Men fail to heed the lure of skin cosmetics

LONDON Wed May 21, 2008 10:52am BST

A man takes a shower in Kuala Lumpur in this January 31, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

A man takes a shower in Kuala Lumpur in this January 31, 2007 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

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LONDON (Reuters) - British men have yet to follow women into buying expensive skincare products, despite advertising by cosmetics companies using role models like footballer David Beckham and actor Pierce Brosnan, according to a survey.

A survey by market analysts Mintel released on Wednesday found that the average British man spends less than 2.50 pounds a year taking care of his skin.

For while the women's skincare market in the UK is worth 602 million pounds a year, Mintel said men spend less than a tenth of that -- 57 million pounds -- on moisturisers, scrubs and cleansers.

"Companies have invested huge amounts of money into men's skincare," said Alexandra Richmond, senior beauty analyst at Mintel.

"And with all the talk of the new age man and metrosexuals, everyone has been waiting for British men to really buy into looking after their skin. But this has clearly not yet happened."

The survey found that 77 percent of older men still use bars of soap compared to 48 percent of men aged between 16 and 24.

Richmond said these days a scruffier, unshaven look, like that of TV presenter and actor Russell Brand, 32, has become much more popular and acceptable amongst younger men, which means they have little need for moisturisers or post-shave balms.

"Britain's ageing population and the real reluctance amongst older men to use flashy skin care products has also undoubtedly played a key part in the market's disappointing performance," she said.

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