allies of Skin

Founded in 2009, this Singapore-based skin care brand is all about creating multitasking products for on-the-go skin enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their products—whether they’re male or female.

This multipurpose approach (evident in products like the Bright Future Overnight Facial, a hydrating chemical peel that targets fine lines, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, enlarged pores and sun damage) appeals to people who want to keep the number of products in their skin care regimen to a minimum without sacrificing results—and Allies of Skin’s gender-neutral branding (which features muted neutral tones like teal and beige) makes it clear that these products aren’t targeted to any gender in particular.

11. 111Skin

Founded by London-based plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, 111Skin is a product line built around the patented NAC Y2 formula (the star ingredient in Nocturnal Eclipse Recovery Cream NAC Y2), a powerhouse active complex (developed with the help of space scientists!) that reverses the visible effects of aging while fighting free radical damage. The cutting-edge ingredient deck appeals to skin care customers who want clinical results at home—and the straightforward, neutral branding (which features mostly black or silver packaging) feels accessible for both genders.

12. Youth to the People

Youth to the People is the perfect skin care line for the socially conscious skin care consumer—male or female. Made from superfoods and cold-pressed plant extracts, this 100% vegan line combines botanicals with science-based skincare ingredients to create effective, all-natural products (like the Age Prevention Superfood Cream, which combines kale, spinach, green tea and hyaluronic acid)—and their straightforward (and environmentally friendly!) packaging would look just as much at home in a man’s bathroom as a woman’s.

13. Naturopathica

Founded by wellness expert Barbara Close, Naturopathica’s line of botanical-based skin and body products makes their natural ingredients the star of the show (like the Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream or the Oat Cleansing Facial Polish). This product-centric approach—as well as their straightforward, mostly blue packaging—appeals to botanical skin care enthusiasts of both genders.

14. Grown Alchemist

A lot of body products out there can feel overly feminine—but not Grown Alchemist. This organic skin care line features a variety of products and fragrances that are equally appealing to men and women (like the Chamomile, Bergamot, & Rosewood Body Cleanser or the Pearl, Peppermint, & Ylang Ylang Purifying Body Exfoliant).

15. The Organic Pharmacy

Concerned with the amount of toxins found in skin care products, London-based pharmacist Margo Marrone created The Organic Pharmacy, a line of non-toxic, food-grade organic skin care products. Free from artificial colors, petrochemicals and preservatives, these botanical-based products offer natural solutions to a wide range of skin care concerns—and while their packaging is a bit on the feminine side, their products (like the Enzyme Peel Mask, which offers gentle anti-aging benefits, or the Rose Facial Cleansing Gel, which cleanses and clarifies the complexion) have proved a hit with both men and women, particularly those with sensitive skin.


Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is a freelance writer based in Portland, OR. She focuses mostly on health and wellness content—and with a background in education for the beauty industry, skincare is one of her favorite topics to cover. When she's not busy writi... Read More >

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