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Cosmetics Ingredients
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Men's Grooming Products: Formulation Tips!

Belinda Carli – Jul 18, 2017

TAGS:  Skin Care      Men Grooming Formulations    

Men's Grooming ProductsThe global male grooming market is booming, as more men are paying attention to their appearance and skin. This has paved a way for emerging men’s grooming brands to lineup with the daily needs of men’s care.

Products that are quick, simple to use and deliver a host of benefits are always preferred over the ones requiring greater efforts.

Hence, this creates some unique challenges and requires different formulation routes or ingredient types while formulating men's grooming products to address thick skin, pores, oil, sweat, facial hair, etc.

So, how you should adapt your formulations to suit male care products? Here is a summary of what is necessary to adapt in the more popular product categories:



Formulation Notes for Creating Male Skin Care Products


Shaving Creams


  • Facial hair on men is relatively coarse, thick and coated with a layer of sebum. In order to provide a close shave, this oily coating must be effectively removed to allow the hair to be wetted for smoother removal.

  • » Get practical tips on ingredients selection, market trends to effectively design targeted men care products

  • Popular foaming shaving creams use saponified fatty acids to create a thick ‘wetting’ layer and suitable lubrication to ensure a smooth glide with the razor. These products tend to have a pH of around 8.5 - 9.5. But, they also contain a significant quantity of superfatting agents to help reduce potential irritation. Humectants can also help hydrate the skin during the shaving process. Menthol (0.1%) or similar ingredients may be added to provide a ‘cooling’ sensation to the skin.

Shaving Creams and Bread Care Products

Beard Care


  • The hair in beards is very coarse, so needs softening and conditioning to feel soft as it grows.
  • Any lipids used should be low on gloss and ideally high on volatility so that residual greasiness or shine is limited.


After Shave Products


  • Used to soothe the skin and reduce ‘razor burn’.
  • Traditionally these formulas were high in alcohol to permit rapid drying on the skin and rapidly tone and close the pores. Alcohol can actually be very drying and irritating to the skin, particularly after shaving when skin lipids have just been removed. Products should have a mild astringent affect to close the pores after shaving but should not be too drying to the skin so as to irritate or cause flaking.
  • Traditionally these formulas were essentially solubilized fragrance in a water plus humectant base with astringent added (5-30%). Modern trends are favoring the use of ethoxylated lipids in a gel base.
  • Herbal extracts or vitamins are increasingly being incorporated to help provide a point of difference.

After-Shave and Facial Care Products 

Facial Care Products


As a result of male skin physiology needs, products developed for their skin care needs should be relatively light and low (or no) oil content: think light esters, mineral oils or silicones instead. Products must be easily absorbed and have a soothing feeling after application. In particular:

  • All products should contain humectants and light feeling esters or silicones so the products are not perceived as feeling ‘greasy’ on application but still provide the required moisturizing effect.
  • Cleansing products: Surfactants should be deep cleansing in a foam form. Chemical exfoliants and abrasive agents could be used in small amounts in daily cleansing products or larger amounts for 1-2 times weekly applications.
  • Moisturizers: Creams and lotions should only be oil-in-water emulsions for their light skin feel and use esters and/or silicones to achieve the required emolliency without a heavy greasy feel. A variety of actives and/or added extras should be used to help create a point of difference and functionality specific to the needs of male skin. Products will often benefit from the addition of sun protection factors as a secondary function.
  • Serums have potential: Both as stand-alone products (in-place of an after-shave and moisturizer) or as simple additions to a moisturizer base product. For men, serums should be gel (not emulsion) based.



Looking for Customized Men’s Skin Care Products – Stay Alert!


Renew your men’s skincare product strategy! Quit applying the same concepts & ingredients used to formulate women’s skin care. Take the course on "Men’s Skin care: Formulate Better Products via Customized Ingredients Selection" by Giorgio Dell Acqua today!

Men's Skin Care: Formulate Better Products

Happy formulating!



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