‘Tan it like Beckham’ as more men turn to beauty products

David Beckham merchandise at H&M. Nearly half of Scottish men identified David Beckham as a 'style inspiration'. Picture: Getty
David Beckham merchandise at H&M. Nearly half of Scottish men identified David Beckham as a 'style inspiration'. Picture: Getty
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DAVID Beckham has a lot to 
answer for, as more men that ever before have admitted to taking more extreme routes in their quest to looking good.

Nearly 20 years after the phrase was first coined, a new study into male body image shows that “metrosexuality” 
has finally fully hit the mainstream.

More than half of all men (53 per cent) now confess to pampering, preening and using beauty products to improve their appearance, according to research conducted by The Co-operative Pharmacy.

Almost two-thirds of men said they undertake their beauty regime to make themselves feel better and to boost their “body confidence levels”, and almost one in six say they are making a concerted effort to try to look younger.

Yet 15 per cent say they feel under pressure to look good from their partner, 12 per cent say they feel under pressure to look good from their mates and an additional one in ten says they feel influenced by images in the media.

Nearly half of Scottish men identified David Beckham as a “style inspiration”, according to a recent Beautiful Britain survey.

Interestingly, women tend to be more accepting than men when it comes to attitudes
towards male beautification. More than half of women (52 per cent) think that it is acceptable for men to pluck or wax their eyebrows compared to a third of men (34 per cent), two in five women (38 per cent) thought it was fine for men to wear fake tan, compared to 30 per cent of men, and nearly half of women think men wearing concealer is fine compared to one in three men.

The male beauty industry has well and truly taken off in recent years.

Since 2006 the market has increased by 104 per cent from £450 million to £960m, and is expected to be worth more than£1 billion in Britain by 2015.

Shampoos, shaving gels, moisturisers and styling products have all become common sights in bathrooms across the land, as men are no longer content with raiding their wives’ and girlfriends’ beauty cabinets.

Beauty salons have reported a significant rise in the number of Scots men using their services, with 1,300 jobs expected to be created over the next year to cater for this growing demand of metrosexuals.

Of the men surveyed, 53 per cent claimed to undergo some regular form of beauty regime.

This ranges from pampering and preening (15 per cent pluck or wax unruly eyebrows, 7 per cent wear concealer to cover blemishes, 7 per cent dye their hair and 1 in 20 use fake tan) to more extreme and concerning measures to looking good.

These include using steroids (2 per cent), slimming pills (3 per cent) and protein powder to bulk up (8 per cent).

Worryingly, men are more likely than women to find using steroids or protein powder to bulk up acceptable, with 23 per cent of males saying it was fine to use steroids and 44 per cent thinking it was acceptable to use protein formula in order to gain muscle mass.

While many of the methods men use are perfectly harmless, some men are gambling with their health by using harmful or illegal ways to boost the way they look.

Pharmacists can advise on a range of health issues, including grooming products, but more importantly are aware of the dangers of using medication or drugs for purposes other than that for which they are licensed.