Why does the men’s beauty sector look so beastly?

Your piece on the beauty sector (Looking good is a premium worth paying, MW 19 May) was on the whole a great market overview. However, the analysis of the men’s sector as “mature” struck me as a little misguided. Don’t be swayed by the perma-tanned gents in The Only Way Is Essex in the UK, most men of all ages still don’t use ’proper’ moisturiser. The men’s toiletry and cosmetics market is about as mature as a mild cheddar.

Men are still trying things out outside of razors, toothpaste, soap, shower gel, deodorant and maybe hair gel, most have yet to establish any skincare routine or add any daily ’necessities’ to their bathroom cabinet. The economic downturn will have had something to do with this. We may well have seen the continuation of a healthy establishment phase were it not for that, and with a great number of men’s toiletries still being purchased for them by women, there’s every chance they are leaving men’s products alone in favour of treating themselves.

There are a myriad of other reasons why growth may have slowed, but a fully mature market is not the answer. I think there’s a case for looking more deeply at the sector to find out the real story.

Judith Henderson
Research director, health and beauty division
SPA Future Thinking

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