Question and Answer with Dr Martin Wade, Dermatologist at The London Skin and Hair Clinic about the growth in the male grooming market.
Dr Martin Wade a Dermatologist at The London Skin and Hair Clinic features in an article by Men’s Health magazine Style Director Dan Rookwood in the Evening Standards ES Magazine “Men in the mirror: married to Mr Vain”.
Question: Have you seen a noticeable rise in men coming in for more cosmetic rather than medical dermatology conditions and why do you think this is?
Dr Martin Wade: I am seeing a general trend of more men who are interested in taking better care of their skin and in how to keep their hair or encourage further hair growth. Male patients who may have been seeing me for a medical skin condition are what they can do to improve the appearance of their skin or how they can treat their hair loss. I think there are a couple of things driving this. Firstly there is a lot more press in general about male skin care and there are male celebrities who are publicly talking about looking after their skin and treating hair-loss. When Wayne Rooney was reported as having a hair transplant we saw an overnight dramatic increase in enquiries about male hair loss treatments. Secondly there are more male-specific products available and they are being packaged in a way that is appealing to men, and sold in ways to reduce embarrassment, for example next to the shaving cream in the supermarket. Johnson & Johnson launched a foam version of their Minoxidil hair loss product (Regaine (c)) in the UK about 12 months ago, because they understood that men would use a foam product as part of their morning routine more than the traditional solution version. Maybe it’s a result of the first two trends but men seem to be better educated now about skincare and they know what works – so I have male patients coming to see me who want to talk about Retin-A and vitamin-C for their skin, or Finasteride and Minoxidil for their hair.
Question: Is this increase in male vanity just a London thing or is there any evidence that it is nationwide?
Dr Martin Wade: It’s nationwide. I’m seeing it with male patients who travel in from across the country. In the past I saw more interest from older male patients who are in the public-eye or had customer-facing professions but I am seeing more interest now from young men across the board. They are more comfortable asking for advice about their skin and hair.
Question: What do you foresee as the future for this sector?
Dr Martin Wade: This is a growing profitable market and so we will continue to see more skincare products targeting men being launched in packaging, forms and sizes that suit men – so one can throw them in a gym-bag for example and use it alongside a shower-gel and shaving cream as part of the getting ready for work routine. Given the profitability we’ll see more research into male skin-care so that we see more products containing active ingredients specific for men, rather than repackaged versions of existing products for women. More men will be seeking non-surgical cosmetic treatments although they tend to want a ‘fresh-faced’ look rather than say a frozen-faced look of a Sylvestor Stylone or Mickey Rourke. Finally there is pressure for more regulations around cosmetic treatments in general, not just due to the growing male market. The independent Review into the Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery earlier this year called for the Government to legislate to protect patient safety including tackling advertising.
You can read the article in the Evening Standard Magazine.