The Men’s Skin Care Opportunity BoF Professional, The Business of Beauty, News & Analysis
A host of new skin care brands are betting that men are ready to explore beyond the two-in-one cleanser.
Reyal Performance, which launched in June, is touting itself as a high-performance, full-blast skin care and supplement manufacturer. The Disco brand started selling men’s skincare in 2019 and raised $ 5 million in April, with investors embracing claims that its facial cleansing stick and scrub are reaching all the buzzwords – vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable, and all-natural – men could buy. at. In 2019, Geologie started offering personalized skin care based on quiz responses. Music producer and rapper DJ Khaled launched his Blesswell brand, a CBD men’s skincare line, in May. Even the biggest beauty and consumer giants, in addition to DTC darlings that started out with skincare products exclusively, have embraced the men’s skincare trend.
All of these brands are trying to carve out a market for skin care products separate from the shaving space. And while men are less likely than women to stock a medicine cabinet full of facial cleansers, serums, and moisturizers, they’re not starting from scratch. Over the past four years or so, brands have started rolling out skincare and makeup specially designed to appeal to men, a trend that has even reached the beauty aisle of neighborhood drugstores. Brands think the market is ripe, but its potential is still emerging.
“Young men are embracing facials and adopting multi-step routines that more closely mirror their female peers,” said Samantha Dover, global beauty analyst at Mintel. According to Mintel data, 49% of UK men who use skin care products said they would be willing to add more steps to their routine, a figure that jumps to 68% when they focus on consumers aged 16 to 34. The catalyst for change, Dover said social media, she says, “adds pressure on young men to look good, while also giving young men the opportunity to learn how to take care of themselves. skin ”.
Men’s skincare struggled as a category before the pandemic, but saw increased engagement as men addressed skin issues associated with wearing masks and focused more intensely on hygiene, a said Dover. The market, worth £ 79million ($ 110million) in 2021 in the UK, is expected to decline 11% by 2025 according to Mintel data. Changing consumer attitudes have yet to translate into sales.
The market opportunity is taking shape. While women can experience new skincare at a spa or at a Sephora, online skincare sales – which now account for the largest share of sales – are expected to take market share from everyone else. retail channels in 2021, according to McKinsey. Since men usually shop online already, this works in favor of brands. (Men are generally more price sensitive when it comes to buying skincare, preferring to buy wholesale online when they find discounts, Dover said. Competition with the S feature Amazon’s subscribing and saving is one of the biggest challenges for brands in the space.)
A man’s needs
While a big part of the difference between men’s and women’s skin care is in the marketing, there are also functional differences in the products, which are aimed at different consumers. Men tend to have oilier skin, which can lead to acne, and drier, irritant-prone skin, especially after shaving. But the market opportunity lies in the changing willingness of men to try ingredients – those that are typically marketed to women.
The purported benefits of retinol, for example, have often been touted to women. Reyal Performance, which sells a “Super Overnight Moisturizer” for men that includes hyaluronic acid and retinol, believes its fitness-oriented male customers will still be interested in these ingredients.
Granted, there is less consensus in the men’s market on the benefits of ingredients like retinol than in the women’s market, which may confuse some customers. Caldera + Lab, which launched with a serum in 2019 and introduced its first cleanser and moisturizer in June, focuses on the skin care needs of its ‘sweet spot’ demographic: men ages 45 to 60. years. Caldera + Lab, Managing Director and Co-Founder Jared Pobre said retinol for older men is a “no-no”.
“Men our age have such sensitive skin even though it’s thicker from the elements and things like that. You put a retinol on our skin, and it’s going to create a red spot on various areas that will continue to get worse, ”Pobre said.
Marketing to men
The fact that Caldera + Lab touts its products’ benefits for combating wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity points to a noticeable shift in the men’s skin care space and the way products are sold: the traditional trope of the man whose wrinkles help make him look distinguished is no longer so attractive.
Caldera + Lab eschews language like “anti-aging” on its website, instead focusing on skin changes that can appear with age, such as crow’s feet, sagging skin and frown lines. The brand said its sales are expected to increase by more than 700% in 2021 after doubling in 2020.
It was really about saying, “Why don’t you think of skin care the same way you think of training?” “
There are other ways that men’s skin care marketing reflects other traditionally male industries. Words like “wild resilience” and “craft” and “mighty” – those that are just as likely to describe the characteristics of a luxury SUV – appear on the Caldera + Lab website, alongside a photo in black and white of the great outdoors no less. Pobre even compared the way his customers buy skin care to how they might decide between a Prius and a Tesla, comparing the effectiveness and potency of the ingredients as they would, he said. .
Reyal Performance co-founder JJ Wilson said he and co-founder Tanner Johnston wanted to set themselves apart from what they saw as the typical, forked approach to marketing men’s skin care: these brands that catered to consumers in an “uneducated way” and the “ultra high-end, almost unattainable category”.
Reyal – upside down for “diaper,” which the brand hopes its customers learn to do with their skincare – promises customers to be high octane and “be gentle, man,” simultaneously. according to the brand’s slogan. (This may be at odds with what one of its brand ambassadors, a man named Kolby Smallz, said in the brand’s “zine”: Channel “your David Goggins and [tell] stop being a bitch. Wilson said Reyal Performance encourages clients to feel comfortable expressing the strength of their masculinity without fear of being meek either.
Its skin care products include ingredients often found in K-beauty that resemble elixirs from a Game of Thrones universe: Dragon’s Blood and Tiger Grass (whose botanical classifications are Croton Lechleri and Centella Asiatica, respectively), for example. But the brand was launched with more than skin care; It also sells supplements, offering kits that include whey protein powder formulated for men who work out. Performance, the cornerstone of the brand’s ethics and half of its name, is the key to how it addresses its target buyer.
“It was really about saying, ‘why don’t you think of skin care the same way you think of training? ”Wilson said.
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