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Last Updated: August 2021

The Men of Skincare

What’s Going On With Men’s Skincare?

If Macaulay Culkin filmed Home Alone in 2021, the famous scene of “Kevin washing up” may look a bit different now; Kevin would be putting on moisturizer instead of aftershave. That’s because men’s skincare is finally booming in the US.

Since 2019, there has been a rise of online skincare, body care, and makeup products formulated for men’s skin and marketed directly to men in the United States. Direct to consumer skincare brands like Huron, Disco, and Wolf Project have started popping up in your feed, and brands like Harry’s and Hims are starting to sell at major retailers like Target. We took a deeper look into this trend of men’s skincare, how it came about, and where it’s going, and we spoke directly with the men behind these new brands to hear directly from them why men’s skincare is only growing.

Skincare Market: Big Picture Look

When you look at the numbers, the rise of men’s skincare is no surprise. To understand the entire evolution, it’s helpful to look at the category in its whole.

In 2020, the U.S. skincare market was estimated to be worth a whopping $39.2 billion, and by 2027, skincare’s global value is projected to be $185.5 billion.  Society’s focus on health & wellness has created unprecedented opportunity for smaller, skincare brands to thrive. Recently, a host of skincare formulated for men have popped up. Brands like Huron, Disco, Wolf Project, Asystem, Hawthorne are carving out a space in the DTC universe with their own take on men’s skincare and body care. 

Bigger brands have been taking notice, focusing on creating clean products for niche communities or acquiring some of the smaller guys to expand their portfolio.

  • Deciem, the mother company for beauty and skincare brands The Ordinary, NIOD, and Hylamide, became a part of Estée Lauder in February 2021. Estée Lauder’s majority stake made Deciem worth an estimated $2.2 billion. 
  • Harry’s, the grooming company, raised $155 million in a Series E round led by Bain Capital and Macquarie Capital to expand its portfolio of DTC skincare and cosmetic brands.  

Men’s skincare has also been given a boost from the rise of celebrity skincare brands.

  • Pharrell Williams launched his skincare brand Humanrace in the fall of 2020 to rave reviews and an entirely sold out product line.
  • Karamo Brown launched MANTL, selling a range of skincare products for the face and scalp that are “inspired by bald folks but work for everyone.”
  • In May 2021, Alex Rodriguez partnered with Hims to launch a Blur Stick Concealer for men that helps conceal and cover up blemishes, razor burn, and more. The Blur Stick is meant to be the final step in the men’s skincare routine, and works with other Hims mens products like their Goodnight Wrinkle Cream and Customized Acne Cream.
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For Hims: The Blur Stick

The recently launched Blur Stick from For Hims, a cover and conceal tool for men developed in partnership with A Rod. Available in 8 shades to conceal acne, breakouts, discoloration, bags under the eyes, and more.

Men’s Skincare Has Been A Long Time Coming

According to Francesco Urso, founder and CEO of men’s skincare brand Wolf Project, the proliferation of men’s skincare has been a long time coming. Urso, who previously worked for Procter & Gamble as Pantene’s Director of Beauty Care Innovation in China, points out that men’s skincare has been popular for a while in Asian countries such as China. Many beauty trends start off in Asia and slowly make their way over to the rest of the world.

When asked what to expect from the U.S men’s beauty industry in the next 5-10 years, Urso expects makeup to be much more widespread and common. There are already brands that sell makeup for men, such as Stryx, and makeup is already being used by men in various Asian countries. When Alex Rodriguez announced his Blur Stick collaboration with For Hims in May 2021, the trend of makeup products for men in America moved even more mainstream. 

In 2020 the men’s skincare market in China was estimated to be worth 12.5 billion Yuan, which translates to $1.9 billion dollars. And according to Euromonitor International, the men’s skincare business in China is already 3x the size of the U.S. men’s skincare market. 

Founders like Francesco Urso believe that men’s skincare in the U.S. is destined to grow as notions of masculinity evolve, but it’s still a long road ahead. He states, “I believe men are a bit lost with figuring out what the ‘right type’ of masculinity is because we come from a society that traditionally values the ‘macho man’, but masculinity is evolving in a great direction and skincare for men will become more adopted.”

