Today's men are prettifying themselves with such gusto that they're driving big increases in national skin care sales and flooding dermatologists' offices with record-high requests for wrinkle smoothers, laser treatments and derma fillers.
Welcome to the era of the "Brotox," so hip a term that it recently made Urban Dictionary's word of the day. Men of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds are embracing the beauty industry — from noninvasive procedures to cosmetics and salon treatments — to maximize their prospects, in both the job market and the dating scene.
"These days, when you're in the business world, you have to look groomed," said new Brotox and pedicure convert William Jordan, 49, of Fort Lauderdale. "I don't have a friend who doesn't do this right now."
Few communities have a bird's-eye view on this muscular beauty trend quite like image-conscious South Florida, where Plantation dermatologist Dr. Richard Greene is seeing almost as many men for cosmetic procedures as women — unheard of just a few years ago. To keep up with demand, GBS the Beauty Store's six South Florida salons have had to truck in four times the number of men's grooming product lines in the past couple of years.
"Long gone are the days when taking care of yourself was equivalent to feminine," said Miami entrepreneur Darnell Henderson, whose multicultural all-male grooming line, Himistry, has seen online sales quadruple nationally since 2009. "It's all about getting the girl." And the job, Jordan said.
"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."
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.
Because men's skin is thicker, their lines deeper, "surgery looks different on men, and often, it doesn't look good at all," said Aventura dermatologist Dr. Mark Nestor. "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 CoolSculpting and Zerona.
It's just not dermatologist and plastic surgeon services they're seeking, either. Increasingly, they're heading to the nail salon and the department store 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.
The men's beauty movement is even the subject of a new tongue-in-cheek documentary, Mansome, by director Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame. Peppered with interviews with a wide slate of Hollywood stars, models and comedians — and punctuated by scenes of actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman luxuriating in facial cream on a spa day — the film combs through the newly diverse definition of masculinity amid "men's idiosyncratic grooming habits" in 21st century America.