Various experts have been sharing their opinions on why the end of the beard trend is in sight, but perhaps one of the most convincing arguments came from Historian Alun Withey, who in an interview with The Times at the beginning of this year said the historical patterns for the beard trend point to a huge decline around about now.
Testimony to this is the number of A list stars who have ditched the beard in 2016, so if this really is the way forward, what sort of shifts are we likely to seeing in men’s grooming spending patterns to keep their freshly shaved faces in top condition?
Growth in men's facial care impacted by beards
According to data from Mintel on the UK men’s grooming market, which is deemed to be one of the fastest reacting and trendsetting markets in the world, the beard trend had spelled opportunities for niche players specialising in beard care, but overall it had impacted sales negatively.
Mintel’s data shows that the men’s facial skin care market grew only 1.3% to £104m in 2015, a marked slowdown from the rapid growth of the two previous year.
Interestingly the research also showed that the level of innovation had slowed down in 2015, while existing facial skin care consumers had not shown any significant sign of widening their product repertoires.
Beards mean less spend on facial care
Mintel researchers quite rightly put the blame square on the continued popularity of the beard in 2015 as being the main course for this slowdown in momentum and product innovation.
The specific area hardest hit was post-shave products, which men generally apply to their faces after shaving as a means of soothing, moisturizing and toning, following the sometimes damaging affects of shaving.
This gap has been filled to some extent by a plethora of beard grooming products, including oils, conditioners and styling products to enhance the vitality and appearance of a beard, but it is obvious that the take-up and usage of these products has not completely filled the void left by post-shave products.
What freshly shaved men want
Post-shave product innovation is likely to multiply during the course of this year, as men rediscover the skin that’s been hidden under their beards for so long, and this rediscovery is likely to be backed up by a rise in innovation from manufacturers.
Mintel’s GNPD shows that since the beginning of the year there have been over 300 men’s grooming products with facial care claims, launched in the UK alone.
Those launches include a significant number of after shave products, including balms, lotions and soothers, together with facial cleansers and an increasing number of moisturisers that incorporate a range of functionalities from SPFs to illuminating creams that boost the look of tired skin.
With the disappearance of the beard trend, we can only expect innovation and product claims to become more interesting as the year progresses.