JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:02

Shedding Light on Men’s Skin Care Products

Written by James E. Upperman and Laura L. Root, CST, CIDESCO Diplomate

It sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? A cleanser, an aftershave balm, a sun protection product, possibly a lip balm. But what makes a product line distinctly male-oriented versus “unisex” can be elusive and much of the distinction lies in observing the male creature, as well as in the marketing and promotion of the products. A hard look at men and women’s skin care habits reveals very different routines, leaving a significant departure in the aspect of product acceptance by men.

The dilemma is exposed when one researches the sales numbers, retail selection, and presentation of male-only products for the spa market. Indeed, men still remain a somewhat elusive target in the spa, not to mention the fact that not all professionals are able take advantage of the opportunity to market to the “metrosexual” market.

Men vs. Women
Women are inherently (could it be genetic?) willing to utilize as many as four to six steps in their skin care regimen: cleanser, a serum for hyperpigmentation, a serum for anti-aging, an eye treatment product, a moisturizer, and most definitely sun protection. Even ladies who are “bare bones” will use a sun protection product after cleansing. Men, on the other hand, like to swipe their bar of soap in the shower over their face, through their hair, lather up, rinse, and call it a day after the possibility of slapping aftershave onto their now-irritated skin. The challenge to the manufacturer – and thus the retailer – is to provide products with key ingredients that will improve the skin in as few steps as possible, while keeping the change to men’s daily habits to a minimum. This is one of the many reasons why men’s skin care product lines are somewhat under-represented in the marketplace, compared to product lines with a focus on women – men for the most part just don’t want to “mess” with all that effort.
A further observation of men’s skin care product retail sales reveals an important surprise: Most initial purchases of men’s products are gifts. As a result, the opportunity to give your staff the opening to provide skin care instructions to men is minimal at best. Perhaps you are now beginning to see why fewer skin care product options exist for men.
It is all about habits and the availability for an opportunity. Menu items such as “Sports Facials” may draw some male clients in for deep-cleaning facial treatments, or even the possibility of gift certificate sales for the lady’s “significant other” - and this then provides the true professional opportunity to both use and sell products to men.

Skin Care Objectives for Men
The professional must remember that whether shaving with a more traditional shave cream and razor or with an electric shaver, men have one thing in common. They are exfoliating on a daily basis – and you will recall what occurs after microdermabrasion when it is followed by strongly acidic products – so aggressive exfoliants in cleansers should be used with caution.
Supplying hydration and some exfoliation assistance is necessary, while providing antioxidant protection, as well as tissue regeneration for anti-aging. Frequently we find a focus on low levels of glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid represented in men’s products to encourage cellular turnover, and deep hydration is created by hyaluronic acid. Anti-inflammatory botanicals, such as galbanum, boswellia serrata, and hmp seed, help to calm post-shave irritation. Light formulations including Shea Butter also help to boost antioxidant protection. For an almost-fool-proof initial product introduction, the professional may direct the client (either the male client or female client looking for a special gift) to the new biotechnology peptides, which are some of the safest anti-aging ingredients provided in products today. If the potential client has a tendency to ingrown hair (PFB), then the selection of products that include the extremely anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and lypophyllic salicylic acid is very appropriate for the prevention and maintenance of that skin condition.

“Just the Facts, Ma’am”
Using this information, we are able to ascertain what men are willing to do in a daily skin care regimen. They cleanse their faces, shave, and (hopefully) use sunscreen or a moisturizer after shaving. The products that can qualify as replacements for soap and water and shave cream are only the products that do what the user is willing and accustomed to doing. Recognizing this, why don’t we combine some of the functions and utilize the ingredient technologies beneficial to the skin by focusing on function and adding treatment products to the basic functionality of what men will use:

1. Cleanser with Dual Purpose
The most utilitarian option is a cleanser containing lactic acid that also works as a shaving gel for the blade-shaving gentlemen. This cleanser can be used as a simple cleanser by those using electric razors. Lactic acid will provide a gentle, moisturizing cleanse, while allowing the gel to lather sufficiently for a blade-shaver. Thinking this through to the logical conclusion, if they don’t shave, most likely they are probably not gracing you with their presence at all. Other ingredients that should be considered in a men’s cleanser are galbanum extract to promote cellular regeneration, married with hemp seed oil, for their soothing components.

