Article by: Perry Romanowski

Ever since I started in the cosmetic industry in 1992, people have been predicting that the male cosmetic market was the next big thing. Big and small cosmetic companies have attempted to launch numerous male focused brands with limited success. For every Axe & Old Spice, there have been duds like Suave for Men & Dove for Men. Men just do not buy cosmetic products in the way that cosmetic marketers want them to.

And being a guy, I can understand. I’m pragmatic when it comes to cosmetic products. I’ll pretty much use anything as long it doesn’t make me smell like a girl. So left to my own accord, I’ll just buy whatever is the least expensive. Perhaps as a cosmetic chemist, I’m not a typical consumer so we can discount my anecdotes.

In fact, according to this article the male market in cosmetics is booming. The site statistics that say the male market in the US is going to be $3.2 billion by 2016. (It’s currently $2.6 billion). It’s useful to note that the overall cosmetic market is somewhere around $70 billion in the US so the male market is still a small segment.

They say that the key to marketing to men is to use male-centric terms and packaging.

I don’t know. That seems pretty cheesy to me. But I know formulating. Cosmetic marketing is a bit different. It’s more about story telling.

I think the take home message from this story is that the Male market is one that is still one that the big companies have not cracked. And it could be one that a smaller-upstart cosmetic company can take advantage of.


  1. pintoo

    What product out there is latest on men’s line?

  2. Sakhi Adil

    Thanks for your valuable article. Actually , i am making research on Male cosmetics in Morocco , and i want you to help with some data if possible. My aim is to see what is the puchasing behavior for a moroccan male especially in the skin care and make up products


  3. Olga

    Hello, Perry

    I always wondered, is there any difference between male and female cosmetics, expect packaging, smell and other marketing stuff?

    1. Perry

      Nope, there isn’t really much difference. It’s mostly just fragrance, packaging and the marketing story.

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