As far as TV formulas go – this one gets the girls every time.
Unbuttoned shirts, golden tan, washboard stomachs and smiles so bright they could cause retinal damage.
Is it any surprise that guys want the look – and girls want those guys?
Such is the rush for Love Island style, some beauty experts say more men than women are turning up at their clinics for ‘tweakments’ – while sales of male beauty products are rocketing.
We all know Love Island men boast impressive skincare routines involving sheet masks and rose quartz face rollers.
This year’s Toby Aromolaran and Brad McClelland have both been tending their faces with roller-ball eye gel and exfoliating gloves.
And it’s catching on. Sales of men’s face masks more than doubled during the show’s run in 2019.
Indeed, with the male personal care market set to be worth $166billion by 2022, the Google search ‘men skincare’ increased by 175% last year.
‘Men used to steal their girlfriend’s moisturiser but now they’ll buy male brands, because it’s socially acceptable,’ says laser eye surgeon and aesthetic specialist Dr Tahera Bhojani-Lynch from the Laser and Light Clinic.
‘My clinic is full of young men who don’t feel body beautiful — and they can’t open up to their peers. Ironically, lockdown and Zoom consultations have made it easier for men to seek expert help. It’s not too personal and they feel more in control.’
According to Dr Bhojani-Lynch, the Love Island factor has sparked new emphasis on the jaw line. ‘Those perfect-looking people have put pressure on ordinary men and women,’ she says.
‘The trend for bushy beards over the past five years is giving way to a more sculptured and contoured look, which enhances the appearance of the jaw. The fashion for a more groomed look is emerging.’
Dr David Jack, co-author of Vain Glorious: A Shameless Guide For Men Who Want To Look Their Best, has seen a huge growth in the number of men visiting his Harley Street clinic.
‘I used to see about 20-25% men but this has significantly risen, indeed — one day last week there were more men booked in than women.
‘This is partly because of the ageing effect lockdown has had and the need for a bit of a “pick me up”,’ he says.
‘But there has also been an increase in acceptability and awareness of aesthetic treatments due to social media and reality TV programmes such as Love Island — the show offers true escapism for people who don’t want to travel and more men are glued to it.
‘Most men who come in to see me are apprehensive about tweakments but for the most part end up being even more regular in the clinic than women.’
Faces aside, Love Island has also dictated male body shapes. The six-pack is mandatory, as are bulging biceps and rippling quads — maintained by an addiction to the gym, the tanning bed and the sting of the wax strip.
And thanks to the show’s partnership with copycat brand I Saw It First, you can also shop the islanders’ exact wardrobes, with T-shirts either tight enough to display a nipple or oversized to accentuate their coveted ‘swimmer’s shoulders’.
These should be paired with vacuum-moulded jeans.
As to colour, we’ll leave the last word to Islander Sharon Gaffka.
‘Every guy who wears white jeans is bringing an ego,’ she said on this year’s first episode. ‘It’s just a no from me.’
Want the Love Island look for yourself? Here’s what you’ll need….
Mills Charcoal Hydrogel mask
Peppermint daily cleanser
Babyliss Men Super-X Metal Series 15 in 1 cordless multi trimmer
Short sleeve crew neck T-shirt
Tom Ford bronzing gel
Peach zebra print swim shorts
Vain Glorious: A Shameless Guide for Men who Want to Look Their Best by Dr David Jack and Jeremy Langmead is out now