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09-20-10 | Posted by


Photo credit: Labseries.com

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Male interest in looking after their skin, hair and nails is on the rise, fueled by competition in the workplace due to a down economy as well as the natural course of baby boomers who refuse to age like their parents. Although men are becoming more mainstream in terms of looking after their skin, the trend still resonates more with the attorney from Chappaqua and the car mechanic in Toledo.

You can find men’s grooming brands at all price points and their increasing accessibility in supermarkets, drugstores and online is changing the mindset of the average guy from total apathy to piqued interest. This is also coming from women eager to see the men in their lives take more pride in their appearance in terms of regular haircuts, close shaves, working out, and whitening their teeth. According to New York City Plastic Surgeon David Shafer, MD, “I have found that since the job market has tightened up, more men are coming in for BOTOX for their furrows and Radiesse for their nasolabial folds to look their best for an interview or presentation. They are also more interested in keeping their skin looking young.”  

But men are decidedly different from women in terms of their buying and shopping habits. Even when they want to get into skin care, they rarely know where to start and are often embarrassed to ask for advice. When it comes to ingredients, they don’t know a pentapeptide from a polyphenol, and they probably don’t care either. Men want it made easy for them without too many choices, steps, or products to add to their confusion. If they have to use more than three products before they fly out the door in the morning, they may take a pass.

Male grooming rituals are no longer restricted to running a comb through their hair and dabbing on some deodorant. They are concerned about their appearance; however their motivations are not always as specific as for women. They’re usually not interested in time-consuming systems, products with fragrance, or complicated names. They prefer high tech packaging, back-to-basic instructions, convenience, and multi tasking products. Even more so than women, time saving ranks high among male skincare buyers seeking the proverbial killing two birds with one stone theory. For example, Jack Black All-Over Wash works for hair, face and body, Kiehl’s Cross-Terrain All-In-One Refueling Wash cleanses and refreshes, and Lab Series Age Rescue Eye Therapy depuffs and tightens weary, sleep deprived eyelids.

Men tend to be more brand agnostic than women. They may seek out the same product as they have purchased before, but often for different reasons, such as price, performance, and just plain laziness. As creatures of habit , they rarely form the kind of emotional connection with products that women beauty buyers do. It is not uncommon for a guy to buy the cheapest shave cream or hair gel, or the one on sale on display, because in his mind, “they are all alike anyway.”

More medspas, clinics, and grooming salons cater exclusively to male customers, such as The Refinery in London, Sir Spa in Chicago and Gentleman’s Quarters in Denver. These facilities offer massages, facials, acne treatments, hair and manicures and a retail vertical of niche brands that appeal to their macho clientele. Spa treatments are often relegated to relieving stress or soothing jetlag, but the spa world for men is slowly moving beyond pampering into mainstream. The obstacles for men getting comfortable with the spa concept are privacy, anxiety over undressing or embarrassment over sweaty underarms or unclipped toenails. Women are willing to invest in their beauty rituals, whereas men want to see results fast and with as little fuss as possible.

Manly skin concerns also go deeper; male skin doesn’t wrinkle as early because it is thicker, oilier, hairier, sweatier, and has larger pores. While they may have a tough exterior, irritation, ingrown hairs and razor burn from shaving pose a huge problem. Men also have an increasing incidence of skin cancer since they are less inclined to visit a dermatologist for a body check. They tend to be more active outside and need to be encouraged to wear a high SPF on exposed areas such as lips, nose, ears and scalp.

Lastly, men will buy and try but they will abandon anything that smells funky, causes a rash, or gets two thumbs down from women.

Males can find themselves adding a final touch to their treatment by using perfect teeth whitening treatment, which is an odorless procedure loved by women.

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