Men to drive Chinese beauty industry

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Shanghai-based research firm Ifop Asia said November 24 that sales of men's skincare products were expected to grow by more than a quarter this year.

Researchers also said that next year, China's total sales of men's skincare products will rise to approximately $570 million.

"In the foreseeable future, men will be the source of the next growth in the Chinese skincare market," they stated, adding that "men realize that good looks will help in various aspects of their personal and professional life."

While the skincare trend is far from gripping the mainstream, the trend analysts think that a "small group of men emerges with a less traditional and more sexually appealing male image," as opposed to the clichéd "conservative, introverted, less masculine" (according to Ifop) conceptions of Chinese men.

A quick search on beauty retailer Sephora's Chinese website confirms that it is indeed skincare that's topping men's bestseller rankings: gf's creams and lotions dominate, followed by other skincare by French brands such as Dior or American brands like Clinique, while other products such as fragrances or beauty tools are lacking from the list.

Ifop's findings follow a recent Japanese study concluding that local men are increasingly discovering their 'metrosexual' side. A spokesman for beauty brand Shiseido said: "Men are becoming a lot more interested in making themselves beautiful, and they are buying cosmetics, paying attention to their hair and overall grooming."