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The Male Market

By Howard Murad, MD, and Jeff Murad
Posted: September 19, 2007, from the October 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Every year, American men are spending more money on skin care products. According to Euromonitor, a global market research firm, the men’s segment is one of the primary drivers of growth in the U.S. skin care market, having grown 42% between 2000 and 2005, compared to just 23% for the market as a whole.

Men and skin care are two things that traditionally have not gone together—until recently. In today’s culture, there is a newfound acceptance of men taking an interest in their looks and paying extra attention to their grooming. They are no longer considered effeminate when requesting skin care products by name. The stigma of using skin care products has faded, and the man who cares about his looks is finally in style. Today’s increasingly appearance- and health-conscious man is starting to notice he is not immune to common skin concerns, and he wants to do something about them.

As men have become more aware of their skin, more of them are able to identify their skin types, be it oily, dry, sensitive or combination. Men are also starting to pay more attention to the quality of their grooming products and are using more than just soap and water or drugstore shaving cream. Today’s man is venturing into new product categories such as cleansers, scrubs, toners, wrinkle creams and eye treatments in numbers unprecedented by his no-fuss counterpart of the past.

In order to meet this new demand for men’s skin care, brands and service providers should keep two important factors in mind. The first is the unique physiology and skin conditions that men face, and the second is that the way men view products and treatments is different from the way women do. The industry needs to be aware of and sensitive about these issues when targeting the male market.

Men’s skin physiology and concerns

Men’s unique set of skin care needs often necessitate their own product category. Borrowing their wife’s or girlfriend’s moisturizer might work once in awhile, but not every day. Men’s skin is typically thicker and oilier than women’s, and their products should reflect this. Men also generally prefer less fragrance in their products than female products tend to have.