South African men are world leaders in believing they are good-looking - and are the most committed to their shaving mirrors, according to a small survey.
A full 78 percent of the roughly 420 South African men questioned in the study said they believed they were sexy. And their motive for looking good was to please themselves, said market intelligence company Synovate.
Very small sample
This was way above the average - out of the 5 000 men surveyed in 12 countries world-wide, less than half (49 percent) believed they were sexy. (It should be noted that less than 500 participants per country makes for a very small sample and results are therefore not very reliable.)
Only Greek men (81 percent) and Russian men (80 percent) topped what the researchers labelled the "Adonis complex" of South African male species.
Malaysian, Chinese and French men apparently had lower opinions of themselves.
Seventy-eight percent of Malaysian men surveyed believed they were not sexy, while 66 percent of both Chinese and French men surveyed did not think they were good-looking.
The results originate from 10 000 interviews with both men and women conducted in October in 12 countries - South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Malaysia, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
South African men in the survey were the "most committed to their shaving mirrors", with 90 percent agreeing that they prefer the look of a clean-shaven face, followed by China (88 percent) and Spain (84 percent).
Beards most popular in Greece
"Most likely to embrace the beard were men from Greece (34 percent disagreed they preferred to be clean-shaven), Australia and Brazil (both 25 percent) and Canada (24 percent)," Synovate said in a statement.
Ninety-two percent of SA women in the survey preferred clean-shaven faces – the most among the 12 countries surveyed.
About two thirds of South African men who partook in the survey used beauty products specially designed for men.
"However, 36 percent of South African men in the survey believe men who use beauty products are not as masculine as those who don't," said the researchers.
"This sentiment is higher amongst South African males than it is amongst females. However, a substantial 33 percent of surveyed women also believe this."
Most used products
The top three most-used products by all men in the study were deodorant (72 percent), whitening toothpaste (61 percent) and cologne or aftershave (58 percent).
South African men in the survey mostly used deodorant (88 percent), cologne or aftershave (80 percent), mouthwash (72 percent), whitening toothpaste (72 percent), lip balm or Vaseline (68 percent), body moisturiser (56 percent), conditioner (45 percent), facial wash (44 percent), facial moisturiser (42 percent), whitening soap (35 percent), sun cream (35 percent) and hair spray, gel or mousse (34 percent).
Four fifths of South African men surveyed stated that their looks were very or quite important to them.
South African women were loyal to their men. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed voted for their own men as the most good-looking in the world - and 51 percent of local men agreed.
The survey also had good news for bald men who "need not worry".
"Only one percent of respondents said that a 'full head of hair' is necessary for someone to be handsome." – (Sapa)
20 astonishing SA stats
Health24: Health of the Nation survey results