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25 November, 2020

From macho to makeover: how attitudes to male cosmetics have changed

An increase in demand has forced the beauty industry to rethink the target audience and innovate new products for male consumers

Dubai, UAE: The attitude towards male cosmetic products has changed dramatically in recent years and become an important segment of the market, with brands seeking to tap into evolving personal consumer choice as a driver for marketing activity and product design.

The male skincare industry has seen a 7% rise in products in 2018 and a similar growth in 2019. With global growth of $US216 million from 2019-2020, the market was forecast to almost double by 2024 (US$6.9 billion) before Covid-19 struck.

More attention is being turned towards male-centric products, with existing and new-to-market beauty and personal care companies developing new products to appeal to an increased target audience.

Elaine O’Connell, Show Director for Beautyworld Middle East, said: “The male product space is becoming increasingly important in the industry, and male awareness, of a number of important issues and of product range and availability, is driving activity in the men’s personal care market.

“Attitudes are changing and many men are using products in their everyday care regime. In the 21st century we are all more aware of issues such as sustainability and the environment, and that is increasingly driving choice in the male product market.”    

A shift in men’s personal attitudes has also galvanised brands and forced them to reassess their approach to marketing and product design. Xxxxxxxxxxx, managing director of MB Professional Beauty, the skincare manufacturing company, explained: “The male cosmetics industry has evolved from the ‘macho’ attitude.

“Even though it is still a masculine space, everything from colour and packaging to advertising has toned down, represented by a more fluid, genderless palette.

“Traditionally, men’s products would be encased in all-black packaging. Now, companies use more neutral tones.”

This notion is supported by a recent beauty survey conducted by Euromonitor which stated that in 2019 only 10% of global males desired a gender-specific skin care product, compared to 18% in 2016.

Research also indicates that over 40% of men want their beauty products to be ‘clean’ - suggesting that sustainable beauty has not only had a significant impact in the female cosmetic industry. 

“Men’s skincare solutions are driven by the growing popularity of organic products with natural extracts,” said Dr. Amer Bourghol, Company President for Diana De Beaute, Lebanon. “We have seen a demand for natural ingredients in the younger male as well as the necessity to use sustainably sourced materials while packaging our products”.

“In order to support this fast-growing trend in male cosmetics, it is essential for companies to fully understand the needs of their target market and tailor their communications to suit the needs of their consumers,” he added.

The rise in popularity of male cosmetics is one of several key topics identified by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Beautyworld Middle East, the region’s largest international trade fair for beauty products, hair care, fragrances and wellbeing. The 25th edition will take place from 5-7 October 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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  • 2020