Men Belly Up to the Beauty Bar

October 31, 2006

While men’s skin care sales begin to slow, Amenity pioneers clinical grooming to jumpstart the segment.

Men Belly Up to the Beauty Bar

While men’s skin care sales begin to slow, Amenity pioneers clinical grooming to jumpstart the segment.

Lindsay Elkins
Associate Editor

It was once a challenge to get men to even pick up a bar of soap, let alone incorporate an entire grooming regimen into their daily lives. But with sales of men’s prestige skin care products for the first half of 2006 reaching $32 million, up 3% from the same time in 2005 according to research from NPD Group; it’s clear that taking care of their skin is beginning to become a priority for many men.
The men’s skin care segment has the potential to be a billion dollar industry according to NPD Group, but products need to be relevant to their lifestyle.

What’s more interesting is that the male skin care segment continues to post growth at a time when women’s prestige skin care sales are flat for this year. Both the face and body segments showed growth for the first six months of this year, with face up 5% and body up 22% from this time last year.

Men’s moisturizers and shave treatments represent 51% of the men’s total prestige skin care sales, $16.3 million in sales for the first half of 2006. Facial exfoliators ranked third among men’s sub-segments with $3.7 million in sales, while facial cleansers ranked fourth with double-digit growth of 14% in the first six months of this year to $3.4 million.

“Men are starting to embrace the concept of taking care of their skin beyond washing it with bar soap,” said Karen Grant, senior beauty analyst, The NPD Group. “The products that we see in the prestige market that are doing well are those that are simple and multi-purposed, products that are part of a basic regimen, like cleansers, moisturizers and shave treatment products. Any product that requires extra steps is a much harder sell for men.”

Billion Dollar Opportunity

While men are willing to pay a little more for their prestige skin care products, the average price is much lower than the women’s market. On average, men pay 46% or $16 less than women for prestige skin care products, according to NPD’s statistics. For men’s skin care, the average price for the first half of 2006 was $18.56 up 3% from last year; the average price women spend on prestige skin care for the first half of 2006 was $34.53.  

The men’s prestige skin care business is relatively new to the market. According to NPD’s statistics, women’s skin care products make up 97% of the prestige skin care industry. After two years of double digit growth within men’s––2004 dollar sales were up 18% and 2005 sales were up 15%––the first half of 2006 saw just 3% growth in overall sales, which has some wondering if the segment has plateaued.

“Based on the size of the men’s prestige fragrance industry, we believe men’s skin care also has the potential to be a billion dollar industry, but it’s hovering around the $70 million mark,” said Ms. Grant. “I see this as an opportunity for the industry to go after men and broaden the user base. The most successful marketing for men when we look at fragrances, for example, is not about looking better and feeling younger, it’s about being relevant to their lifestyle and the old adage of impressing the ladies. Perhaps those are pieces that the men’s prestige skin care market is missing.”

Clinical Grooming

With statistics like these, it’s clear that there is a golden opportunity for personal care companies to breathe new life into a segment that is starting to slow. Many men’s skin care lines have been introduced during the past few years, but they tend to stick to the basics––cleanser, moisturizer and shaving cream––and aren’t quite on the level of women’s skin care products in terms of innovation and performance. Dwight Schulthesis saw the void in the men’s skin care market and along with Kimberly Pecoraro, formerly of Peter Thomas Roth, and Lisa Kostulias, formerly of Revlon, launched the six-product Amenity line in October.

 Amenity is the first line to incorporate physician-developed products into a man’s daily lifestyle.
The main difference in the Amenity line is the concept of clinical grooming. “Amenity is pioneering a new skin care segment that for the first time provides men with solution-focused, physician-developed products made specifically to address men’s unique skin concerns and to fit their daily needs,” explained Ms. Pecoraro. “Until now, the majority of men’s grooming brands have featured formulations created for women and packaged in masculine components or overly scented, feel good products.”

The complete Amenity line includes Gel Face cleanser, Shave cream, After Shave and Face moisturizer, Anti-Breakout gel, The Balm and Foot spray. Each product contains Amenity’s exclusive Pro-Form 6 complex, an all-in-one solution that tackles men’s biggest skin concerns: red blotches, acne, dryness, irritation, razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

And since getting a guy to spend hours primping the bathroom is no easy task, Amenity made each product do double or triple duty. “Most guys can handle a three-step system,” said Ms. Pecoraro. “Rather than ask men to do more, Amenity makes the most of this accepted routine, packing each product with multiple actions and benefits.” For example, the Gel Face cleanser cleans while leaving beard-softening benefits behind to help with shaving.

And where does Amenity expect this segment to go in the future? “We see the clinical grooming concept growing as other companies recognize there is a void in the marketplace for scientifically advanced products formulated specifically for men,” noted Ms. Pecoraro. “This market segment is going to grow very quickly as more and more companies understand the male consumer and how to fit easily into his life. Men need these products as much as women, but the products need to be made to fit their specific needs.”