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Men’s Grooming Is Booming

New products help Generation X men look their best


spinner image a stylish man rubbing his beard
Illustration by Jordon Cheung

If you’re a man who hasn’t used face cream since Clearasil, it might be time to reconsider. The products are better — new balms and lotions are tailor-made for 50-something men — and you won’t be alone.

According to Research and Markets, a supplier of market data and analysis, the global market for male grooming products is exploding, hitting $74.5 billion in 2021 and expected to reach $108.7 billion by 2027. So what’s behind all the buzz?

“Targeted marketing campaigns, mainly through social media, have made men more aware of the benefits of using grooming products,” says Kimberly Bragalone, a celebrity makeup artist and men’s groomer based in Los Angeles.

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Between those campaigns and the all-seeing, always-on videoconference camera of the past few years, Gen X guys are getting inspired to try new things to look their best. As a result, face masks, face oils and under-eye treatments are growing in popularity, Bragalone notes. Additionally, to combat thinning, brittle hair, more brands are offering oils, balms, shampoos and conditioners.

Here’s how to use a few of the most popular new products.

spinner image Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+ Facial Oil; KYPRIS Beauty Elixir II: Balancing Flowers; True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil
(Left to right) Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+ Facial Oil; Kypris Beauty Elixir II: Balancing Flowers; True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil
Grown Alchemist; Kypris; True Botanicals

Face oil

These are heavier than a daily moisturizing cream, so one or two drops, dabbed onto your skin in the morning, can help support a healthy skin barrier, thanks to their rich antioxidant content. But be advised: Oils don’t contain SPF, while most moisturizers do.

Bragalone’s picks: Kypris Beauty Elixir II: Balancing Flowers ($90, kyprisbeauty.com), Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+ Facial Oil ($59, grownalchemist.com), True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil ($110, truebotanicals.com)

spinner image Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil; Billy Jealousy Devil’s Delight Beard Oil; Cremo Palo Santo Beard Oil
(Left to right) Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil; Billy Jealousy Devil’s Delight Beard Oil; Cremo Palo Santo Beard Oil
Baxter of California; Ulta Beauty; Target

Beard oil

Work two or three drops into your beard, then comb through for softer and more manageable whiskers. (If your beard is unruly, consider a balm or wax instead.)

Bragalone’s picks: Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil ($28, baxterofcalifornia.com), Billy Jealousy Devil’s Delight Beard Oil ($24, ulta.com), Cremo Palo Santo Beard Oil ($17, target.com)

spinner image Baxter of California Clay Pomade; Hanz de Fuko Claymation; Balmain Paris Matt Clay Strong
(Clockwise from left) Baxter of California Clay Pomade; Hanz de Fuko Claymation; Balmain Paris Matt Clay Strong
Baxter of California; Nordstrom; Balmain Paris

Hair clay

Makes the hair look thicker; use sparingly to keep locks in place. Unlike pomades and gels that can add shine, clay’s fashionable finish is matte. Plus, some clays can provide even more hold than pomade.

Bragalone’s picks: Hanz de Fuko Claymation ($25, hanzdefuko.com), Balmain Paris Matt Clay Strong ($57, balmainhair.us), Baxter of California Clay Pomade ($18, target.com)

As for the future of men’s grooming, easy-to-use products that get the job done are likely to stand the test of time. Plus, Bragalone predicts, fewer men will shy away from facials and laser treatments. “I am excited to see how these trends continue to evolve,” she says.

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