Last year the average British man spent an average of £2.50 on skin care products making up a total market size of £57m (€71m), according to the report published by Mintel. This is less than a tenth of the women's skin care market which in 2007 was worth approximately £602m. Despite the marketing push from many of the global personal care giants it seems that men's skin care habits are not changing in the UK, as skin care accounted for only 7 per cent of the total men's toiletries market in 2007, up marginally from 6 per cent in 2005. "Companies have invested huge amounts of money into men's skincare. And with all the talk of the new aged man and metrosexuals, everyone has been waiting for British men to really buy into looking after their skin. But this has clearly not happened," said Alexandra Richmond, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. Ageing population and scruffy youngsters Britain's ageing population is one of the reasons highlighted by the market research company to explain the disappointing results. For the over 65s skin care can be something of an anathema. With only 17 per cent thinking it is okay for men to use skin care products and many unwilling to try out new products, Richmond recommends a return to basics, such as soap and talc, in order to attract this consumer group. "The key here is that men are clearly creatures of habit and they hold onto their skincare regime. Manufacturers need to focus on simple old-fashioned products that appeal to the growing number of older men," she said. The fashion for the scruffy, unshaven look amongst youngsters is also cited as a reason behind slow sales as it cuts out much of the need for moisturisers and post shave balms. The younger consumer group is clearly the key to market success however and Richmond says manufacturers need to gain brand loyalty from a young age. "If men's skincare is really going to succeed, they will need to target teenagers with more advanced products that they will then continue to use throughout their adult life," she said. The findings may come as a disappointment to many manufacturers who have chosen to target what was thought to be a burgeoning market.