There has been a pivotal shift in male pampering culture during the last decade. Men’s toiletries used to consist of shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream and not much else. But from London to New York to São Paulo, bathroom cabinets of middle-class homes now brim with moisturizers, facial cleansers, eye serums, bronzers, concealers, anti-agers and even mud masks—all designed specifically for men.
Men have begun to spend more cash on male-specific toiletries than on shaving products. Sales of skin care, in particular, boomed; and there is no going back now. More and more men are putting higher stock into looking good. It’s about self-confidence as much as anything else, and the desire to feel more attractive, more successful, and, increasingly, more youthful.
Tapping into the global demand for men’s grooming products is no easy matter; especially for brand owners that have spent decades nurturing female consumers. L’Oréal, for example, has channeled substantial investment into its Men Expert line, but the L’Oréal brand is still fundamentally associated with women. For some men, that remains a barrier to buying it. Smaller rivals specializing in men’s grooming products have latched on to this weakness.
the industry should expect to see a further segmentation of men’s grooming, particularly in the developed markets where there are opportunities for a stronger development. In skin care, there will be growth in products designed not only for different skin types but also for different degrees of stubble. The number of product launches for men will still be low in comparison with products for women, of course, but the gap will narrow over time.