8 mins read
  • skincare
June 28th, 2023

How to Formulate Skincare Products that Meet the Needs of Men’s Skin

How to Formulate Skincare Products that Meet the Needs of Men’s Skin


  • Men’s skincare is a growing market segment for beauty and personal care customers. A recent survey reveals 50% of men prefer male-oriented brands.
  • Formulating effective skincare products for men requires understanding men’s different skin characteristics, preferences and concerns from women.
  • Men generally prefers skincare products that multifunctional, lightweight texture, convenient for use with masculine packaging and scent.
  • Evolving gender stereotypes, rise of online shopping and trends in different geographical regions will help to accelerate the growth of men’s skincare brands.
  • With the growing expectations of men, who are becoming more conscious in improving their skin health and appearance, the development of men’s skincare products can be optimized by partnering with a skincare expert.


Skincare for men is not a luxury, but a necessity. Men’s skincare is a booming market segment that offers great opportunities for beauty and personal care customers who want to offer high-quality and personalized products to their male clients. Based on a report from Grand View Research, the global men’s skincare products market size was valued at USD 11.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027.

According to a recent survey conducted by L.E.K. Consulting, it was found that 50% of men prefer brands that cater specifically to men. This preference for male-oriented brands is particularly prominent among consumers with higher incomes. On the other hand, only 32% of male participants in the survey expressed a preference for gender-neutral brands, and a mere 16% showed interest in female-oriented brands that also offer products for men. These findings indicate that a relevant brand centered around men is emerging to capture a more desirable segment of the market, consisting of higher-income men who are likely to be early adopters.

Formulating effective men’s skincare products requires understanding the specific needs and concerns of men, which differs that from women. In this article, we will share provide some insights into formulating effective skincare products for men, considering their unique skin characteristics, preferences, and desired outcomes. We will also show you how to join forces with a dependable contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) to deliver your product development outcomes with the highest levels of innovation, efficacy, appeal, and quality in the optimal time.

The Characteristics and Concerns of Men’s Skin

The first step in formulating effective skincare products for men is to understand how men’s skin differs from women’s skin in terms of structure, function, and physiology. Some of the key differences include:

  • Thickness: Men’s skin is about 20% to 25% thicker than women’s skin, due to higher levels of collagen and elastin. This makes men’s skin more resilient and less prone to wrinkles.
  • Sebum production: Men’s skin produces more sebum (oil) than women’s skin, due to higher levels of testosterone. This makes men’s skin more moisturized and less sensitive, but also shinier and more prone to acne, blackheads and ingrown hairs.
  • Hair growth: Men’s skin has more hair follicles than women’s skin, due to higher levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This makes men’s skin hairier and coarser, but also more irritated and inflamed by shaving.
  • pH level: Men’s skin has a lower pH level than women’s skin, due to higher levels of lactic acid in their sweat. This makes men’s skin more acidic and less susceptible to bacterial infections, but also drier and prone to redness.


In addition to comprehending men’s skincare needs, it is equally important to grasp their preferences and expectations concerning product usage and sensory experience.

  • Convenience and multifunctionality: Men’s skincare routine is generally simpler and does not involve too many products or steps. Therefore, developing multi-functional products that provide multiple benefits in a single application can be highly appealing to time-pressed men. For instance, a moisturizer with sun protection or a face wash that exfoliates simplifies the skincare regimen, aligning with men’s desire for efficiency in attaining healthier skin in the quickest time.
  • Texture and absorption: Men’s preference for lightweight, fast-absorbing skincare products stems from factors such as daily activities, skin sensitivity, personal comfort and the higher level of sebum compared to women´s skin. You should prioritize formulating non-greasy lotions, gels, or serums that swiftly absorb into the skin, ensuring a pleasant user experience and promoting regular product usage.
  • Targeted marketing claims addressing key concerns: As men become more focused on appearance, there’s opportunity to develop products that appeal to men who want more than basic hygiene. To create effective men’s skincare products, it is essential to incorporate scientifically proven active ingredients that support marketing effectiveness claims, which address their specific key concerns. Common men’s appearance key concerns include oil control, acne, anti-aging, and soothing post-shave irritation.
  • Fragrance and packaging: The fragrance and packaging of men’s skincare products play an important role in attracting and retaining male consumers. Men generally prefer subtle, fresh, and masculine scents that aren’t overpowering. Packaging should align with masculine aesthetics, featuring clean lines, bold colors, and a straightforward design. By selecting fragrances and designing packaging that appeals to men, you can create a strong visual and olfactory connection, enhancing the overall product experience.

