As the now well known saying goes “...men are from Mars and women are from Venus”, and it would seem that this sentiment on the differences between the sexes is also borne out in the skincare marketplace, and more noticeably in how products are targeted and marketed differently to men and women.
Women love a bit of grey hair on a man, it makes him like a fine wine, something with age, experience and overall a much more enjoyable product. Men on the other hand, like a ripe, new vintage with none of the mustiness which comes with age, the label on the bottle ought not to be wrinkled, crinkled and falling off the bottle in places that it shouldn’t. Stereotypes they may be, but we all know that they’re true!
Women’s skincare products thus are targeted at the more mature lady but with the emphasis on ‘looking younger’, ‘looking different to how you do currently’ and ‘transforming your skin tone or texture’. Men’s skincare marketing, as illustrated by this L’Oreal Men Expert advert featuring well known actor (since his role in award winning American drama House) Hugh Laurie is all about men ‘being themselves’.
The idea of men moisturising is still a bit of a new one, particularly in the targeted anti-ageing market of men over 40 years old, so there is a still a perceived need to make it sound less like a feminine activity and more like something that you simply use after a shave perhaps, which helps you to look the best that you can, without aiming to really ‘change’ anything; words like ‘fresher’ replace the female targeted words of ‘younger’.
Latest research from Mintel on the European men’s grooming market shows that while the market for shaving products and razors in the largest 5 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) combined have remained largely stagnant, sales of skincare products are booming - up a staggering 45% from €289 million in 2005 to €420 million in 2010.
They noted that today’s men show a keen interest in personal appearance, with six in 10 (65%) European men considering their appearance important and almost half (48%) admitting what they want most is to look attractive and well groomed.
Just 15% of men admit that while it is acceptable for women to use skincare products, it is not acceptable for men to use such products, showing something of a sea change in attitudes from a few decades ago when this figure would’ve been much higher.
Men simply want to look fresh, awake, well groomed and above all the best they can for the age that they are, with as little effort as possible and now skincare companies have worked out that this is exactly how to target their products to them and milk that lucrative cash cow!