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The guys’ turn: online marketplace focuses on men’s skincare

FRIENDS Burt Chua, Kenneth Toh, and Richmond Chong started an online marketplace for men’s grooming last year. Doppkit (doppkit.co), the online store they founded brings cult skincare lines like Anthony, Reyal, and Groomed Man Co.’s all in one place.

Anthony has been featured on men’s lifestyle bibles like GQ and Esquire, as well as on Forbes and Vogue. Anthony’s Glycolid Facial Cleanser (at P1,850 at 237 mL) claims to gently exfoliate, eliminate dirt, pollution, oil and impurities, and works as a pre-shave softener. It’s powered by 4.2% glycolic acid.

Reyal, a skincare brand, meanwhile, offers a Super Night Moisturizer (P1,730) with restorative active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and retinol to promote cellular regeneration while men rest.

“Male skincare products are developed with the male skincare anatomy in mind —  guys typically have thicker and oilier skin, they sweat more, they contain more collagen, and they age differently than women’s,” said Messrs. Chua, Chong, and Toh in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

“Those familiar with similar retailers that carry multiple brands of their girlfriend’s or wife’s favorite skincare and makeup would have an easier time getting to know Doppkit,” said Mr. Chua in a statement. “For men, Doppkit offers the same convenience of being able to research about and buy all the products they need on just one site.”

“It’s easy to be intimidated by the range of choices out there, especially if you don’t know where to look or start,” said Mr. Toh in a statement. “We want to narrow those down to the best options, so men can begin to invest in their routines in a no-fuss manner.”

Since the beauty industry usually caters to women, the men told us about the market for male skincare.

“We believe the market is still growing, and still holds a lot of potential. The stigma is still there, but we feel that it is slowly withering away, as self-care becomes more accepted and actually becomes a priority for most, including men,” they said. “We want to push the message that self-care should come first, and for men, self-care can actually improve performance in other aspects of their lives (relationships, career, health). Other brands are also recognizing this movement, and have been catering more and more towards men.”

The men also gave tips on what kind of marketing campaigns in beauty work for men like them. “We believe, from personal experience, that we are more attracted to simple and direct messaging, clearly seeing benefits, and convenience and accessibility.”

“We also tend to rely on word of mouth, and highly value recommendations from close friends and family,” they said. They added a disclaimer: “Of course, these are anecdotal, and from general observation and experience only.”

It’s not every day that we see beauty products over P1,000 geared towards men, but perhaps the ongoing pandemic had a hand in getting men to take care of themselves (and quite expensively too). They said, “We think the pandemic gave a lot of people time to slow down and re-evaluate priorities.

“We don’t consider it as a wave, but more so a catalyst to a more balanced lifestyle. We hope that the focus on health and well-being is not temporary, but becomes a way of life.” — Joseph L. Garcia

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