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Wolf Project: Skin Care for Men

All-natural skincare formulated for men, including clean sheet masks that are great for every day or on the go use.

“I believe men are a bit lost with figuring out what the ‘right type’ of masculinity is because we come from a society that traditionally values the ‘macho man’, but masculinity is evolving in a great direction and skincare for men will become more adopted.”

-Francesco Urso, Founder, Wolf Project

The Biggest Barrier Facing Men’s Skincare: Education

Matt Mullenax, co-founder of men’s skincare brand Huron states, “We’re trying to simplify a topic that has previously been very difficult.” 

Men lose collagen, skin elasticity, and hydration faster than women, which means men’s skin tends to age faster. As a result, male skincare brands design products optimized for their target demographic. Francesco Urso described how Wolf Project’s sheet mask’s formula and design take this into consideration, “the sheet is a bit lighter and the serum is lighter because men have thicker skin and produce more oil.” 

In addition to male skincare brands like Huron centering much of their marketing efforts around education, the internet and social media have made it easier than ever for men to explore skincare and discover products. The Reddit thread SkinCareAddiction has 1.3 million members and has been active since 2012. Garret Munce, the Grooming Editor at Men’s Health and Esquire, has a strong Instagram following where he often posts reviews on mens skincare products. Munce even released a book “Self-Care for Men” that goes in depth on best skincare practices for men. Other Instagram accounts like Skincarma are also great resources for men to discover new products and information. 

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Huron: Men’s Skincare

Clean affordable skincare formulated for men’s skin. Shop individual products or kits for everything you need to nourish and protect skin.

The Focus Within Men’s Skincare? Skinimalism

While the influx of skincare information online and on social media can easily give rise to over choice; however, the new trend of “skinimalism” plays right into male skincare. According to Pinterest Business, skinimalism means getting rid of the “12-step beauty routine… and streamlining [skincare] regimens to discover clean products with natural ingredients.” Many of the brands only sell a handful of skincare products like cleanser, day and night moisturizers, and an eye stick, each with a straightforward use. 

Huron illustrates the idea of skinimalism through its best seller body wash. “Body wash is a very familiar point of comparison for a lot of guys…Our body wash is multidimensional. If you were to fill up a bathtub and put our body wash in water, it acts as a really good muscle soak for sore muscles”, says Mullenaux.

GetMr sells one product, The Daily, which is a 3-in-1 daily moisturizing face lotion, weightless mineral SPF, and soothing aftershave formulated by dermatologists. They created The Daily specifically to make it easy for men to protect their skin from sun damage without having to vastly change their routine or buy too many products.

Pharrell Williams’ skincare brand Humanrace uses the phrase “three-minute facial,” to express how quick and easy it is for men to get results from their products without having to disrupt their routine. Francesco Urso also notes Wolf Project’s detox sheet face mask removes impurities and bacterias in an easy to use sheet form.

The emergence of men’s skincare ensures the idea of self care extends beyond women and can easily fit into men’s routine. As Mullenax puts “I think skincare is closely tied to self confidence. If we can provide a guy with a bit more pep in his step when he’s leaving his home every morning, that’s a huge win for us.”

Shop Men’s Skincare on The Fascination

Huron

Face Wash

$14.00

Huron

The Shower Kit

$42.00

Huron

Bigger 3 Kit

$38.00

Huron

Body Wash

$14.00

Huron

Eye Stick

$18.00

Hydrating Face Mask Sheet

$25

Detox Mud Face Mask

$29.50

Disco

Face Mask

$34

Disco

Face Moisturizer

$24

Disco

Eye Stick

$32

Disco

Face Scrub

$22

Disco

Face Cleanser Stick

$16

Disco

Regimen Set

$116

Disco

Advanced Set

$59

Stryx

Concealer Tool

$18

Stryx

Tinted Moisturizer

$25

Stryx

Gel Cleanser

$12

Stryx

Advanced Lip Balm

$8

Stryx

Energizing Eye Tool

$29

Stryx

The Complete Kit

$99$110(Save $12)

Stryx

The Revival Kit

$55$61(Save $6)

Stryx

The Starter Kit

$62$69(Save $7)

Stryx

The Perfect Skin Kit

$64$71(Save $13)