By Juliana Tafur, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Carioca women are a carefully calculated vision of perfectly-polished nails and expertly-straightened hair. Monthly waxing from head-to-toe is the norm, as are massages for releasing body toxins. There’s no doubt Brazilian women spend a good amount of time and money on their looks. And now, their male counterparts are increasingly embracing their own brand of vanity.
“Brazilian men are becoming more open to using beauty products than in the past,” said Marcelo Franco, head of Nivea’s personal care department in Brazil. “Now, men look for specific products for their type of skin and beard, as well as face washes and moisturizers.”
This shift is boosting business. As research by Euromonitor International indicates, male beauty products enjoyed a turnover of R$3.6 Billion last year. The market grew ten percent between 2007 and 2008 and industry analysts predict a steady growth in sales for next year.
To research this emerging market further, Nivea commissioned a study from Millward Brown Brazil. Its findings revealed that Brazilian men pamper themselves a lot more than they would like to admit. Forty percent of the 600 men surveyed said they used facial or body moisturizers, nineteen percent wore sunscreen and ten percent used lip balms.
Such a growing demand explains why Nivea Brazil’s website has a tool called the “configurator”, which determines a man’s individual needs via a series of questions. Factors such as age, skin type and facial sensitivity are all considered in deciding which products best match the selected criteria. With effects resembling those in video games, machinery sounds and blue and gray motion graphics, there’s no doubt the gadget has been designed with men in mind.
The creation of this online tool is no experiment. Research carried out by Nivea shows that although men are just as demanding as women when it comes to buying personal care products, they take twenty percent less time when choosing them. The “configurator” takes into account that all men need to be in and out of the store in a matter of minutes.
This increasing demand in men’s cosmetics comes at a good time. The ABIHPEC (Brazilian Toiletry, Perfumery and Cosmetic Association) estimates a growth of eighteen percent in cosmetic sales from January to June 2010. If confirmed, the industry revenue would total R$24 Billion for 2009.
This progression follows ongoing positive trends in the industry, displaying a growth of 270 percent between 1996 and 2008. This provides a sharp contrast with the 46 percent growth in Brazilian industry as a whole, and means the beauty industry is growing about six times more quickly than the country’s GDP.
Brazil has an 8.6 percent share in the global beauty market, coming in third after the United States and Japan. The country is also gaining momentum in foreign trade, with a twenty percent increase in Brazilian beauty exports to 140 countries worldwide.
“Achieving such a growth rate is especially meaningful in a year like 2008, when important markets like the United States and the United Kingdom experienced a substantial slowdown resulting from the global financial crisis,” said ABIHPEC president João Carlos Basilio.