European men are learning more about personal care products beyond traditional shaving creams through social media which is a key driver for the men’s grooming category. Skin care and hair care stand to benefit and GlobalData is reporting an increase in the numbers of products men use as part of their daily skin care/hair care routine. Research confirms that 58% of European men claim to use between 1-5 facial skin care products daily and another 7% claim to use six or more products daily. This trend is reflected in hair care, with 64% of European men claiming to use 1-5 hair care products daily and 12% claiming to use six or more products daily.
“This showcases an opportunity to explore multi-step solutions to tap into the desire for greater efficacy,” noted Lia Neophytou, an analyst with GlobalData.
New product formats in both skin care and hair care include toners and serums, which illustrates how men are developing more complex routines and want products that target specific areas of concerns.
Causes of Concern
According to market research agency Euromonitor International, wrinkles have emerged as the second largest skin care concern for men. In Euromonitor’s Beauty Survey 2018, some 17% of men said they use an anti-aging product, which reflects the number of new brands featuring claims such as SPF or anti-pollution to protect skin and prevent aging. Examples include Urban Jack Skincare Defence for Men, and House 99, a collaboration between L’Oréal and David Beckham, whose Broad Defense Moisturizer claims to protect men’s skin against environmental stress.
Meanwhile, the face mask craze which has overwhelmed the women’s skin care category, is also taking off among European men, according to Euromonitor. Only 24% of men did not use facial masks as part of their skin care routine in 2018, down from 30% in 2017.
Three trends are shaping the men’s grooming market, according to “Male Grooming—Beauty’s Final Frontier,” a report published in 2017 by the design agency, Two by Two Consultants.
“Three points we highlighted in our report appear to be taking shape in the market,” explained Louise Barfield, head of marketing, Two by Two Consultants.
- “Purpose-driven brands that embrace, and campaign for, sustainability are emerging. Ren’s Clean range is indicative of this new direction for brands, in response to consumers’ demand for more transparency regarding the use of plastic and parabens,” said Barfield. GlobalData has also noted an increasing awareness for environmentally-friendly products among European men, with 38% stating they would more often purchase products packaged without any plastic at all. “Steps are being taken toward reducing plastic usage, avoiding virgin plastics where possible and even creating recycling operations for consumers to engage with after product use,” explains Neophytou.
- “The Pursuits and Self-Care trend mirrors the growth of well-being and plant-based nutrition among groups of male consumers, aligned to interest in activities such as Pilates, yoga and experiential fitness brands,” explained Barfield. The trend has also been picked up by Mintel, in its Active Beauty analysis which highlights products targeting men who actively participate in sports and fitness. Examples include Super Dry Sport RE:vive Men’s Body + Hair Wash, All Naturals Sport Ultra Performance Soothing Body Oil and Acofar Sport Spray Dry Touch Solar Spray SPF 50+.
- For Men label irrelevance. “From Kleenex replacing its man-size tissues to influencer-led media, gender is becoming less important than a focus on personal values, skin care needs and a sense of worth,” maintains Barfield.
“However, Gillette’s resolution to change its message from ‘the best a man can get’ to ‘the best a man can be’ was received as an assault on masculinity by some consumers, reflecting the fact that not everyone is ready to accept the new message and challenge traditional norms yet,” observed Kseniia Galenytska, consultant, beauty and fashion, Euromonitor International.
Since the report was issued, the men’s grooming market has become even more polarized and fragmented, according to Barfield. That’s due to entries such as Chanel’s Boy de Chanel makeup range as well as Bulldog’s range expansion to newer independent brands such as Lost Explorer, a men’s lifestyle brand covering everything from apparel to wellness to grooming to travel opportunities.
A Softer Side
On the one hand, men are being encouraged to get in touch with their softer side, while on the other, the trend for beards and barber shops often convey an opposing “tough alpha male” image.
Mintel reports that it has seen more brands moving into the beard/barber themed space in an effort not to miss out, but argues that the segment risks becoming too cluttered.
On the plus side, the longevity of the beard trend is driving more players into the segment. Mintel data for year ending June 2018 confirms that 14% of men’s hair, shaving, skin care and SBS (soap/bath/shower) launches in Europe made reference to beards on pack, up 5% from a year ago.
“There is also potential for men’s brands to tap into the nascent eyebrow grooming trend,” argued Rosalia Di Gesu, Mintel’s global beauty and personal care analyst, who states that 40% of Italian men enjoy trying new beauty/grooming trends such as eyebrow shaping.
According to Mintel GNPD, beard-targeted products are becoming more innovative, such as Blondépil Homme’s ammonia-free colorant (France) to mask gray hair, Bart Royal Oud Wood Beard Soap (Germany) to gently remove dirt and moisturize the beard and face, and Nivea Men Deep Face & Beard Wash (Netherlands), which contains carbon to remove impurities and excess sebum without drying the skin.
The men’s grooming market in Europe is rife with opportunities for brands to create new niches and appeal to men’s growing interest in products to better themselves. Understanding how men perceive themselves and their needs will be key to getting it right.
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Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher focusing on trends in the beauty industry. She regularly contributes to many of the world’s foremost beauty trade titles. Every year in April, she publishes The Premium Market Report, focusing on trends in the UK premium beauty markets.