In the beginning of the last decade there were dozens of trend pieces about how men were starting to use beauty products, but the industry was never really able to make "metrosexual" happen. The word was thrown around a lot by the media, but it didn't translate into many men stocking up on facial cleansers. But there's still hope! Supposedly men are now interested in beauty products because they're being told that looking good is the key to be employed.
In 2010, sales of premium skin-care products for men increased 5 percent, and in 2011 they've risen another 12 percent. Only 25 percent of those sales are comprised of women who think (or hope) that the men in their life want to invest more time in making themselves pretty. For the most part, men have decided to start buying the products for themselves. The New York Times reports:
The reason, beauty analysts say, is a changing attitude among men, who now associate healthy-looking skin less with vanity than with professionalism. At a time when job security is at a low, they say, men do not have to work in front of a camera to place a higher premium on being presentable.
Finally, an angle that could work! The last attempt to market beauty products to men was destined to fail, as soon as the term "metrosexual" became popular. Men have already been raised to think that caring about their looks is effeminate, and being attached to a term that's a play on "homosexual" certainly wasn't going to help this trend take off with the average dude.
However, now that the practice has been connected to the job market, men are free to moisturize without having their sexuality called into question (it's a well known fact that sexual orientation is determined by a man's skincare routine, or lack thereof). Celeste Hilling, the founder and chief executive of Skin Authority, which recently introduced a line of skin creams for men, tells the Times:
The man today purchasing these products is so different than eight years ago ... These guys who always thought it was vain or too metrosexual [to splurge on beauty products] now think it's almost a badge they wear to say, "I'm a modern guy because I care about my skin."
Men are so radically different than they were eight years ago! And certainly not because beauty companies are purposely trying to steer dudes away from the idea that skin care is for sissies.
While men are now more interested in preserving their looks, that doesn't mean they want the same things that women do in beauty products. Men like creams and lotions that accomplish more than one task, because, according to HIlling, "they are willing to do two steps, not eight, like a woman." They also want to see results right away and are more skeptical of promises that slathering their face in cream will make them look years younger. Curiously, not being told that they should fear looking older from around the time they see their first Disney movie seems to make dudes less tolerant of expensive lotions that don't do a damn thing.
Image via altafulla/Shutterstock.