Gender gap? Men’s personal care lacking in health and beauty subscriptions

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

“The definition of men and women is evolving, and brands have to keep up" - Getty Images
“The definition of men and women is evolving, and brands have to keep up" - Getty Images

Related tags: men's grooming, men's personal care, male beauty, men's skin care, GlobalData, Beauty, beauty subscription, gender-neutral, make-up, Hims

Health and wellness continue to drive the men’s personal care and grooming categories, but consumers don’t feel there are enough tailored products on subscription services, finds GlobalData.

Globally, 81% of men say health and wellness influences their personal care and grooming purchase decisions; similar at 78% in Europe, according to data specialist GlobalData. However, just 27% of men globally and 21% in Europe believe health and beauty subscription services offer products tailored to them.

The data, pooled from two global surveys conducted in Q3 and Q4 2018 across 40 countries with almost 60,000 respondents, showed subscription services were “not hitting the mark”​ for men, said GlobalData.

Playing catch-up in male beauty

Yamina Tsalamlal, associate analyst at GlobalData, said brands, subscription services and retailers were slowly “playing catch-up”​ with trends in male grooming and personal care – US start-up Hims was one good example, as was the ASOS men’s make-up line MMUK. But, Tsalamlal told CosmeticsDesign-Europe more could be done.

“The definition of men and women is evolving, and brands have to keep up. As these identities become increasingly complex, it is important for brands to understand that people want an experience tailored to them and their needs,” ​she said.

“…Accessibility is an area where improvements could be made.Consumers like to go to the store and test products, particularly in the beauty space, before they buy. Companies like ASOS are offering lots of these products for men, but this is only in the online space and often niche. Presence in brick and mortar stores would be an opportunity for brands and retailers to reach this growing market.” 

Accessibility to products will be key to driving balance in men's personal care and grooming - Getty Images
Accessibility to products will be key to driving balance in men's personal care and grooming - Getty Images

His, hers and gender-neutral

Asked if gender-neutral branding could be a way forward, Tsalamlal said there was “constant debate around the topic”.

“Should brands like Chanel be promoting a men’s line (Boy de Chanel) or make-up for men? Or should it instead have one make-up line with spokespeople of all genders?”

Some brands that traditionally targeted women had taken on male spokespeople – Maybelline with Manny Gutierrez in 2017, for example. Whereas others, like Calvin Klein, had introduced ‘manscara’. “Those are two very different approaches,”​ she said.

Brands should continue to normalize make-up and skin care irrespective of gender through marketing, she said, and as more products were introduced into store this would allow “better access”​ for men to test products. In turn, it would also normalise men in the make-up aisle.

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