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Making Your Spa Man-Friendly

By: Lydia Sarfati
Posted: June 27, 2014, from the July 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

It may seem hard to believe, but 47% percent of spa-goers are male, according to the International Spa Association (ISPA). Men are no longer secretly sneaking their partners’ skin care creams and masks—they are embracing skin “man-tinence” and are openly taking care of their appearances. It is a new dawn for the skin care industry and an exciting expanding market for spas.

Be prepared

Is your spa ready to welcome this influx of men? It is important to make sure that skin care facilities take measures that allow men to feel comfortable—not out of place.

Guys Night at the Spa. One way to make them feel welcome is by hosting a male-themed Guys Night at the Spa. Find out when the next big sporting event is being broadcasted, and invite clients who are sports fans to join together at the spa for the game. Normally, healthy, clean foods in the spa are suggested, but for game night, consider switching it up—serve bite-sized munchies, such as pigs-in-a-blanket, Swedish meatballs and pretzels. When it comes to drinks, stock up on cold beer and scotch. This is probably not going to be your cucumber sandwich and champagne crowd!

Male-specific services. Create a special category on the treatment menu to showcase male-specific services. When it comes to men’s skin care, the rules of the game are a little different than they are for the ladies. Men are plagued with larger pores and sebaceous glands, and their skin tends to be characterized by excess oil and blackheads. At the same time, male skin is often dehydrated from the drying soaps and shampoos they use, and the hot showers they take. This combination of dry and oily skin can be confusing when it comes to choosing a skin care regimen. Men need treatments that are both hydrating and deep-pore cleansing, which helps balance oil. They also don’t want to spend all day at the spa—so include express treatments. Catering to men does not necessarily mean the spa needs to carry a whole new skin care line targeted at males. The treatments and products needed for male clients are probably already in the your skin care facility’s repertoire—men just need to know which treatments and products are best for them, and creating a men’s menu will do just that.

Identifying male-specific treatments

Male clients should visit the spa for a facial treatment once a month. Also, it is valuable to choose retail and back bar products that cater to the male client and his skin needs. Important ingredients to look for include alpha bisabolol, oxysome and thiotaine to calm and soothe inflamed skin, and argireline hexapeptide to target expression lines. Men need products with ingredients that work in a minimal amount of time—although they are becoming more and more aware of the appearance of their skin, most are not spending hours each day maintaining it.