As sales of androceuticals (that’s skincare specifically for men to you and me) continue to soar, it seems male grooming has finally entered the mainstream and the nauseating media terms such as ‘metrosexual’ have mercifully begun to wane. After all, safeguarding one’s skin shouldn’t be limited to the fairer sex.
Ageing isn’t gender-specific,’ explains leading aesthetician Malvina Fraser. ‘And even though society might cut men more slack than women when it comes to crow’s feet, both sexes are still susceptible to the same environmental aggressors, such as pollution, UVA and UVB rays, and of course that silent skin ravager, stress.’
Simon Spicer, spokesperson for the shaving range Wilkinson Sword agrees and believes that the recession is fuelling, rather than slowing, the grooming industry’s growth. ‘Men now see male grooming products as essentials,’ he says. ‘They are cutting their spending on extravagant high-ticket items such as cars and holidays, but not essentials. Wanting to look good at work is even more important in times of potential redundancies.’ The message is clear: a well-stocked bathroom may well be the secret to your success in the boardroom.
The rise of the metrosexual
Certainly the stigma once associated with using skincare has long since died out and modern men, it seems, need no convincing about upgrading their regime to include scrubs, balms and even fake tan. According to a recent report by market researcher Euromonitor, sales figures of androceuticals in Western Europe are set to climb by 15.5 per cent by 2010 when the male skincare market will be worth an estimated $323 million. While over in the States annual sales of male personal care products reached $11 billion last year and represent just over a quarter of the country’s total beauty revenue.
Science and simplicity
Evidence also suggests that women are likely to flit between products and flirt with the next big thing, but that men prefer solid science and simplicity over spin. Once they find a brand that delivers men are 83 per cent more likely than women to stay loyal and one such brand enjoying impressive label loyalty amongst its male customers is the French luxury skincare company, Biotherm. Founded back in 1952, Biotherm built its business upon the discovery of thermal plankton, an extremely gentle micro-flora that thrives in the mineral-rich springs of the French mountains.
The benefits of Biotherm
Scientists soon discovered that this thermal plankton had a perfect bio-affinity with skin and set about refining a process that would isolate and concentrate its complexion-boosting benefits. It took 20 years and thousands of experiments before Biotherm’s researchers developed a system of bio-fermentation that resulted in a pure, 100 per cent natural skin soothing and rejuvenating elixir – an elixir that continues to form the core of every Biotherm product manufactured today.
‘This pure extract of thermal plankton is a powerful cellular activator,’ explains Lucien Aubert, a doctor in biology and director of the Biotherm Research Laboratory. ‘It calms and stimulates the biological mechanisms of the skin and reinforces its natural defences against ageing.’ For men, notoriously sceptical about the over-inflated claims made by so many skin care companies, Biotherm’s use of natural, mineral-rich matter has obviously struck a chord as the soothing properties of thermal plankton have proved effective at treating their gender-specific skin problems.
‘Men often need a little extra TLC when it comes to skincare,’ explains Fraser. ‘Part of the problem is daily shaving which strips skin of its topmost layer, leaving it susceptible to sensitivity. And, unlike women, men’s complexions don’t benefit from a top coat of cosmetics that act as a protective shield, insulating skin from the elements.’
Enter Biotherm’s Pure Thermal Plankton Extract. Acting as a nourishing skin salve it helps soothe irritation whilst also providing a hydrating ‘comfort blanket’ that forms a protective shield in lieu of the skin’s own defensive outer layer, the lipid barrier.
Men are also particularly prone to acne and blemishes. Sebum production depends on the male hormone testosterone that makes a man’s skin more likely to suffer with excess oiliness, shine and inevitably blocked pores.
Biotherm encourages men to incorporate a cleanser or scrub into their grooming routine as it has the twofold effect of gently lifting away pore-clogging oil and grime as well as ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin cells that can prevent razors from sliding smoothly over facial contours. This quick pre-shave prep step will guarantee fewer nicks and blemishes while also reducing the likelihood of ingrown hairs and invigorating a dull lack-lustre complexion.
Male skin ageing
Another cause for alpha concern is the recent discovery that male skin ages in sudden, successive stages. Experts believe that anti-ageing skincare designed to help limit the formation of wrinkles and delay loss of firmness and elasticity is especially important for men once they hit 30 and essential for the over-45s hoping to hold back the hands of time. Fortunately Dr Aubert and his team have proved that alongside Pure Thermal Plankton’s calming and hydrating benefits, it also has ‘dermobiotic’ properties.
According to Biotherm, new research has shown that thermal plankton has the capacity to stimulate the skin’s internal defences against those age-accelerating aggressors UV exposure and pollution. Comparable to the probiotics we ingest, topically applied dermobiotics such as thermal plankton are absorbed into the dermis where they help increase the skin cells’ natural defences from within.
‘This dermobiotic discovery means that Biotherm is going back to its roots,’ says Biotherm International general manager Guillaume de Lesquen. ‘All our products are based on this incredible thermal plankton ingredient, which thanks to advances in biological research we now know does something extra… I am confident that we will find yet more properties in the years to come.’ <BR>Biotherm, it seems, is the beauty brand that just keeps on giving. After all, with skin care this effective no man needs to steal his wife or girlfriend’s triple figure face cream anymore. So what are you waiting for? Stock up on Biotherm today and safeguard your relationship as well as your skin.
This article first appeared in High Life Shop! magazine.