Asian men pampering their skin: study

SINGAPORE - Asia is driving global sales of men's skin care products, with Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans the most avid users in the region, a report on male grooming trends showed Friday.

Consumer research group Euromonitor International said the Asia-Pacific accounted for nearly 60 per cent of worldwide sales of men's skin care products, a fast-growing section of a $33 billion male grooming industry.

"As features from women's skin care are replicated in male-specific products, an array of products targeting issues from ageing and blemishes to brightening has become available," said the report sent to AFP on Friday.

Male grooming habits vary worldwide, with Asian men spending more on skin care and their counterparts in Brazil - set to overtake the United States as the largest single market in three years - devoting more money to deodorants.

Shaving items were the most widely sold grooming products in 2011 but toiletries including deodorants and skin care were catching up.

Euromonitor said the global market for male grooming products has plenty of room for expansion, with average growth over the past five years at only 6.0 per cent to reach nearly $33 billion last year.

However, the rate of growth varies sharply across regions, with Latin America posting double-digit expansion and western Europe, hit by a prolonged financial crisis, rising at a slower pace.

While western Europe remains the biggest market for men's grooming products, Latin America is closing the gap, it said.

Brazil is expected to overtake the United States as the leading market for men's grooming items in 2015.

By 2016, the Asia-Pacific will be the second biggest contributor to growth in the category after Latin America, Euromonitor said.

"The region's potential for the men's grooming market remains largely untapped," it said. "It is the region to watch for men's grooming."

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