A Simple Solution

Capturing the male demographic involves simple product selection

More and more men are flocking to the spa. The word is out—men require just as much maintenance as women if they want to keep a healthy, youthful look as the years creep by. So what is making men today more likely to step into the spa or buy a handful of lotions, cleansers, and creams? Simplicity.

“Men require a simpler, more straightforward approach,” says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a dermatologist at Toronto Dermatology Centre. “Fewer steps will increase compliance.”

In recent years, mainstream product manufacturers like Dove and Old Spice picked up on this psychological loophole and launched the two-in-one craze. Body wash and shampoo in one was a hit in the showers on college campuses as much as in the homes of working class adults.

Manufacturers of spa products are now beginning to simplify male product lines as well.

“Like women, male oil gland productivity changes with age, climate, and is hereditary,” says Barankin. “We all should use sunscreen to minimize sun damage that can lead to skin cancers, pre-cancers, brown sun spots, burst blood vessels, more frequent cold sores, and overall blotchy skin.”

But men often don’t take into account changing conditions, like winter versus summer, when choosing appropriate products. So in the summer, a straightforward sunscreen may be moisturizing enough for some skin types but in the winter, a two-in-one sunscreen and moisturizer, rather than a sunscreen and separate moisturizer, will snag the male customer’s interest.

Traditional male products now incorporate more therapeutic ingredients than before. Shaving cream, for example, doesn’t only help the razor slide smoothly across the skin, but kills bacteria, moisturizes, and exfoliates. Had a shave today? Great, no need to moisturize. It’s that simple.

Marketing magic Of course, marketing is also working its magic on men.

Marketing teams now know that men want a manly looking product to counteract preconceptions about manhood and spa products. Men don’t want a pink tube of moisturizer falling out of a pocket or sitting in the console of the car. They want something rustic looking, straightforward, mysterious, or minimalist.

Men worry as much about what those around them think as they do about fine lines, tired-looking skin, and brown spots, three of the biggest skin-worries men have, according to the founders of The Grooming Lounge.

And it’s not just the look of products, but the name. Presented with the option of purchasing Sunshine and Rainbows Lip Balm or Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, nine out of 10 times men will choose the latter.

It’s what’s inside that counts Some product ingredients work better than others on male skin. Acne prone skin, according to Barankin, should be most receptive to salicylic acid cleansers and benzoyl peroxide. Products containing retinol also work wonders on male skin.

Fragranced moisturizers can aggravate dry skin and men prefer neutral scents. Spas should look to carry neutral or natural-smelling products that will preserve manitude among the wearers’ friends.

Coffeeberry extract is a prized ingredient among male rosacea sufferers, recognized as possibly the most potent form of natural antioxidants in any fruit.

The right stuff

Still, more women visit the spa than men, possibly because they are more concerned with beauty. But it’s not just about beauty. A healthy lifestyle includes moisturizing, exfoliating, maintaining facial hair, relaxing with a massage, exercising, drinking a lot of water, and so on.

More men are starting to realize that health and beauty go hand in hand, and the spa industry can capture this new market by offering the right products.

Dermalogica Pre Shave Guard

Heavy, tough beards require extra prepping that maximizes softening without the high-alkaline ingredients that can aggravate and dry skin. Pre-Shave Guard shields and preps skin for shaving to help minimize razor burn and bumps.
Website: Dermalogica.com

Murad

Wants men to care for their skin. To that end, the company developed Murad Man—advanced skin care just for men. It cleanses and conditions for a superior shave; reduces redness, irritation, and clogged follicles; and prevents damage to keep skin looking youthful.
Website: Murad.com

Woody’s Quality Grooming Products

Is for the man who is looking for a simple comfortable daily regimen that offers basic, no frill products that smell good and get the job done.
Website: WoodysGrooming.com

Clubman

A men’s grooming product for over 200 years, is the perfect tool to tame those tiny tresses. The original moustache wax on the market, it is ideal for styling and quick colour touch-ups. Clubman Moustache Wax comes with an applicator brush/comb and is available in neutral, black, brown and chestnut.
Website: ClubManOnline.com

by Jason Hagerman | Fall 2011