Business / Cosmetics giants confident

Today's guys don't want to lose face

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2012-04-22 07:36

On a Sunday afternoon at a supermarket in Zhabei district, Xiao Haili puts three kinds of skin-care products in his shopping cart - one facial cleaning foam, one acne control cream and one anti-wrinkle cream.

"My father visited me last weekend and he thought I was living with my girlfriend, which was not the case, because he saw many bottles of skin-care products in my bathroom," Xiao says.

The 26-year-old accountant says that using skin-care products is no longer considered as "sissy" among his peers, and he often exchanges user's experiences with his colleagues.

Xiao says he starts using cosmetic products at the age of 20 when he was at college

"Before 18 I tried my mom's cleansing cream but the fragrance is too feminine for me, so I dropped the idea until products for men become popular in recent days," Xiao says.

Such products for men are witnessing an expanding market in China as a surging number of men is attaching increasing attention to their images.

"You don't want to present an oily face when you visit a client," says Xu Chaoxing, 32-year-old fund manager in Shanghai.

"People would reckon that if you can't manage your face well, you can't manage the money well," says Xu.

Men's products were among the fastest-growing categories for L'Oreal China last year, says Alexis Perakis-Valat, CEO of L'Oreal China in late February.

The company's skin-care products' sales climbed 26.5 percent year-on-year in 2011, according to a report.

In second-and-third tier cities and towns, skin-care products for men are not going as fast as that in Beijing and Shanghai, but there was still double-digit growth in the past two years, says Li Xiaofen, a wholesaler in Suzhou.

Li says the best-selling skin-care products of his company is facial cleansing cream.

"Last week I visited Loudi, a town in Hunan province, and I was amazed to see that a young man in his early 20s invested 200 yuan ($32), about 10 percent of his monthly salary, on a set of skin-care products. I think the market is going to expand at an amazing pace in lower-tier cities," Li says.

Mao Junji, an online retailer of cosmetics based in Hangzhou, says he observed a trend that male consumers are posting increasing inquiries on make-up, which was not seen just two years ago.

"Many boys consulted me about which BB cream would cover their acnes, or which foundation may cover their dark circles," Mao adds.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks