Products aimed at women often cost more, for no reason. Here's how you can save money on common items everyone uses.

By Dan Nosowitz
Updated September 23, 2020
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Unfortunately, there is a gender equality gap that exists in our country. (The World Economic Forum, an international organization that's goal is to improve the state of the world, publishes a Global Gender Gap Report every year that offers an in-depth look at the issue.) That inequality is seen in many parts of our lives, including in the product we buy. In 2015, the New York City Department of Affairs released a study about how much consumer goods cost, depending on whether they're designed for male or female customers. Across 30 of 35 categories, products aimed at women cost more, often for no reason. The extra cost of these products is usually referred to as the "pink tax." On average, these personal care products cost 7% more when designed for women (pretty packaging, marketing, and fragrances play significant roles in this). But a 7% hike? Is that fair? In many cases, there's no scientific reason to buy products designed for women, outside of personal preference. You can save a chunk of change by only buying products aimed at men or products that don't seem to have much of a gendered advertisement at all. Here are a few well-reviewed men's or unisex products to consider next time you're ready to stock up.

Credit: Morsa Images/Getty Images

Razors

Razors designed for women are among the worst offenders, sometimes costing up to twice as much as men's razors. And for what? Skip the pink-colored razor and opt for something else. Dollar Shave Club states explicitly that its products are unisex, and reviews on its executive blades are excellent. Schick's Hydro 5 razor ($11, Amazon) is among the best-reviewed razors on the site. 

Shampoo

Women's shampoo and conditioner cost almost 50% more than men's. There are undoubtedly good shampoos and bad shampoos, but it's about the quality of the product, not about whether it's for men or women. Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo ($20, Kiehl's) comes with fantastic reviews and isn't explicitly aimed at women—or men. For conditioner, go to the old standard: Dove, which sells a wide variety of well-reviewed conditioners, including the Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Conditioner ($6, Target).

Body Lotion

Lotions come with a whopping 11% increase in items marketed to women. For the most part, all quality lotions should have the same core ingredients, such as shea butter and hyaluronic acid. The scent is the major difference between lotions marketed to men and lotions marketed to women. Added fragrances are frequent skin irritants, note dermatologists, so an unscented, unisex formula may be a better choice for your skincare needs. Try a dermatologist-approved drugstore product like Cerave's moisturizing cream ($19, Ulta), which has hyaluronic acid and is fragrance-free.

Comments (3)

Anonymous
October 14, 2020
IF a pink tax exists it’s because the consumer is willing to pay it. The vanity market drives the prices. So many women think that the more they pay for something, the better it is, the younger or more beautiful they will look and feel.
Anonymous
October 14, 2020
IF a pink tax exists it’s because the consumer is willing to pay it. The vanity market drives the prices. So many women think that the more they pay for something, the better it is, the younger or more beautiful they will look and feel.
Anonymous
October 14, 2020
PINK TAX. ALL Women in the Service Business should be able to attach this to ALL Male oriented purchases ! Henriette Hall Edisto Island, SC