Young men are spending more on facial cleansers, moisturisers and other beauty products than ever before, but it still doesn't come close to the amounts spent by women.

While a new survey shows men are embracing the wash-tone-moisturise routine, most face products are bought for them in what one beauty company calls the "behind every good-looking man is a great-minded woman" trend.

According to a TNS poll of New Zealand and Australian commissioned by skin care company L'Oréal, women spend an average of $33.40 a month on skin products, compared with just $27.76 for men.

Women aged from 35 to 44 have the biggest bill, spending an average $40 a month. Men in the same age group trail at just $25 a month.

Kate Winstone, product manager for L'Oréal, said men's behaviour had changed greatly in the past five years.

"Gone is the 'she'll be right, soap in the shower' attitude towards skin care," she said.

Winstone said in 2004 only 26 per cent of men used a moisturiser but that had now grown to 74 per cent.

But, according to the research, 50 per cent of men's moisturiser is bought for them by their mum or partner.

Nationwide, our vanity costs us $700 million every year.

According to Garth Wyllie, executive director of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, that equates to an average of $179 a year for every adult.