Beauties… it’s Men’s Health Week and also Father’s Day this weekend so of course, we’re talking all about the men! This week we’ve teamed up with Cutitronics to talk about men’s skincare routines, self-care and wellbeing about the boundaries and hesitations men feel in the space and how this is changing… more on this soon! We also asked Dr David Heath, founder and chief executive of Cutitronics to talk about how technology can help the health and wellness industry become more inclusive for men… here’s his feature!
We’ll be sharing more content that we’ve been working on with Cutitronics so pop back here tomorrow for more!
Covid-19 has refocused health and wellness as a global priority. Aside from the physical implications of infection, we have shouldered the additional burdens of stress, isolation, and the mental strain of living through a pandemic. When considering men’s health and wellness, awareness of the importance of self-care has increased rapidly, and attitudes are beginning to change. However, we have some way to go to bridge the wellness gap between men and women: to overcome preconceptions and increase understanding of the benefits on both sides.
Pre-pandemic, the wellness and beauty sphere was primarily a female space. Many men have long considered physical fitness a key element to maintaining their health, and rightly so. But a focus on mental health, mindfulness and taking care of our bodies in alternative ways was often considered less important.
Take skincare as an example. Often a priority for women, men are more likely to disregard this basic act of self-care. Our recent research shows that only 47% of men have a regular skincare routine, compared to 80% of women. But why are men less interested in caring for their own skin?
I was not really aware of the wellness element of self-care until around seven or eight years ago. Earlier in my life I understood and embraced the importance of exercise and nutrition to look after my body and boost my energy levels. It was not until I began to investigate additional ways that I could boost my personal development and better cope with daily stress points, that I really started to understand there are other dimensions of wellness, such as the mental, emotional and spiritual factors that compliment the physical elements of your overall health. I realised that thinking about my health and wellness with this holistic perspective has extraordinary benefits as a preventative, rather than reactive, approach to my overall health.
In many aspects of modern life, it is too easy to wait until a problem has been identified before acting. Perhaps you develop a new skin condition, your jeans begin to feel a little snug, or you experience anxiety about things that did not previously bother you. Then you look for the ‘fix’: an ointment, a calorie-controlled diet, or a course of medication. But if we consider our wellness as a constant priority and life-long commitment, something that requires ongoing maintenance to ensure that it lasts, we are less likely to experience these issues. Most men brush their teeth each day to prevent cavities. Why not take this approach to other aspects of our self-care?
In my experience, women are more likely to embrace a proactive approach to health and wellness. Certainly, they are more marketed towards, and are more likely to book facials, massages and spa treatments. Personally, I don’t know as many men that are as interested in these activities. But when I started speaking to men about this subject, I realised there was a significant lack of understanding about the reasoning and intentional practice behind these experiences.
Far from simply being indulgent, vain or high-end luxury activities, wellness treatments deliver health benefits – for some, mental benefits, for others emotional, spiritual or physical – when incorporated into our routines. The mind/body connection demonstrates that each dimension of health and wellness is linked.
Women are often inherently better at accepting this and acting on it. By educating men about this scientifically proven connection, we stand a greater chance of increasing understanding and acceptance of self-care practices such as meditation and daily skincare and shifting the perception that these activities are “not for men”.
Even as the importance of a holistic approach to health and wellness becomes more widely understood, there remain deep-seated cultural and social barriers to be overcome if we are to witness more men putting self-care into practice.
Investing in technology that supports men’s health and wellness goals is a great first step for both brands and the individual. Technology can unburden anyone embarking on a wellness journey by automatically flagging to them when exactly an action is required, what they need to do, and why.
We know that fitness apps have a tremendous impact on helping people meet their goals. Until something becomes part of our unconscious routine, it is helpful to be reminded by notifications on our mobiles, rewarded when we meet and exceed our targets, and to be connected to like-minded communities that can offer support at the touch of a button.
My own work underlines that any wellness activity can be supported in the same way. I set up Cutitronics when I realised that the beauty industry needed to take bold steps to meet consumers’ increasing expectations. My team and I developed a suite of technologies that support the individual by analysing their unique skincare needs, then supporting them to use their chosen product correctly to achieve the best results.
Achieving clinical trial results at home
This includes connecting the brand to the consumer to offer advice in real time: reminding them when to apply the product and exactly how much to use. This approach allows consumers to experience the same results at home as those found in clinical trials. If we apply this science-led methodology and support to all aspects of wellness, men can build knowledge, understanding and confidence more quickly.
The gamification of this process also inspires the consumer to compete with themselves to do better, much like a personal fitness tracker encourages us to take more steps. ‘Have you completed a mindfulness activity today? Here are some quick options for you to consider. Congratulations for completing your daily goal.’ A dose of motivation, along with a simple reminder of how to achieve your wellness aspirations, from a trusted source via app technology can do a great deal to keep people striving towards their wellness goal and achieving milestones along the way.
Men may feel unsure about what self-care activities are right for their needs, or how to start learning about them. Lack of education, uncertainty about where to begin, and feeling self-conscious are barriers to seeking help.
Technology offers an opportunity for men to explore these spaces and increase understanding through their mobile phone, something they can use privately, any time and location. Apps, YouTube tutorials and social media accounts offer a wealth of information and instruction at your fingertips, and there are many online communities to offer support and advice.
Constructive peer level conversations about health and wellness between men are key. I believe the appetite for change is there, but we need to make noise about this and demonstrate to brands and consumers the need for better opportunities for wellness and self-care for the whole population. If brands can demonstrate the link between these products and practices, and their positive impact on our overall health, this will go a long way to encouraging men to embrace wellness.
As a result of incorporating wellness principles into our daily routines, the benefit to men’s wellbeing, health and happiness, and self-esteem will be felt widely.
By Dr David Heath, founder and chief executive of Cutitronics.
 Combined statistic from two current polls:
Do you have a skincare regime & how consistently do you keep to it? | Toluna
Avez-vous une routine de soins de la peau ? Si oui, à quelle fréquence la suivez-vous ? | Toluna
Find out more about Cutitronics on their website