[Above: Actor Aaron Aziz (left), the spokesperson for Garnier Men in Malaysia and Actor Fahrin Ahmad, the spokesperson for L’Oréal Men Expert in Malaysia.]
FOR the longest time, it was assumed that men are simply not bothered when it comes to personal grooming.
The steadfast image of a masculine male has always been associated with an unfussy grooming regimen - a bar of soap and water at most times, which is in stark contrast to the rows of beauty products that women have in front of their vanities.
The times are changing, however, and apparently the men of today have taken a more embracing approach when it comes to skincare, hair care and general hygiene.
Although he may be initially hesitant, the average guy is no longer shy to subject his face to the likes of facial cleansers or scrubs.
Skincare and beauty giant L'Oréal Malaysia recently conducted a survey amongst 500 males in the country and through this, it was revealed that Malaysian men are now paying more attention to their appearance. Findings of Malaysian Men's Grooming Report were shared with media members; skincare products from Biotherm Homme, Garnier Men and L'Oréal Men Expert were also introduced.
The report gives an insight to men's routines and concerns in terms of grooming, and highlights the new perceptions and motivations which lead to an increasing acceptance of experimentation with products.
It was discovered that the majority of Malaysian men look to grooming for different reasons. However, out of all the men interviewed, a whopping 56% claim that grooming helps to build a degree of self-confidence, while others cited varying reasons include maintaining personal hygiene and appearance at work.
It was also reported that the greatest concerns among men in this country are body odour (85%), stained teeth (85%) and oily skin (79%). Furthermore, the survey revealed that men deal with stained teeth and oily skin by incorporating oral care (76%) and facial-cleansing (72%) to their grooming habits, while others care a great deal about combating body odour by using fragrances (58%) and deodorants (57%).
When it comes to choosing products for their grooming needs, 53% select products based on the number of benefits they can reap, but disregard products that are considered costly. This could be attributed to the fact that Malaysian men on average spend less than 20 minutes on grooming themselves in a day. The men interviewed said that cleaning teeth and facial cleansing comes first. After that, time is spent on looking and feeling good - for instance, styling hair, smelling good and co-ordinating outfits.
Another revelation was that the majority of men (86%) who use a grooming product purchase it themselves. A typical male consumer also shops for grooming products once a month or once in every two months. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that they usually shop with the intention to purchase a specific product of a specific brand. Pricing plays a very important role for brand choice too. The survey explains that men make purchases when there is a promotion and the average male in Malaysia only commits RM30 a month to buy grooming products.
Most Malaysian men prefer a local spokesperson - as they can relate to them. In Malaysia, actors Fahrin Ahmad and Aaron Aziz are spokespersons for L'Oréal Paris Men Expert and Garnier Men respectively. Elsewhere in the region, Indonesian singer Pasha Ungu is the face of Garnier Men in Indonesia, while Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu and Taiwanese actor Ethan Juan are the spokespersons for L'Oréal Paris Men Expert.
Lastly, television is cited as the biggest, most influential medium in persuading guys to choose a particular product.
The survey looked to a nationally representative sample of respondents in terms of race (Malay 62%, Chinese 26%, and Indian/others 12%) and age (16-20 years 18%, 21-39 years 49%, 40-49 years 13%, and 50-64 years 20%).
All 500 men that took part in the questionnaire (conducted in May) reside in Peninsula Malaysia, covering all market centres (both urban and rural markets).