Creating the Male Facial


The male clientele is a market that many don’t know how to properly reach, but tapping into this market can bring great, long-term clients into the spa. From beard facials to massages, men are beginning to appreciate wellness and self-care. However, when it comes to working with the male clientele what is different?

Susanne Schmaling dove into this question and discussed the differences to keep in mind when it comes to reaching out and treating male clients. While not everything is different for the male client, there are some key differences that Schmaling noted.

What’s the Skin Difference

Men’s skin and women’s skin does vary, not greatly, but there are some noticeable differences to be made. Schmaling noted the following:

  • Men’s PH tends to lean toward being more acidic (i.e. greater than 5);
  • Men have a higher sebum production, so control of this is going to be a big deal;
  • Men experience a lower trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) until age 40, which after 40 it increase faster than women; and
  • Men tend to experience or show signs of more environmental damage, which Schmaling noted could be due to their typical lack of wearing sunscreen.

Facial Techniques for the Male Client

Schmaling explained how the steps and the techniques are the same when it comes to a facial. However, the difference comes from how you decide to put the treatment together. Some of the techniques that would be different include:

Working with a beard . Treat the beard as an extension to the skin, and do not avoid it. When treating the beard, you want to really work into the hair follicles and deeply get in them to treat them. Tight gloves and awareness of the beard are very helpful, as well. Otherwise, the gloves can tug and pull on the strands of the hair, which can make the client uncomfortable. When applying products to the skin, lift up and apply products with the hair growth.

Note: Be aware that with a longer beard the facial can get a little messy, but it is crucial to get in line with the hair follicles.

How you massage. Schmaling noted that for the facial she will never take the massage down to the abdomen or the underwear line. She works from the chest and above while massaging during these treatments. The massage may vary and the muscles can feel differently when comparing a man that works out a lot to one who does not. Men also typically will have denser muscles the massage on the face and the body.

Draping and dressing. It is important to allow the man to do whatever he is most comfortable with. Schmaling noted that some men prefer to take their shirt off and leave their pants on, while others may enjoy using the male outfit they are provided. Be sure to allow them to do whatever they are comfortable with.

Communicating with a Man

Men, like women, vary from client to client depending on what they like during a treatment. Whether they like to talk a lot or a little, that can vary per client. However, there are a few key points in communicating with men that Schmaling noted.

  • Being very direct with what you are doing is best
  • Let them know what they may be experiencing before they experience it
  • Be quiet and let him lead how the conversation goes

Schmaling also noted, that when it comes to treating male clients it is important to have a plan in place in case you ever begin to feel uncomfortable in the treatment room. It is important as women to make sure that we are able to feel safe at all times.

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