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Moisturizers Affected by Gender-Related Price Inequalities

Moisturizers are commonly recommended by dermatologists to both men and women. However, moisturizers and other gender-marketed products, such as shampoos, lotions, deodorants, and razors, are unevenly priced. Women often pay more for facial moisturizers compared with men who are marketed comparable products, according to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Gender-related price inequalities for over-the-counter dermatologic products are prevalent, the researchers stated, including for topical minoxidil. They investigated price differences for 110 facial moisturizers sold by Amazon, Target, and Walmart in October 2018. Three market variables (language, container color/graphics, and container curvature/shape) were used to classify facial moisturizers as men’s, women’s, or gender neutral.
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The word “men” was used as part of the marketing language for 47 out of 54 facial moisturizers targeted to men (87%). However, only 3 out of 56 (5.4%) facial moisturizers marketed to women were explicitly labeled “for women.”

“No statistically significant differences were found between the number of facial moisturizers listed as fragrance‐free, SPF‐containing, anti‐aging, or those labeled as sensitive, hypoallergenic, or dermatologist recommended between the 2 groups,” the researchers said. Despite this, facial moisturizers marketed to women were on average $3.09 more per ounce than those marketed to men, they added.

A statistically significant difference in price per ounce between facial moisturizers for men compared with those for women ($6.20 vs $9.29, respectively) was observed in a two-tailed t test.

“Facial moisturizers marketed to women were found to be significantly more expensive than comparable facial moisturizers marketed to men,” the researchers concluded.


Manatis‐Lornell AJ, Marks DH, Hagigeorges D, Okhovat JP, Senna MM. Gender‐related cost discrepancies in a cohort of 110 facial moisturizers [published online April 15, 2019]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi:10.1111/jocd.12954


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