In the heart of the bustling APAC region, a quiet revolution is taking place. Men, once known for their stoic approach to personal care, are embracing a new era of self-expression and grooming. Traditional masculinity is evolving, and it’s become evident in the realm of men’s grooming and cosmetics.
Today, younger men across the region are exploring a new world of self-care comprising skincare, haircare, shaving care, and cosmetics as a result of social media, social movements, self-empowerment, and more.
Historically, the Asian male grooming market has been relatively small with personal care companies understandably focusing their efforts on the more lucrative female segment.
But as the industry has been forced to broaden its offering to suit today’s more modern male audience, the market value has rocketed; in 2022, the sector was estimated to be worth USD $36.93 billion and is now projected to reach USD $56.6 billion towards the end of this decade.
This year’s in-cosmetics Asia show in Bangkok, Thailand honed in on the transformation of manhood and masculinity via grooming and self-care.
In the not-so-distant past, there was limited choice in male grooming products, from basic bar soaps to the trusty 3-in-1 wonder that promised to tackle face, hair, and body in one handy bottle, forcing many men to conform to a rigid and rather dull mold.
Today, as society more readily recognises diverse expressions of masculinity, men have access to a much wider product spectrum.
One pioneer in this space is Two Dudes, an award-winning natural skin and body care products supplier from New Zealand. The two founders struggled with the existing product offer for men, finding it “difficult, confusing, and embarrassing”, so they embarked on their own journey to provide natural care to thousands of men across the world.
The influence of social media and the level of self-consciousness it has generated has no doubt played a role in highlighting skin and hair differences globally.
Amongst Asian consumers, these typically include naturally paler, more hydrated skin which can be more prone to hyperpigmentation, melasma, lentigines, and freckles.
According to Mintel, Asian male consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of their appearance and in this region, skin health can be regarded a symbol of overall health, higher social status and professionalism.
Further research from Mordor Intelligence attributes part of the market growth to the high density of young men in the urban clusters of the APAC region, who typically have greater disposable incomes, resulting in the adoption of habits that tackle any personal care concerns and allow access to additional self-care habits including pedicures, facials, aromatherapy, and more.
While some say the pandemic ‘dampened’ the male grooming and skincare markets, others believe the inception of remote working made men in Japan more conscious about their appearance during video calls.
In response, Shiseido created an AR filter specifically for men including lip balm, eyebrow pencil, concealer, and BB cream to help men look “sharper” and “more put together” for their video meetings.
What was on show at in-cosmetics Asia
Honing in on the transformative changes in the APAC region’s grooming and cosmetics industry, this year’s in-cosmetics Asia event featured a host of exhibitors providing leading innovations to the male grooming market.
BIOGRÜNDL, S.L. showcased its natural facial hair growth retardant, BARBER RETARD, based on the combination of three plant extracts: Arnica montana (Arnica), Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort), and Lamium album (White nettle), which complements and enhances the inhibitory action on the division and growth of hair germ cells.
Lipotrue introduced its N_llscent™ which immediately gets rid of the isovaleric acid smell from feet and armpits. It also showcased its Neøclair Pro™, an antioxidant amplifier via NRF2/ARES pathway that offers 360º pollution protection.
Lamberti SpA exhibited its ESAFLOR® PFT, a cationic bio-based derivative of guar gum, specifically developed for clear formulations, offering light conditioning properties, ideal for volumizing and conditioning shampoos while also improving hair brightness.
Sarah Gibson, Event Director for in-cosmetics Asia, commented: “As the industry acknowledges that the transformation of the male grooming and skincare market is not merely a trend, more a cultural revolution, suppliers should look to grasp the opportunity with both hands. Today’s society is far more accepting and encouraging of self-expression and diversity, so we expect the wider personal care market we know today will look very different in the years ahead. We look forward to supporting this change at this year’s show and in the years to come.”
To learn more about the companies who exhibited at the show, visit the website
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