The 42-year-old actor has appeared in such films as "Closer," "Children of Men," and "The Inside Man." He will be the face for a Lancome men's fragrance, Hypnose Homme, as well as a new men's skin care line that includes anti-aging products.
Both prestige fragrance and skin care products are due out this spring.
Owen's endorsement will include a TV campaign for Hypnose Homme set to run in the U.S., the U.K. and other international markets.
In the spot, Owen and another Lancome model, Daria Werbowy, wander through a maze of glass panels, walking romantically toward each other. Werbowy currently appears in ads for the women's Hypnose.
Owen's recognition factor outside the U.S. makes him a good choice for endorsements that will run here and internationally.
Other celebrity faces of Lancome have included actress Isabella Rossellini and Uma Thurman.
As a male celebrity slated to hawk men's skin care products, Owen is a bit of an enigma, since most male celebrities endorse men's fragrances only, with unknown male models more typically used for men's skin care and other toiletries.
Although growing, men's skin care product sales are nowhere near the level of those for women. For example, one of the more successful men's brands is Beiersdorf's Nivea for Men. Still, after being on the U.S. market for several years, Nivea for Men moisturizers ranked No. 15 in the mass moisturizer category, with sales at $5.1 million for the year ended Nov. 5, per IRI. This compares to Olay's top two brands, which had $80 million in sales combined, and No. 5 brand Aveeno, with one SKU bringing in $13 million in the same period.
"Despite what everyone writes, men's skin care sales are not [overwhelming]," says beauty industry consultant Allan Mottus. The use of a famous face should help, he says. More than half of men's products are purchased by women for men to use, says Mottus, "so if women think [Owen] is handsome, that can only help."
Seeing a recognizable, masculine man endorsing a skin care line should be more of an inducement for men as well, Mottus adds.