IN GEORGES ROMAN’S clinic in London, women queue to see a cosmetic dermatologist renowned for zapping wrinkles and smoothing brows. These days, alas, they have to share the waiting room with men. In the past few years Dr Roman has treated a succession of bankers and businessmen in London and Paris. They don’t want to look beautiful, he says, just “fresher and less worried”.
Typically, a swift shot of Botox, a toxin which freezes muscles, targets the deep forehead cleft which can descend on men over 40, especially if they spend all day frowning at a screen. Other favoured treatments are lasers, which perk up skin-tone, and cosmetic fillers for those deep grooves between the nose and the mouth. Englishmen, says Dr Roman, are big spenders. This is just as well: Botox treatment starts at £300 ($477). Fiddlier procedures can cost twice as much. The French tag along with their wives; Britons sidle in alone.
Botox was used 336,834 times by American men in 2010, up 9% from 2009, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But women are still 15 times more likely than men to have their faces frozen. “I can’t understand what puts people off,” grouses David Pyott, the boss of Allergan, which makes Botox. Looks matter in the marketplace. “Do you want to have working for you a really old investment banker, a really old lawyer?” asks Mr Pyott.
Less invasive male maintenance is growing, too. Mintel, a market-researcher, says sales of men’s beauty products in France, Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy rose by 8% between 2005 and 2010, despite the recession, and will grow another 8% by 2014. Moisturisers dominate in France, Britain and Spain. Germans and Italians prefer to buy deodorants.
Matthew Soobroy, a stylist with London’s Charles Worthington hairdressers, detects a “major leap” in men wanting their hair dyed, or their beards trimmed precisely to emulate the facial foliage of actors such as Michael Fassbender. The mere male may be getting smoother, but he’s still a rugged beast at heart.
Source: The EconomistShare