Cosmetic options growing for menMen constitute a larger part of the beauty-industry marketplace that was once clearly the domain of women.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
Move over, ladies.
Men constitute a larger part of the beauty-industry marketplace that was once clearly the domain of women.
More men of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities are seeking products and procedures to maximize their prospects, both in the job market and the dating scene.
They are turning to plastic surgeons to correct what they see as physical flaws, whether natural, accidental or self-induced.
“Over the last decade, I’ve seen more men coming in,” said Dr. Kevin Muiderman, plastic surgeon at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, “but still not as much as women.”
As cosmetic plastic surgery becomes more exposed through the popular press and television, it’s less taboo, he said. “People don’t feel as strange coming in.”
The most common procedure men ask for is liposuction, a surgical technique to remove unwanted fat cells through tiny incisions.
But they’re also getting rhinoplasty (nose job), face lift and eyelid procedures as well as surgery for gynecomastia, abnormal breast development.
“Liposuction is one of the more minor procedures,” Muiderman said, and causes far less pain than more extensive surgery.
“Because the incisions are not deep in the body, and not through muscle, there’s not a lot of pain in recovery.”
Patients experience some bruising and an achy feeling, he said, but “there’s not a lot of down-time.”
He should know; he had liposuction 13 years ago to rid himself of stubborn “love handles” around his back midsection.
“I was down to seven percent body fat and still had an overhang.”
A self-described “fat kid who became athletic,” he was following a strict regimen of lifting weights an hour-and-a-half a day, six times a week, and practicing Kung Fu, but the overhang hung on.
“That’s where my body stored (the fat),” he said.
A colleague in plastic surgery did the procedure on a Friday, he recalled. “I was back to work on Monday.
“I love it. It’s fantastic,” he said. And, with a healthy lifestyle, the fat will stay off.
“Plastic surgery is a permanent change. You’re removing fat cells permanently, that’s the great thing about it.”
And contrary to what some believe, the fat cells won’t show up in another area, he said.
“Even if you gain a lot of weight — say, 30 pounds — you’ll never have as much fat in that area than if you never had liposuction.”
With plastic surgery, “you can achieve a greater change than external procedures,” Muiderman said, such as CoolSculpting and similar procedures offered by a growing number of aesthetic businesses.
While men are still the minority of his patients, they share with women a tendency to keep mum about their cosmetic plastic surgery.
Between the sexes, “in general, the same percentage is open about it. Some don’t want it known,” he said. “I’d say the majority are private.”
Today’s growing assortment of products and procedures are giving men the tools they need like never before, allowing them to enhance their looks without losing their masculinity. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of cosmetic procedures, a market historically dominated by women.
“Out of every 100 patients, 98 of them were women,” said dermatologist Dr. Richard Greene of his Plantation, Fla., cosmetic procedure business just a few years ago. “A lot of men didn’t want plastic surgery procedures.”
Because men’s skin is thicker, their lines deeper, “surgery looks different on men, and often, it doesn’t look good at all,” said Dr. Mark Nestor, a dermatologist in Aventura, Fla. “Bruce Jenner is a good example of that.”
That’s changing, thanks to widely available nonsurgical options, including Botox, a similar smoother called Dysport, lower-face fillers like Restylane, tightening agents like Ulthera and even fat-reduction treatments like CoolScupting and Zerona.
Men now make up about 40 percent of Greene’s cosmetic procedure traffic, and Nestor estimated their numbers are “10 times what they were five or 10 years ago” in his office.
Male grooming booming
Image-conscious men are driving big increases in national skin-care product sales and flooding dermatologists’ offices with record-high requests for wrinkle-smoothers, laser treatments and derma fillers.
“Long gone are the days when taking care of your self was equivalent to feminine,” said Miami entrepreneur Darnell Henderson, whose multicultural all-men grooming line, Himistry, has seen online sales quadruple nationally since 2009.
“It’s all about getting the girl.”
And the job, said William Jordan, 49, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“You start looking older, people start discarding you. You’d think they’d take you more seriously, but they don’t,” he said. “The job market has become slimmer, so guys in their late 40s want to compete with guys in their early 30s.”
It’s not just dermatologist and plastic surgeon services they’re seeking, either. Increasingly, men are heading to the nail salon and the department story beauty counter, too.
A February survey by the market research company NPD Group found that one in four men is using skin-care products such as facial cleansers, lip moisturizers, eye cream and anti-aging treatments.
Business is so robust that the men’s facial skin-care market enjoyed an 11 percent boost in sales last year over 2010 numbers, despite the still-struggling economy.
What fascinated the folks at NPD the most, according to vice president and senior global industry analyst Karen Grant, is that women are no longer driving such purchases. The survey found that 75 percent of the time, men are the ones doing the buying.
“Men of all ages want to show their vibrancy, to make sure their opportunities don’t pass them by,” Grant said.
Nicole Brochu, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun Sentinel, contributed to this article. Call Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1107; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.