The beard comeback marked a significant turning point in men’s cosmetics. No one can have missed this men’s trend: it emerged several years ago. As a real distinctive sign for hipsters and other in males, face hairs should look sophisticated and be neatly-trimmed. This trend has helped barbers get back in the spotlight. Since 2015, this activity has resoundingly boomed and beauty salons dedicated to men have known a dazzling success.
In the same vein, brands have developed to offer skincare dedicated to beard treatment: oil, soap, shampoo, wax… everything will do to get soft and clean hair. Of course, men’s cosmetics did exist before all this, but no doubt the advent of the beard breathed new life into this sector.
The rule of pragmatism
If men are revolutionizing their skincare habits, they are still in search of products that are easy-to-use, and above all, of a short routine.
La Chênaie, initially a women’s brand, now offers men an all-in-one day cream.
Muriel Bregou, general manager of the brand, explains this positioning by the fact that ‘men do not identify with, or can be lost in the market segmentation: moisturizers, anti-aging and after-shave soothing care…
We have chosen to gather these three actions in only one formula, hence the product name: Soin Tout-En-Un (all-in-one cream). One gesture is enough to provide long-lasting hydration (12h), smooth the skin and tone it up, while soothing it.’
£La Chênaie actually does not intend to widen their men’s range: ‘it should remain simple and be immediately deciphered,’ Muriel Bregou believes. Simon Duffy, founder of British skincare brand Bulldog (for men), also shares these beliefs. ‘We have found out that our two most popular products are also the simplest ones: our Original Moisturizing Cream and our Original Face Cleanser,’ he explains. Are men’s and women’s cosmetics really different?
A matter of taste
To many people, beauty is a matter of pleasure and sensoriality. But it should be said that men and women do not always have the same expectations in this field.
Muriel Bregou explains that the brand developed their men’s cream ‘at our President’s request, as he already used La Chênaie products, but felt like having a product dedicated to men: a fast-penetrating texture with a very matte finish, in highly convenient packaging.’ She adds that the perfume was also designed to please a man’s nose.
To Simon Duffy, using products adapted to men is not only a matter of taste, but also of efficacy. ‘Men will get the best results if they use skincare products specifically developed to meet their own needs, rather than if they borrow women’s products. In addition to having more hairs on the face, men’s skin tends to be thicker, harder, oilier, and slightly more acid, and to age differently due to differences in testosterone and collagen rates,’ he explains.
Convincing the unwilling
The men’s skincare branch is on a roll. Today, Bulldog is present in 15 countries and is the leader in the UK, Sweden, and Denmark.
However, some are more advanced than others. ‘If Europeans want to have a vision of men’s beauty’s future, then they should have a look at the South Korean market. It is an incredible place: the level of expertise and the innovation level on this market are simply remarkable,’ Simon Duffy comments.
What about French consumers? Although attitudes are changing, it is not always simple to revolutionize long-adopted habits.
To Muriel Bregou, ‘French consumers are little inclined to choose and buy their products in stores. These are the very first brakes, hence the need to offer these skincare products through distribution channels they use, like pharmacies, where they will get efficient tips. Lastly, packaging plays an essential role in the product’s appeal. Above all, it should be extremely convenient, so cap-free pump-bottles are the best for an easy gesture with only one hand. The product is ready-for-use in the bathroom. Masculine, elegant, sober graphic codes are an additional advantage to seduce them.’
Long confined to supermarket hygiene departments, men’s cosmetics are exporting themselves and becoming more and more selective. That is no surprise, since men are in search of expertise and results. It is no longer a drag to take care of yourself!