2. After Shave with Dual Purpose
The after shave balm class of products is a practical option for the inclusion of performance ingredients, while substituting for the after shave lotion that most men are accustomed to using. Keep in mind that the first purchase is usually a gift, so this product needs to have broad application, and avoid a skin classification conflict. In reviewing your own experience with men’s professional services, there will likely be universal agreement that pore congestion and exfoliation are the two needs you observe during those services. An additional need will be for an anti-aging regimen, which has nothing to do, of course, with gender!

3. Ancillary Men’s Skin Care Products that sell well
Lip Balm with SPF can be an “impulse” purchase with benefits – if it is an outstanding product, men could be enticed to seek out more of the same! Sun protection for men is a moral sales objective – as it should be for the ladies, as well. The dilemma in retailing sun protection is in finding an outstanding product that men won’t find objectionable because of its fragrance or consistency – a light gel or lotion with little to no scent is important if they are going to purchase and actually use the product!
A spot-treatment salicylic acid product is extremely utilitarian for those clients with acne or pseudo-folliculitis barbaei, and if its product contains anti-inflammatory botanicals with a pleasing, not-too-fluffy scent, all the better – especially for the teenage male client.

Now the Obvious
Men want products that look like their own, not the opposite sex’s. Therefore, packaging becomes extremely important and its presentation on your shelf equally so. Men are very reluctant to openly use their wife’s products, but may well use them surreptitiously a time or two. For those targeted outcome treatment products that you want to add to a men’s skin care regimen presentation, you will want to seek out unisex packaging for cross-over sales. The closet cosmeceutical client, a business will not make, but properly packaged and results-targeted product can build your men’s product sales.

The Reward
In recent years, men’s product sales have been growing, because men appear to have a stronger brand loyalty because of their tendency to maintain a set routine. Women will see an intriguing product and try it on a whim, but men generally do not make impulse purchases. However, because men have a much more ingrained “habit” instinct, the professional will begin to appreciate this, because once a routine is set with a men’s product, the sales are more likely to be repeat sales.
When marketing men’s products, the retail space and associated presentation must be closely considered, and the best way to provide an introductory offer is through gift presentation promotions. When picking a line of products for your male clientele, balancing products with broad interest with ingredient technologies to match the client’s needs that frequent your spa is important because you may not have the opportunity to actually provide a skin analysis. Keeping in mind that the majority of men’s products are first purchased as gifts, but if they work and if they use them, the rewards are long lived.

Licensed in aesthetics in both Arizona and Oregon, Laura L. Root is a Nationally Certified Surgical Technologist and CIDESCO Diplomate. She also consults with physicians and other professionals in formulating skin care products. A multi-modality training manual co-authored with Jim E. Upperman will be available this fall. Root’s most recent publication is The Skin Care Professional’s Chemistry and Ingredient Handbook. For more information, Laura may be contacted via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through www.estheticeducationresource.com

James E. Upperman is a Physician’s Assistant with a B.S. in Medical Science, who expanded his training by specializing in Ear, Nose, and Throat; and Plastic Surgery, in addition to taking Medical Administrative courses. He has also worked as a supervisory Physician’s Assistant and Medical Administrator. Upperman has collaborated with Root to develop Antiqua Prima, a professional skin care line to address the needs of clients with inflammatory and acneic conditions. He may be contacted via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Want to read more?

Log in or subscribe to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community

    Aestheia Imaging, a hologram content management, and advertising subscription company introduced its disruptive technology at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery last week at The Aesthetic Meeting in New Orleans. The company breaks the mold of in-practice marketing with the unveiling of XTHEIA; an interactive hologram display toting a Virtual Consult Assistant for medical office waiting rooms. Aestheia's launch poses a resolution to poor patient awareness; an underserved focal point of product education in the aesthetics industry.
    The company is led by Austin JM Podowski, CEO and accomplished Dallas Healthcare Business Tech executives Mike McDonald, President and Paul Herchman, Advisory Board Member. Well known Plastic Surgeon and photographer Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery leads the companies Medical Advisory Board and will continue to work to enhance upon the application. The company offers a connected holographic media platform to story map the patient journey to brand and product education. Through the research and development of Aestheia's Medical Advisory Group, the company will offer holographic before and afters to patients so they can see pre-operative and post-operative procedure outcomes in true 3D, not previously available in the space.

