Chinese male consumers have been traditionally overlooked as far as skincare and cosmetics products are concerned owing to the conventional wisdom that men should care less about their appearance than women. But that has changed in recent years as the younger generations are becoming more and more self-conscious.
A new survey shows that men in China’s first-tier cities on average spent about 24 minutes on their daily grooming routine, a figure that has improved greatly from a decade ago, according to the local Chinese publication The Paper. Also, 88 percent of the surveyed respondents have indicated that they always look online for information and tips on beauty and fashion.
The increased attention that Chinese male consumers devote to their outer appearances has signaled a big opportunity for the development of the market in male beauty and skincare.
Li Jun, Marketing Director of the local consumer goods producer Shanghai Jahwa told The Paper that the annual growth rate of the male skincare market in China has been steadied around 10 percent and 15 percent, even though the whole industry has witnessed a slowdown.
“Skincare has long been considered a priority for women,” said Li, “but in recent years we feel that men have started to care about beauty and appearance.”
“(Their needs for skincare and beauty products) have grown from a simple facial cleanser to a rigorous beauty regime that includes lotion, toner, cream and facial masks,” he said.
Li’s observation is in line with a study released in April by Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The findings, based on the survey of Chinese male consumers ranging in age from 20-45, show that they typically have three steps in their daily grooming routine: cleansing, toning and moisturizing, and they use about 3.4 different skincare products per day.
Also, young respondents (20-30 years old), in general, care more about skincare and use more products than their older cohort (30-45 years old). The same study further points out that the more disposable income a man has, the more likely he is to spend on skincare and beauty products.
In China, there are already many brands trying to capture this consumer demand. For example, L’Oreal Men might be the most widely promoted thanks to the group’s great marketing efforts featuring many top celebrities such as Daniel Wu. Biotherm, under L’Oreal group, is another beauty brand that targets Chinese male consumers.
Some premium beauty labels such as Estée Lauder, Lancôme and Clarins also have male products. However, their marketing push towards male customers is much less aggressive compared to their digital efforts to woo Chinese female customers. A number of sports brands including Adidas and Gatsby also take up a sizable market share in China.
The male grooming market still has a lot of untapped potential, according to Euromonitor International. The consulting group expects the mainland male skincare and cosmetics products market to grow at an average annual rate of 13.5 percent in the next several years, beating its global estimates of 5.8 percent. The market is projected to reach 1.9 billion yuan in 2019.