Will Russia ever change its mind about men using cosmetics?

With demand for male grooming products growing in Russia, Lena Smirnova investigates why Russia’s men are expanding their routine

Demand for men’s personal care products is growing in Russia – a stark change for a country where men’s grooming was traditionally limited to the bare hygiene essentials, with any additional attention to physical appearance spurring fears of appearing too effeminate.

Now consumer habits are changing and Russian men are becoming more adventurous in their use of personal care products, expanding their usual routine beyond soap and shampoo to perfumes, shower gels, shaving creams and even skin care products.

The size of the men’s personal care product market in Russia grew 18 times over the past 15 years, reaching US$1.1bn, according to a report that Euromonitor International published in 2016.

The Russian Perfumery and Cosmetics Association estimates that 70% of Russian men now use shaving products; 66% use perfumes; 57% use deodorants; and 10% use hand lotion.

“It goes without saying that Russian men are following the global trend of a gradual switch to specialised men’s grooming products,” says Olga Murogova, Senior Research Analyst at Euromonitor. “With market penetration and availability, such products have become . . .

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