Beauty products for males who have fallen in love with themselves

This After Shave Splash from Forest Essentials contains Aloe Vera for skin regeneration, turmeric for preventing ageing of skin, and vitamin C-rich Mandarin. Price: Rs 1,450
Ever heard of men using beard oil these days to nurture their beard or cream to nourish the moustache? Or shaving cream consisting of sandalwood and orange peel, after-shave spray with aloe vera and mandarin to cordless rechargeable beard trimmer? Men’s grooming is no longer about a ten-minute shave followed by two minutes of tap, tap, tap and over! It’s all about looking good and feeling great and there are a whole bunch of companies ready to please and indulge the new-age male customer.

The Indian male grooming market was worth $643 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 11 per cent to cross $1.2 billion by 2024, according to data by TechSci Research. The innovation in product offerings, enhanced shopping experience on e-commerce websites, increasing demand for professional products by consumers and innovative branding and marketing strategies are further expected to propel demand for personal grooming products in India over the next five years.

"We expect the segment to be worth over Rs 10,000 crore over the next few years, says  a Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) spokesperson. “In today’s world, it is becoming more and more important for men to focus on their personal grooming. We see this across segments of shaving, skincare, hair care and styling and deodorants.”

“You have to give credit to men’s-only product companies to have come up with these innovative products and solutions in the men’s personal care sector,” says Suraj Chaudhari, co-founder, Zlade. He recalls when he was growing up, all that a man had access to in the name of personal care, was his mother’s cream and sisters’ hair oil; while there were a number of beauty parlours for women, men could only go to the wayside salon for little more than a haircut and shave.

Chaudhary’s firm Zlade offers two razors of German make -- a four-blade and a six-blade -- along with natural and chemical-free shave preparations, available at Rs 199. One can also get a year’s supply of blades depending on the razor one chooses, for anything between Rs 599 and Rs 1,200.

Men's personal care products tend to be packaged in darker colours, such as black, blue or grey

Men have a plethora of options today in every product category and can get a full cabinet to themselves, just like women. “It is no longer limited to mere shaving cream and deodorants,” says Neha Rawla, Brand Communications, Forest Essentials. “Today, men take equal initiative in investing in skincare products including face masques, scrubs, under-eye cream and hair treatment serums – just as women do; thereby indulging in self-care rituals.” She says that even at their retail store and web boutique, they have seen a significant rise in the ratio of male:female customers wanting to invest in grooming essentials.

The menfolk seem to be not just interested, but obsessed about all aspects of their personal aesthetics and are willing to spend more time and money than ever before. Says Vivek Sahni, CEO & Co-Founder, Kama Ayurveda, “Men actively look for products that are effective and long-term. The trick isn’t to spend a fortune on multiple products or spend hours in the bathroom. Instead, develop a daily routine that is quick, effective and simple.”

"Products working against pollution are now of utmost importance in this segment," observes Delhi-based grooming expert Pria Warrick, founder Pria Warrick Finishing Academy. "People are using a lot of anti-pollution products that remove tan, and make the skin vibrant. They want to use toxin free-products that do not contain harsh chemicals.” 

Apart from hygiene, young men are now looking for products that nourish their skin and help them do away with issues such as oiliness or dryness. Here too, they prefer natural products, and all brands, local or MNCS, are catering to this demand. So you have products like The Body Shop Green Tea and Lemon mattifying moisturiser for men at Rs 1,495, which is finding many takers as it has no harsh chemicals and is enriched with green tea and lemon. Then there is Ohria Ayurveda Neem and Tulsi hydrating gel at Rs 1,400 and the Neem and Triphala Hair Cleanser Rs 1,150

The fastest moving products in men’s grooming market at the moment are hair care solutions, especially those that address hair fall, dandruff and greying. According to Kama Ayurveda’ Vivek Sahni, “In our portfolio, Bringadi intensive hair treatment is the bestselling product in the haircare category. Additionally, skin brightening night cream for men is also very popular.” Beard oil is a bestseller with the The Body Shop and their Cedar and Sage conditioning beard oil is a favourite with consumers in men’s category, says Plabita Sharma, Skincare Expert, The Body Shop India. “It is a blend of cedar, sage and clove essential oils from France, well known for its revitalizing and energizing properties. Besides, the Tea Tree Oil is another star product that has strong loyalty among male consumers.”

This pre-bridal treatment for grooms from Ohria Ayurveda has oil and ayurvedic ubtan soaked in nourishing butters to boost circulation and polish the skin. Price: Rs 3,475

For both, Adam and Eve

Some brands are even launching unisex range of personal care products. Manufacturers say the primary ingredients are mostly the same, such as shea butter or cocoa butter. Only certain additives are different. “You will never find menthol in women’s products,” says Suraj Chaudhari, “Even the skin types are different.” Moreover fragrance is an important part of the experience of a product and is hence another major differentiator. But Aloe vera is widely used nowadays in men’s products along with many other herbal ingredients. "Deodar and Vetiver are necessary ingredients to our men’s beauty range," says Sahni. Deodar’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help prevent any kind of bacterial growth. Vetiver on the other hand calms irritated skin, cures acne, dry, and aged skin. With the ingredients, the only thing that impacts the efficacy of the product especially creams in skincare is the concentration and formulation.

