Although terms like “metrosexual” are fading from use — thank goodness — men today are definitely showing more interest in skin care and grooming. So much interest, in fact, that the cosmetics industry has identified the male market as an area of future growth.
Believe it or not, rap star 50 Cent is reportedly developing a skin care line for men and Holt Renfrew has launched professional facial services for its male clients.
Meanwhile, Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey is on deck for spokesperson duty at L’Oréal and even Kiehl’s is donating all net proceeds from one of its biodegradable body cleanser products in exchange for an endorsement from actor Brad Pitt — even though Pitt won’t appear on the bottle or in any advertisements.
For men, the interest is good news. Retailers are understanding more about the way men like to shop and more attention is being paid to product quality. All-in-one convenience products, moisturizers for men and lighter texture sunscreens are just a few of the growing number of items that can be found.
What’s interesting and somewhat surprising, says Dave Lackie, editor of Cosmetics Magazine, is the take-off of demand and interest in anti-aging products for men.
“Ten years ago, the bestselling items in the skin care lines were shave creams and aftershaves. Today, they’re all anti-aging products — firming, eye creams. Anything that targets wrinkles has been a surprise hit.”
He says there are two trends driving this interest: Boomers want to beat perceived ageism issues in the workforce and younger men — “a new generation of guys who are very image conscious” — are becoming interested in treatments, the luxe lifestyle and the whole experience of looking good. “There is a whole new group of consumers coming in that are open to this,” says Lackie.
Shoppers Drug Mart representative Tammy Smitham agrees. Nowadays, she says, those men who are buying skin care products tend to be younger, but there is also a growing group of older customers interested in all of the same products typically associated with women’s skin care. “The first purchase might have been made by a woman, but the next purchase is being made by the man — they’re replenishing now. I even hear stories where men are actually borrowing their wife’s skin care products,” she laughs.