Minu Srivastava
Minu is a Beauty and Personal Care Analyst based in Mumbai. She specialises in analysing and providing insights on consumer behavioural trends and beauty and personal care market in India.

While skincare product usage among men in India remains low, Mintel research shows that they are starting to pay attention with more than one in five Indian men citing concerns about dry or oily skin. The bulk of the male beauty and personal care industry in India is geared towards shaving, depilatories and deodorant, offering an opportunity for brands to expand male grooming offerings with a skincare range.

Channeling women’s influencer power

Women are at the main drivers of personal care and household product sales in India, according to Mintel research. In light of this, it is important for skincare companies to reach out to the wives, partners, mothers, sisters, and other female influencers of potential male customers—as they are often the decision-maker or purchaser for most products used in the household. In some cases, men have been introduced or pushed into using certain products by either their wives or partners. Few brands realise this—and even fewer are actively tapping into the influencing power of women to convert new male skincare users.

Phy, a vegan men’s skincare brand, is an apt example of how listening to female consumers can help brands identify gaps in the market. The brand was launched after the success of Plum, a women’s vegan skincare brand. The brand leveraged what it learned from Plum to design products that cater to men. Whereas male grooming brand Wild Stone created a campaign that is targeted at women. In the campaign, it makes the wife realise that she needs to make the right purchase for her husband.

Opportunities to bundle ‘his and hers’ products

As women are active users of skincare products, beauty and personal care brands can benefit from cross-bundling men’s and women’s skincare products in a way that will appeal to female shoppers. This can especially help a low-usage category like facial skincare to reach men who are not actively seeking out these products.

Bundling will bring men’s ranges to the forefront of women’s minds when making purchase decisions. Brands with both men’s and women’s ranges have an added advantage. However, those who don’t can explore collaboration with other market players, even those in wildly different categories. For example, in April 2019, pet grooming brand Captain Zack offered free products with the purchase of products from Raw Nature, a PETA-approved vegan male grooming brand.

Leveraging salon visits

The usage and visibility of skincare products in salons mean more men are taking notice of their skincare needs. Mintel research indicates that almost half of the men in India stick to the same salon. Hence, a recommendation from their regular stylist and at-home-use kits can help skincare products gain a strong foothold.

Professional skincare brands can offer a sample starter kit to men who visit a salon, along with a discount coupon for the first purchase on their next visit. This will encourage trial and influence men to adopt skincare habits.