By  on March 16, 2007

While the term “metrosexual” died a long, lingering (merciful) death a few years back, some of its ideologies still live on, specifically in the form of antiaging products for men. Many more males are coming to terms with the fact that it’s OK to buy products to make their skin look younger and healthier. Beauty companies are also realizing that men don’t want to steal their girlfriend’s antiwrinkle serums any more and are developing products specifically designed for their needs, which differ drastically from women’s. This spring, Kiehl’s, Clinique, Dior, Shiseido and Lab Series all have serious skin care targeted to the XY set. When it comes to aging, explains Martha Velando, director of global product development for Kiehl’s, men have the upper hand as their skin contains more collagen and elastin, making it firmer than women’s, meaning they start to show signs of aging later than women (we know, totally unfair). Whereas women start seeing the telltale signs in their mid- to late-20s, most men don’t start to notice crow’s feet and the like until their mid-30s.  But when men age, says Michael Ingrassia, senior research scientist, skin biology, for the Estée Lauder Cos., it happens at a much quicker pace because that thick layer of collagen loses density and makes skin susceptible to environmental aggressors. The rigors and daily irritation of shaving also catch up with them as they age and wreak havoc on skin texture, causing roughness and wrinkles. Not surprisingly, men don’t like to fuss with multiple products and fancy descriptors. Says Velando, “They want fewer products that do more things. Because they already have to shave, they want their other products to do everything in one. They want practical products, a shorter routine and more direct language to tell them what the product does.” Because of the shaving factor, most men’s products have to be soothing and calming. Men’s thicker skin also means they crave fresher textures, nothing too creamy or heavy, and SPF is key, too, as most men don’t go to the trouble to slap on a sunscreen due to the heavy texture. As such, says Ingrassia, “Men tend to use less protection on the face and get age spots, making complexion issues a bit more prominent.” As the market and awareness for men’s skin care matures, the options available to them continue to expand. Says Velando, “During the last two years we have experienced explosive growth in the market and with all these brands coming out with products for men’s aging, [it shows] men are really ready to take care of their skin in a sophisticated way.”

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