In 2016, the skincare market signals a clear message: “men, it’s okay to cherish, care, and treat your skin!” After a near century’s focus on female-targeted advertisements in the skincare & cosmetics industry, it appears today that men are becoming sensitive to their skin health.
In fact, Joseph Grigsby, the vice president of global marketing for Estee Lauder’s Lab Series Skincare for Men estimates “the male-skin care marketplace over the last several years has outpaced, sometimes doubled the growth of women’s skincare.”
Men are closing in on the skincare gender gap, dating back to a historical era when it wasn’t commonplace to care for their skin.
Sociologists who study the gendering of personal care in America point to factory work during WWII. They suggest the personal care and cosmetic market surged as women moved into factory work in never before seen numbers. Cashing in on a need to distinguish men from women in a newly mixed workforce, the cosmetics industry rapidly introduced ‘modern’ facial cosmetics, the widespread assortment of makeups, lipsticks and skincare in shopping aisles today.
Advertisements employed female film stars to effectively instruct women how to properly take care of their skin:
Whereas over the next 25 years, the only skin-related products that existed for men were limited to uniform shaving creams and occasional aftershaves, only the bare minimum.
To appreciate the significance of the skin care gender divide, check out this vintage ad for Palatome Men’s Shaving Cream:
Today, according to a recent Marketplace Business report, the men’s personal care market reaches sales of approximately $4.2 billion, reflective of the changing cultural tides in how men wish to treat their skin. Hydration lotions, sunscreens, gels, aftershaves, scrubs, hair products are all part of the modern male’s personal care toolbelt. Professional skin treatments, too, are on the rise.
In terms of health, 2016 is marks the year of preventative treatments for men’s skin. Men are much less likely to visit the dermatologist’s office, yet as men age, so do their hormones, like testosterone, which affect our skin. Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most frequent of all cancers, is more common among men than women, partially due to the larger number of men who forfeit a lifetime habit of preventative skincare.
Men, it’s time to leave the awkwardness and stigma in our history’s past. Let 2016 be the year to nurture, care, and treat your skin.