What Men Really Want From Skincare
In my never-ending quest to uncover what men really want from skincare and grooming products, I spoke at length with Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President Global Product Development, Aveda. “We know from men that their number-one concern is hair loss—that’s not a surprise to anyone,” she told me. But once this becomes a concern for men, it’s when they go into [product] action and start looking in the mirror.
“The difference between men and women is that men are more of a reactionary consumer,” shares Mejia-Montane. “Women are more proactive, they try to prevent things—men are more like, ‘I see what’s happening in the mirror, and now I’m going to start taking reparative measures to address that.’”
Mejia-Montane’s professional path includes time spent at Estee Lauder, where “One of the brands I was fortunate enough to work on was Lab Series for men.” She worked on that brand for four years, and shares that “it was an amazing experience, because up until that point I’d had experience in makeup, skincare, and fragrance—but marketing and developing for men is very different.”
It’s no coincidence, she notes, that whenever you go to a store that has men’s offerings, the brands are always located on the first floor, typically right by the store’s entrance.
Men want to get in and get out, they don’t want to talk to people or go through the women’s department to get what they need.”
Here are Mejia-Montane’s key takeaways for knowing what men really want from skincare:
- They want to maintain their appearance: They don’t want to look younger, they want to look good for their age.
- They want simplicity and convenience. (Note the above shopping preference of getting in and getting out.)
- They like routine. Men now realize that using a dedicated skincare regimen on a daily basis is going to pay off when they look in the mirror.
- They shop online—a lot. It’s the number-one platform where men purchase their grooming products. While they may go to a store the first time to test and feel and discover—they’ll replenish online after that.
- They don’t want to get heavy. Men want lightweight skincare textures that absorb easily and don’t leave behind any residual heaviness or greasiness on the skin.
- They want products with multi-benefits. For example, not just a hydrating lotion, but a hydrating lotion that will soothe post-shave redness, or address lines and wrinkles. If it has an SPF, that’s an added bonus.
- They want instant gratification.
- They don’t look for the benefit of the product—they shop by concern: dark circles, wrinkles, thinning hair.
- They love products that have a cooling—and warming—sensation. They believe it means that something is working and actually doing something for their skin or scalp. They like the freshness and the therapeutic quality.
- They are fiercely loyal to their grooming products. They’ll not only use the brand for years, but they’ll tell their friends about it.
It is really hard to overestimate how much the market has changed. If you really want to understand the new realities of the men’s skincare market, continue with this feature: The New Realities of Men’s Grooming.