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Male skin care: What's trending in 2018?

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Male skin care: What's trending in 2018?
As the UK-headquartered male skin care and beauty brand marks 2018 as a key growth period for its expansion in Asia, we caught up with Simon Duffy, Founder of Bulldog Skincare For Men to ask what we can expect from the male skin care sector.

1. What attracted Bulldog to enter the Asian skin care market?

Asian consumers have a proactive attitude towards skin care, and Asia is the leader in global skin care sales with the mass market growing substantially (Euromonitor 2017)​. 

Within this region, Korea is the leader in terms of innovation and consumer sophistication. Korean men are extremely ingredient savvy and we have found that they are very receptive to Bulldog’s use of natural ingredients. 

2. What does the male skin care market look like in 2018?

It’s an exciting time for the men’s skincare market and we forecast growth this year. Male-specific bloggers, the rise of social media and a strong focus on wellbeing has inspired men to become more image conscious. 

Cosmetics brands are also embracing gender fluid attitudes to encourage more men to openly dabble in beauty. As a result, the men’s skincare market will keep growing.

3. What new or evolving trends are set to impact male skin care?

  • Targeted

Targeted solutions are growing. Men are increasingly aware of the ability of skincare to offer targeted solutions that assist common imperfections like blemishes and dark circles.

We launched our Age Defence Eye Roll On, for example, last month due to customer demand, which has been formulated to help reduce the appearance of fine lines.   

  • Sustainability

Sustainability will become an even bigger driver of consumer purchases this year. We will see more brands and retailers increasing their efforts to avoid certain controversial ingredients and processes. Sustainable packaging will grow in popularity.

  • Production updates

A key milestone for Bulldog is that our tube production has moved to sugarcane plastic; plastic that is produced from ethanol derived from sugarcane production. 

The main benefit of this approach is that sugarcane plastic captures carbon dioxide, helping to reduce our carbon footprint. We think that it is a better alternative to the plastics that come from fossil fuels that other brands still use today. 

4. How does the digital and modern marketing landscape impact how you connect with your customers? 

Hugely. Most of our coverage comes from online media now. We work with specific influencers who have a male following, sound knowledge of skincare and a global audience. 

5. How are British consumers and their demands different to those in South Korea?

South Korean men have a more advanced regime. They spend more time on their skin and look for specific solutions for specific issues such as oily skin, pollution control and dark circles.

British consumers tend to use fewer products and favour a more straightforward approach focused on category essentials such as face wash and moisturiser, but they are also strongly demanding products that deliver impressive results.    

6. How has Bulldog adapted its approach to appeal to these varying demands?

We have created specific products for the South Korean market but that’s not to say that there isn’t a demand for them here in the UK.

For example, Bulldog’s Oil Control Face Mask sells well in South Korea where there is a bigger market, and more modestly in the UK. It’s a growing area of interest in the UK however, as can be seen with the increasing number of international footballers and Hollywood actors posting “Face Mask Selfies”​ before an event.

7. How important is an understanding of multicultural beauty when it comes to forging a multinational brand?

Extremely important. At Bulldog we set out to be man’s best friend, and for us, this means encouraging everybody to feel comfortable with themselves. From a communication perspective we have avoided using an archetypal ‘perfect male’ face and/or body, and instead used a telepathic Bulldog! 

8. What are the challenges associated with this?

I think ‘challenge’ is the wrong word. I think every brand has an opportunity to be more progressive in this area.

9. How does the regulatory environment impact growth or ease of market entry? 

Different regions have different rules, and this can make maintaining global formulas difficult. Even within Europe, different countries interpret the European Cosmetic Directive in separate ways. It can also feel like a moving target as regulations regularly change too.

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