As men represent a more serious market for dermatologists and other skincare practitioners, many specialists are reporting that they are seeing a rise in the number of men requesting peels. For many men dipping their toes in the anti-aging skincare pool, peels represent an easy and effective introduction. There are so many proven anti-aging treatments on the market that just about anyone can find a procedure that addresses their particular cosmetic concern without feeling like it’s “too invasive.”
In the New York Times feature, “Are You Man Enough For a Peel?” Courtney Rubin explores how men who may be too afraid to indulge in female-favored Botox and skin tightening are gaining entrance into the world of anti-aging skincare with instantly gratifying treatments like resurfacing peels. New York Dermatologist Francesca Fusco told Rubin, “Men feel comfortable with peels because they work fast and there are no injections, so they don’t feel like they’re having work done.” And, she added, they treat the number one age-related complaint of her male patients: brown spots. Peels also work wonders on fine lines, wrinkles, ingrown hairs (a common shaving hazard), enlarged pores, and skin texture.
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Male patients leave the office feeling happy, surprisingly void of visible signs of treatment, and their masculinity fully intact. And, providers have the often-fulfilled promise of return male customers, who grow increasingly comfortable with “having work done” with every age-erasing treatment. “Men come in for that [peel], and then maybe the next year they’re asking about skin tightening,” Fusco says in the feature.
Peels have another very marketable aspect that appeals to the male demographic: the painlessness. Facialist to the New York elite Joanna Vargas said that peels have become her go-to treatment for male clients. They deliver immediate gratification and they make the process of extractions less painful. “Women think it’s O.K. to suffer a bit for beauty, but men are a little more sensitive to extractions,” Vargas told Rubin. But, she added, she has to be careful to avoid anything that smells too girly. Luckily, men literally have a thicker skin, so ingredients with abrasive properties that smell masculine aren’t hard to come by. Her favorite man-friendly peeling agent: a highly concentrated fruit acid mixed with paprika.
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But using masculine-smelling products isn’t enough to win over all of the male demographic. Skincare companies have had to develop a whole new brand of enticement when it comes to seducing their growing male clientele. What they’ve found is that when it comes to converting men to a skincare-conscious lifestyle simplicity is key.
That realization led to the birth of simplified, male targeted products like the Jack Black DIY Power Peel Pads and a brilliantly simple concept that’s all about ease: the one-stop “peel bar.” Philosophy, a major contender in the commercial beauty product market, is taking advantage of the time when wives and girlfriends are perusing products to lure guys with hi-tech innovations like the Reveal Imaging Machine. Ultraviolet technology exposes skin damage from sun exposure, and are conveniently located in the brand’s counter-based “peel bars” and “peel stations.” Apparently, the combination of a newly informed self-awareness and readily accessible solution, in one, has proved too convenient for many men to resist. David Boot, Philsophy’s Vice President for Global Marketing and a male skincare convert himself, told Rubin, “Men don’t want to sift through emotional mumbo-jumbo… So for them we go straight to the science.”
The Philosophy VP isn’t alone. Opting for the no-frills approach seems to be a popular consensus among male practitioners who cater to the male skincare-enthusiast set. Renowned plastic surgeon Stafford Broumand of 740 Aesthetics in Manhattan said of his in-house treatments designed for men, “We don’t want it to seem like a fluffy facial treatment. It’s all business.”
To find an expert that offers superficial or medical grade peels, visit our directory of Charlotte’s Book experts.
WORDS: Elaina Patton