Google has revealed that "Masking" is currently this year's most searched skincare trend. * Conventionally seen as a woman's domain, masks have come on a lot further than the gloopy green kinds that we associate with chick flicks and ice cream.
Masking has become so popular that many new innovations have since arrived, including multi-masking, light therapy masks and of course mask 'selfies'. In fact, there have been millions of views for mask related videos in the last year alone thanks to our odd obsession with watching people peel off their masks and close ups of "black-heads" (if that's what they are) on Facebook and Instagram.
Women's brands are working hard towards making masks a necessary step in science-led skincare regimes. Masks are no longer a "weekly pampering" product, and are now a powerful skincare boosting requirement.
They have a new look too. Estee Lauder have a strong and striking looking 'Powerfoil Mask' and Glamglow have a 'Sonic Blue Mask' (in partnership with Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog). With an increasing number of brands responding to the rise of face masks with a unisex approach to packaging, it's certainly clear that face masks aren't just for women anymore.
Yet even though celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo and Diddy have posted selfies of themselves wearing sheet masks on Instagram, plenty of British men still see masking as a step too far in the world of grooming. These Brits may be interested in casting a look over to see what's going on in Korea.
Korea is the most exciting and dynamic male skincare market in the world. Interestingly, their passion for skincare can even find a way into compulsory two-year military service. Life in the military can take its toll on the skin and products like Military Masks are popular. These are to relieve the skin after spending lots of time training outdoors in camouflage cream. It's amazing that in a country that is often seen as socially conservative, Korean men have certainly become quite advanced when it comes to masking.
We launched Bulldog Skincare For Men in Korea and have even formulated special toners and emulsions for that specific market. We also launched a face mask in Korea which has been an amazing performer in terms of sales. It went so well that we now sell it in the UK in Boots.
It's an exciting time for skincare and face masks, and we should all expect to see lots of momentum and innovation in this area over the years ahead. In the meantime, for the men who don't mask, here's why you should:
Our skin has a tough time. Shaving, beard growing, sweating, environmental threats like the sun and pollution, all give our faces a beating every day. Men's skin tends to be oilier than women's. A good mask will cleanse and mattify the skin without stripping it. Use one once or twice a week, especially now that it's hotting up and skin can be greasier than usual.
Bulldog Skincare For Men have a range of Oil Control products that balance the skin and it also includes a Face Mask.