If you follow us on Instagram, you already know that the global male grooming industry is on fire right now—estimated to rake in north of $60 billion by the year 2020, up from $47.2 billion in 2015. All of that spending isn’t due to men simply buying more razors or cologne. New brands, products, and services (think: subscriptions) are helping men think about their grooming routines in new ways—and spend more money as a result. Here, six examples of trends helping brands and retailers convince you to spend more on our mug at this very moment. Are the products helping you look your best or just making your life more complicated (not to mention expensive)? Let’s dig in.
Skincare Brands Are Reinventing Your Grooming Routine
Bar Soaps That Aren’t for Your Butt
The Rationale: You might not be ready for $45 facial cleanser that smells like roses and runs out in two weeks but, c’mon, do you really think both sets of cheeks can be served by one bar of soap? Facial soaps are gentler and more hydrating with less fragrance than your go-to body bar.
Brands Pushing It: Pretty much all of them. Ursa Major makes the best-smelling one—it’s a eucalyptus and grapefruit magic carpet ride to happy town. And few brands beat DTRT in the looks department. The packaging is industrial and cool and the soap itself has pieces of charcoal suspended within.
The Counter-Argument: Bar soaps leave residue on your shower rack, slip out of your hands when wet, and are begging for your roommate to use them—wherever the hell he pleases (ew). Why keep them around when pump-and-go face wash works so well?
‘Grammable Facial Masks
The Rationale: In case you haven’t been on Instagram in a while, let us catch you up to speed: men do face masks now. The paper ones. The glitter ones. The ones that come with matching gloves. That’s because they do an excellent job at reviving tired, dry, and generally bleh-looking skin and require very little effort on your part. If your Netflix & Chill literally involves you watching Netflix and chilling, you might as well multitask.
Brands Pushing It: Most men’s skincare lines have a mask of some sort, but surprisingly few have caught up to the sheet mask trend, which is huge in women’s skincare. Port Products has the only one you need, though, so no stress. It’s super hydrating with algae and peptides that help revive dull skin.
The Counter-Argument: You’ve got 99 problems and worrying about your roommate ribbing you for eternity because he caught you wearing a sheet mask doesn’t have to be one.
Buy now: Port Products Marine Layer Masks ($44)
Super Natural Face Oils
The Rationale: Just because you’re a man, doesn’t mean you can’t moisturize your face with the soft touch of a hand-crafted botanical oil. A facial oil formulated with ingredients found in nature is infinitely better for your mug than a cream that smells like a thousand tiny bottles of cologne just exploded at once. (The only thing worse than that is using no moisturizer at all.)
Brands Pushing It: While the old guard men’s grooming lines have been hesitant to oil up, newer brands consider it a no-brainer. We especially dig NYC brand EiR’s Face Rescue, which blends five skin-loving oils in one good-looking bottle.
The Counter-Argument: Moisturizer is kind of pricey as it is, and facial oil is even spendier. Plus it’s twice as likely to explode in your bag, ruin everything you own, or get confiscated by TSA security. Do you need a $50 day-ruiner?
Products That Save You Time
The Rationale: You’re a busy, on-the-go guy who has 30 plus pieces of content to make from your keynote and 1,001 emails to answer after you accidentally play Fortnite for three hours straight. You need grooming products that don’t waste time. Like face wash that works like a Wet-Nap. Body wash that works like a Wet-Nap. Even a crotch wash that works like Wet-Nap. Why? Because Wet-Naps are awesome and so darn efficient. Also, you may or may not have to sleep in your office tonight.
Brands Pushing It: Ursa Major, Anthony and Oars + Alps make some of our favorites. They smell masculine but aren’t overpowering and actually deliver on their promise to leave you feeling fresh.
The Counter-Argument: If Baby Boomers think Millennials and Gen Z are silly for spending money on avocado toast, just wait until they hear about this trend. The cost-per-wipe here is more than a buck a piece. So basically, instead of lighting money on fire, we’re wiping it all over our armpits. Also, these bad boys aren’t great for the environment.
The Rationale: CBD is everything you love about getting stoned—the relaxation, the happy contentment—and nothing you don’t (that’s THC’s job). When applied topically, CBD has a soothing effect, boosts hydration, and keeps skin balanced. Think of it like one gentle hit, for one specific part of your body, instead of a full-on “is it just me, or is that person staring at us?” high. To be clear: it’s non-psychoactive.
Brands Pushing It: Savvy grooming brands like Perricone MD and The Body Shop have CBD-infused collections within their main line. Some ballsy new players have even built their entire arsenal around the ingredient. See: Leef Organics, Vertly and Herb Essntls.
The Counter-Argument: The hype machine has been pumping hard for CBD, despite the fact that research on its benefits is still ongoing. But go ahead, buy a $22 bar of soap. S'pose it’s better than spending money on actual drugs?
Skin-Enhancing Vitamins and Powders
The Rationale: What goes in your body is more important than what goes on it, so the best thing you can do for your skin is eat well, drink water, and jack your morning smoothie up with some skin-loving powders, then chase it with a handful of vitamins. Or, you know, take a single gummy multivitamin like you did when you were a kid. Your mom might not be there to distribute it anymore, but you got this.
Brands Pushing It: Men’s wellness startup Hims has a do-it-all gummy vitamin for skin, hair and nails that gets the job done. If you’re ready for the heavy-duty, wellness 2.0 swag, check out Hum, The Nue Co or Moon Juice, which treat vitamin-taking like a competitive sport.
The Counter-Argument: The benefits of vitamins and supplements are sometimes vague; the merits can vary depending on which expert you ask. The industry is also virtually unregulated, so you never know what you’re really ingesting. To some that’s understandable and worth the risk; to others it’s a not-so-welcome flashback to club-hopping misadventures.
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