Stocked-up skincare shelves and pretty anti-ageing vials were always the woman's domain. Some of these products were still shared by her man who wasn't really into pastel pink vials or smooth skin but just wanted functional grooming hygiene. But, now with the advent of new beauty brands and targeted marketing, men, too are becoming aware of their hyaluronic acids and vitamin C skin needs, and the aisles are getting stocked with unisex, gender-neutral, or genderless products. The narrative being, it’s not a prerogative of one gender to be the lovelier one. Both are equal stakeholders when it comes to skin concerns and waking up to good skin and hair has become a common goal.
Men, however, are less devoted to layering skincare. Mini Sood Banerjee, assistant director and head of marketing at Innisfree cosmetics India, finds that the post-pandemic shift towards genderless beauty is more prominent. Men know their ingredients and coming forward to buy products for themselves. “For instance, basis the feedback we get from our stores, men are not just looking for any cleanser but a cleanser that addresses their skin type and concerns. And this interest is across categories, especially in masking and pore cleansing range,” adds Banerjee. Dermatologist Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder of Isaac Luxe, applauds the trend of genderless beauty. Her recently launched signature skincare range is consciously unisex in formulation, packaging and communication.
Here we list down some of the latest offerings that can be shared by you and your partner.1) Dr G Moringa Glow Pack
A refreshing mask with natural cleansing and hydrating abilities which help eliminates toxins and impurities and de-tans the skin. Moringa extracts, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid help firm your skin, reduce blemishes and signs of ageing. Moringa as an ingredient has fans in men and women alike as it smells mild and neutral, has amazing nourishing properties, and works on all skin types. Dr G’s Moringa glow mask is a comfortable textured easy-to-apply mask that minimises pores and soaks the excess sebum from the skin. Use it once a week to deep cleanse and hydrate.2) Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
If you are looking for fuss-free, easily absorbed and fragrance-free daily face cream, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a cult for a reason. Formulated with glacial glycoprotein and olive-derived squalane, this non-greasy, lightweight moisturiser immediately leaves skin 2.3x more hydrated, even in the skin’s driest areas. Works well to calm the post-shaving rashes. Right now, available in special limited edition Commemorative Collection packaging which celebrates 170 years of the brand. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.3) Innisfree Volcanic Calming Pore Clay Mask
Innisfree’s latest exfoliation warrior has men and women, both adding this calming pore clay mask into their carts. The blend of volcanic clay along with AHAs and BHAs absorbs the dead skin cells, blackheads, removes impurities, and gives a gentle soothing effect while adding moisture to the skin. This creamy clay mask demands 5-minutes in your grooming routine to sort out those pesky bumps and absorb excess sebum. A game-changer in the pore care range, as it blends efficacy with absolute ease of application. This purifying mask with a peeling action means business.4) Ranavat Fortifying Hair Serum: Mighty Majesty
Talking of unisex products, the product which New York-based Michelle Ranavat suggests from her brand of luxury, modern ayurvedic skincare is hair oil. “Men and women both experience hair loss and while hair oiling is mostly done by women, I think it should be embraced by men as well. It’s important to nourish the scalp,” she adds. Her bestselling hair oil is infused with amla, oleic acid, and vitamins E and C, all blended at the highest potency to make the champi relaxing and nourishing. If you feel lazy to give your head a good rub, request your partner and return the favour.5) Aminu The Ultra Modern Longevity Serum
If you can’t decide between Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, we suggest a blend of both to hydrate oily skin. While our skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid, as we age the production goes down and hence, we need to supplement it externally to keep it well hydrated. “Male skin tends to be thicker which means more collagen and tendency to produce more melanin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps protect the collagen from oxidative stress which again helps prevent sagging and makes the skin look younger. Less oxidative stress also means the skin will produce relatively less and more uniform melanin when then helps the skin retain a more even skin tone,” says Prachi Bhandari, co-founder, Aminu.6) Daughter Earth Kombucha Essence + Plant Stem Cells Blue Light Mist
This multi-vitamin antioxidant-rich facial mist with no added water is formulated with floral essences and steam distilled waters in clinically proven active complexes that help the skin deal with stress caused due to overexposure to digital devices. Formulated with blue light and IR impact targeting Ayurvedic Chebula (Haritaki), sunflower microgreens and the divine tara tree pods, this mist soothes, tones and comforts the skin while adding a boost of hydrating botanical nourishment. Spray onto your face and neck from a distance, before moisturising or just by itself.7) Simply Nam Biocellulose 3 Layer Sheet Mask
Created by celebrity makeup Namrata Soni, each mask consists of three layers. The middle layer, a bio-cellulose layer that is to be used over the face, whereas the other two layers are present to hold in the moisture. It is designed to deliver nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, licorice, witch hazel, sodium hyaluronate, and peony root nutrition to deeper layers of the skin, to soothe and repair the skin damage. The product is alcohol-free and made of coconut fibers.8) Dr Sheth’s Hibiscus & Niacinamide Lotion
Don’t want to clutter the beauty cabinet and if you are looking for one wonder lotion that works for both face and body, moisturises and repairs, soothes and brightens, then have a look at Dr Sheth’s latest Hibiscus and Niacinamide lotion. Niacinamide works to reduce the appearance of pores and hydrates your skin while reducing excess sebum production. Hibiscus extract is a potent antioxidant that reduces damage from sun exposure and pollution. This is a medium-strength niacinamide product that is light in texture and works great for people who can't tolerate high doses and need a relatively potent, yet weightless lotion.9) L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil
To elevate your regular shower into a quick aromatic ritual switch to L’Occitane’s Almond shower oil. Sensorially, the scent of warm almonds and vanilla is pleasing but overpowering. The winning point is its oil-to-milk texture. When the shower oil comes in touch with water it transforms into a luxurious foamy cleansing milk. It leaves the skin cleansed, hydrated, and mildly aromatic. Since it’s also suitable for all skin types it’s a great grooming product to share with your partner.10) Earth Rhythm Murumuru Butter Shampoo Bar
If you are both focused on building a minimalist beauty cabinet and prefer even your grooming choices to be sustainable in approach, try the Earth Rhythm Murumuru Butter Shampoo Bar. Vitamin E-rich murumuru butter maintains scalp hygiene and health. Unlike sulphate shampoos that leave the hair dry, this hair wash bar contains a gentle surfactant derived from coconut oil which improves the scalp's hydration and prevents dryness and irritation.11) Arata Sunscreen Cream
Sunscreen is not a step that is ingrained in every man’s skincare routine but experts recommend that it should be. It is the foundation of skincare. Your creams, lotions, serums and masks show better results if you keep the skin protected against the UVA and UVB rays. This easy-to-blend sunscreen contains vitamin C and lactic acid which not only protects but also treats inflammation and stimulates collagen renewal to ward off first signs of ageing.12) Hivado Pore Purifying Face Cleanser
Here’s a product that you can borrow from your partner’s closet if you are looking for a multi-functional, daily face cleanser that’s been created to complement an active lifestyle. Enriched with a unique blend of alum and seaweed extract, it cleans away excess oil and grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Orange peel extract refreshes the skin leaving it visibly smoother and brighter. It can even be used pre-shave to soften and cleanse facial hair (considering that women are shaving their hair too.)Also read:
Skin deep: Is the future of skincare gender neutral?
A man explains why more men need to pay attention to skincare
Brands, icons and influencers who are breaking through gender norms