US Reporter

The Rise of Tween Boys’ Skincare: A Missed Opportunity for Big Beauty Brands

For years, the beauty industry has catered to women’s skin care needs while missing out on an important demographic – the male tweens. The lack of products for their evolving hygiene and cleaning needs has been a missed opportunity for big brands until now.

As boys become more concerned with their skincare needs, a handful of boutique companies and entrepreneurs are stepping up to fill the gap.Sheila Maguinez, Ph.D. board-certified pediatric dermatologist is one such entrepreneur. Frustrated by the lack of products for her two sons, ages 9 and 11, she co-founded her Stryke Club in 2020.  

A selection of products, including face wash, body wash, moisturizer, and topical acne treatment, are available from Stryke Club, a cheap boys skincare line, all of which are priced under $25. The next year, the brand launched in Target stores and online, offering preteen boys and their parents a solution.

Carson Kitzmiller, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at market research firm Mintel, sees an untapped market for boys’ skincare products. She believes trends are changing as teens become more interested in their skincare needs, offering brands an opportunity to meet their evolving hygiene and cleansing needs.  

In recent years, regardless of age or gender, there is a growing tendency to focus on skin care. As more men invest in skincare routines, it’s clear that the beauty industry needs to include products for young boys as well.  

Stryke Club is not the only company that has noticed the demand for skincare items for tween guys. Rebel Green and other artisanal companies are coming forward to fill the need. Boys’ deodorant, shampoo, and body wash are among the organic and natural personal care items available from Rebel Green.

Boutique Brands 

The success of these boutique brands shows that there is a significant demand for skincare products for tween boys. As the market evolves, it is likely that bigger brands will also start to cater to this demographic. Until then, parents and boys can rest easy knowing that there are affordable and effective options available.

According to Carson Kitzmiller, senior beauty and personal care analyst with market research firm Mintel, “It’s a huge white space in the market.” Kitzmiller notes that teen boys are becoming more interested in their own skincare needs than in the past, and they are really leaning into it.

Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness, a board-certified pediatric dermatologist, noticed the lack of products for the evolving cleansing and hygiene needs of her two sons, ages nine and 11, and was inspired to develop Stryke Club. 

The brand, which uses gentle ingredients that won’t irritate young skin, includes a face wash, body wash, moisturizer, and topical acne treatment priced under $25. Since launching in 2020, Stryke Club has seen a 45% increase in sales year-over-year, and it is projected to have sales around $3 million in 2023.

While the personal care products market in the US amounts to more than $25 billion annually, very little of it caters to boys. According to Dr. Rhonda Klein, a board-certified dermatologist, “Brands follow spending power, and until rather recently boys weren’t very interested in skin care.” 

However, social media influencers have played a significant role in making older boys more aware and invested in their personal care needs.

Yale New Haven Hospital’s assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, notes that social media has brought skin care to the mainstream conversation across gender and age. 

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Broader Target Market

While social media has its pitfalls, it has also brought our outward appearance to larger audiences than ever before, making everyone, including teen and tween boys, more aware and caring more about how their skin looks.

It’s time for the beauty industry to recognize the gap in the market and create more options for boys’ skin care needs. As Maguiness notes, “Whether it’s young sensitive skin, or acne, eczema or their first shave, boys have specific skin needs. We also have to help them overcome this stigma about being a boy and engaging in self-care.” 

By prioritizing the needs of all consumers, regardless of gender, the beauty industry can create a more inclusive and equitable market.

Julie Bowen, the actress, producer, and director, and Jill Biren, a former executive at Conde Nast, have joined forces to launch a skincare brand for tween and teen boys. 

The two women became friends while their sons were in elementary school together and bonded over their frustration with the lack of body products on the market that weren’t either too feminine or too babyish.

The result of their shared quest is JB SKRUB, a direct-to-consumer brand offering five products aimed at boys aged 10 to 16 years old. The range includes a face wash, face lotion, body wash, body spray, and oil-control face wipe pads, all priced between $16 and $20.

The brand’s mission is to simplify the approach tween and teen boys take towards personal hygiene. As Bowen explains, “Our goal with JB SKRUB was to simplify. Simple and frank language, clean and sustainable ingredients, and easy-to-use packaging.” 

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Products for Tween Boys

The products have been developed with input from skincare experts and are made with clean, sustainable ingredients. For example, the body wash contains prebiotic chia seed extract, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial ingredient.

The packaging has also been designed with sustainability and the end-user in mind. For instance, the face lotion is packaged in a pump tube instead of a jar to make it easier for boys to use. JB SKRUB also plans to introduce product refills later this year.

Despite being a new brand, JB SKRUB has already generated considerable buzz. The brand has been featured in publications such as Forbes, and the founders have appeared on a number of podcasts to discuss their journey. The women hope to get JB SKRUB into retail stores in the future, but for now, the brand is only available online.

Bowen and Biren say they are committed to making a difference in the lives of tween and teen boys. They hope that by providing boys with skincare products they actually want to use, they can help change the approach that boys take towards personal hygiene. 

As Bowen explains, “Typically in most households, boys are either using whatever products their parents or sisters have bought. So either it smells like strawberries or is too babyish, or isn’t meeting them where they are in terms of how their skin and body are developing as puberty hits.”

The women have high hopes for JB SKRUB’s future. They expect sales to hit seven figures by the end of the first year and hope to expand the product range in the future. Bowen and Biren’s success is proof that with determination and perseverance, it’s possible to turn a shared frustration into a successful business venture.

Photo: Beauty Independent