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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beards will look healthier and feel less itchy while skin will feel soothed and nourished. Close in texture to a low hold pomade, beard balm tames, shapes, thickens and defines beards and mustaches. Contains premium oils such as organic argan, coconut, jojoba, tea tree and dog rose to provide long-lasting moisture, cleanse, repair and soothe the beard and skin. The combination of shea butter and beeswax keeps the beard and the skin under the beard healthy. The masculine aroma of Spiced Vanilla will leave a lasting impression!
Icleanse with either Chella’s Lush Balm or Exfoliating Scrub, and then spray on the Hydrating Tonic to balance the skin’s pH. I follow that with our Master Protocol 7 and SPF 25 Hydrating Daily Moisturizer.
It is no secret that today’s men face challenges their forefathers could never have imagined. With an increasingly global economy creating a wave of new competitive challenges, men are seeking every advantage they can access in order to stay ahead of their peers.
One key area for advantage that men are increasingly turning to is their recurring use of skin care products in order to look as young and healthy as possible. Of course, there remain stalwarts who still use just bar soap and water, but their numbers are quickly eroding. Gone are the days when men of all ages shied away from products like cleansers and moisturizers.
To meet this trend, manufacturers have become savvy about differentiating product lines that meet the criteria demanded by men. The most successful manufacturers tailor their product sets with blended actives that address the key differences distinguishing men’s skin from women’s. For example, men’s skin overall is thicker, oilier, holds more collagen for longer, and is, on average, more exposed to sun. Successful manufacturers create products like cleansers, moisturizers, and SPF products with a blend of active ingredients designed to optimize the right balance that restores and protects the skin’s equilibrium. Because most men are function and step-oriented (left brained), men’s skin care manufacturers often combine steps to keep things simple, such as selling a moisturizer with sun protection already included. The same feminine scents of a cleanser or moisturizer that work for women are typically absent in skin care designed for men.
Men have larger pores that also need different protection than pores in women. Smart manufacturers use ingredients with higher molecular structure like flax seed and milk thistle to protect larger pores. Since men typically favor gels over lotions or creams, they are also great candidates for serums that help overcome the typical long-term inflammatory damage from daily shaving.
Combining the effects of an aftershave balm and moisturizer into a single serum product, for example, serves the multi-function role and helps repair, hydrate, and soothe irritated skin. Quality manufacturers work to tailor ingredients to men’s needs, such as using eucalyptus or tea tree oil for circulation, and they use different combinations than used for women’s products.
I went to MAC the other day to purchase my favorite BB Cream with the SPF of 50. I kept looking at the testers that the store had on display and could only find SPF 35 in my Medium Dark BB Cream. This young, Bettie Paige, MAC representative approached me, wearing her hair in a sultry pinup design and flashy red lips, asking if I needed her help. I told her I needed the BB Cream that had the 50 SPF, she dropped her head down and let out an apologetic sigh as she told me that MAC no longer sales anything over a SPF of 35 because of the new FDA (Federal Drug Administration) regulations.
Heat flows from warm to cold objects. As environmental temperature drops, heat is lost from the body. We respond in two ways to a drop in temperature; the first is peripheral vasoconstriction, and the second is an increase in metabolism in an effort to generate more heat. Almost all of the skin’s problems associated with the cold can be derived from these two facts. Cold skin is poorly-functioning skin characterized by dryness, itching, and sub-acute inflammation, all resulting from a greater loss of water. Categorically, you can say that when skin is cold, it shifts into low gear and its ability to function is greatly compromised. Here are 10 suggestions to tell clients to help them survive the winter and protect skin from damage.
1. Use sun protection of at least SPF 30. Remember, the sun’s rays do not go away in the wintertime. While it is not as intense, sunlight still has a lot of UVA and UVB energy. If the skin is exposed, it is vulnerable to ultraviolet damage.
2. Make a friend of moisturizers. A cold environment is usually a dry environment. Cool air loses its ability to hold water. As a result, transepidermal water loss goes up, causing the skin to become dry. Heavier moisturizers are generally required to protect the skin from water loss. Dry skin is usually flaky. If the dryness is severe, the skin will crack, making it a very poor barrier for controlling things going in and out of the skin. When you scratch itchy, dry skin, you are compounding the problem. Look for products that contain high water-retaining ingredients such as jojoba, argan, palm, and rice bran oils.
3. Drink an adequate supply of water. Remember, normally you can lose as much as 500 milliliters of transepidermal water a day. That is equivalent to one pint of water. Try to drink two to four ounces of water every couple of hours throughout the day.
4. Your diet is critical. Make sure you have an adequate amount of essential fatty acids, as they are vital in helping maintain the moisture barrier. Fats are metabolized by the body to generate heat. One gram of fat will produce nine calories of heat, as opposed to protein and carbohydrate, which produce only four calories per gram. You need not gain weight, but be sure to add good sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs) – salmon, avocado, and almonds are great sources.
5. Dry, cold skin is the playground of free radicals. Make sure you continue to use antioxidants during the winter, as well as during the summer. Using products with vitamin C and vitamin E and taking these as oral supplements will enhance resistance to free radical damage.
6. Rather than wearing a single, heavy garment, dress in layers. Remember that heat is lost from the body by conduction, convection, and radiation. While it may seem like a contradiction, if you sweat in the presence of cold temperatures, mainly due to being overly dressed, you will markedly change your heat loss for the worse. Also keep your head covered to retain heat.
7. While long, hot showers may be comforting, they are also quite injurious to winter-damaged skin. Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water, which, combined with aggressive soaps, can really tear up the skin barrier. Keep it short and set the water temperature only as hot as you need it to be.
8. Do not forget to protect your lips, as they lose water much faster than your cornified skin. Carry balm that is a combination of sunscreen and emollients and apply it often throughout the day.
9. Check the humidity of your home and workplace. If it falls below 60 percent, your skin will tend to lose more moisture. Keep in mind the body is 70 percent water and that water will always go from a higher level to a lower level. If the average American home is comfortably warm temperature-wise, it may be too dry when it comes to humidity level. This is not an insignificant cause of many upper respiratory problems. A humidifier can help.
10. Finally, be aware of the wind chill factor. Frigid air can carry away heat and moisture rapidly from the skin and create an area of damage that can be quite severe. Windy days are extremely damaging to skin. Wear a scarf to cover your face and neck on particularly blustery days.
Look for the signs of cold-damaged skin: It is usually cool to the touch, dry, and flaky, but it can also be characterized by redness, which is a sign of an inflammatory reaction. Consider also that cold-compromised skin is ill-equipped to combat infections, so it is important to give these areas your particular attention. Pay attention to your client’s skin care routine and advise your clients to do the same.
Michael Q. Pugliese, B.S., L.E. became the third generation CEO of Circadia by Dr. Pugliese, Inc. in 2006. Under his leadership, the Circadia brand has grown to achieve international recognition and distribution. Pugliese is a licensed aesthetician and a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, He regularly attends their education events to stay on the cutting edge of new product development. His compelling original lectures honor the tenets of modern skin science discovered by his grandfather and add today’s application of that information in an ever-changing business and scientific environment.