July 2010

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp


Marketing Skincare to Men

In the past decade, men have become more interested in the services skincare professionals offer. If they find a place where they are comfortable, and get services designed to meet their needs, they become very loyal clients.

In some of the large metropolitan areas, male-focused facilities are becoming popular. Decorated in rich darker tones with clean lines, they are void of the fluff commonly found in clinics focusing on the female client.

Wood, metal, stone, elements of nature with woodsy aromas create a setting where men feel at home. Some full service facilities have gone the sports bar direction with memorabilia and a large screen TV featuring a sports channel while the guests wait.

The key to creating a male-inviting ambiance is keeping your spa or salon clean and removing clutter.

Men, like their female counterparts, are concerned about the signs of aging. However, their skin needs are unique. Male skin is thicker and oilier than female skin. Men shave daily so they keep these areas of their skin better exfoliated. Male skin tends to fold rather than line.

Young men tend to be even less compliant with SPF than women are, so their foreheads, eyes, ears and necks quickly show deeper lines and skin discolorations. Those with short hair can develop potential skin cancers on their exposed ears. Very short or thinning hair offers little sun protection. Baseball hats may be high fashion but they offer no protection for ears or the back of the neck. Men’s greatest homecare need is a lightweight SPF to protect against sun damage. If it does not have a light feel, they will not use it.

On the face, men’s problems tend to be more around the eyes and the T-zone, especially the nose. Years of neglect can lead to solar comedones, which are blackheads that stud the orbital area; the skin in this region is very sensitive to removal. In addition, comedones on the nose are a common problem. Enzyme treatments, microdermabrasion or BHA exfoliation in selected areas are good choices.

While men can be injured and still perform remarkably on the battlefield, they have less tolerance for poorly done extraction. Use gentle pressure and properly prepare the skin. If using an enzyme mask prior to extraction does not yield adequate results, consider using a warming, softening mask following the enzyme and then extract. This double mask process can be very effective. A gel mask with a clove additive wrapped in hot towels is great.

There are also alginate masks that are warmed in the microwave, applied, left to sit and then peeled off. This type of mask gets warmer on the skin during processing, thereby creating additional softening and systemic pushing of follicular matter toward the surface.

Hair removal is another area where male clients have a lot of interest. Whether you offer waxing, IPL, laser or electrolysis, there are male clients seeking your services. While some athletes shave daily, more and more are looking for a longer lasting, stubble free solution. The wise technician will be prepared to offer full body hair removal to their male clients. Backs, chests, arms and legs are popular areas for hair removal. Avoid trying to wax beard or neck hair; this hair tends to be very coarse and deeply rooted. Therefore, Laser or IPL is a better option for these areas.

When it comes to Brazilian style waxing, the real experts that focus on client care, not marketing product, agree that waxing or otherwise treating the testicles should be avoided, as it is a very risky area. Laser hair removal specialists do not treat this area, as there are no clear guidelines as to what the possible side effects could be internally or externally. While there are those who see no problem with waxing the testicular area, this skin is very fragile. Gaining a good stretch is difficult and the skin can be easily torn, possibly requiring stitches to mend. If you choose to offer this service, make sure your malpractice insurance specifically covers it.

Spray tans are not just for female clients. Men like to have that summertime glow and some professional technicians have made lucrative sidelines or businesses by offering spray tanning to sports or body building competitors. One specialist told me that it was great because these clients’ bodies were already sculpted, and they just wanted that nice coat of color to polish them for the event.

When it comes to products, we have already mentioned SPF. Additionally, it is nice to offer for retail a light gel cleanser, hydrating gel, SPF lip protection, peptide products or shaving products. Select products for clean, unisex or masculine lines, packaging, scent and lightweight feel.

Whether your full focus is on attracting male clients, or just on servicing those referred from your female customers, male clients can be a valuable asset to your practice; meet their needs and they can be the most loyal clients out there.

Judith Culp, a CIDESCO Diplomat has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. A CPCP permanent makeup technician for over 18 years she served a 4-year term as a Director for the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, two years as their president. She is president of Culp Enterprises Inc. and CEO of NW Institute of Esthetics. Judy Culp is available for consulting. For more information visit www.estheticsnw.com.