Cosmetics Business reveals the top 5 male grooming trends of 2024 in new report

By Jo Allen | Published: 4-Apr-2024

From the #looksmaxxing phenomenon and its impact on Alpha boys, to the rise of whole body deodorants, male grooming trends are evolving fast

This article was originally published in the Male Grooming Trend Report. Receive your copy here

If celebrity investment is a barometer of the health of a particular industry, then men’s grooming must be entering a winning streak.

2024 has already seen new business ventures from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and LeBron James launching their own skin care and personal care brands for men in mainstream bricks-and-mortar retailers in the US.

Both ranges also tap into the zeitgeist of male grooming today: Papatui (Johnson’s line) talks about confidence and the importance of taking care of yourself, while James’ range The Shop Men's Grooming Line, focuses on the values of performance, empowerment and self care.

Then there’s the celebrity-fuelled ‘malepolish’ trend, which has continued into 2024 with a collaboration between Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace and Tyler, the Creator’s Golf Le Fleur brands for a new limited edition green nail polish.

What all of this signifies is that whether it’s a facial moisturiser, beard cream, or a nail polish, the trend among men to explore different kinds of beauty and grooming products is on the rise.

“Globally, men are expanding their grooming routines, trying new products and placing greater emphasis on their appearance,” says Lauren Goodsitt, Director of Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel.

“The overarching theme of male grooming is that there’s a willingness and a desire to add more products, steps, specific products to their grooming routines than we’ve ever seen before,” she explains.

The growth of the global $57.2bn men’s grooming category – which in 2023 reached over 6% versus 2022 according to Euromonitor International – reflects the rising level of interest that more men are taking in the category.

Furthermore, data from Mintel found that 28% of UK men aged 16-24 plan to prioritise improving their appearance in the next year, while CACI data found that 13% of men expect their beauty spend to increase in 2024, higher than the 9% of women that were asked.

Nick Vaus, co-founder and Managing Partner at Free The Birds, explains: “There is little doubt that this sector is growing at an accelerated rate and is ripe for further growth.

“Brands and businesses are recognising the potential of the male grooming market, and are investing in innovation for these increasingly discerning customers.

“They recognise that men are seeking more options, more styles and more products which fit specific skin requirements.”

In this report, Cosmetics Business focuses on five key opportunities for brands and retailers to meet male consumers’ changing demands, from product to conversation that supports confidence and self-esteem, for all ages.

Trend 1: Looksmaxxing: Is anyone talking to teen boys?

Gen Alpha’s beauty debut has been one of the most arresting topics for the industry in recent months, but while the attention has focused on girls, Gen Alpha boys continue to fall under the radar.

They may not have been causing a furore in Sephora or snapping up skin care in Ulta, but tween and teen boys have quietly had their own things going on.

‘Looksmaxxing’ – maximising your appearance – is a TikTok trend that has captured the attention of younger Gen Z and older Gen Alpha boys, with billions of posts sharing common tips on everything from basic hygiene and spot treatments to hair loss prevention.

But looksmaxxing can also lean into darker extremes with videos detailing drastic measures to ‘improve’ appearance, such as ‘bone-smashing’ (using hammers to make the jaw more angular) and steroid use to increase ‘sexual market value’.

This trend explores how looksmaxxing is filling a high-demand gap for advice, and how the beauty industry is still failing to meet the needs of teen and tween boys, and has a responsibility to show up better.

Trend 2: Whole body deodorant

Something unusual is afoot in the deodorant space: brands have sniffed out a whole new category for odour-banishing products that can be used all over the body.

No longer are deodorants just for pits, launches for odour control products that you can use on all different body parts are on the rise.

It has even been trending on TikTok: #FullBodyDeodorant has reached more than 23 million views.

And with the likes of Unilever and Procter and Gamble betting on the new segment with just-launched ranges from Dove Men+Care and Old Spice, as well as innovation from fast-growing players including Hume Supernatural and Lumé, whole body deodorant is a space to watch.

Trend 3: Targeted eye treatments

The eyes may be the window to the soul, but for men’s grooming brands, they might just be the window to the sale.

The number one skin concern for men is the under-eye area, and targeted products that banish dark circles and puffiness in an instant are in demand.

It’s also part of a wider trend that is seeing more men turn to blepharoplasty – surgery that addresses overt hooding or puffiness of the tissues around the eye – to reduce or removes bagginess in the eyelid region.

This trend explores why products that offer instant benefits are resonating with male consumers, and how brands can persuade more male consumers to add to their skin care routine.

Trend 4: The comedy comeback in male grooming ads

From a band of men using their facial hair as musical instruments to a love story between men and their below-the-belt ‘boys’ – depicted as an identical pair of mini-mes – male grooming ads have taken a funny turn.

These recent adverts from Every Man Jack (‘Them Beardles’ ) and Manscaped (‘The Boys’), are among a growing scene of comedy-based campaigns that are livening up the category’s marketing, as brands see the wisdom in using humour to attract male customers.

A comedic approach has also been picking up more widely in beauty marketing, with CeraVe’s recent ‘Fake News’ commercial with Michael Cera, and California Naturals' humorous GRWM ad with Owen Wilson, its ‘Chief Shampoo Officer’.

If current commercials are running on a tide of glorious silliness, it might be no accident.

Cosmetics Business finds out why comedy is taking over, as brands put the giggles back into male grooming campaigns.

Trend 5: 4 ways brands can help men embrace sustainability

When it comes to making beauty and skin care purchases, sustainability is still more important to women (45%) than men (33%), according to 2024 data from business consultancy CACI, obtained exclusively by Cosmetics Business.

Mintel referred to this disparity as the ‘eco-gender gap’ in its research on the issue back in 2018, and six years on little has changed.

But why are men less likely than women to factor sustainability into their purchase decisions?

Research commissioned by UK-based start-up Brother Earth found that over half of UK men want to be sustainable, but one in five don’t know how, and one in three feel left out of the conversation around how to save the planet.

In Trend 5, experts reveal what the industry can do to encourage men to shop more sustainably, from perspectives spanning retail, marketing, product format and preparing for Gen Alpha consumers.

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