It is safe to say that the days of men giving themselves a quick rinse with soap and water are well and truly over. Until recently, the male grooming market was limited to basic toiletries and hygiene products, such as shampoos, soaps, and deodorants. Today, a growing male appetite for beauty products represents the fastest growing segment in the market. It is now commonplace to find entire ranges of male products from exfoliants and body creams to eye-gels and anti-wrinkle creams monopolizing the shelves.
While a great deal of men still believe that buying facial scrubs and mud-masks could dent the macho image, many have moved away from any stigma associated with using what could be considered a more female product. Nowadays, men are paying more and more attention to their appearance and are more willing to use grooming products than previous generations. They are much more image-conscious and far more willing to wear a daily moisturizer, even indulge themselves with a pedicure or facial at a male salon, without worrying that their macho image will be questioned.
Metrosexuality has been the driving force behind this clear and rapid evolution in male personal care and grooming habits. Metrosexuality, a term coined in 1994 by Mark Simpson, describes the heterosexual male in touch with his feminine side; the guy that wants to be beautiful, sexy, trendy, modern, and still date girls!
Another theory is that the evolution of the male’s social position initiated the change in male needs; with a greater percentage of men having occupations where personal appearance has become a key factor of success than in previous generations, it’s hardly a surprise that males are growing a little vainer. Well-maintained skin, clean hands, or a nice haircut can go a long way when attending an interview. Increasing their sexual attractiveness may come as a by-product to enhancing their professional career – the true motivator.
The ‘cool’ factor of using male beauty products has also been somewhat influenced by the increased popularity of male body pampering on the celebrity scene. Among others, Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Jamie Oliver, Robbie Williams (Rob revitalizes his skin with facial gel) have all been vocal about their strict grooming routines. Essentially, they made what was once ‘girly’ acceptable.
Whatever the reason, it appears that all social categories are interested in these products – from trendy urban youngsters to older executives.
Male vanity is no longer a taboo. While it wasn’t that long ago that a real man wouldn’t be caught dead using pampering products or getting his toes buffed at a nail salon, more and more men are taking to it. So while the real man of today may not cry, he certainly does moisturize…. and there’s nothing feminine about that!