In recent years, the market for male body and facial care has experienced a significant boom. On the one hand, this led to many indie brands being created in areas such as beard care. But the beauty world for men nowadays includes much more than after-shaves, deodorants and perfumes. Just take a look at the men's assortment in our drugstores these days. A few years ago, the men's assortment only filled a narrow shelf at most. Today, you’re very likely to find a male version of pretty much all the skincare products used by women, e.g. scrubs, serums, masks and more.
What do you think about when you hear "Male Beauty"? Do you think about male celebrities and Hollywood stars? Or male bloggers? They are definitely part of it. But beauty and skincare are starting to become a part of mainstream culture – in other words: beauty among men is seen in the streets and in the everyday life of the “average” male citizen. The increasing interest and commitment to cosmetics by men can be traced back to 3 trends:
1. DADDY SKINCARE: Skincare and beauty rituals can be fun for the entire family. Men in their 20s, 30s and 40s assume an increasingly greater responsibility in child education. Of course, this includes the passing down of skincare know-how. Daddy Skincare is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular in Asia. It is not unusual to see father and child treating themselves to a sheet mask.
2. PERSONALIZATION: Worldwide, consumers are yearning for better representation. That speaks for more personalized offers in all areas - including and especially in the beauty sector. It is no longer enough just to stick a "for men" label on a moisturizer. Like women, men increasingly want products that effectively treat specific skin problems. Male consumers now have as complex care needs as female consumers.
3. GENDERLESS BEAUTY: Last but not least, the genderless beauty trend plays a major role in the further development of men's skincare. A large part of beauty consumers (especially Millennials) move away from traditional gender roles and towards a gender-neutral identity. Beauty brands respond by adjusting their offer, brand image and communication strategies.
MEN'S SKINCARE - YESTERDAY & TOMORROW
This is how the mainstream of male beauty consumers behaved up till now: As a man, one is not particularly adventurous when it comes to skincare. A common male skincare routine consists of 1.5 steps: shaving and occasionally using a product out of the make-up bag of the partner or the mother.
This is how the behavior of male beauty consumers will change over the next few years: Today's men are more committed than ever to taking care of their skin and body. On the one hand, there is the trend of beards of all styles and lengths. That already leads to a growing demand for more diverse beard care and styling products. In terms of skincare, we see a clear distinction between Asian and Western consumers.
MEN'S SKINCARE - ASIA VS. WEST
Asian men are a bit ahead of Western men in terms of beauty. First and foremost: Korean men. Not really surprising, is it? Korean brands carry innovative and user-friendly products for men - and it's exactly these two qualities that are important to men. Korean guys sometimes have a very advanced beauty regime. They are willing to invest time and money to look for specific solutions to oily skin, anti-pollution care and dark circles. Even make-up is no taboo for them. Sunscreen, BB cream, concealer and brow powder are also staples in a man’s bathroom or bag in Korea.
Proof that beauty is a relevant topic for men in Korea, are the numerous male models for cosmetic brands. The use of male celebrities with enviable skin in beauty campaigns is completely normal in Korea. Let's look at 4 of these male K-stars:
1. PARK SEO-JOON: The actor Park Seo-Joon is one of the leading faces for the Korean brand Laneige. His bright and clear complexion fits perfectly to the brand image. The fact that he is a well-known heartthrob in Asia helps the brand all the more.
2. YOO JAE-SUK: Yoo Jae-Suk - commonly known as South Korea's number one moderator - has a very smart image in addition to good skin. He helped the Korean brand Medicube become a firm player on the market.
3. JEONG HAE-IN: Actor Jeong Hae-In is a model for the brand Dewy Tree. The brand benefits from his clear skin, expressive eyes and large fan base.
4. LEE JONG-SEOK: Actor Lee Jong-Seok is a representative of the Korean brand su:m37. The brand gets a modern make-over thanks to him and benefits from his immense popularity throughout Asia.
Western men tend to use fewer products and follow a simpler approach. Usually that means: A moisturizer is enough. Yet many are aware of the complex needs of their skin. They are also looking for innovative products that deliver impressive results in no time. It will probably take a while until the gentlemen in this country are as beauty-proficient as in Asia. But signs of continued interest in beauty and skincare among men are definitely there. So how about skincare products instead of chocolate as a Valentine's Day gift this year? :)