Why many men don’t use skincare or wear makeup – even though they want to

My younger brother asked me to help him take his photo for a school project. He told me after I showed him the best shot that he liked, that his skin didn’t look as good. Because I knew he only needed a little concealer and powder, I offered to help him with his makeup. My brother declined. He stated that he doesn’t like wearing makeup. He said that he doesn’t believe makeup is for girls. He must have learned from his many years of wearing makeup that men can still wear makeup!

I was curious about my brother’s dislike of makeup. He isn’t the only one. Many of my male friends are uncomfortable when skincare and makeup are mentioned in conversation.

My understanding of makeup and skincare is that they should not be classified based on gender. Every makeup product can be used regardless of gender. A concealer would not have a different effect on men than it would on women. Human skin is just human skin. Ok, I admit it, I was intrigued when Chanel launched Boy De Chanel’s first men’s makeup line in September 2018. But, I couldn’t find anything that was different from existing products. Each product felt like a repackaged version. Only then was it marketed to men.

Yes, there are skincare products for men that have a different packaging and scent, but that’s it when it comes to skincare. Why shouldn’t we be focusing on ingredients that target specific skin conditions? It is the efficacy of the formulation that matters most.

It’s more than functionality. My good friend is still apprehensive about makeup. He is afraid of being judged negatively by those around him. If he is exposed to makeup, he fears that others will label him a gay man. A friend of mine shared how awkward it is for him to pass by makeup counters in stores. He must ask a friend or relative of a girl to purchase it.

I find it odd that I don’t see any other men when I go to buy makeup. It can feel liberating to be the only man, but it can also feel lonely.

People will try different solutions to solve a problem. If you’re comfortable with your gender fluidity or masculinity, then it shouldn’t matter if the product is marketed for the opposite. In these (arguably) more educated times, we are expected to be more open-minded. It is still a difficult task and is not easy to do. It is something I believe will be more accepted and encouraged by men to talk about it.

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