Gone are the days when men would surreptitiously steal skincare from mothers, sisters, partners, roomates and eventually wives. Men — from metrosexuals to uber-masculine types — are loudly and proudly getting their own skincare. Made especially for men's thicker and oilier complexions and specific concerns, such as roughness and breakouts, these traditionally female skincare brands have been making their men's lines without much fanfare and promotion.
Yes these lines have been doing well, with a steady growth in numbers and an expansion of product offerings. Some like Korean brand Laneige, even have more than one men's range under their product line, unsurprising as Korean men are among the biggest consumers of men's skincare products in the world. With sleek and functional packaging and easy-to-use concepts, these are some stellar brands and their best-selling products.
Based on the concept of traditional Korean beauty and skincare recipes, Sulwhasoo is one of the premium brands under the Amore Pacific group. The holistic brand emphasises harmony and balance on the skin. Rich in ginseng, herbs and traditional ingredients, these highly-effective and luxuriously packaged products are a treat for both your skin and your senses. This year the brand revamps its men's range and adds on a cleanser.
Best-sellers: The Essential Skin Refiner, Moisturizing Fluid and Energizing Cream which will be revamped and renamed the Inner Charging Serum, Skin Reinforcing Emulsion and Age Defying Cream respectively.
Best for: A man who practices yoga, is in touch with his inner self and who love to splurge on only the best.
Clarins is one of the most enduring and well-loved French skincare companies, with over 60 years of experience in both face and body care, cosmetics as well as in-spa treatments. Its men's line has also been servicing clientale with a streamlined and efficient range of products that follow simple categories: cleanse, tone, moisturise and age control. With clean, hygenic packaging and elegantly-named products, the range suits skincare novices well.
Best-sellers: The Active Face Wash, Anti-Fatigue Eye Serum and Revitalizing Gel.
Best for: Men who want simple yet fast-working products, and a routine that isn't confusing.
Shiseido is perhaps the premium Japanese skincare brand. While the brand originated as Shiseido, it has a multitude of other brands under the parent company including Ettusais and luxury brand Clé de Peau Beauté. It is also known for being among the most innovative skincare brands, developing lots of anti-ageing patents and having the distinction of being the first to introduce the concept of whitening over a hundred years ago. The men's line, which was launched in 2004, combines scientific excellence and innovation with sleek products that "power your skin" — with a focus on anti-ageing.
Best-sellers: Shiseido Men Cleansing Foam and Total Revitalizer.
Best for: Men who want serious anti-ageing products that have multiple actions.
Laneige is the key brand under Amore Pacific and leads the charge when it comes to K-Beauty innovations — from cushion foundation to dual-toned lipsticks. Its men's range is also among the most extensive and comprehensive. The face of the brand is Korean actor Song Jae Lim. Among the lines are Active Water (moisturising), Oil Control and Dual Action (anti-wrinkle).
Best-sellers: The Active Water Cleanser, Dual Action Essence Lotion and Oil Control Water Lotion.
Best for: The skincare afficionado who knows his stuff and is not afraid to use multiple products. The different ranges means pretty much anyone of any skin type can find suitable products.