“Men are having much more open dialogue about wellness and mental health and you’re obviously seeing some carryover to the bathroom as well,” said Benjamin Smith, founder of new men’s skin-care and hygiene company Disco.
After eight months of development with a chemist, Smith produced seven vegan, gluten-free and paraben-free formulations that are “as minimal as possible,” including a face mask, scrub, cleanser stick and moisturizer, eye cream, body wash and deodorant that retail between $14 and $30.
“Every product has a different intention, but we did agree on an organic essential oil scent,” he said, and every product is available separately or as an eight-, 10- or 12-week membership that will adjust to a customer’s usage habits.
“I believe men shouldn’t feel embarrassed to use a face mask,” Smith said. “I’m really bullish on men investing more and more into their personal-care regimens. Eventually we’ll get into grooming, but it’s important to take care of your skin.”
Smith’s initial interest in skin care began in high school and was born from “a desire to look better and feel better,” he said. He took to CrossFit and opened gym Top Tier Fitness at Wake Forest, his alma mater, and in Maryland, where he grew up. He acquired more gyms, expanded beyond CrossFit to a more health and wellness focus, introducing yoga, and sold the two locations in private sales.
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He applied what he learned to launching Disco, which gets its name from the lighthearted feeling one gets when hearing the word. “We want people to think we’re the fun brand and Disco as a name is very fun and memorable and evokes a feeling of living in the moment,” he said.
“We’re just trying to stay light and humorous and educate the consumer along the way,” he added. “You really shouldn’t be overthinking your personal-care regimen.”
But the greatest insight for Smith in founding Disco was what he found during his research. Smith said that after surveying 1,000 men, he found that they have a desire for skin-care products and often use products purchased by their girlfriends and wives.
Allied Market Research shared data that agreed with Smith’s findings and said in 2016 that the men’s personal-care market will reach $166 billion by 2022. The seven launch items were created as a result of the research.
Disco is targeted to men ages 24 to 38 and not reserved for men in the more populous U.S. cities like New York City and Los Angeles. “We’re going after everyone that is in the range,” he said.