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It’s Time We End the Ongoing Battle That Is Men Vs. Skincare
My mind was blown the other day when I went shopping for facewash with my boyfriend after having run out. As we waited in line he grabbed the bottle from me and looked at it with so much fascination in his eyes. He started asking me what it is and what it does and to my surprise, he was being dead serious.
Now that interaction alone was insane enough to me but I was even more baffled days later when I was in his bathroom and saw the products in his shower.
I saw a bottle of shampoo and some body wash and that was it. It got worse when I saw he also doesn’t have any moisturizer in the bathroom either. This was just normal to him, it’s all he’s ever known.
These moments gave me a long-overdue realization that I hardly see men using any sort of skincare products whether that’s lotion or moisturizer or face wash or anything else. Skincare is this whole world unopened to so many guys and I can’t quite put the finger on who is to blame.
Could it be the skincare companies not trying hard enough to market to men?
Could it be women for dominating the industry and not sharing it?
Is it society for teaching us women need to look soft and delicate while men need to be rough?
Is it simply just men standing in their own way and being intimidated by these products?
I had to bring it up to my boyfriend again because I needed some answers and to know his thoughts on the stigma and intimidation there is surrounding men and skincare.
We talked about it for a while and came to an agreeance on many things, here’s the gist of what he brought up to me…
Influences in life
Something I never realized is that the women in men’s lives really play a vital role in exposing them to skincare. Now that I’m aware, I am positive my brother wouldn’t know about face wash or moisturizer either if it weren’t for me.
Growing up alongside each other he was in part exposed to skincare with me by seeing the products I use and asking me about them.
He consistently comes into my room to ask to use face masks, nose strips, and even my face wash in the shower. My mom and I have managed to create a safe environment for him to be comfortable using these products and not feel intimidated by them, the same can’t be said for many other men, though.
“These gateways allow men to question and have conversations about what it means to be a “real” man in modern times, and taking care of themselves is often at the heart of what’s being reconsidered.” -Jess Joho
Without women’s influences in their lives, men have to resort to the media to feed to them what is and isn’t acceptable as a man. This brings me to my other point of the lack of representation of men using skincare products…
The idea of skincare being intimidating really isn’t surprising at all, it makes complete sense. Just by reading the word skincare, I can imagine an image popping up in everyone's head most likely of something along the lines of a woman in a bubble bath sipping on Rosé with a face mask.
The fact people immediately think of images like this when thinking of skincare is what understandable draws so many men away.
There is little to no representation for men to see other men using skincare products to see that skincare has no gender.
My boyfriend brought up a fair point to me in that commercials advertising face wash or lotions hardly have males in them.
Without proper representation, how can we expect men to feel comfortable buying products that aren’t even trying to gear towards them?
Let’s take a look at Dove…
To give credit where credit is due, Dove deserves praise for its Dove Men+Care line. Dove managed to shift its brand concentrating solely on women’s health and hygiene to market effectively towards men as well.
They excelled by not pursuing the “manly-man” stereotype and making their packaging dark colors with aggressive names in order to appeal to the men.
The brand made small changes to ensure men would be comfortable buying and using their products which is something other brands should admittedly start thinking about as well.
All the men in my life, and I mean all, use Dove + Men which only further proves that there is so little of a market for them for something as basic as simple hygiene.
“Dove Men+Care celebrates a new definition of strength: one with care at its center. Because Dove Men+Care believes that care makes a man stronger.” -Dove
We stress how important it is to have everyone represented in media in order to ensure kids and young adults can grow up seeing people like them, yet we fail to represent half the population in something as important as taking care of your skin.
This could teach a bad message to young boys who may be struggling with acne or dry skin problems. They don’t typically have the option of fixing things with makeup the way girls do and are discouraged from using any sort of skincare in fear of looking feminine; they simply cannot win at this point.
We need to teach them and practice the idea that skincare has no gender before they grow up thinking the other way around.
Now, of course, not all guys even want to break down this stigma and couldn’t care less about all these products and that is completely fine. It would just be fair to give them more options and opportunities IF they want them.
For any men out there wanting to get into skincare, I see and understand how it can be intimidating and I understand why you would shy away from it.
I hope we get to the point one day where we realize there is no gender associated with wanting to keep your skin healthy and looking good. Here are some skincare tips and good products to help get started in the right direction.
Men deserve the opportunity just as much as women to take care of their skin. Skincare has been intimidating to men for too long when it shouldn’t be. Skincare has no gender and I will shout that from the top of my lungs until we start pursuing and accepting this truth.