Times are certainly changing. Until recently, the beauty industry’s most significant focus was its female consumers.
But thanks to emerging campaigns that consciously sought to challenge and break gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity, men are starting to be seen in a whole different light.
This trend has had more and more companies expand their market to adapt to and accommodate men’s personal care.
“It’s almost as if they were permitted to outwardly care about the shape of their skin, hair, and bodies,” shares Michael Fisher, vice president of menswear and culture at trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops.
It All Started With Grooming
It’s not surprising that modern men want to look good.
But looking back to the beginning and mid-last century, men were targeted by advertising for mostly perfume and shaving products. It had even been a huge deal to promote soap and shower gel back then.
In the conservative societies of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, most men wanted to look presentable without putting too much work into it. Next to a clean cut-throat razor shave, shoe polish was much more interesting to them.
And times were good for pomade manufacturers in the ‘50s and ‘60s, especially with the rise of the Greasers.
Then the ’70s came around and with it a decline in grooming. Men wanted to look scruffier back then, and with the exception of hair spray in the ’80s, there wasn’t much to market towards them.
Male grooming was mostly seen as a matter of keeping everything clean. Soap was enough.
Fast forward to the 2020s and male beauty and grooming is by far the fastest-growing category in the global beauty industry. Many experts are already calling it the ‘rugged-yet-sensitively-handsome industry.’
Whether they shave or not, men’s skin is 20% thicker than that of women but at the same time, more permeable, and therefore needs special care.
More and more men are finally starting to understand this, and their numbers are growing.
By the way, shaving or male grooming is the perfect example of another shift.
Razorblade manufacturers have been complaining about the trend of growing a beard until another trend came around the corner: manscaping (It is a play on the words “man” and “landscaping”. Some people simply call it “body grooming”).
A trend that a few decades ago would have been unthinkable. Whereas today, many guys would find it impossible not to trim before a date.
Here’s another indicator of why times are changing. Over the last decade, more and more studies are evidencing that men in the 2010s and more so in the 2020s are increasingly fixated on their own appearance.
Interestingly, the average British man is checking himself out in the mirror 23 times a day as a study found in 2015 – compared to only 16 times a day for women.
From 3-in-1 convenience products to packaging that is usually featured in red, black, or blue colors with sharp fonts and aggressive branding, men’s personal care products were easily classified then as basic and manly.
Now, the word “beauty” is continuously being redefined; it is becoming more inclusive for both women and men. And the latter market is showing much-untapped potential.
Sports icons like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo are now also considered both fashion and personal care icons and have been named “Most beautiful men in football”. Or just take a look at NBA players like Russell Westbrook’s style lookbook.
Market Size: How Big Could It Get?
According to Allied Market Research, men’s personal care market is forecasted to hit $166 billion by 2022. This market is segmented by type and geography.
Products that are made for male customers to look and feel good range from hair care, shaving, oral care, personal cleanliness, skincare, and others (including bathing essentials, makeup, and nail care).
Among these, oral care is expected to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period, with toothpaste as the fastest growing product due to its increasing market penetration among the ever-increasing middle-class population.
North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa make up this market geographically. Of these, Asia-Pacific has been identified as the fastest-growing region with its increasing disposable earnings, growing middle-class, and their ever-rising personal hygiene awareness.
Even male-oriented industries, like those in men’s grooming and skincare, find the biggest men’s care trends as both an opportunity and a challenge.
With urbanization, corporate lifestyle growth, and product ingredient usage as major imposing factors, brands need to be careful about positioning themselves in this new market.
One way of effectively executing it is through beauty content marketing targeting men specifically.
Breaking the Stigma
For many years, men have been taught to be “masculine.” It has been misconstrued oftentimes that any male using skincare products or wearing makeup is girly or that it is restricted for women only.
This stigma has always prevented most men from getting into wellness and prioritizing their personal care and appearance. But, as of late, all this toxic masculinity is beginning to fade.
“The advent of the internet has enabled male consumers to learn more about their own needs and preferences and search out appropriate products.”Euromonitor International
According to NPD’s iGen Beauty Consumer report, nearly 40% of adults aged 18-22 have shown interest in gender-neutral beauty products, such as moisturizers, serums, and foundations.
Beauty Brands for Men
Being a brand in the men’s personal care industry is cutthroat enough as it is. As trends in the world of beauty continue to shift amid globalization, such brands must continually rise to the challenge and keep up with the times.
“Male beauty looks set to become a normalized part of our mainstream culture.”Heather Ibberson, Analyst with retail data platform Edited
These bold and innovative male-centered brands are killing it in their marketing approach as some of the best men’s cosmetics brands:
Now, let’s take a look at them in more details.
Launched in 2018, this UK-based cosmetics brand became the first men’s makeup counter to be permanently available in a mainstream UK retailer.
The brand has faced and stood significant backlash on social media about their advertising campaign, describing men’s skin as “tougher” than women’s.
To date, they have a range of makeup products that predominantly target straight, cisgender men (Stay tuned to find out why this definition is important in another article).
A brand that targets all things on men’s wellness. They approach these significant masculine issues in a relaxed, inviting tone.
Their effective, affordable product solutions vary from skincare and mental health to erectile dysfunction and hair loss.
Innovator of the original bamboo razor, this men’s grooming brand boasts about the natural and sustainable credentials of its products.
It is also the world’s first men’s skincare brand to use sustainably grown sugarcane as a renewable raw material for its tube packaging.
This body grooming brand provides “the right tools for the job” as it empowers and encourages men in an open dialogue on below-the-waist care, hygiene, and testicular health – issues that most males usually are too embarrassed to address.
All in all, beauty and the biggest men’s care trends all ultimately boil down to inclusivity. More brands and individuals need to realize and accept the message that beauty follows no standard and is seen in every man and woman.
Are you ready to take your brand to the next level and rise to the challenge as well? It is always wise to consult with a professional to get advice on your unique situation.
With our expertise in localized translation for the cosmetic industry, we will help you get there.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “Men’s Personal Care Industry: A Multibillion-Dollar Business”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for beauty content marketing blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