“I began investing in skincare when I was 21 years old, as I started having breakouts and I thought for sure there must be a way that I can make my skin feel better and protect it for when I get older” says Kirillos Mekhail, 24, a fairly recent adopter of male skin care products.
Skin care has become a personal investment for many people even more so during the course of the pandemic. All around the world, people are told to practice self care as we are navigating through one of the weirdest times in humankind, and skin care is definitely in the top 3 of that self care list. But when did men get more involved in skin care?
For women, this self care practice has been around forever, but for men it has only recently started gaining popularity.
Razors and aftershave have taken a back seat when it comes to men’s favorite grooming products, as many men who shop at Sephora are more concerned with the signs of aging. Anti-aging creams and facial sheet masks have taken the front seat in that department.
Kirillos Mekhail, looking at skin care products. And feeling the texture of a cream on the back of his hand. Photo by Victoria Bakos.
In 2018, a study conducted by Forbes in the U.S., said that men between the ages of 18 and 44 are facial skin care users. In fact, they find it so important that 70 percent of men invest in sunscreen facial creams, as a protection against fine lines and wrinkles.
“When I first started working at Sephora, I put this image in my head that I would be mostly working with women and serving women” Nathalie Mohammad, a former skincare specialist at Sephora, says.
“That was truly a very large misconception that I had, as I did not expect to help as many men as I did in skin care. Most men would walk up to me and show me pictures of products they’ve already researched on their own for their skin type, because they knew what their type was” Mohammad says.
“At Sephora, there were also specific sections for men’s products and they would feel very much at ease browsing or buying, as if they were shopping for a cologne” she says.
Why is a skincare regime important for everyone? Video by Victoria Bakos.
“They would ask for facials and samples, some were very specific in what they were looking for. At first I didn’t think much of it, as I thought to myself I am simply helping out a client, but it soon dawned on me that I was actually helping out a lot of men browse through products, and teach them step by step skin care routines for their type of skin. Let’s just say it was more than just water and whatever soap they had lying around,” Mohammad says.
What is different today in men’s essential grooming products than a decade ago? Men have more variety in products. “Previously, men had limited access to a variety of products as their products were marketed as 2-in-1 shampoos that took care of both body and hair; unlike women, who have different shower products for their hair, body, creams and the list goes on” says skincare specialist Nathalie Mohammad.
Many men have different reasons for investing in skin care as skin care is not only for vanity purposes, but for actual health. Men will do cardio and take care of the heart, but what will they do to take care of their skin?
“I invest in skincare because I do want to stay looking young for as long as I can. I started about five years ago thanks to my sister who is very into skin care routines and beauty products” recent adopter of male skin care products, Kirillos Mekhail says.
“When I first started, she introduced me to a day and a night cream, she told me they both have a different function. I’m happy she guided me, because I had no idea,” he says.
Kirillos Mekhail doing a winter sport activity. Photo by Victoria Bakos.