The morning routine sequence of the cult hit American Psycho offers a peek into the sociopathic and narcissistic protagonist’s rather elaborate skin care routine. But what was meant to be a jab at the elitist and vanity-obsessed lifestyle of the high-flying Wall Street banker is now an actuality. Male skincare has arrived. And it’s not just the rich finance bros who’re all up in it. Millennials and hipsters alike have given in to the undeniable pull of the complex skincare routine.
According to a Mintel study that surveyed about 1,000 male personal-care product users in the U.S., 70 percent said they use sun protection items while nearly two-thirds said they used facial care products. The study also showed a sharp increase—as much as 84 percent—in the use of facial skincare among those between 18 and 44.
Moreover, a men’s personal care market report by Allied Market Research estimates that the global market is expected to garner $166 billion by 2022. While Europe and Asia currently hold the lead in this category, America is catching up.
There are many factors responsible for this sudden upsurge: Shift in lifestyles, disposable incomes, a growing interest in health and wellness and just a general disposition to look and feel younger.
And rest assured, brands are milking this boom for all its worth. The thriving industry has been instrumental in giving a significant push to large skincare players including Clinique, Kiehl’s and Tom Ford, all of whom have launched entire skincare lines dedicated to men. But serious skincare aficionados don’t want to invest in big brand names. They want to know what is in their products. Niche and emerging brands are the underdogs of the industry that cater to these exact needs by offering straightforward solutions.
But what are they and should you be using them? We look at the best niche and cult skincare brands that are on our list for 2019.