Being in the cosmetics industry, makeup and someone’s look are always on my mind for women and even for men. At a few weddings, some grooms will even let me apply some transparent power or oil control lotion so they won’t look shiny at the altar. It takes quite a bit of persuasion, though. Men are often squeamish about skin care and makeup of any kind.
That is changing though. Companies realize there is a demand for skin care and even cosmetics for men. Beyond razor burn, men need skin care products just as women do that cleanse, treat acne, control oil, moisturize, exfoliate dead skin, nourish lips, protect from sunburn and help prevent wrinkles. Although it is still common for men to say: “I shave and that is enough.”
Product marketers know this: Men will not buy products in pink, girly wrapping with strong fragrance. “I want to keep myself up and maintain my looks, but I’d never use anything that looks like it’s made for my girlfriend,” said a banker (LA Times, by Shan Li, June 23, 2012). Retailers wanting to attract men have come up with a variety of skin-care products with creatively masculine names, packaged in cigar or even liquor bottles. Case in point: Old Spice even has a shampoo called Wolfthorn, packaged in a tall, bright red bottle with two wolves encircling the title.
Sometimes my husband says his face is dry or sensitive, so I bought him a new cleanser, and put it in the shower so he could use it in the mornings. It’s called Murad, a clarifying cleaner that claims to reduce 99.9% of irritating surface bacteria as well as treat and prevent acne. So far, he likes it and says his skin feels good. I also share some of my unscented lotion with him in the winter when he says his skin feels dry.
If you want to buy some skin care products for the men in your life, think basic and low maintenance. Think about what issue you want to tackle and go from there. For instance, if you need acne treatment, look for products that focus on that; we all need a good SPF lotion of 15 or higher as well as a rich lip balm year-round. Check out the many skin care regiments specialized for men—Nivea for Men, Merle Norman, Kiehl’s Ultimate Man, and Clinique for Men—as well as unisex options such as Alveeno, Oil of Olay, Murad, Neutrogena, etc.
Beth Divine, Indianapolis Personal Stylist