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Trends in Men's Skincare
Author: Allison B. Vought
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Made-for-men skin care products and cosmetics are expected to hit more than three billion dollars by 2016, a more than 15% jump from this year. If your skincare company isn’t already catering to men, you’re leaving money on the table.

According to a new study from The NPD Group, Inc. titled Men’s Grooming Consumer Report, more than nine in 10 men (ages 18+) are using some sort of grooming product today. [1] This includes lotions, shaving products and hair care. However, only one-quarter of men are currently using facial skin care products such as facial cleansers and moisturizers, lip and eye products, and anti-aging treatments. This is attributed to a general belief that facial skincare products are not needed unless you have a specific skin problem such as acne.

Even though the interest in cosmetic products has skyrocketed, men want to remain discreet to preserve their masculinity. It is clear, however, that men today are joining women in the fight against aging. If big box stores are any indication, you can now find entire departments devoted to beauty products for men. You can even find subscription based beauty services like Birchbox that deliver the latest and greatest men’s products directly to your doorstep, hassle-free. [2,3]

Although the segment appears to be growing at a steady pace, there is a learning curve. Some men still have to unlearn the concept that their body care products, such as bar soap and body lotion, work just as well for facial skin. There is still difficulty accepting products that require multiple steps such as separate cleanser, moisturizer and toner. So the trend is towards multifunctional products like blemish balms (BB creams) and dynamic do-all creams (DD creams) which are proving popular in today’s market.

Women’s expectations are changing too. More women expect the man in their life to take care of his skin and to be well-groomed. So there is some “peer pressure” to look good and that in turn translates into acceptance of men’s grooming products intended to “boost” a man’s appearance. The cosmetics market, or makeup for men, is the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry. This includes “foundation” type products that even skin tone, concealer products, tinted moisturizers, bronzers, sunless tanners and lip products. In a recent survey of men in the United Kingdom, 71% of men surveyed admitted to using concealer to hide blemishes, dark circles and uneven skin tone. In addition, a whopping 64% used lip gloss and 49%, eyeliner to enhance their appearance. [4]

There is a huge opportunity for men with skincare, and now that so many men are already involved and engaged, it is up to brands to maintain that interest. Tips for marketing to men include more masculine or unisex product names and descriptors like “camouflage”, “beard lube”, “turbo wash”, “power peel”, “refueling wash” or “facial tonic”. Packaging should have a clean, professional look in neutral colors or colors that allude to “prestige”. Black, blue or grey packaging and matte metal accents translate well to differentiate your men’s products from your regular product line. [5] Aim for more of an apothecary or laboratory appearance in labeling these products as men tend to lean towards products that look “clinical” in appearance. This gives the illusion of purchasing a product to “treat” skin rather than to “beautify”. Men are less comfortable buying a feminine looking product or a unisex version of an overtly feminine product. [6]

If there were any lingering doubts that men’s skin care products have truly gone mainstream, households in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco received a newspaper insert comic book featuring Marvel’s Captain America hawking Kiehl’s new men’s anti-aging moisturizer, appropriately named, “Heavy Lifting.” [7]

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