Gendered Beauty: The Rise in Male Grooming

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Gendered Beauty: The Rise in Male Grooming

The substantial growth of the cosmetics industry over the decades is extremely admirable in that large sections of the market are only targeted towards 50% of the population.

However, in recent times, males have started to take up regular grooming habits due to paying more attention to their health and wellbeing; looking good can be related to both aesthetic and emotional reasons.

At Jarvis, we frequently have clients specifying ‘male hair care’ or ‘moisturisers for women on the go’, so we wanted to take a look at the growing trend of male grooming as well as the wider subject of gendered beauty.

The Rise of Male Grooming Products

According to Research and Markets, male grooming market was valued at £44.6billion in 2017 and, due to a rising demand for personal care products, it steadily continues on a growth trajectory.

There is a demand for male cleansing and skin care products, such as exfoliants, eye creams, face masks, and anti-ageing creams. Yet, one of the fastest growing categories is beard care products as the maintenance of facial hair is still preferred over shaving.

Colour Cosmetics Trend

Colour cosmetics is obviously one of the key pillars of the personal care industry and has traditionally separated products for men and women. Nevertheless, this line appears to be blurring as makeup lines for men have started to be designed.

The way in which society has been responding to male makeup has altered, introducing more acceptance and understanding, which means that big brands have unveiled men’s makeup lines.

That said, when it comes to make up, gender-neutral still seems to be the best way to appeal to men.

Gender Fluidity and Skin Care Products

Masculinity and confidence commonly go hand-in-hand which is why many brands are focusing their marketing efforts to ‘detoxify’ masculinity and encourage men to embrace their poise and individuality.

Although, this is one option for brands to choose, there is also the trend towards genderless beauty to consider. In the era of gender fluidity, some individuals may not want to identify as either gender or be recognised as non-binary. Therefore, companies may want to focus on product functionality and avoid the risk of selling the same gendered ideas wrapped in different packaging.

All cosmetics are developed for a function and the three main functions of skincare cosmetics are cleanse, tone and moisturise. But there is so much more to consider than just the function, not only the general different skin types but the different skin types of men and women.

Factors to Consider When Creating Male Grooming Products

When formulating effective cosmetic products for men, the focus needs to be on the specific attributes of their skin. The main factors that affect male skin types are:

  • Increased skin thickness
  • Male skin is thicker at all ages; there is increased sebum production and sweating.
  • The influence of testosterone
  • There are significant differences in coarse, pigmented hair distribution due to the effect of testosterone.
  • Hair growth
  • Men’s hair is typically thicker and covers more of the body than women.

Looking more closely at the facial differences between male and female, men have:

  • A larger and specifically shaped skull
  • Men tend to have specific bone structure with a large forehead, prominent supraorbital ridges and a protruding jaw.
  • Increased muscle mass
  • This includes facial muscles and more dense capillaries in the face which support the facial hair follicles.
  • Different fat distribution
  • The facial fat layer is thinner in men irrespective of age; they have less soft tissue in the cheek area and, therefore, flatter and more angular-shaped cheeks.
  • More severe facial wrinkles
  • Because of their thicker skin and more prominent face muscles, the loss of fat tissue with age gives men deeper expression lines. Their thicker skin also means that collagen density in the dermis is greater; as collagen declines, ageing results in more dramatic wrinkles and sagging.

The Future of Male Grooming Products

By 2023, it has been estimated by Research and Markets that the male grooming market will reach £60.6billion. This is especially prominent for products that cater to an easy and simplistic routine, with multi-functional benefits.

We believe that this is a great opportunity for brands that don’t address the male market to extend their existing product lines. By targeting the other 50%, a male audience as well as their usual female consumers, they could reach more people and sell more products, in turn, increasing their profit.

The Opportunities Gendered Beauty Brings

Along with the growing but slowing market of male grooming comes the growing diversity and blurring between the genders, creating questions about target audience.

There seems to still be a future in gendered beauty and skin care products, with a gender specific approach proving to have a greater appeal for men due to their physiological differences and tailored formulations.

With all of this in mind though, at Jarvis we beg the question, “is it time to design and formulate for what your skin goes through every day and what environment you are in?” Let us know what you think.

If you would like to discuss this topic with our industry experts or have a project you would like talk to us about, get in touch today.


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