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Special Newsletter – Men’s Grooming

Men’s trends: natural, youthful, primal

By Deanna Utroske

Last updated on 25-Mar-2015 at 12:30 GMT2015-03-25T12:30:57Z

Men’s trends: natural, youthful, primal

Underlying the latest men’s grooming product trends here in the States is a longing for wellness. Be they topical skin care items, anti-aging creams, facial hair care essentials or nutraceuticals, men’s toiletries tend toward organics.

Consumers are looking to achieve a clean, fresh look with simple, healthy and effective personal care products. In that regard, some tenets of the women’s 2015 natural beauty trend overlap with men’s grooming trends today. 

On the quest for wellness, it seems beauty does a body good and vice versa. One expert in the field put it this way: Men need to understand that natural ingredients are good for you. When you drink orange juice, you know you're getting vitamin C. When you eat certain vegetables and other foods, you're getting nutrient rich ingredients to help your body. The same goes for the skin,” observes Anthony Sosnick, founder and CEO Anthony Brands.

Organic and natural ingredients are being incorporated in men’s grooming products for skin, facial hair, and more. Sosnick sees a distinct opportunity in the skin care category: “it's important to use natural and organic ingredients in skin care products, particularly ones that you leave on such as moisturizers, eye creams, serums etc. Products like these tend to seep into the lower levels or layers of the skin and a more natural formula is always better for the body and the skin.”

Eager to purchase natural products, some consumers are more inclined to avoid particular ingredients than to shop for products that include a favorite. “There are definitely many ingredients that people look to avoid but I would have to say the number one ingredient today would be parabens as preservatives,” Sosnick told Cosmetics Design.

That adds a challenge for formulators. “It's been difficult to develop products with an all-organic foundation that deliver the same efficacy as non-organic products,” he admits.   

“One of the problems with removing parabens from products is that the other preservatives used in place of parabens must be used at much higher levels to get the same effect that a paraben would give. Sometimes these can be irritating on the skin,” says Sosnick.

His company tries “to make products that are as natural and organic as possible, but first and foremost they have to work.”

Many brands end up formulating to a marketing brief:“everything we make is paraben free primarily for marketing, but at the end of the day that's what the customer wants,”Sosnick acknowledges.

Anti-aging skincare products are gaining popularity among men. And, having the skin of a younger man is of particular concern to professionals.

There is more competition at the workplace and jobs are going to younger guys as a result. Anti-aging products that solve some of these concerns and issues are becoming more and more commonplace with men,” Sosnick says.

He sees “men’s anti-aging in skincare becoming more popular and not just a trend” and predicts that “we will begin to see more anti-aging products that are naturally based….As technology improves, more and more natural ingredients will be infused into these products to maximize their benefits.”

Natural health and beauty products appeal to consumers invested in long-standing conventions of masculinity. “In cave man days, hair was a sign that you were nutritionally up to par, that you had shelter, were sleeping. If you were healthy on the inside, then you could grow nice hair,” Jack Passion, who’s found celebrity with his beard, told BirchBox sometime back.   

Yet, there’s room here for a diversity of preferences from paleo to tall, dark and handsome. Companies that take a nuanced approach to grooming products and embrace a spectrum of masculinity resonate with today’s consumers. “Marketers need to show that they understand consumers’ modern perceptions of gender, namely that consumers are much more complex than the social constraints built around them,” according to a report from global media intelligence provider Mintel on 2015 consumer trends .

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