Are the days when cosmetics were only for women coming to an end? Moisturizers, anti-wrinkle products, serums, even make-up: men nowadays have a wide range of choices to offer themselves moments of pampering. This can be observed in many countries around the world, especially in China and the United States, where the market for men’s cosmetics has been growing steadily over the last few years, but also - and especially - in Japan, where the Gen Z male can’t seem to do without cosmetics anymore.

Almost 20% more spending than the average

The craze is such that Gen Z men - born in the mid-1990s - spend almost 20% more per month on cosmetics than the whole Japanese population, Nikkei Asia reports. The economic daily even states that the best-selling products among this group are estimated to cost more than 2,000 yen (about 15 euros), an amount that is higher than that spent by women. More broadly, while the cosmetics market declined in Japan in 2020 due to the pandemic, the men’s cosmetics segment has recorded a 4% increase, according to data presented by the firm Intage.

Brands are taking the plunge

The pandemic, and in particular the multiplication of videoconferences, could be at the origin of this craze for men’s cosmetics. However, the phenomenon began long before the health crisis. In 2018, Chanel already launched "Boy de Chanel," a line of makeup for men that now brings together a varnish, an eyebrow pen, a lip balm, a concealer, or even a tinted fluid makeup, all the make-up essentials that could be found in a woman’s beauty kit.

There are now many brands that offer cosmetics entirely targeted for men. One of the latest to have launched in the niche is none other than former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, who created his own line of makeup for men in collaboration with Hims & Hers. A key item? A stick intended to camouflage dark circles, wrinkles, and other imperfections. Nothing surprising in 2021, but the product would probably not have received the same welcome a few years ago.

The boom in combination skincare also offers men the opportunity to discover a world they are not necessarily familiar with, and which they seem to be embracing with pleasure. The Ordinary, Absolution, Aesop, and Eyden all offer cosmetics that are suitable for both men and women. It’s a trend that is unlikely about to fade away.