There’s an emerging disruptor in the beauty industry as companies target a different consumer type to expand the half a trillion-dollar market — men.
Across the globe, men’s adoption of beauty use is already starting to take off. But the trend comes in many different shapes and forms. For beauty companies struggling to find new avenues of growth, it’s a huge opportunity to see whether men are looking for traditional grooming products, discreet moisturizers, beauty balms, or popular light therapy.
According to Allied Market Research, the men’s personal care industry is predicted to hit $166 billion by 2022. According to market researcher NPD Group, just last year, men’s skin-care products alone saw a more than 7% jump in sales and with the category currently valued at $122 million.
“In recent years, the notion that men can’t or shouldn’t be using skin-care products or caring more in general about all aspects of their appearance has been receding,”
Said Andrew Stablein, a research analyst at Euromonitor International, in a research note.
The success of digitally native brands catered directly to men such as Harry’s and popular subscription service Dollar Shave Club reveal
“the average men’s grooming routine isn’t about just shaving, but can be aided by using skin-care products,”
Even high-end designers like Chanel have jumped on the trend, launching its first made-for-men skincare and cosmetics line known as “Boy De Chanel” last September.
“It seems that mass players are trying to expand their market and gain share in a slowing market by growing their user base,”
Said Alison Gaither, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel.
This includes tutorials from U.K. makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and Rihanna’s Fenty brand, which have both put out instructions for guys who want to use makeup subtly for a more groomed appearance.
According to Coresight Research, the Asia Pacific market is now one of the fastest-growing regions for men’s grooming and cosmetic product use. Jason Chen, general manager for Chinese online retail site Tmall, told Coresight that “supply cannot meet the demand for male make-up products across China.”
However, recent data suggests the new generation of beauty consumers prefer a non-binary approach altogether. According to NPD’s iGen Beauty Consumer report, nearly 40% of adults aged 18–22 have shown interest in gender-neutral beauty products and holistic products.
“There are so many … [people] growing up with the idea that you’re not tied to the gender you’re born with,”
Said Larissa Jensen, a beauty industry analyst at NPD.
“Beauty is no longer what you’re putting out as ‘ideal beauty.’ Beauty can be anything, anyone, and any gender.”
In 2016, shortly after Coty acquired CoverGirl, the brand made history with its first-ever “CoverBoy” featuring popular YouTube makeup artist James Charles.
Charles recently found himself in a very public spat with Tati Westbrook, another YouTube beauty vlogger. Coverage of the feud, which began after Charles backed a vitamin brand that was a rival to Westbrook’s own, has been widespread and shows the influence these internet personalities have and how the business has evolved over the past two years.
While Charles may be having his struggles now, as he has lost millions of subscribers, the attention he originally received from CoverGirl sparked similar collaborations by major brands including L’Oreal, who featured beauty blogger Manny Gutierrez, known under the moniker Manny MUA, as the face of its Maybelline Colossal mascara campaign in 2017.
“I think a lot of people misconstrue a man wearing makeup as someone that is transgender or someone that wants to be a drag queen, but it’s not that,”
Guitterez, founder and CEO of Lunar beauty told CNBC.
“I think right now people are still intimidated by the aspect of it.”
Gutierrez’s makeup tutorials and product reviews have attracted nearly 5 million subscribers to his YouTube page. According to a note by the NPD Group, one setting powder product saw a 40% surge in sales after Gutierrez promoted it on his YouTube channel.
“It’s all about inclusivity and encouraging people to be a little more inclusive with both men and women,”
“I think that as time progresses and you see more men in beauty, it’ll get a little bit better and better.”