October 25 2020 – Cole Patterson
B y 2022, the men’s market is expected to hit $166 billion, as more men gain knowledge about caring for their skin beyond their shaving routine and a bar of soap.1 Market research shows men have jumped from the basics of skin care such as cleansers, toners and moisturizers to the treatment products such as masks, serums and sunscreens. It also shows that many of them are ditching mass market products for professional products. Therefore, offering effective products,treatments and solutions will gain popularity over retailers and secure projected sales for the years to come.
Simplifying men’s skin care may come at a loss; however, not simplifying men’s skin care will come at a cost. From an industry perspective, carrying a plethora of products may seem like a good marketable approach. Yet, research shows that men are honing in on simple skin care that’s multifunctional. When it comes to these products, men are looking for the following characteristics.
With the overwhelming spread of men’s skin care available, men are on the hunt to find products with deliverable claims. Men are demanding more from their grooming or skincare products. They have high expectations and would like to know that their product purchase serves a purpose and what that purpose is.
Men look at skin care as a solution to a problem.
When it comes to skin care, men choose quality over quantity.
Although the men’s skin care industry is thriving, this market is still scrambling to produce brands that provide functioning capabilities to maximize results. Skin care for men should be straightforward to solve problems and fit their lifestyle.
Ideally, men prefer gender specific products because it gives them recognition in a market that was initially focused on beauty and cosmetic products for women.
Many gender specific products are struggling to identify the needs and wants of men apart from razors, deodorant and soap, but their needs are far greater.
Men should not have to compromise their masculinity because they want to better their appearance by maintaining healthy skin, preventing skin problems or avoiding premature aging.
Men like exclusivity not inclusivity and like to feel like they are ahead of their peers.
Men want to know does this work? Within the conversations, your consultation should be able to detect the underlying message of what the male client is conveying. Men want deliverables, a strong message and products they can depend on.
The Esthetician’s Role
Men are less likely to be impressed with the details of one’s acquired knowledge but more intrigued with the willingness of the esthetician to help solve their skin problems. Estheticians have an advantagein the retail marketplace because
we are well versed in the skin anatomy and physiology. As licensed professionals, we need to establish our roles as an authority in the men’s market. The male market should not be treated as a quick sell based on financial gain alone but reviewed as an opportunity to grow awareness and educate men about proper skin care. Men realize everything is about sales, and they might not trust that professionals will be honest when recommending products.
It is wise to present to your male client that you are a trusted source for his skin care and grooming needs. That may mean taking the initiative to research products he is interested in or has been using prior to coming to you. Even if you don’t believe the products are good, don’t make him feel like he made a bad choice. Acknowledge that his decision is respected and because of his choices, you believe he may like other products that are similar but more advanced to give him the results he’s looking for faster. Investing a little more in your clients will serve a great benefit long term.
Barber to Beauty
The first skin care treatments for men are usually with their barber because they have entrusted them with their grooming needs.
It may not be a bad idea to develop a relationship with his barber and partner with them. This way, your male client will see you too have his best interest in mind.
Men want to feel at ease when they walk into the spa. They don’t want to feel like they just invaded a private girls meeting. Making a clean transition from the barber’s chair to the facial bed can be a little uncomfortable for first timers. Working with men is similar to a business partnership because we want to make sure if they commit to skin care services that we, as their esthetician, will continue to help him achieve his skin care goals. Although he may trust your expertise, it may take some time for you to win him over as a trusted source similar to his barber.
Licensed professionals should understand that the men’s market has been undeserved for years but that this does not require them to be oversold. Men are minimalist.
Estheticians should supply men with the necessities of home care without adding additional products to increase their sale. Displaying too many options can deliver the wrong message to the male clientele.
Selecting products that are multifunctional will minimize inventory but keep profits coming in. Giving your male client too many options can steer him away with no plans of returning. Identifying ingredients that are most effective will help you determine ways to simplify your spa menu and retail counter. More lines are advancing their ingredients and tailoring products to the professional market.
Simplifying skin care is not about less ingredients, but more about steps. Basically, they want quick and easy skin care that provides maximum results in minimal time. Simplifying a man’s skin care routine can be as simple as skipping the cleanser and going right to the exfoliant. Most exfoliants offer cleansing benefits, and more exfoliants not only cleanse but get rid of dead skin cells to give the skin a healthy and vibrant glow. Additionally, using an exfoliant will save time and prep the skin for an easier shave. Find an exfoliant cleanser or a hydrating gel with aftershave to satisfy a man’s pre- and post-shaving needs.
If men purchase more than two to three items, some of these products may just sit because they forgot the steps. Then, they may not return because they may feel humiliated if asked about the products.
Most professionals are in limbo when it comes to the male market that is looking to step up their grooming routine. Our relationship with the men’s market relies on our approach. Marketing to men isn’t as simple as pushing a bunch of products on them and using fancy words. Men are not impulsive buyers, and professionals can not approach men in the same manner as female clients.
Communicating effectively and honestly to your male client will win every time. The first goal, as a licensed professional, should be to present valid options to your client without generalizing. Reassure him that your commitment is to help him find cost-effective products and treatments without compromising ingredients.
Approach the male client with consistency, continuity and commitment. In the decision making process, a man’s logic serves him in every aspect of his life. Use marketing terms such as multifunctional, dual phase, multitasking and active, just to name a few. These are some of the terms men may look for when deciding on their next purchase.
They Seek Knowledge
Just like other consumers, men are taking the initiative to educate themselves about products and skin treatments. They are spending time on the internet researching and reading reviews. The internet continues to be a growing channel for men’s skin care. Men want to gain knowledge about their desire to improve their skin at their own discretion.
Millennial male clients gravitate toward preventative products that have an esthetic benefit, whereas older generations prefer skin care products that protect and are invigorating. Each group is unique with its specificities; therefore, select products and treatments that are beneficial. Its suggested to find products that mend the generational gap therefore, men can start their sons early to learn about Men's Skincare Routine.
Help Them Upgrade
Men are ready to go all in, and they need an esthetician to assist them in their decisions. They have mastered the basics and are ready to upgrade their regimen. They are realizing they need extra care to improve their skin and prevent premature aging, dehydration, sensitivity and sun damage. As licensed professionals, we should be able to accommodate their needs; however, this will require us to listen closely and watch carefully to what men don’t want.
Patterson, Cole "Simplifying Men's Skin Care", Skin Inc. Magazine 2020. Apr Digital Publication