Women's Beauty Product Costs....Are They Really More?!
You may have heard or read this going around as of late, which is why my curiosity was also peaked when I came across one of these articles myself ;) As a beauty-lover and a woman, I've considered this issue before and I admit that I wasn't surprised much when it started to become a popular beauty topic...I was however, quite shocked at what I discovered on my own :0
When I initially began researching the variance in cost for men's personal care products versus women, I really set out to ensure that I started and ended this project with an open mind. As an educated and intelligent woman, I thought it best to try & ignore what I'd come across thus far- this would only create a biased opinion. Plus, I don't care to be close-minded in general as I don't think that this line of thinking is a positive influence in my life.
I even considered the possibility that I was going to find quite the opposite from what I'd seen thus far- that the costs between a woman's and a man's products were around the same...or maybe even a bit less in some cases? Unfortunately, I saw from the get-go that I was wrong about my initial guess! Not only do brands seem to charge women more on average than men- it ranges in a variety of personal care for everything from razors, to body wash- to hair care items :( Find out more below!
I compared several different brands- including traditional "drug-store" brands, in addition to luxe brands too; I also found that what occurred, was across the board and wasn't limited to just one specific product! My list was composed of 7 different brands: Schick, Suave, Nivea, Giorgio Amani, Degree, Kent, & Jane Iredale; with each brand, I looked at products that were basically the same or comparable- for both women & men. I tried stick with items that carried the same volume or weight/packaging and offered up the same or similar features. Here's my list:
In general, I couldn't really find an instance where women didn't pay more for razors that were specifically designed or geared towards women. In fact, women seem to pay more for their razors [especially disposables!] and they often receive fewer a package too. As you can see from my pick below, these disposable razors from the same brand actually give an extra bonus product with the men's version AND it's over $2 cheaper :0 If you've ever wondered about using a men's razor and saving a few dollars, I can state from personal experience that there's really no difference...except in razor cuteness.
MEN > Schick Quatro for Men - 2 pack w/bonus razor for $13.30 @ walmart.com.
WOMEN >Schick Quatro for Women - 2 pack (no bonus razor) for $15.60 @ walmart.com.
Yes, unfortunately women pay more here too. If the hair care product is designed for women in mind, it seems to be a bit more on the expensive side as a result. I also noticed that men's products will often offer up 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 options, but women's shampoo & conditioners are usually featured as products that are sold separately and each individual item will cost more too :( In my example below, Suave offers up a men's version of shampoo that's not only a 3-in-1 product, but it costs less and doesn't require the additional purchase of a conditioner and/body wash- as it does for women. Thinking this was just a brand-specific issue, I started looking everywhere...and to no avail! No matter which retailer or brand I went with, I discovered that women often pay more for their hair care products and have to buy them individually as well- that means that their overall costs will be more [even if ea. item costs less!]
MEN > Suave Men Citrus 3 in 1 Shampoo, Conditioner, & Body Wash (28 oz.) for $2.69 @ Target.com
WOMEN > Suave Professionals Rosemary Mint Shampoo (28 oz.) for $2.99 @ Target.com.
I felt that surely...this item would be the same in cost, but I was wrong again. Instead, I saw that on average, women pay more for these products as well. The body washes and cleansers that are oriented towards women, often seem to go for overly fragrant smells & silly extras like "a hint of shimmer". It's body wash and that means that it's going to get washed off...that's a bit on the silly side, in my opinion. But this means that brands can charge women more too, even if the product is the same amount, brand, and retailer. Take my example below: Nivea's body wash offers up a men's line that has items that are in most cases, less expensive than their women-focused products of a similar nature :(
MEN > Nivea Men's Maximum Hydration 3 in 1 Body Wash (16.9 oz.) for $3.77 @ Target.com.
WOMEN > Nivea Touch of Cashmere Body Wash (16.9 oz.) for $3.99 @ Target.com.
I had a sneaking suspicion on this one as well, but I was really hoping that brands would offer up scents at the same price points- I was however, wrong again! In most cases, I discovered that even the luxe brands of cologne sell comparable items [like perfume] to women and they are usually a bit more in cost. When looking at my example below from Giorgio Armani, you can see how even when the same amount of product, brand, and seller are used- the women's version does cost more.
MEN > Giorgio Armani Acque Di Gio Pour Homme Ea de Toilette (1.7 oz.) for $68 @ Ulta.com.
WOMEN > Giorgio Armani Acque di Gioia Eau de Pafrum Spray (1.7 oz.) for $70 @Ulta.com.
I thought....surely something that both men AND women use everyday...surely that would be a product that would have the same pricing? Unfortunately, I was mistaken once again and I found that women often pay more for their deodorants and antiperspirants in general- sometimes it can be several dollars in difference :0 I noticed another pattern as well with this product in particular: women seem to get less in amount of product- in addition to paying a higher cost :( Check out my example below: both feature up to 48 hrs of protection and are invisible solids, from the same brand and retailer; yet, the men's version is 29 cents cheaper and contains just a little bit more in weight.
MEN > Degree Men Motion Sense Deodorant (2.7 oz.) for $3.88 @ walmart.com.
WOMEN > Degree Women Invisible Solid Deodorant (2.6 oz.) for $4.17 @ walmart.com.
HAIR CARE [COMB]:
When it comes to a comb, you would think that these would be items that were "all created equal"...and therefore, the same price-point too. But, this isn't the case here either! Over and over again, I continued to see combs, brushes, and other hair tools- that were higher in cost, when designed for women :( This is also where I saw a sometimes obvious disparity in pricing, with almost no seemingly valid reason. Take the example I have below: the 2 combs are each curated by Kent and are handmade combs of a similar size, shape, material, & retailer- yet the women's version is $1.46 more :0
MEN > Kent Handmade Coarse & Fine Toothed Comb for Men for $8.49 @ Beauty Encounter >Rakuten.com.
WOMEN > Kent Handmade Medium Coarse & Fine Toothed Comb for Women for $9.95 @ Beauty Encouter >Rakuten.com.
By the time I had gotten to this final product I'd chosen for my list, I had the idea where I was going to end up with this one. It turns out, that even when it comes to an everyday item such as lip balm or chap stick- brands generally charge more for products designed specifically for women. Now I was able to locate a couple of brands that did seem to charge the same exact price point for a men's chap stick versus a women's lip balm, but they were only a couple that I came across :/ As you can see from the example below though, women can pay more for the same or similar lip care item.
MEN > Jane iredale H/E Lip Balm for men SPF 15 (.18 oz.) for $10 @ Lovelyskin.com.
WOMEN > Jane iredale "Dip Drink" Lip Balm Broad Spectrum (.14 oz.) for $15 @ Lovelyskin.com.
As you can see from the total numbers below, women can pay up to almost 10% more for their personal care & beauty products. And although this is just one small example, there's also been proven research that suggests that women are charged more AND do pay more for their personal care/beauty products in general. Another reason for this is that not only are women charged more for many common items, but they can sometimes contain a lesser amount of product; there may not be little [if any] difference at all (in terms of quality and ingredients, for example). Brands also tend to offer up products that are purchased separately- like shampoo & conditioner (versus products geared towards men that are often 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 items!).
The overall pricing totals:
Men > $110.13
Women > $121.10
% Difference(+/- comparison) > 9.5%