Source: Unsplash

It’s no longer considered ‘girlie’ to use moisturisers and face treatments,” says Stephen Shortt, CEO of posh grooming brand Hawkins & Brimble. “We are being asked by all the major UK retailers for more skincare for men. This is because men are really taking more interest in their skin, especially facial care.”

Which explains the bountiful 2019 for H&B’s eighth-placed skincare products. They more than doubled their value in grocery (albeit from a small base) – as the overall male skincare market registered its first volume rise for at least seven years.

Granted, skincare is still down £200k in value. But compared to other areas of the market – shaving shed £9.7m amid the popularity of stubble – that’s not too shabby. And certain brands are seeing stellar growth.

Man Cave, for instance, cemented its place in the top 10 with a 46.9% value rise and 45.9% volume growth. CEO Alex Grogan notes that “the concept of cleansing and moisturising each morning and evening is a lot more commonplace than it was even five years ago”.

One driver is men “becoming increasingly aware of the environmental factors that can have a real impact on their skin, such as sun damage” he adds. That’s led to them seeking out moisturiser with added sunscreen – a long-standing trend in women’s skincare.

Another trend from the female market is Korean-style sheet masks, which hit the male mainstream this year thanks to launches from L’Oréal and Bulldog. In fact, L’Oréal (up 1.3% in value) “has been the standout performer in male grooming this year” says Nielsen analyst Ben Hanson. This was partly due to the launch of its Men Expert Pure Charcoal range, which includes a sheet mask among its four lines (see Top Launch).

Meanwhile, Bulldog (up 4.1% in value) remains a strong performer by “providing a strong message to consumers on the value of skincare for men” Hanson adds.

Still, that value message has a limit. It’s proving hard work getting guys to pay a premium. Volumes are up but value is down due to falling average pack prices. These are to appeal to capricious shoppers,” says Grogan. “Brands are being forced into competing with the lower prices in the market to ensure they stand out and ultimately have their share of those consumers shopping around for the best value deals.”


The Top Products 

 In association with nielsen

Top 3 Men’s skincare      
        £m change (£m) change (%)
      Total Category: 57.3 -0.2 -0.4
Total volume change: 0.8%   Total Own Label: 1.7 -0.1 -5.6
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 2 L’Oreal Men Expert L’Oreal 20.7 0.3 1.3
2 1 Nivea Men Beiersdorf 19.8 -0.9 -4.4
3 3 Bulldog Edgewell 10.4 0.4 4.1


Top 5 Razors & blades      
        £m change (£m) change (%)
      Total Category: 220.4 -9.7 -4.2
Total volume change: -3.70%   Total Own Label: 9.5 -0.4 -4.5
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Gillette  P&G 166.6 -9.8 -5.5
2 2 Wilkinson  Wilkinson Sword 26.7 -1.3 -4.8
3 3 Philips  Philips 8.3 0.0 -0.2
4 4 Bic Bix 6.5 -0.1 -2.0
5 5 Super-Max Super-Max 0.3 0.0 -8.1


Top 5 Men’s shaving preparations     
        £m change (£m) change (%)
      Total Category: 49.8 -3.4 -6.3
Total volume change: -11.2%   Total Own Label: - - -
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Gillette P&G 27.4 -0.5 -1.8
2 2 Nivea Men Beiersdorf 10.4 -0.9 -8.3
3 3 King Of Shaves King of Shaves 3.2 -0.3 -9.5
4 4 Wilkinson Wilkinson Sword 0.7 -0.1 -16.6
5 5 Palmolive Colgate 0.7 -0.2 -19.3

The Grocer’s Top Launch

Loreal Men

Men Expert Pure Charcoal L’Oréal

The personal care market is awash with activated charcoal. It’s widely believed to detoxify skin by drawing out bacteria, dirt and toxins. All skin types can benefit from charcoal, suppliers insist. So, it’s no wonder beauty behemoth L’Oréal added Pure Charcoal this year to its category-leading Men Expert brand (up 1.3% in value and 7.9% in volume). The range comprises a Purifying Daily Face Wash, Anti-Blackhead Daily Face Scrub, Purifying Tissue Mask and Purifying Clay Mask.

The Grocer’s Top Products 2019: Brand on the run?