    "We are dedicated to providing novel and ground breaking product innovation for the entire Aesthetic Community," comments McDonald. The company today offers a fully-automated and comprehensive holographic playlist for physician waiting rooms tethered to a cloud-based solution developed by the management team.
    "We are changing the way medical companies and physicians communicate with their customers and patients. The ALEXA of Aesthetics is now in the room," states Podowski. The team has also designed a customer facing iPad Pro application that allows a physician to remote control the device offering an in-app camera for patient photos. Mr. Podowski later comments, "The response received at ASAPS The Aesthetic Meeting affirms that our vision and product meet a need and resuscitate a lost connection with the consumer."
    The management team is dedicated to further pioneering advancements in hologram, AI, and AR in the evolving medical practice of the 21st century. The company is finalizing a third-round capital raise and will begin placement of their technology throughout Plastic Surgery Offices in North America in July 2019. The technology will also be on display in direct to consumer retail kiosks throughout the United States later this year. To get a sneak peak of Aestheia, follow the team's development, or learn more about the technology, follow @aestheiaimaging or visit www.aestheiaimaging.com.

  • Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010
    Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010

    Micropigmentation Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Self-Esteem & Confidence!

    Cranberr facial mask

    Cranberr facial mask
    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is estimated that in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women, and approximately 1,910 new cases in men. For the many men and women who have been, and will be diagnosed this year, the battle to get through treatment and surgery is only the beginning of the journey to survive. Although the feeling of survival is unsurpassed, the physical scars at times may leave some survivors anxious with their new appearance. Ruth Swissa has taken her passion and artistic expertise in the permanent makeup industry to provide areola pigmentation for breast cancer patients post reconstruction to help renew self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    "Many of my patients have said that waking up every morning, and looking in the mirror is a constant reminder of their battle, which although comes with a sense of pride, it also at times causes insecurities because they don't feel like themselves," says Swissa.

    Micropigmentation is an alternative method of creating a realistic nipple and areola after a mastectomy, to achieve a more symmetrical shape and even coloring using artistic light and shade effects. Swissa works closely with her patients in order to achieve the desired coloring and size to create a natural looking effect. This procedure takes less than an hour and is usually painless.

    Ruth uses a customized medical tattooing technique for applying permanent makeup for areola pigmentation. This unique method proves to be more exact, very gentle, and less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing. The results look more natural and subtle in appearance.

  • Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010
    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010

    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis

    by Deirdre Shevlin Bell

    Cranberr facial mask

    The search for safe and effective relief from osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that occurs when joint cartilage wears down over time, can feel like an uphill battle. Certain natural remedies can bring lasting relief from OA according to the Arthritis Research Council (ARC) study and other experts. That is good news, since the pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility from arthritis makes it the nation's most common cause of disability.

    One massage, and call me in the morning
    Spa-lovers with osteoarthritis will be pleased to learn that all those massages that leave you feeling loose and limber are doing more than just helping you relax. According to a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swedish massage improves flexibility, decreases pain, and increases range of motion in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    Low-impact exercise
    "When people start to hurt, they tend to cut back on exercise," notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. But that is a mistake, as inactivity can make pain and stiffness even worse. Olson recommends Pilates and swimming or doing aqua-aerobics, but she emphasizes the importance of choosing gentle, weight-bearing exercise. Michael Murray, N.D. suggests that a person should find something they love, and find a way to continue doing it: If walking on concrete sidewalks is too hard on the joints, walk on the golf course.

    Spice rub
    Using a gel containing capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili, is very effective at providing temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Studies have found that capsaicin can deplete the substance that acts to transmit pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and cause inflammation in the joints.

    Healing herbs
    An ARC study evaluated several herbs and herbal combinations and found that one stood above the rest. Phytodolor, a branded combination of three herbs – aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Franxinus excelsior), and golden rob herb (Solidago vigaurea) effectively manages the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Some studies have shown that aspen contains a substance that when ingested inhibits the production of certain prostaglandins in the nerves, resulting in pain relief. Common ash bark and golden rob herb also have pain-relieving properties, and common ash bark is an antioxidant – meaning it may reduce oxidative damage in the joint. The combination of the three herbs has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation. No major adverse effects have been reported, though some people do experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or skin reactions.

    The SAMe Game
    First discovered in 1952 and widely investigated for its usefulness in treating depression, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is now showing promise as a treatment for OA. SAMe is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it contributes to the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, SAMe reduces pain and also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, which are the major components of joint cartilage. Adverse effects are infrequent and mild, but can include nausea, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and stomach upset. People with depression should consult with a healthcare provider before taking SAMe, as some incidences of anxiety and mania have been reported.

