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Ageing skin a major concern for male market

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Men are increasingly looking at topical, non-surgical solutions that can address specific ageing issues including fine lines, greying skin and tired eyes.

So says Olivier Bonnefoy, founder of international men’s grooming salon franchise and cosmeceutical skincare brand, Gentlemen’s Tonic. He continues: “Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest skincare issue that we are experiencing revolves around anti-ageing.

“As a company, our main hypothesis is that we’re in the middle of a 30-40 year cycle. Men’s grooming took off at the end of the 1990s and the early 2000s, with many of these new consumers in their 20s and starting to make more considered purchases, often paying a premium compared to what they were spending before, and developing skincare and grooming routines that their fathers didn’t do. For instance, there was more emphasis on understanding the ingredients that went into their skincare products, as well as looking more intently at cleansing and moisturising solutions.

“Now, fast forward 20-something years and these same consumers are in their 40s and 50s. They have a plethora of information at their disposal, something that wasn’t available 20 years ago, as well as key opinion leaders to answer their questions. Concerns about ageing skin is not just the future of men’s grooming and skincare, it will be the biggest trend in beauty for the next 10 to 15 years.”

Bonnefoy notes that despite being in the post-Covid era, Zoom and Teams remain common tools of business today. “We’ve definitely seen an upswing in men’s facials, particularly those orientated towards re-balancing the skin and addressing specific problems – ideal when you spend your day video-conferencing and not being overly concerned how the lighting is going to make you look.

“Interestingly, during Covid, for many men, the suspension of everything potentially allowed them more time to enhance their daily grooming routine. For instance, as a business, Gentlemen’s Tonic saw a particular upswing in products that were not as prevalent in our client’s buying habits pre-Covid, including a near 250% increase in exfoliant scrubs and near 325% growth in the sale of serums. This trend has not abated since we’ve returned to normal.

“Generally speaking, more male clients are now coming into spas, salons and speciality retailers than ever before. I believe that managements and stakeholders need to address this demand with more male-orientated professional and retail products.”

Commenting on current popular haircuts, the biggest trend Bonnefoy has observed is more short cuts. “Specifically what we call 'High and Tight', which is, in effect, a simple cut with a masculine and rugged feel. Defined by faded or short sides and a slightly longer back and top, it’s neat and looks professional.”

Bonnefoy is relieved that unkempt facial hair is ‘a thing of the past’. He continues: “I personally think the general beard trend is coming to an end, judging by the latest Fashion Weeks in Paris and Milan, where almost all of the models were clean shaven, a reverse of what we saw over the past 4 to 5 years.” (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)

To read a report on the male grooming market in South Africa, go to pages 26 to 23 of the April 2023 issue of Professional Beauty. Click here

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