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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Skincare, Selfies, Self-esteem and Masculinity

Published: May 28, 2019


Angela Byrne, Manchester Metropolitan University


masculinity; skincare; selfies


The inception of men’s facial skincare products and an increased pressure to present positive images of the self on social media are key trends encouraging men to improve their overall appearance. Modern men’s attitudes towards facial skincare are explored in this study in terms of the impact this has upon masculine identities. The research uses an exploratory approach seeking the views of younger men as those identified as most likely to try facial skincare as part of their grooming routines (Mintel, 2017). A series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with males aged 18-21 years old and a focus group with water polo players provide a forum to understand current trends and issues surrounding men’s facial skincare products. Key findings highlight how the growing trend for ‘selfies’ has prompted men to look at themselves more critically in terms of their image partly fuelling the adoption of skincare use by men.