Digital Marketing Redux   //   April 22, 2024

Men’s care brands are finding a home on TikTok

TikTok has long been a hub for beauty and fashion content. Now, men’s care brands are finding a home on the platform too.

Manscaped, the men’s personal grooming brand, joined TikTok Shop in November 2023 and has seen sales “exceed expectations,” Joey Kovac, Manscaped’s vp of marketing, told Modern Retail. Meanwhile, Every Man Jack, which sells products like beard oil and body wash, launched on TikTok Shop in March. And Stryx, a men’s grooming and cosmetics brand that makes concealer and pimple patches, told Glossy that between 70% to 75% of its 2022 sales came from its TikTok audience.

For years, makeup and skin-care brands that primarily market to women have posted TikTok videos about applying and experimenting with their products. However, over the past few years, personal care brands that advertise to men have gained large followings on TikTok. What’s more, beauty brands in general are starting to recruit more men and non-binary TikTok influencers as a way to tackle gender stereotypes.

Emily Safian-Demers, director of insights at Front Row, an e-commerce and marketing agency that helps brands build audiences on Instagram and TikTok, told Modern Retail this trend is happening as younger generations like Gen Z and Gen Alpha challenge traditional identity narratives. “That’s pushing industries like beauty to rethink their products, their messaging and their marketing,” she said. “I think that is really what’s driving this phenomenon that we’re now observing on TikTok.”

On and off social media, men’s care products are booming. According to Circana, men’s prestige skin-care sales reached $190.1 million in 2022, a 23% increase over 2021. On TikTok, thousands of users have started posting about men’s skin care or hair care routines, sometimes using a “get ready with me” or “use this, not that” template. As of April 18, more than 24,000 TikTok videos included the hashtag #mensskincare.

Today, men’s care brands like Harry’s (24,100 followers) and Jack Black (43,200 followers) abound on TikTok — and TikTok Shop specifically. At the time this story was written, Dr. Squatch had sold 33,300 products on TikTok Shop, per data on its TikTok page. Its Fresh Falls deodorant was in 9,000 people’s carts as of April 18 and one of Manscaped’s deodorants was in 1,100 people’s carts.

Every Man Jack, which also sells products in Target and Walmart, picked TikTok Shop as the first platform to offer its new Cold Plunge Bars. A video about the process of making the product racked up 2.9 million views on TikTok. The brand, which largely caters to Gen Z, has nearly 400,000 followers on TikTok. Going to TikTok Shop was a “natural next step,” Ashley Hall, the brand’s director of integrated marketing, told Modern Retail.

Every Man Jack launched its shop with popular products including its body wash, deodorant and beard cream. “We’re also offering some of our digital exclusives that have historically only been available on our website and Amazon,” Hall said. While the brand didn’t disclose sales figures, it said that its top two best-selling items on TikTok Shop are Cold Plunge Bar soaps. It’s enjoying double-digit year-over-year growth in overall sales.

The agency Front Row has seen a rise in requests from men’s care brands wanting to get on TikTok Shop, Katelyn Winker, Front Row’s vp of client services, told Modern Retail. In fact, shortly before speaking with Modern Retail, Front Row had met with Blind Barber, a barbershop with its own line of hair care products, about launching on TikTok Shop.

Data from Front Row found that men are more comfortable purchasing beauty products online, particularly through platforms like Amazon or TikTok Shop, than in traditional specialty beauty stores. This might be the case, Safian-Demers said, because an online hub like TikTok may reduce stigmas around buying beauty products. “There’s a comfort level in a kind of more anonymous virtual platform for men to shop for some of these products,” she said.

TikTok might also resonate with customers because it acts as a platform for educational videos, Liza Suloti, co-founder of the communications firm Shadow, told Modern Retail via email. Posts with dermatology tips or when to buy deodorant versus antiperspirant can go a long way, she said. “The brands that provide value to their consumers by helping them navigate routines and find what works for them will continue to resonate,” she said.

Outside of men’s care brands, though, larger changes are taking place. More brands are rolling out gender-neutral products — Harry Styles’ Pleasing, for example, has nail polish and perfume — while beauty brands are recruiting more male influencers. In fact, many of the brands Front Row works with have increased their male influencer demographic from 10% to 30%, Winker said.