Breaking the Stigma: The Androgynous Revolution in Men’s Beauty and Grooming

Are male-centric beauty products and services on the rise?

Beauty and grooming have always been perceived as a feminine trait. However, times are changing, and so is the way we view masculinity. No longer confined by the stereotypes that imprisoned previous generations, modern men are breaking free from traditional stereotypes and are exploring new avenues of self-expression. Spring-boarding from the concept of androgyny, which in the past has been a catalyst in the evolution of men’s fashion and style. Today, men are embracing the power of skincare, facials, and even manicures and pedicures in the search of beauty and self care. But, has the stigma that has shrouded men’s beauty and grooming for generations finally dissipated?


For decades, the beauty and grooming industry has been associated with women, and men have been limited to grooming essentials such as shaving, cologne, and deodorant or the infamous 3 in 1 shower sets your parents gift you for Christmas. However, with the undoing of barriers, redefining of masculinity and the rise of androgyny in the fashion industry there has been a rise in male-centred beauty products and grooming services. And now, for the first time in a long-while, maybe since the 80s, men are more conscious of their appearance with many spending time and money on grooming and skincare.

The demand for male beauty and grooming products has skyrocketed as more men embrace the concept of androgyny. Skincare, in particular, has seen a surge in popularity with men investing in serums, moisturisers, and even regular facials. Brands such as Clinique, L’Oréal, and Kiehl’s have launched their male-specific skincare lines, catering to the growing demand. While catering to the male facial has become a staple in clinics, salons and spas like Fresh Face London, Aldwyn And Sons, Young LDN and many others with men seeking treatments that help them maintain a youthful and radiant complexion.

PHOTO CREDIT: @machinegunkelly

The rise of male-catering beauty and nail salons has also contributed to the normalisation of men’s grooming. Beauty and skincare clinics like FreshFace London, located in the northern fringes of Central London illustrate the significant rise in beauty facials and skincare for men. With the help of clinics like these, men are now starting to invest in skincare routines to help improve their skin’s health and appearance. But men aren’t just stopping at skincare and beauty, Grooming has also seen a major surge. Take Young LDN, located in West London, this beauty business is a prime example of a salon that caters to men’s grooming needs. A testament to the changing attitudes towards men’s grooming, the salon offers services such as facials, waxing, and even nail art, allowing men to explore their creative side. Already hard coded into the culture, nail art has traditionally been associated with women, but with the rise of androgynous fashion, men have started to embrace the trend. Men are continuing to experiment with nail art, with designs ranging from simple colours to intricate patterns and as a result nail salons have also started to cater to male clients, with some offering manicures specifically for men.

Advancements in technology have also seen men’s skincare take a leap. Spearheaded by its visionary founders, Marc and Kim, Horace – the French skin and body care brand, has revolutionised men’s skincare with their online skincare consultation service. Making it effortless to find the right products for you, they have seamlessly fused technology and expertise to cater specifically to the needs of men. With this ingenious approach that involves a quick but comprehensive quiz which delves deep into the intricacies of one’s skin type. Within moments, users are provided with a bespoke breakdown of products tailored to the individual’s needs. But what truly sets Horace apart is its unwavering commitment to accessibility and affordability, defying the age-old notion that good skincare should be combined with exorbitant price tags.

PHOTO CREDIT: @pharrell

The rise of men’s beauty and grooming can also be attributed to the ever changing definition of masculinity. The traditional view of masculinity is slowly being replaced by a more inclusive view that embraces self-care and grooming as a fully fledged part of masculinity. As more men recognise the benefits of taking care of their appearance, the idea of being a well-groomed man is now being celebrated rather than shunned. Aiding to the shift in beauty inclusivity is a rise in celebrity skincare lines. Take for example Pharrell Williams. The famous musician and producer who was recently appointed in Virgil Abloh successor at Louis Vuitton has been a style icon with impeccable skin for years, and his recent venture into the beauty industry has only helped cemented his status. Williams launched his skincare line, Humanrace, in November 2020, and it’s been a resounding success. A hit amongst beauty enthusiasts, the brand offers a range of products that are gender-neutral and designed to cater to all skin types. Brad Pitt is another celebrity who’s jumped on the male skincare bandwagon. The actor has been the face of Chanel’s No. 5 fragrance for years, but he recently launched his skincare line, PurePlaisir, offering a range of products designed to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, and it’s been a hit with both men and women.

But it’s not just celebrity brands that are making an impact. California-based Vegan Pro-Grade Skincare brand Youth to the People has been building on three generations of professional skincare expertise, research, and mindful activism to establish a brand that would encapsulate their shared passion for harnessing the power of unconventional superfood ingredients. Supported by groundbreaking scientific advancements to deliver skincare for all, at the heart of Youth To The People lies their unwavering dedication to excellence and innovation. Driven by the latest advancements in skincare technologies, their ultimate mission is to not only nourish and rejuvenate your skin but also effect positive change, regardless of gender.

It’s fair to say, with all these factors combined, the stigma around men’s beauty and grooming is slowly disappearing, with more men taking an active role in their personal grooming and skincare routines. The beauty industry has come a long way in breaking down the stigma around men’s beauty and grooming, with androgynous dressing helping to normalise men’s interest in beauty and grooming, and male accommodating beauty and nail spas have provided a safe space for men to indulge in self-care, without fear of judgement. While there is still work to be done, it is important to celebrate the progress that has been made and men continue to encourage men to take care of themselves. After all, it has to be said, beauty and grooming are NOT just for women.

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