Identify Growth Opportunities

A recent Ipsos research reveals that men over 50 are motivated to use skincare to look more youthful while men between 18 and 34 want to look good to attract women. With the changing attitudes towards skincare products and their benefits, the men’s skincare market is poised for growth. Here are some of factors that can boost the growth potential of men’s skincare products:

  • Changing social norms: Changing social norms and expectations regarding men’s grooming and self-care present significant opportunities in the skincare market. More men now recognize the importance of skincare for personal and professional success. Recently, male celebrity-backed skincare brands are entering the beauty space. Celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Brad Pitt and Jared Leto have launched their own skincare ranges. The evolving gender stereotypes and cultural barriers are driving the growth of men’s personal care.
  • Making it easier to buy with e-commerce: The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the growth in the men’s skincare market, as men increasingly prioritize self-care and grooming. The convenience and accessibility of e-commerce have played a crucial role in this growth, with online platforms providing a wide range of products and information to meet the specific needs of male consumers. To capitalize on this trend, brands must enhance the e-commerce experience by optimizing websites, providing clear product descriptions and visuals, and offering personalized recommendations. By investing in these strategies, brands can outpace the competition and cater to the expanding men’s skincare market.
  • Keeping up-to-date with trends: Staying updated on men’s skincare trends is crucial for brands to meet the changing needs of male consumers. According to Mintel’s A Year of Innovation in Men’s Grooming, 2023 report hydrating claims still dominate, but there is a growing interest in anti-wrinkle claims, especially in North America. Men’s makeup is gaining traction in Asia Pacific, influenced by factors like K-pop idols and a shifting definition of masculinity, with brands educating men on its ease of use through tutorials. Regarding skin types, oily skin issues continue to dominate the market share, followed up by sensitive skin.
Formulating men's skincare through addressing their key concerns and specific needs

Formulating men’s skincare through addressing their key concerns and specific needs. Photo credit: Unsplash.

Innovative Skincare Product Formulas: Key Ingredients and Technologies in Men’s Skincare Formulation

The second step in men’s skincare formulation requires careful selection and combination of ingredients and technologies that can address the specific needs and challenges of men’s skin. Some of the ingredients and technologies that are commonly used or emerging in men’s facial care products are:

  1. Natural and organic ingredients: Derived from plants, fruits, herbs, or minerals, these ingredients offer clean and environmentally friendly options preferred by men. However, their availability and quality can be influenced by external factors like climate change, pollution, and pests. To tackle these challenges, biotechnology offers a promising solution. Biotechnology can help produce natural and organic ingredients in the laboratory without relying on farming or harvesting, reducing environmental impact and ensuring consistent quality.
  2. Active ingredients: Designed to provide specific benefits such as hydration, exfoliation, protection, or anti-aging, active ingredients are sought after by men seeking effective skincare solutions.
  3. Biotechnology: Utilizing living organisms or systems to create or modify substances, biotechnology improves efficacy, safety, and sustainability in skincare products. Applications include fermentation, enzyme engineering, and stem cells.


Balancing ingredient efficacy, safety, and stability is crucial when formulating men’s skincare products. Efficacy ensures desired results, safety promotes skin tolerance, and stability maintains quality over time. But that’s not all. The packaging also plays a vital role in enhancing the customer experience. It should be attractive, durable, and user-friendly. A perfect formulation in a poor packaging is a waste of potential.

That’s why it is crucial for brands to partner with a reliable Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) to achieve optimal product formulation and development. At SanderStrothmann, our experts create innovative formulations with premium ingredients, supported by scientific efficacy data, and undergo rigorous safety and stability testing.

The Best Practices and Tips for Men’s Skincare Development

The third step in formulating men’s facial care products is crafting a streamlined and impactful skincare solution. A skincare product, in essence, is a finished composition comprising a thoughtfully cutting-edge skincare formulations designed to address targeted skin concerns or objectives. Whether it be a cleanser, moisturizer, or sunscreen, crafting a simple and effective men’s skincare product entails a systematic approach that involves several key steps:

  • Keep up with industry trends and innovation: Stay informed about the latest advancements in men’s skincare, including ingredient breakthroughs and new product formats. This allows you to adapt and innovate, staying ahead of the competition and meeting evolving consumer needs.
  • Choose an appropriate product packaging: The packaging of men’s skincare products significantly impacts consumer perception, preference, and purchase decisions. It also affects product functionality, usability, and shelf life. Therefore, selecting suitable packaging is crucial to reflect brand identity, attract the target market, safeguard product quality, and optimize performance.
  • Formulation development: Collaborating with skincare experts, such as a reputable CDMO, who can guide formulation development, ensure compliance with safety and regulatory requirements, and offer a range of packaging options to enhance product appeal is crucial.
  • Testing and refinement: Once the initial formulation is created, extensive testing is necessary to ensure efficacy, safety, and user satisfaction. This testing phase enables improvement and optimization of the product, aligning it more closely with the desired skin goals and requirements.


Formulating effective men’s skincare products for men is a rewarding and lucrative opportunity for beauty and personal care customers who want to offer high-quality and personalized products to their male clients. It requires a thorough understanding of men’s skin characteristics, needs, and goals, as well as the right ingredients, products, and men’s skincare regimen. By following the tips and insights shared in this article, you can formulate effective skincare products for men that can benefit their skin and boost your business.

If you need more information or assistance in formulating effective skincare products for men, you can contact a reputable CDMO that can provide you with high-quality ingredients, rigorous testing, and innovative formulation techniques. A CDMO can help you create customized and innovative solutions for men’s skincare that enable your product to quickly reach the market.

Our end-to-end CDMO services include every stage of contract development for skincare products. With more than 20 years of experience, we deliver innovation and excellence for our clients. Contact us today to find out how we can help you formulate effective skincare products.

A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

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A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

Back to Home