The skincare industry, like many other industries, is a multibillion dollar machine that caters to the wellness and aesthetic needs of its consumers. But like the beauty and fashion industries, advertising is heavily one sided. Women are the recipients of the majority of skincare marketing through magazines, TV ads and social media campaigns. Although men are proving to be a lucrative market for skin care - men collectively spent $345 million dollars on skincare products in 2017 growing at a rate of 7.5%¹.
So why is marketing still majority targeting women?
Much of the marketing geared toward women play to the beauty standards women are often subjected to in that they need multiple products to maintain beautiful healthy skin and that “perfected look”. Therefore, skincare is marketed as a “have to have” for face, eyes, hands, body, elbows, etc. There is a plethora of skincare options for women because of this perceived notion. Not only are there differences in the amount of marketing targeted to women vs men but there are differences in how they are presented as well. For example, men’s products are marketed simple, multifunctional, and usually in grey or black tones while women’s are more varied, luxury marketed, glamorous and typically have floral scents with pretty packaging².
Old Spice had a very successful marketing campaign a few years back targeting men and the women who shop for them using a shirtless masculine man saying the phrase The man your man could smell like.” These advertisements work under the perceptions that men don’t care about skin care as much as women do and would only care in the pursuits of masculinity and female attention. However, even this and the “For Men” masculine branding seen in skin care extensions like Clarins Men, Tom Ford, and Shiseido Men, don’t paint a broad enough picture of the different types of men and their diverse skincare needs.
Many ads targeting women’s skin care pertain to anti-aging and wrinkle reduction as well. Brands like Clinique, Loreal, and Nivea frequent magazines and TV' ads with their anti-aging products geared toward women. And although women have been more outspoken about their fears of aging, many men have the same fear. A Mintel study has shown that two-thirds of American dads say they care about preventing the signs of aging. Unfortunately only 4% of men’s skin care products included anti aging claims¹. It’s clear more product needs to be out there to keep up with demand.
Because of the perceived need of women to desire skincare more than men, similar products will also be priced differently as well. Pink razors will cost 2.50 while blue razors targeting men will cost 1.99³. This is known as the pink tax. Personal care products geared toward women were 13% more than products geared towards men according to this study⁴. AKA The Pink Tax and the cost of being a female consumer.
Sometimes differences in marketing across different segments can be a good thing as people have varying needs. There actually are a few differences in men’s and women's skin. Men’s skin is 25% thicker than women.⁶ Therefore they don’t age as easily. Women’s skin is thinner than men’s and is slightly more affected by hormones which is why adult acne is more common. Men and women can benefit from products that target the unique needs of their skin especially the face since it is most sensitive. But ultimately any gender can and should choose products based on their skin type needs no matter how a product is marketed². Anyone could have dry, oily, or combination skin, acne, eczema, wrinkles, etc. Products marketing to those issues will have a much higher diversity of consumers.
Despite the amount of marketing geared toward one gender there has been a shift. The shift to gender neutral marketing is growing and has been obvious in brands like Aesop, Panacea, and Non Gender Specific Everything.
At Halo Rituals our mission is to provide unbiased, gender neutral, high-end, skincare and lifestyle products and education that cater to the needs of each individual. Our products and services are designed for men and women seeking to feel and perform their best in everyday life. Click the link to sign up for new product updates.
Cheng, A. (2018, June 15). The Surprising Trend In Beauty? Skincare Sales Growing The Fastest Among Men's Grooming Products.
Mitchell, A. (2018, July 23). Should We Pay Any Attention to Gender-Specific Marketing In Skincare?
Johnston Taylor, S. (2016, February 17). The Pink Tax: Why Women's Products Often Cost More.
Ngabirano, A. (2017, March 29). 'Pink Tax' forces women to pay more than men.
Eucerin. (2018, May 24). Understanding skin How does male and female skin differ?