In a bid to cash in on the growing 'metrosexual' trend - referring to the increasing numbers of urban male consumers who spend considerable amounts of time and money on their appearance - the company has launched its first cosmetics and personal care lines to be marketed directly at the male consumer in its "M-The Men's Catalogue" publication.
Avon will be launching two product lines to appeal to the "family man, career man and the athlete" - Pro Sport Daily Performance, which includes aftershave, face wash and deodorant - as well as a higher-end Pro Extreme Maximum Performance range, which includes a raft of anti-ageing and exfoliating products, primarily orientated towards the metrosexual male market.
Despite the company referring to itself as 'the company for women', Amanda Webb, US marketing manager for Avon, mentions that the company has always supplied men's items, although they were "traditionally marketed to women buying for their men through Avon reps."
Prior to the launch of its latest range of male cosmetics, the company offered products including deodorants, moisturisers, skin toners, fragrances, as well as personal care products, such as soap.
But now the company believe that the growing trend for male beauty and personal care products, particularly in the western markets, is prompting cosmetics marketers to target male consumers directly in an attempt to widen their consumer base.
It appears, however, that the main challenge for Avon will lie in overcoming the social stigma attached to male cosmetics usage - although this has recently witnessed a slight reprieve following hit TV shows such as 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy', which has thrust the issue of male grooming into the public eye.
"The market for men's products has been growing for some time now, and the time was right to launch a new men's skin care line at Avon, commented Webb.
Market analysts estimated last year that the US cosmetic and toiletry market is worth an estimated US $31 billion, with products from companies such as L'Oreal, Revlon and Estee Lauder dominating the female cosmetics sector.
But whereas cosmetic sales increases for the cosmetics industry at large are slowing, sales of men's cosmetics and anti-aging skin care products on the other hand are witnessing double-digit growth.