Time to shift men’s focus from simply hygiene to skin and hair solutions


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Dr Michèle Verschoore, medical director of L’Oréal Research and Innovation
Dr Michèle Verschoore, medical director of L’Oréal Research and Innovation

Related tags Cosmetics

Men have their own specific skin and hair physiology that can be addressed by appropriate products and strategies so beauty routines should focus on this rather than just on hygiene as it has done in the past, according to one of the biggest players in the market.

Dr Michèle Verschoore, medical director of L’Oréal Research and Innovation, believes that educating consumers about masculine traits can really pay off, especially from a preventative perspective​, taking the market beyond the focus on deodorants, shampoos and shaving.

The French firm’s scientist explains that men’s skin is generally more sensitive, more vascularised, ages differently, and is darker than that of women; and although thicker, it is weakened by constant shaving.

For men’s hair, baldness generally starts at the temples or on top, whereas women’s hair loss tends to be spread over the whole scalp.

This opens up the opportunity for specific targeted solutions for each skin type or hair issue, and Dr Verschoore believes more focus on these products can change men’s beauty routines.

“Taking the example of shaving, we have shown that proper beard preparation is vital: the hair must be thoroughly moisturised to reduce the stress caused by the razor and avoid burn,”​ she says.

“Every stage of life brings the signs of ageing, with hair loss beginning in the thirties, the first wrinkles appearing in the forties, followed by circles under the eyes and weight gain. For each stage, prevention and treatment solutions rely on correct use of cosmetics, which play a crucial role in taking on these issues.”

Men’s boost

Cosmetic products designed with men in mind are now seeing growth all over the world, and Grégory Benoit, International Marketing Director at L’Oréal Men Expert, says that men’s beauty is not a passing fad, but a deep-seated global trend, reporting 26% growth in the last half-decade.

“The male beauty market is worth an estimated €16 billion,”​ says Grégory. “It is now the fourth largest beauty market globally after skin care, women’s hair products and make-up.”

“In this era of self-presentation and immediacy, the cosmetic industry expects this sector to enjoy lasting growth.”

Dr Verschoore believes this is because nowadays men are setting their own beauty ideals and want to present themselves in a particular way with respect to healthy skin and style.

With this in mind, she has written a book to address these expectations by looking at different skin issues.

“It takes the shape of a practical guide prefaced by a section on history, culture, science and technology,”​ says Verschoore.

The book is published by Odile Jacob, and is intended to increase understanding of men’s skin and hair types with basic scientific information that aims to help choose the right beauty products and appropriate care strategies.

“While women can easily find plenty of information in magazines and blogs to stay up to date on the latest developments in beauty and care, until recently men have had little exposure to the latest scientific advances behind men’s cosmetics or to advice on achieving healthy skin and hair,”​ adds Michèle.

The book examines a complete spectrum of cosmetic concerns, from beard care to the right deodorant and face cream, from hair and scalp health to wrinkle prevention and what to do about dark circles under the eyes.

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