Eos: It's Time for Men's Shaving Cream to Evolve Beyond Macho Clichés

Brand trims the category's casual sexism

Fresh out of the men's aisle comes Eos, introducing its UltraProtect shaving cream line with help from Mischief @ No Fixed Address.

Tagged "Unmanhandle Your Face," a pair of :30s unfold pretty much the same way. A guy innocently picks up some Eos shaving cream. It's knocked from his hand by an American Psycho-looking dude—dressed in American Ivy business casual—who proceeds to describe what a "real man's shaving cream" is like.

"This one has notes of whisky and lumber, with undertones of talking over people," he enthuses, and in the ad below, explains that a truly worthy foam should "Make you man enough to fight a gorilla!"

A gorilla promptly bursts into the scene, à la Kool-Aid Man, and punches him in the face. "Ugh, that guy's such a tool," the simian says in a woman's voice, before recommending Eos.

In the end, maybe guys who want shaving cream are less inclined to live an Ernest Hemingway fantasy, and more interested in the stuff women are believed to care about: soft, hydrated skin.

The latter isn't a detail men’s skincare brands often punt out loud. We grew up in a world where they instead focused on sex appeal (think Axe) combined with a pastiche of stereotypes—sharp cheekbones, clean suits, extreme sports (think Gillette).

Stuff's shifted since. Gillette's really sorry about all that now, and we've got broader ways of defining masculinity. Calvin Klein's a great example, from its collab with Jungkook to sublime work featuring a tap-dancing Savion Glover, set against Nas' reflections on hope.

But still—we've come a long way to get to a place where advertising can openly concede that men might want hydration after a shave, and not care about smelling like mahogany. That those same codes are used here as foils, and not selling points, constitutes a small cultural triumph.

That a woman (okay, dressed like a gorilla at one point) delivers the final product is likewise notable. Historically, women make these male-focused buying decisions—something the industry's known since pre-Mad Men days. To cut the pretense and accept this reality is another big deal that shouldn't be such a big deal.

It's an open acknowledgment of the existence of men who aren't threatened by that any longer. Yeah, a woman's making this choice for him. And it's not going to be a fussy choice. In both ads, that's not transcendent. It's simply enough.

"We're confident Eos can win over male-identifying consumers by continuing to lean into our signature style of bold, convention-defying marketing," says brand CMO Soyoung Kang. "We've found immense success and extreme growth in our women's business by stepping away from how things are usually done in the skincare industry and prioritizing fun, speed, and realness with how the brand talks and engages with its community."

"Unmanhandle Your Face" will run across OTTs like Netflix. We best remember Eos for the time it asked the world for its pubes. But it really hit the map when it created a limited-edition product line based on a TikToker's viral video.

Last year, the brand's household penetration grew 37 percent, "despite being outspent 3:1 in marketing." The UltraProtect line, which represents the first of its man-focused products, comes in Blue Surf, Fresh Woods, and fragrance-free Sensitive. It arrives as the men's skincare segment is projected to grow 25 percent in the next three years, with interest among Gen Z consumers especially strong.

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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