Grime, dirt, stink and funk: Tween boys are skin care's hottest market

The text is about the variety of face and body cleansers that are available at stores such as Walmart and Target.

Grime, dirt, stink and funk: Tween boys are skin care's hottest market

CNN New York --

You'll find a wide variety of face and body cleaners for children and adults at Walmart, Target, and your local drugstore.

However, products that target the skin needs of tween boys have been scarce until recently.

According to Carson Kitzmiller (senior beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel), 'It is a large market space. She said it was a missed opportunity because "we're seeing teenage boys become more interested in their skin-care needs than ever before and they're really leaning in to it," she stated.

A few entrepreneurs and boutique companies have noticed the gap and are working to fill it. Many of them are moms.

Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness stated that Stryke Club was born out of the need to provide products to meet the changing hygiene and cleansing needs of her sons, aged nine and eleven.

Maguiness, a pediatric dermatologist board-certified, launched the brand's boys skin-care line in 2020 at the height the pandemic. The line includes a body wash, face wash, moisturizer, and topical acne treatment that are all under $25. It was launched in Target stores and online the next year.

She said that Walmart came to her company after recognizing a gap in the market, and she picked her up. "Our sales have increased by 45 percent year-over-year from 2020 to 2023, and our projected sales for 2023 will be about $3 million.

Stryke Club's gentle ingredients won't irritate the skin of young men, Maguiness stated, but there are still many options available for women.

Maguiness said that boys have different skin needs. We also need to help boys overcome the stigma of being boys and engage in self-care.

According to NPD, the US personal care market is worth more than $25 billion per year. However, very few of these products cater to boys.

This is because most body care brands prioritize female customers, while many boutique or indie brands that promote adult grooming (e.g. Harry's, Dollar Shave Club and Bevel) have been huge successes.

Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist board certified, stated that brands follow spending power and that until recently, boys were not very interested in skin care. It's much easier to market products and services to an audience who is looking for them.

Social media influencers are helping older boys to be more conscious and involved in their personal care.

"Social media has its problems, but it has also brought skin-care to the mainstream conversation across all genders and ages," said Dr. Deanne Robinson, assistant clinical dermatologist at Yale New Haven Hospital.

She said, "For better or worse, it's brought our outer appearance to larger audiences than any before, which I believe has everyone, even teen boys, becoming more conscious and caring about how their skin looks."

Two moms team up to combat tween boys’ dirt, grime, stink, and funk

Julie Bowen was friends with Jill Biren before becoming business partners. They were both on a common quest to provide skin care products that their sons would enjoy using.

Bowen and Biren created JBSKRUB in January. This brand is direct-to-consumer and consists of five products (priced between $16 and $20), including a face wash, lotion, and body spray. It's formulated and packaged for boys aged 10-16 years.

"We met in elementary school when our sons were together. Jill and me were at a party and we started to talk about why there wasn't a body lotion for our boys that was not too scented. Bowen is a mother of three teenage sons. Jill suggested that we do something.

Bowen is an actress, producer, and director. Perhaps her most well-known role was as Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family".

Biren is a mother to a teenage son and a tween daughter. She was a long-time Conde Nast executive who managed marketing campaigns for fashion and beauty companies.

Bowen and Biren stated that they want their products to change the way teen boys and tweens approach personal hygiene.

Bowen stated that boys use products purchased by their sisters or parents most of the time. It either smells like strawberries, is too childish or doesn't meet their needs in terms of how they're developing their skin and bodies as puberty hits.

'Our goal was to simplify JB SKRUB. She spoke out in simple and direct language, with clear and sustainable ingredients, and in easy-to-use packaging.

The business was started by the women, who worked with experts in skin-care to create the products. It took them three years to complete the product development. All products contain clean ingredients. Biren said that the body wash contains prebiotic chia seed extract, which acts both as an anti-inflammatory ingredient and anti-microbial one.

Bowen stated that packaging was designed with sustainability and the end-user in mind. She explained that the packaging was designed to be more accessible to boys and made it easier to use for them. It is also expected that the brand will launch product refills in the second half of this year.

They hope to see JB SKRUB in retail stores eventually.

Bowen stated that he has proof of concept and knows that he is addressing a market need. He projects sales of seven figures by the end the first year.