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When it comes to beauty and personal appearances, women report spending the most time and money perfecting their looks. Yet, over the last decade, the range of beauty and personal care (BPC) products regarded as socially acceptable for men has widened, and men are paying increasingly more attention to their personal appearances. One third of men spend more than thirty minutes a day grooming, opening up a number of opportunities for BPC companies to develop products targeted to the unique needs of this especially appearance-minded segment of men. Furthermore, as more men become interested in improving their appearance by extending their grooming habits and product usage, it will be essential for brands to create male-specific products that enable men to feel more comfortable in the beauty and personal care aisle.

Daily Time Spent on Personal Appearance and Grooming, by Gender

Daily Time Spent on Personal Appearance and Grooming, by Gender

Source: Euromonitor International Personal Appearance Survey, 2014

Note:  Showing percent of respondents spending the indicated amount of each day cleaning and caring for appearance (e.g., brushing teeth, bathing, styling hair, applying make-up, etc.). Includes all time spent grooming during the day – morning, evening, and in between. Does not include time spent selecting or changing clothing.

Opportunities to capture growing personal care sales in emerging markets

Male beauty and personal care needs are not uniform across all regions or consumer types. Indeed, one critical factor distinguishing low maintenance from higher maintenance men is whether the consumer lives in an emerging or developed market. As disposable incomes rise and Western culture expands in emerging markets, male consumers in these countries are putting more effort into their appearance and using a wider range of products than many of their counterparts in developed countries. To further explore typical male grooming habits and analyse differences in the habits of men in emerging and developed markets, Euromonitor International surveyed 6,600 online consumers in 16 key global markets in 2014.

Emerging market men use wider range of BPC products

While the amount of time men spend on beauty and personal care each day does not differ dramatically between emerging and developed markets, the range of products that men use regularly does. Across four BPC categories (fragrances, hair care, skin care, and cosmetics), men in emerging markets are diversifying their product choices and, occasionally, indulging in more traditionally feminine toiletries and cosmetics.

Fragrances: Deodorants still a top seller, but other male fragrances gaining appeal

Across markets, 85% of men who have used deodorant over the past three months rely on daily applications of the product in order to stay smelling fresh. Men in developed markets tend to stick with the basics and are twice as likely to apply deodorant as they are to apply cologne, and four times more likely to apply deodorant than body spray. Men in emerging markets, however, are equally likely to apply cologne and deodorant, and some also regularly spray body scents. Latin American men are particularly diligent about smelling fresh; each day close to 100% of male product users in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico apply deodorant and more than 70% apply body sprays and cologne. In emerging markets, industries and retailers can boost sales by diversifying deodorants and other fragrances with modern and trendy marketing, especially in Latin America. In developed markets, deodorant brands can be marketed to basic and lower-maintenance men by offering simple-to-apply and basic-scented deodorants.

Daily Fragrance Application among Male Users

Daily Fragrance Application among Male Users

Source: Euromonitor International Personal Appearance Survey, 2014

Note:  Percent of men personally using products at least daily. Results only include respondents who indicated that they have used product at least once in the past three months.

Hair care:  Many, but by no means all, men stick to the basics

The majority of men keep it simple with hair products, using only shampoo in their daily routine. Roughly 40% of men also pamper their locks with hair conditioner; Latin American and Indian men are most likely to add this additional step to their shower routine. Men in emerging markets are also twice as likely to apply hair oils, use hair fragrances, and apply hair loss treatment products. Again, these appearance-conscious men in emerging markets seek modern and trendy styles by diversifying their hair product usage, while men in developed markets stay with basic styles. To grow their sales of male grooming products, industries and retailers can appeal to men in emerging markets with more diversified and sophisticated hair care products. In contrast, industries and retailers hoping to grow sales with men in developed markets should focus their efforts on products that simplify the hair care routine, such as two-in-one shampoo and conditioners.

Hair Product Usage among Men

Hair Product Usage among Men

Source: Euromonitor International Personal Appearance Survey, 2014

Note:  Percent of men personally doing activities with their hair at least once every three months

Skin care:  Style-conscious emerging market men are more likely to indulge

Facial and body cleansers and lotions are the most commonly used skin care products by men worldwide. However, as with fragrances and hair care, men in emerging markets incorporate additional skin care products into their regular grooming routines, with men in Latin America and Asia leading reported usage of specialised scrubs and creams. Sun-protecting products are most consistently applied by men in countries with the hottest average temperatures, including Australia (48%), Colombia (43%), Brazil (41%), and India (39%). In addition, brands and retailers should place a particular focus on Indian markets where the most men currently report using body moisturisers (54%), body scrubs (38%), face masks (25%), whitening or lightening creams (25%), and anti-aging creams (22%).

Skin Care Product Usage among Men

Skin Care Product Usage among Men

Source: Euromonitor International Personal Appearance Survey, 2014

Note:  Percent of men personally using products at least once every three months. Results only include respondents who indicated that they have purchased or acquired skin care products at some point in the past and were at least somewhat involved in the purchase decision.

Cosmetics: Usage of basic lip care and face color creeping into male grooming routines

While nowhere near as mainstream as other BPC products, cosmetics are slowly being incorporated into the male grooming routine, especially in emerging markets. Worldwide, one in two men report using at least one type of cosmetic product. In developed markets, men rely on more basic cosmetics, such as lip balms and, on rare occasion, foundation. In emerging markets, men dabble in a wider variety of cosmetic products, using lip gloss in addition to lip balm, and BB creams in addition to foundation. Nail polishes are also becoming increasingly common for men, especially in Colombia where 35% of men report using it on a weekly basis. Retailers and industries should be on the lookout for men in emerging markets to potentially indulge in more traditionally female cosmetic products, while keeping the focus on neutral and basic male-branded lip balms and concealers for men in developed markets who are less focused on style.

Cosmetics Usage among Men

Cosmetics Usage among Men

Source: Euromonitor International Personal Appearance Survey, 2014

Note:  Percent of men personally using products at least once every three months. Results only include respondents who indicated that they have purchased or acquired cosmetics products at some point in the past and were at least somewhat involved in the purchase decision.

Conclusion

Men around the globe are increasingly indulging in beauty and personal care products. While basic, simple, and low maintenance routines are still the norm in developed markets, men in emerging markets tend to lean toward more modern, sporty, and trendy styles. These style preferences are evident in the products that men in emerging and developed markets incorporate into their grooming routine, reinforcing the importance of tailored marketing and product development when targeting these groups. Brands and retailers should highlight ‘basic’ and ‘manly’ product features when branding BPC products in developed markets, for example: deodorant over fragrance, shampoo over conditioner, and lip balm over lip gloss. In contrast, men in emerging markets will be more enticed by a wider range of products with specialised varieties and innovative combinations.

This article was produced in collaboration between Lisa Holmes and Jocelyn Dautel.  Dautel is a freelance survey analyst for Euromonitor and handled primary analysis and writing for this article.

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