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Men's Grooming Tools, Products Helping Push Dollar Growth in Personal Care

Posted: August 8, 2012

Recent figures on men’s grooming tools and products released by The NPD Group reveal men continue to discover the benefits of keeping up appearances. Men’s grooming tools are among the largest dollar growth drivers in the overall personal care industry and product categories like men’s facial skin care continue to grow at a fast pace.

Credit the influence of popular culture—and specifically, the increased appearance of facial hair on the red carpet—for the rise in men’s grooming tool sales. Recent results in this category also show men want to control hair growth on the body as well as the face.

According to The NPD Group’s consumer tracking service for the 12 months ending June 2012, sales of men’s electric shavers and men’s trimmers gained 9% and 12%, respectively, in dollar sales. Facial trimmers grew 13% in dollar sales. Pen trimmers and nose/ear trimmers together accounted for 13% of men’s trimmer dollars and increased 22% and 19% in units, respectively. Body groomers gained nearly 16%, with the market research company noting that body groomers skew toward the under-35 age group and are even more popular among men under age 25.

“Even though the overall personal care industry is currently flat, the men’s grooming categories are showing healthy growth,” said Debra Mednick, executive director of The NPD Group’s home business. “Men are purchasing the tools to help them get their look and looking good sells.”

Men work to care for their well-groomed style whether they choose the five o’clock shadow or a more clean-shaven look. Unlike women, men’s options are limited when it comes to covering up skin irritations such as razor burn, nicks and acne. Survey results confirm men are more educated now than ever before about skincare problems and solutions.

Information from The NPD Group’s Men’s Grooming Consumer Report noted that over nine in 10 men use some sort of grooming products today. Also, the men’s grooming industry generated $964 million in U.S. department store sales in 2011, an increase of 11%, compared to 2010, and facial cleansers (excluding bar soap), facial lotions/moisturizers, and lip products are the most commonly used products among male facial skin care users. Men’s facial skin care grew 11% in dollars in 2011, and facial skin care product users are more likely to be ethnic men and men aged 18–34.

“Men have become increasingly conscious of the perks associated with looking good,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “They have a heightened awareness that looking good may provide them an advantage in the workplace as well as in their personal lives.” “Men have different skin than women and the men’s grooming brands need to continue educating them as well as make them feel comfortable in the shopping environment to gain sales in this category.”