Sharon Kwek
Sharon is a Director of Consulting, Beauty and Personal Care, South APAC, at Mintel. With over 12 years of experience in the FMCG industry, she helps beauty manufacturers, retailers and brands make strategic business decisions across Southeast Asia.

New perceptions around male grooming in Asia are constantly reshaping the industry, which, in turn, creates more space for innovation. The different cultures within the region are the key drivers for each country’s male grooming space; whether men in that country favour a rugged, bearded look, or a clean-shaven ‘metrosexual’ appearance.

Overall, male grooming products are expected to be dynamic, with the possibility of becoming more premium to capture new markets and consumers.

Pay attention to derma skincare

Male consumers are becoming more aware of their appearance, taking pride in the way they look. This, in turn, makes them fussier about their skincare purchases. For instance, Mintel research reveals that two in five male consumers of facial skincare products in Thailand view ‘dermatologically approved’ as an important factor when buying facial skincare for themselves.

While the male grooming routine is considerably more simple as compared to that of a female’s, the former is leaning towards more sophisticated products that offer a precise solution tailored for a specific skin type.

The concept of empowering male consumers to get their skin analysed and diagnosed, and then addressing the specific skin problems with a tailored regime that is worth their time and money, paints the perfect opportunity for brands in the derma skincare sector. This option offers clearer guidance on the type of products to use while keeping the skincare routine easy and convenient, yet precise.

Moving away from an emphasis on beauty needs, marketing messages for male grooming products should make more associations to practical day-to-day needs. For instance, ‘fresh-faced’ forms the image of achieving good skin health, while ‘energised’ highlights a product’s functional benefit. These terminologies can also be associated with travelling and fitness—things that many male consumers can relate to.

Skin health can be communicated as a ‘personal canvas’ that demonstrates good overall health, higher social status and professionalism.

Dermatologist-developed serum
Dr. Ci:Labo Super 100 Mega Fullerene Serum was developed by a team of dermatologists. It claims to protect the skin from damage and works on signs of ageing to leave it firm and smooth.
Dual-layer formulation
Dr. Phil Cosmetics Phil Naturnt IC.U W Serum is an intensive anti-ageing serum that claims to provide instant hydration, firmness and radiance, for a revitalised, youthful look.

More anti-ageing solutions

Within the male skincare category, anti-ageing is not emphasised as much as sebum control, particularly in Asia where the tropical climates can make skin oilier and cause a host of skin issues.

Anti-ageing can take on a more well-rounded approach within the male grooming space, and discussing the concept across various categories will help men become more familiar with it. Male consumers require products that immediately provide a solution to a problem they face, rather than just for a pampering, pleasurable experience.

Therefore, communication should be easy to understand and practical like addressing wrinkles and revitalising skin, for instance. Anti-ageing products also need to be backed up with the science and technology to explain how key ingredients work.