    Copyright© HealthyLifestyles.com

  • The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010
    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010

    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships Survey Fact Sheet

    This survey was created in partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

    Within this issue, as well as our November and December 2010 issues, we will be printing important findings revealed from the recent survey, "The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships." This survey, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, was distributed to the National Psoriasis Foundation membership database via Survey Monkey. The survey was completed by approx 1,520 people; statistics below represent the percentage of people who answered a specific question (not always all 1,520 respondents). Statistics are rounded to nearest percentage point and percentages may not add up to 100 percent depending on the structure of the question. Not every respondent answered every question.i Below is a list of findings relating to psoriasis and its impact of social relationships.

    Nearly 80 percent (78.7%) of question respondents feel that psoriasis has had a negative impact on their personal relationships.ii

    Social Relationships

    • When having a psoriasis flare-up, 63.3 percent of respondents are less likely to go out socially iii and 53.6 percent have declined social invitations or cancelled plans because of a flare-up.iv Nearly 70 percent (69.6%) feel that psoriasis has impacted their social relationships.v
    • When meeting someone new, 74.3 percent of question respondents worry that the person will notice their psoriasis,vi and 72.1 percent of respondents are concerned that people that notice will think of them less favorably.vii
    • When going out for social occasions, 79.5 percent of respondents usually only wear outfits that cover up
      their psoriasis.viii
  • Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010
    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010

    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess!

    by Natalie Pergar

    Cranberr facial mask

    Known not only as part of the elite group of super fruits, the all mighty pomegranate, English word comes from the Latin words for apple; "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeded), has been dated as far back as 1,000 BC and was introduced to North America by Spanish settlers in 1769. This red beauty represents global symbolism and history ranging from righteousness, prosperity, and fertility.

    With over 760 varieties of pomegranate it is one of the oldest known medicines to man. Ancient Greek healers would use pomegranate juice to manage health problems similar to arthritis, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and infections. And to add to the wonders of the pomegranate, the fruit was also involved in ancient beauty concoctions. Today with our growing beauty culture and desire to turn back the clock, we find ourselves revisiting what our ancient friends already knew with the help of modern science and research.

    Pomegranates are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B, and an abundance of vitamin C. They contain red arils, tiny edible seeds that are loaded with juice and provide valuable fiber. They are delicious and fantastic to eat - though I would not recommend eating the white membrane that surrounds the arils as it is quite bitter and the consensus is that it is not recommended. And for those of us that count calories, a 1/2 cup of raw pomegranate has 80 calories and 0 grams of fat!

    According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), pomegranate fruit extract contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors). Its antioxidant activity is higher than that of red wine and green tea and research suggests that pomegranate extract may have significant clinical benefits in decreasing risk for skin cancer.

    By taking pomegranate extract capsules, one could reduce or reverse the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover and creating new, healthy skin. But that is not all! Evidence shows that including it in your skin care regime can provide wonderful results too. Rich in ellagic acid to manage free radicals, pomegranate oil contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid effective in aiding cell regeneration and proliferation. Pomegranate also carries beneficial phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), an anti-carcinogen.

    So I salute you, oh red goddess of history. Bring me health and wellness with all your super fruit power!

    Pomegranate, Almond Oil, and Honey Mask

    ½ pomegranate
    2 tsp almond oil
    ½ tbsp organic honey

    Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Peel the pomegranate half, cut the fruit in pieces, and put these in a bowl or food processor. Add the honey and almond oil. Blend it all into a smooth and uniform paste. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally, apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside. (For all skin types). *This fruit mask recipe peels your skin and we do not recommend using it on acne skin.

    Copyright ® 2009-2010 Natural – Homeremedies-For-Life

    Pomegranate Oat Bran Scrub

    2 ounces pomegranate juice
    2 ounces orange juice
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp sea salt
    3 to 4 ounces oat bran

    1. In a container large enough to hold two cups, combine pomegranate and orange juices. To this add the honey and mix together well.
    2. Now add sea salt and oat bran. Mix together and allow the oat bran to soak up the liquids, about 10 to 20 minutes.
    3. Make sure to apply to a clean face. Probably the easiest way is to apply in the shower after you clean your face and allow it to set while you do other things. The steam from the shower helps allow the ingredients to penetrate your skin. Then, gently scrub off as you shower.

    Copyright ® eHow.com

Login to post comments

June 2020

Skin Care Blogs

Brands of the Month

  • DMK Skin Revision Center
  • Eminence Organic Skin Care
  • Celluma by Biophotas, Inc