It may surprise you to know that men have been gleefully boasting about the instances when cashiers have asked for their IDs before allowing them to buy age-restricted items. It’s trivial, but it does reflect a society that celebrates youthfulness. It’s hardly surprising then that the skincare industry is booming with anti-ageing products and procedures. Research is predicting that this market segment is set to grow at a rate of 6.5 per cent annually in the next five years. But what is it about ageing that has everyone scrambling for retinol products and booking Botox appointments?

You would think that this obsession with youth would only plague the fairer sex. But conversations with men between the ages of 28 and 35 have revealed that they consider signs of ageing such as age spots and wrinkles “ugly”, and shared the belief that these make them seem “less viable” to women. To that end, they have begun their Benjamin Button journey with baby steps by introducing anti-ageing products into their personal care regimes.

“They work. And it’s fun getting into skin care with my girlfriend,” shared Hafiz Rahman, 30.

Dr Rachel Ho, an aesthetic doctor at Paragon’s La Clinic, also revealed that she has a small but growing percentage of male patients visiting her for anti-ageing procedures. She shared that the men are married and have families, so their concerns are more about looking appealing in the professional arena.

Interestingly enough, the group of men we spoke to between the ages 30 and 45 displayed a more nonchalant attitude towards ageing. Take Sam Nai, 41, for example. He’s noticed the appearance of wrinkles since 30, but despite filming under the sun for long hours in his job as Edit & Play’s studio lead, the father of two uses just water to clean his face. “You will only start to be old when you think old,” he shared.

Jerald Ang, also 41, is equally cavalier. The former creative director insists we should embrace age as a sign of wisdom. “Honestly, when you are a father of two, spending quality time with the kids takes priority over putting stuff on your face,” he said.

Similarly, Ryan Pang isn’t too concerned about wrinkles, and wears his smile lines with pride. The 34-year-old founder of Habitat Coffee is a little more diligent with his skin care though, but it’s really to alleviate adult acne and a recurring eczema condition. He said he wouldn’t mind introducing anti-ageing products into his regime should they prove to be effective.

It boils down to individual perspectives. Dr Ho revealed as well that she has yet to encounter a patient who is unhealthily obsessed with ageing and its supposed flaws. Still, if you’re interested to keep your skin in top shape, Dr Ho has explained what those buzzword ingredients do, to help you make informed choices the next time you find yourself browsing at the pharmacy shelves.