There are all kinds of advertisements for men's moisturizers, facial cleansers, and scrubs on television, on the Internet, and on the street. However, the use of beauty products has often been perceived as strictly feminine. Has this changed? Or do these stereotypes persist?
A thriving market. According to research firm Euromonitor International, the global men's care market should reach 60.7 billion dollars in 2020 (about £47 billion) -- three times more than in 2015, as reported by Fashion Network, a fashion, luxury, and beauty news website.
In France alone, the self-care market reached 1.843 billion dollars (£1.425 billion), a 0.2 increase since 2018. And, within two years, annual growth should go from 1 to 2.3%, they say.
These statistics reflect the observations made by men who were asked about their self-care routines: more and more men use cosmetics regularly, either buying them or making them at home. Indeed, there are recipes to make your own deodorant, shaving foam or beard oil, to name a few.
Many men use products daily
Besides the usual toothpaste, deodorant, and cologne you'll find in most bathrooms, men seem to be buying or making more and more products for their face and body, as well as their hair.
' use four products: an exfoliating mask, shaving gel, after-shave, and body lotion,' explains Josué, 28, in an interview for Gentside. The same is true for 27-year-old Yohan, who is also very comfortable talking about cosmetics. “' put a cream on my face every day, I make masks, and I use shampoo, scrubs, face and hand lotion, even chapstick,' he told us.
Age and relationship status are important factors
From a young age, many men got into the habit of using beauty products, but they often boiled down to the essentials. It took a few years for them to realize how much they needed them.
For some, living with a significant other was the catalyst.
I started living alone and bought fewer products but I used my girlfriend's a lot because I didn't really know what to buy. I was curious. Now, I have my own, I have a better idea of what works for me,' says Théo, 24.
For others, the desire to pamper themselves or to have some me-time led them to buy self-care products.
'It’s mostly about pleasure. Taking care of yourself boosts your mood and your self-confidence," said Jordan, 25. Josué said his beauty routine has become “one of his favourite parts of the day.'
Still, some stereotypes persist
Despite the progress we've seen, some stereotypes about men's beauty die hard. And certain preconceived notions hold some people back from using cosmetics.
'I think you can easily be dubbed metrosexual,' said Quentin, 26. Yohan said the same. 'I'm not always open about it because I'm afraid I'll be considered metrosexual or girly.'
Fortunately, most men recognize that these stereotypes are losing their power in society and some men have contributed to this in recent years. Théo summed it up so well: 'Just do what you want.'