Kiwi Blokes have a Sensitive Side Says New Research

16 September 2010, 9:11AM

Forget our reputation as a rugby, racing and beer nation - New Zealand men really do have a sensitive side according to latest research.

The Gillette Sensitive Survey showed that Kiwi men often felt self-conscious about their looks and took steps such as purchasing multiple skincare products to improve them.

More than two thirds (69%) of men surveyed said they used one or two products as part of their daily skincare and shaving routine. Some men took even greater care with their appearance just over a quarter (26%) admitting they use three or more shaving or skincare products daily.

Kiwi men showed their sensitive side by confessing that shaving rash or visibly irritated skin made them feel self-conscious. More than four out of ten (42%) male respondents felt embarrassed because of a rash or irritated skin.

The research also showed however, that the younger men were the more likely they were to admit to feeling self-conscious about sensitive or irritated skin. This was illustrated by the fact that more than half (51%) of men aged 15-24 admitted to the problem but the figure decreased to just over a quarter (28%) for men aged 65 and over. 

Leading psychologist Sara Chatwin says it’s great to see Kiwi males taking pride in their appearance and not being embarrassed to purchase products to help them look and feel their best.

“Men were incredibly honest about their insecurities including skin rashes and irritations. As most women would agree, facial anomalies are so obvious that they can cause anxiety and embarrassment if left unaddressed,” says Chatwin.

“Now we understand that men are also interested in looking after themselves and taking care of their skin. It’s now acceptable for them to do so - perhaps for a change!” she says.

Interestingly the survey also showed that Kiwi men credit themselves with their shaving technique with more than two thirds (69%) claiming to be self-taught. Of those surveyed only 26% were taught by their father or another male family member.

It seems the older generation of dads were less likely to use products to ease skin sensitivity caused by shaving. Two in five men use skin products regularly however men aged between 25 and 34 were twice as likely to utilise products compared to men aged 65 and over.Top New Zealand Dermatologist Dr Mark Gray says sensitive skin is a common problem for Kiwi men but that in many cases flare ups are preventable.

“More male patients are proactively seeking advice on how to treat their skin during the shaving process and which products are best to address their skin issues,” he says.

“If you have dry sensitive skin, restoring the skin's barrier function by the regular use of alcohol-free moisturisers and the avoidance of irritators such as soap, is the cornerstone of treatment.”

When it comes to sensitivity issues around skin and shaving it seems that Kiwi women would prefer their men to persevere and overcoming their shaving issues.

Three quarters (76%) of women prefer their men to be clean shaven while only 7% said they prefer a beard, moustache or other facial hair.

The survey was commissioned by Gillette to launch its range of products designed to provide great performance on sensitive skin.