New research from Mintel has found that the growth in sales of men’s facial skincare products slowed in 2015, as more men began growing beards.
Sales of such products grew by just 1.3% to £104m last year, following a market increase of 8% in 2014 and 13% in 2013.
Mintel said its research indicates that a savvy shopping mentality has impacted sales of ‘mass market’ beauty and personal care products, resulting in a decline of 0.3% in 2015 to a market value of £65.7m. It found that 42% of men take advantage of a discount when shopping for beauty and personal care products.
Additionally, reluctant older male skincare users have had a negative impact on sales – while as many as 60% of 16-24 year old males use moisturiser, this declines to 41% of 45-64 year olds and just 29% of males aged over 65.
What’s more, although moisturiser (49%) is the second most commonly used male facial skincare product after soap (84%) the trend for facial hair has resulted in fewer experiences of dry skin caused by shaving. Moisturiser sales continue to be challenged by the fact that men have less visible skin to moisturise and are shaving less often, with post-shave being a key usage opportunity.
Overall, when looking at usage across the facial skincare category, 35% of British men use lip balm, while 33% use a facial cleanser, 29% use a facial exfoliator or scrub and 26% use face wipes.
Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said: “The male facial skincare market was considered buoyant in 2013, following a host of product innovations and men moving towards a more elaborate grooming routine. However, two years on, the market shows signs of stalling. Sales growth is being hampered by discount retailers and price promotions, as well as simplistic skincare and the fashion for beards. While British men are open to using moisturiser, they show limited interest in expanding routines to encompass a wider range of products, and as moisturiser is most frequently applied after shaving, the fashion for men to have facial hair is further dampening sales.”
In an effort to revive skincare sales amongst men with beards, the market has witnessed innovation in beard care products. 18% of all men use a beard product (a wash or an oil), rising to 28% of 16-24 year old men, and sales of such products are expected to lift in 2016. Regionally, those living in London are passionate about keeping their beard in tip-top condition, with as 34% using a beard product, compared to 9% of males in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Libby added: “Men are no longer assumed to fall into two categories – bearded or clean shaven – and male facial skincare brands are beginning to offer tailored products for a variety of facial hair lengths. The trend towards beard care products is expected to continue throughout 2016. While product innovation in the beard care segment can go some way to returning sales growth for the overall category, this must be matched with marketing to convince men of the need to use specifically designed facial care products.”
It seems that spots are the greatest skincare issue for men. Overall, 46% said they feel self conscious if they have a spot on their face, rising to 63% of men aged 16-24. Meanwhile, wrinkles are far less of a concern for British males as just 22% of men worry about their facial lines. And while improving the appearance or health of skin is the number one driver in prompting use of facial skincare products (30%), just 21% said they started using male skincare products to treat specific concerns (spots or dry skin) and just 12% said they first started using these products to prevent the ageing of their skin.
Mintel research reveals that 56% of men do not think they need facial skincare products, while 26% say are not that interested in how their skin looks. Around 14% say using facial skincare products is not a very masculine thing to do and 9% admit they don’t know the benefits of using facial skincare.