The Grooming Products (and Expert Tips) Men Need Right Now
Kyle Bergman, senior merchant of men’s grooming and lifestyle at Birchbox Man, weighs in.
In 2012, after noticing a demand for more men’s grooming products, Birchbox launched its first Man box, a $20 offering that includes four grooming samples and a lifestyle item. Now, five years later, the demand has only increased, and the brand that pioneered the subscription box industry has launched a new $10, grooming-only option.
We talked to Kyle Bergman, senior merchant of men’s grooming and lifestyle at Birchbox Man, about the products guys can’t live without, and the ones they don’t even know they need yet.
Q: When men fill out their survey prior to subscribing, what do they report as their main concern?
A: Sixty percent of our male subscribers request skincare items, and over half of those men talk about having aging concerns. We recently launched a limited-edition antiaging kit, and it sold out within 72 hours.
Q: But are the guys really subscribing? Or are significant others signing them up as a gift?
A: We have two fundamentally different men. The grooming enthusiast is a guy who is familiar with advanced skincare products and already has a grooming routine. He most likely signed up himself. Our other guy is the grooming pragmatist. He needs to see the benefit of things before he’s going to invest, and his girlfriend or boyfriend or mom might have gifted him a subscription.
Q: Let’s talk best sellers. What are some of the products that guys have been consistently excited about?
A: So far this year, our best-selling product is the Baxter of California exfoliating body bar. We have over 3,000 reviews on this product. Other top sellers are from Kiehls, Bálla for Men, Billy Jealousy, and Ursa Major, which is arguably our pioneering brand for organic and all-natural products.
Q: Is it a priority to offer all-natural products?
A: With every new brand we bring on, we’re being very conscious of their ingredient story. The industry is shifting, and it’s definitely all-natural and mindful products from here on out.
Q: Tell me about some of the new products and brands you’re working with.
A: The number one product that I’m really pumped about is the Charcoal Detox Face Wash Brick from a new brand called Cliff Original. We’ll be sampling them a lot in 2018. Another brand that we launched recently is Hercules Beard Co., which was started by a woman named Maria in New Jersey. We sampled her Milk Body Powder, and I’m really excited about that.
Q: What are some products that men aren’t using but should be?
A: Activated charcoal is exploding. Historically, it was used [in medicine] because it does an amazing job of binding to toxins and helping rid those unwanted substances from the body. It has the same effect on the skin. But that’s more for our grooming enthusiast. The pragmatist should be using a moisturizer with SPF. It’s amazing how many guys are unaware of how damaging the sun is for the skin. Activated charcoal is like the Barry’s Bootcamp of skincare. The moisturizer with SPF is like, “Let’s just get you in the gym.”
Q: OK, last one. If a guy isn’t into adopting a full-blown grooming routine, what’s the one thing you would recommend?
A: Well, it’s more than one. Mavericks launched their brand without selling an individual product—they came in sets of three, including a moisturizer with SPF, a face wash, and a night serum with retinol. These products bundled together are all anyone needs.