While men grow more interested in personal grooming, one business owner is looking to cash in with her male skincare line. J. Arthur Skincare Systems for Men, owned by New Jersey native Jen McArthur, aims to help men maintain healthy skin.
“I started as an esthetician and a makeup artist,” Arthur said. “So, studying skin, I had a lot of clients that came to me and they were concerned that they couldn’t find products for their skin.”
In the beginning stages, Arthur admits that she had black men in mind when she was developing her product. But she began to see that her product could reach beyond only helping black men.
“Initially I did have black men in mind,” she said.”[Mainly] because I know black men suffer from ingrown hairs and they have had issues with that for a long time. As I started doing [more] research I realized that not just black men, but all men, need to have a skincare regiment. All cultures want to learn how to look and stay young.”
According to a 2014 CNBC report, market research firm Mintel said personal care products aimed at men have been on the rise since 2012. In the same article the firm said in 2014, total U.S. sales for the men’s personal care market hit $4.1 billion, up 6.7 percent from 2012 and 19 percent from 2009. Mintel also estimates sales will balloon to $4.6 billion by 2019.
Arthur credits social media networks like Instagram and Twitter for getting men more focused on their grooming habits.
“Even average people are becoming socialites and celebrities,” she said. So, it’s not just people of a certain income level or status, everybody wants to look good.”
Last year a Huffington Post article reported that African-American women were the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America. The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report explains that nationally, African American women comprise 14 percent of all women-owned firms. African American women comprise a greater than average share of all women-owned firms in Georgia (35 percent), Maryland (33 percent), and Illinois (22 percent).
“I think that the skincare industry hasn’t been tapped by African-Americans,” Arthur explains. “For the most part we have ventured into makeup. So I have endured dealing with manufactures … big business people who feel like because I’m an African-American [or] because I’m a woman, I don’t know what I’m talking about. They don’t know that when I come to the table I have a degree in skincare or that I’m studying skincare on a higher level.”
By Randy Grice