A Standstill for Men's Skin Care

Male skin care has seen double-digit growth over the last few years; however, this growth may be changing. According to an NPD Group report, sales for this demographic are slowing. The group estimated sales of men’s prestige skin care products for the first half of 2006 at US$32 million, a 3% growth from the first half in 2006.

In 2005, sales for men’s prestige skin care were up 15%, and in 2004, sales were up 18%. So why has the NPD group estimated that men’s prestige skin care will only reach 2-3% growth for 2006? The answer may lie in individual men’s skin care segments.

Ranking number one in dollar growth for men in 2006 was facial cleansers. The category grew 14% to US$3.4 million, according to NPD statistics. Facial moisturizers was second in growth, with a 12% growth to US$8.6 million, and treatment shave and facial exfoliators rounded out the market segment with -1 and -7% growth to US$7.7 and US$3.7 million respectively.

Karen Grant, senior beauty analyst for The NPD Group, believes growth in male skin care may be in multi-purposed products. “The products that we see in the prestige market that are doing well are those that are simple and multi-purposed, products that are part of a basic regimen, like cleansers, moisturizers and shave treatment products. Any product that requires extra steps is a much harder sell for men,” said Grand in an NPD press release.

Grant finds growth opportunity in the male fragrance market. “The most successful marketing for men when we look at fragrances, for example, is not about looking better and feeling younger, it’s about being relevant to their lifestyle and the old adage of impressing the ladies. Perhaps those are pieces that the men’s prestige skin care market are missing,” said Grant.

Currently, the men’s prestige skin care market makes up 3% of the total prestige skin care market, with women’s prestige skin care taking up 97%. Perhaps a marketing change could bolster growth in men’s prestige skin care; or maybe the interest has been lost and growth will remain at a standstill.

-Katie Schaefer, C&T magazine

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