But there are many believers in products being gender-agnostic. For instance, Super Smelly’s unisex face masks contain kaolin clay, activated charcoal, dead sea salt, multani mitti and aloe vera, among other ingredients that work equally well for men and women. "Skin does not have a gender, nor do ingredients," says Dipali Mathur Dayal, Co-Founder of Super Smelly.

One size no longer fits all 

Personalisation and customisation is becoming important for digitally-driven companies. Take the case of Bare Anatomy, a men’s personal care start-up that offers shampoos, conditioners, hair oil, and hair serum. All the products are personalised as per the customers’ needs and are made just-in-time after receiving the order. While ordering products, customers have to take a small quiz on the website, which asks questions about their hair profile and preferences. One can pick the hair goals they want to achieve, along with the colour and fragrance of their products. Customers even get to put their names on their bottles. Recently the company raised $500,000 in a seed round from, a consumer-centric venture capital fund. Says Rohit Chawla, Founder-CEO, Bare Anatomy, “When it comes to personal care, personalisation is yet undiscovered. That’s where we wanted to revolutionise the beauty industry and bring in something as powerful, yet accurate. We wanted to create something that would redefine ‘Personal’ in ‘Personal Care’, something that is inclusive yet exclusive and deeply personal for every individual.” He adds that Bare Anatomy gains a deep understanding of its customer first and then creates products to suit their preferences, needs and goals.”

"Today’s men are obsessed about looking good. Gone are the days of pestering a man to use sunscreen or moisturisers," says Mumbai-based grooming expert Konkana Bakshi, founder of Savoir Faire Academie. She says most of her male clients show their close up pictures and seek advice on looking fresh and young.

"Men's grooming emerged as a hot sector in the past two or three years in India and abroad, not just for the retailer but also for the investor, as a lot of big money is being poured into this sector,” says Chaudhari.

The median age of the market is 27 years, consisting of a young workforce. The consumption story has only begun and is likely to continue for next ten years, he adds. 

Tips for men’s grooming 

1.    Skincare: Skincare is extremely important to look rejuvenated and youthful. If you are above the age of 35, include Vitamin C serums and Sunscreen regularly, along with retinol. If above 45, placenta serums and hyaluronic serums will do you good.

2.    De-stress: Pressure-point massages not only relax you but also give you a rejuvenated, youthful glow. Go for your manicure, pedicure, shoulder massage or facial for de-stressing. 

3.    Attire: You needn't stick to black, white and blue. Add a pop of colour with a pocket square or a tie and use warm colours like sunflower, burnt orange or Olive on your dress-down days. Or wear smart casuals.

4.    Accessories: Go for a men's bag for valuables like passport and credit cards. Glasses should be harmonious with your face. Don’t buy shades and spectacles online as you can't try them out. No more than a wedding band or an understated elegant watch for a credible image. 

5.    Suits and shoes: Navy blue, black, or charcoal grey suits go with black belts and Oxford shoes. Blue, light grey, and dark brown should be paired with dark brown belts and Oxford shoes. Avoid two-tone shoes for business formal environment. 

6.    Socks: Avoid white, it’s only for playing sports. Go for socks that are two shades darker than your trousers, not lighter. For business wear, avoid invisible socks as they show the ankle.

Courtesy: Savoir Faire Academie

Men's grooming products: An indicative price list
Product  Brand Price (Rs)
Shampoo American Crew  1,228
Ohria Ayurveda 
Park Daniel 519
Khadi Amla 419
Himalya Protein 318
Parker Safety Razor  1,735
Gillette Fusion 1,540
Gillette Mach 3 Turbo (8 Cartridges)  929
Neutrogena 764
Zlade 6 Pro Combo: 1 Razor Handle + 4 Cartridges + 1 Razor Cap 699
Shaving Cream  The Body Shop Maca Root & Aloe Softening Shaving Cream For Men  1,195
Patanjali Herbal  55
Shaving Foam 
Gillette Sensitive skin 
Philips  1,649
Syska 649
Nova  349
Face Wash  Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash Kiehl's  2,400
Forest Essentials
Nivea 200
Garnier 144
Himalya Herbal 70
Bvlgari Aqua 6,100
Georgio Armani
Ralph Lauren 2,200
Davidoff Cool Water 1,800
Cologne Davidoff  1,495
Ustraa 487
Jovan 625
Moisturiser  Ultra Facial Cream Kiehl's 2,550
Bio Ayurveda  699
Nivea 127
Garnier 126
Beard Cream  The Body Shop Cedar & Sage Conditioning Beard Oil For Men 1,595
The Real Man 
Beardo 450

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