With countless options to choose from, across different categories including organic, natural, cruelty-free or even conventional brands — shopping for skincare feels more like a challenge. Today, we’ll talk about skincare spending and what makes men and women so different, including their spending habits, choices and brand preferences.
Why does luxury skincare cost so much?
First things first, remember with high-end cosmetics, you’re not only paying for the product itself but you’re also paying for the brand name, image, marketing, the retail location, their ongoing research on certain ingredients, patents and so on.
Sometimes an expensive skincare product in reality offers limited value, in terms of efficacy. So whether its a high-end face cream versus a budget-friendly alternative, its important to check the ingredients and see if the extra splurge is really worth it.
- Skincare Products You Should Not Waste Your Money On
- 10 Common Skincare Mistakes You’re Probably Making
Women vs. men: any differences in spending behaviour?
But before we delve into this topic further, I think its important that we understand how different factors influence our buying behaviour and can contribute to the amount capitalized on skin care. To help understand this better, I’ve done a literature review of all the studies that assessed consumer spending behaviour related to skin care.
A study from Finland explored the factors that influences the buying behaviour of Finnish women related to facial skincare products. The study also compared between the spending habits of young and middle-aged women, to see if consumer’s age had a role in influencing their purchasing decisions. Overall, they reported similarities between the two groups, with some minor differences, especially with regard to the use of natural ingredients. Women who had children were more favourable toward the use of natural ingredients than women who didn’t have children.
A similar trend is seen across the different studies that we looked into. Eventually, it all comes down to the brand name for women. Quality, ingredients (natural, organic), suitability to skin type and advertisements are other factors that may affect their purchase intention.
A survey conducted in China by Ipsos showed that more than half of women expressed their preference for the use of highly specialized skin care products. When looking into each category, the researchers concluded that masks, toners and cleansers scored highest demand among Chinese women. Other products including lotions, essences, moisturizers and sunscreen have also recorded a relatively strong demand.
Women in general, prefer the use of highly specialized skin care products as a preventative measure to keep their skin healthier looking and more youthful.
Skincare spending by men
Now the next question is, do we have any reports on the spending behaviour among men? Well, although it’s an area that goes largely under-reported, I did find a Turkish study (2015) that explored their preferences and attitudes towards cosmetic consumption. The study also identified factors that are likely to influence their spending behaviour on cosmetics.
Among men, their spending behaviour is linked to self-image and lifestyle. Social class, values and personality are also likely to contribute to their consumption of skin care products.
In another article that discussed spending behaviours, it was reported that an average man shells out $51 for their face products each month. Women on the other hand spend $91 — which is nearly double that amount.
Another study revealed that when comparing preferences, face wash appears to be the most sought-after product in men’s grooming routine. Unlike women, age plays no role in men as far as beauty spending is concerned.
This one might come as a bit of surprise. One product men are least likely to spend on is beard oil. Obviously, these practices may differ between different ethnicities and cultures, but this article is just to offer you a basic understanding of the differences in spending behaviour between the two genders.
Another study reported that male customers’ decision-making process is highly dependent on situational factors such as the store atmosphere, location and the persuasive nature of the salesman.
What seals the deal for men?
Here’s another interesting fact. Male consumers who have had a more positive attitude (or, were more strongly drawn) toward a specific product, had greater intention to purchase than consumers who didn’t. Again, this takes us back to the subject of product features, brand image, and how the beauty market actually works.
It’s no secret that women have a significant influence on male’s spending behaviour.
In fact, for most men, it’s the opinion of their spouses and better halves that matters the most. Some even consider their spouses’ preferences as a deciding factor for narrowing down on the beauty products they should invest on. The COVID-19 pandemic has partly reprioritized our beauty standards and we have seen a significant shift in behaviour towards skin care.
Also, since the market for women is so well established, it makes sense that men would then consider women to be facilitators when it comes to male beauty spending.
Men vs. women: Who’s more loyal to brands?
Brand loyalty stirs up another debate among the two genders. Men in general, practice a more conservative behavior when it comes to skincare spending and are more likely to remain loyal to brands. This also means once they find a certain product, they will stop looking further.
Men vs. women: Motivations when buying cosmetics
As we age, skin care becomes more important than makeup, for both men and women. However, studies have shown that both genders have different motivations or intent to purchase when buying cosmetics.
Women on the other hand, like to explore, communicate their concerns, and have no qualms in taking their time for finding the right product.
Men are more concerned with improving their appearance with budget friendly products. Women on the other hand are more likely to experiment with beauty treatments, test new products and brands, and are always looking for tips and product reviews.
When comparing between genders, women seem much more likely to spend more on cosmetic products, though fragrances are an exception.
Men vs. women: Skincare spending
According to an article by the distributor and retailer Chalhoub Group, high earners in this region are likely to spend an average of $700 per month on oriental fragrances and essential oils. This is in addition to the $500 that they would spend on make-up and skincare. Settle in, there’s more coming.
In some ways, these statistics reflect the spending habits and brand preferences that exists within this region. The way consumers relate with products has changed dramatically and so has the perceptions surrounding body image.
In any case, there is rising pressure on both men and women to look good. Likewise, they also believe that investing in good skincare will help them conform to the pre-conceived ideals set forth by society.