There’s a major trend brewing in beauty, and it’s all about the boys. CNBC reports that men are a multibillion dollar growth opportunity for the beauty industry—a whopping $166 billion by 2020, in fact (1).

While women were the primary buyers of men’s grooming products in the past, research suggests that men are taking a greater interest, and picking out their own products. Researchers reporting in the British Journal of Dermatology note, “While attention to one’s own aesthetic appearance has been traditionally linked to the female gender in Western societies, this has changed in recent years. Surveys in the USA and Europe found men even slightly more concerned than women about their appearance” (2). And just as consumers are looking to clean up their diets by avoiding putting artificial ingredients and chemicals in their bodies, there’s a demand for cleaner grooming products. Here’s a look at the latest.


The scope of men’s grooming has moved beyond the daily shave ritual to now include all aspects of maintaining healthier, younger-looking skin. According to a report by The NPD Group, 80% of men use grooming products, and facial skincare is the category with the biggest opportunity to expand usage (3). Men’s skin has a unique set of challenges—it is 25% thicker, has more pores, is oilier, and tends to be more sweat-prone (2). Men also have deal with stubble. What can help the men out:

Cleansing & Exfoliating: Thicker skin means there’s a need for exfoliating. The grooming experts at The Manual offer this encouragement, which is worth sharing with your customers: “Adding another step to your grooming routine is the last thing you want to do, but hear us out. You need to exfoliate with a scrub in order to reap the benefits of the other products you’re already using. It makes sense when you think about it: Shedding the surface layer of dead skin cells will give shaving creams, beard oils, and moisturizers a chance to really sink into your clear pores. Scrubbing can prevent acne-causing oil build-up and free ingrown hairs that lead to annoying razor bumps” (4). Ingredients like activated charcoal and volcanic ash can help get the job done.

Soothing: The main purpose of aftershave is to clear out any harmful bacteria that may still be in the pores from the razor blade or shaving cream. It also constricts the pores without drying out the skin. Shaving is something many men consider a daily must, so there isn’t much need to convince male consumers to buy razors. But a large portion of men experiences pain and breakouts due to lack of shaving companions—one report on skincare notes that 70% of all men shave with a razor blade—so-called ‘wet shavers’—and they shave on average four to five times a week, which can leave skin hurting (5). Look to natural products made with all-natural ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel extract and liquorice root to moisturize and soften (6).

Moisturizing and anti-aging: Research has shown that retinol is one of the most effective ingredients in the fight against aging signs. Regular use of a men’s anti-wrinkle cream with retinol and other dermatologist-recommended ingredients may help prevent wrinkles and minimize existing ones (7). Ingredients like aloe vera and gingko also work to support skin’s natural regeneration and provide long-lasting moisture (6).

Hair care

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of men aged 18 and up use hair care products, according to NPD’s Men’s Grooming Consumer Report. And we’re no longer talking just wash-and-go.

Cleansing: The grooming team at The Manual has more good advice for the guys: “Although you can skip a few days of shampooing, modern formulations are such that you really don’t have to; they help maintain your hair and scalp’s moisture balance—especially when used in conjunction with a good conditioner—and get rid of the yucky buildup from pollutants, leftover styling product, our own excess sebum (oily secretions), dead skin cells, and other junk that builds up over 24 hours or so.” Look to ingredients like aloe vera, licorice root and rehmannia chinensis to help revive and restore hair, they suggest, and natural treasures like honey, shea butter, and coconut oil for maximum hydration (8).

Styling: Pomade, putty, have lots of options for hair styling. Pomade helps to keep hair in place, like gel but less greasy looking. Hair putty is commonly used amongst men with more textured and wavy hair; it also achieves the “wet look” that is in style now. Hair clay serves as a way to provide more thickness to flat or straight hair, it can make the hair look fuller without weighing hair down (9).

Beard Care: Good beard care requires more than just brushing out the crumbs. In fact, there are beard-specific shampoos out there that work to soften and keep the hair smelling fresh. The market for beard oil and balms has grown along with the demand for men’s grooming products because instead of having to shave a dry and scratchy beard, they can moisturize it which keeps the hair healthy and maintains face comfort (9). WF

1. Nia Warfield. “Men are a multibillion dollar growth opportunity for the beauty industry,” Posted 5/18/19. Accessed 7/3/19. 2. Peter Elsner. “Overview and trends in male grooming,” Posted 3/4/2012. Accessed 6/26/19. 3. “Instructing Men on Facial Skincare Benefits Presents Opportunity for Beauty Industry,” Posted 2015. Accessed 6/25/19. 4. Jennifer Ryan Jones, “Exfoliate With Our Favorite Men’s Face Scrubs,” Posted 7/10/18. Accessed 6/26/19. 5. Peter Elsner “Overview and trends in male grooming,” Posted 3/4/2012. Accessed 6/26/19. 6. “Annemarie Boerlind Natural Beauty: For Men,” Accessed 6/26/19. 7. “How to Not Look Your Age,” Accessed 6/26/19. 8. 9. Urban Beardsman Blog. “25 Expert Hair Care Tips for Men: How to Take Care of Your Hair,” Posted 7/20/18. Accessed 6/26/19.