Can you beat the ‘Pink Tax’ by buying blue? Save up to 62% buying items meant for the opposite sex

Much has been made of the so-called ‘Pink Tax’ in which women are sometimes charged more than men for similar products. This got us thinking, so we took a deeper look into to see if buying an item in a different colour or one that is marketed for the opposite sex could save you money – and the results may surprise you…

First, let’s look at razors

Whilst going au naturale might be the most MoneySaving, if you don’t fancy being a super furry animal then you’ll be needing a razor. We’ve all heard that men’s razors are cheaper than women’s, but we wanted to check whether or not this was true.

We’ve compared like for like where we can at the same supermarket, with the same brand and the same number in the packet where possible.  Here’s what we found:

Supermarket/Brand

Men’s (per razor)

Women’s (per razor)

Bic at Tesco
Wilkinson Sword at Sainsbury’s
Gillette at Waitrose
Tesco own brand
Asda own brand
Sainsbury’s own brand
Superdrug own brand
Boots own brand

Results – up to 55% off if you buy men’s version

For branded razors, all three men’s were cheaper than women’s (by up to 55%), but if you switched to the cheapest unisex own-brand razor, you could save up to 70%.

For own-brand razors, two out of five men’s were cheaper than women’s (by up to 50%) with two women’s razors cheaper than men’s (by up to 11%) and one razor more-or-less the same price.

Our analysis seems to suggest that women could be at least 50% better off if they bought own-brand men’s razors in Asda or Tesco, but the percentage saving is even higher with branded razors (up to 55% for Bic or Gillette).

What about other products?

Whilst razors for men and women are both aggressively marketed, we started to think about other products which may be cheaper if bought in the ‘wrong’ gender’s packaging.

Do people really notice if the moisturiser you’ve used is men’s or women’s when you’re outside of your house? Probably not, so we’ve compared some leading and own brands to see the price difference between products.

We picked the cheapest brand which makes both ladies’ and men’s facial moisturiser. Here’s what we found:

Supermarket/Brand

Men’s (per 100ml)

Women’s (per 100ml)

L’Oreal at Superdrug
Nivea at Tesco
Superdrug own brand  
Boots own brand  
Tesco own brand

Results – up to 62% off if you buy women’s version

From the brands we looked at, it could be up to 62% cheaper for men to buy women’s own-brand facial moisturiser in Tesco, and up to 55% cheaper for men to buy big-brand Nivea rather than Nivea Men in the same supermarket. We also noted it was sometimes difficult to tell which products were aimed at women as they are often not labelled as such – especially with own brands.

Whilst there may be many big brands out there targeting our faces, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that quite a few are specifically targeting one gender (eg, Bulldog for men, Olay for women) which makes comparison difficult – but see if you can find an own-brand alternative as you could save up to 87%. See our Downshift Challenge for more tips.

Are shower gel prices leaving you in a lather?

With stereotypical men’s brand Lynx bringing out a women’s shower gel, we thought it was high time to check out the price difference to see who cleans up with the best deals on shower gel.

We looked at brands from the same supermarket or high-street shop that made both a men’s and women’s version and checked their cost per 100ml of product to see who saves the most. Here’s what we found:

Supermarket/Brand

Men’s (per 100ml) 

Women’s (per 100ml)

Nivea at Superdrug
Lynx at Asda
Dove at Superdrug
Radox at Asda 
Superdrug own brand
Boots own brand
Tesco own brand
Asda own brand
Sainsbury’s own brand

Results – up to 55% off if you buy men’s version

Lynx is up to 55% cheaper if you buy the men’s version rather than the women’s. Radox prices were even at Asda, but if you’re a woman buying Tesco’s own brand, you can rest assured your shower gel is 37% cheaper than the men’s version.

We were encouraged that four out of the nine shower gel combinations we looked at were the same price for the men’s and ladies’ versions, but there are still further savings to be had if you switch to own brand – up to 86%.

Final verdict

Of the 22 products we looked at, nine were cheaper for men, eight were cheaper for women and five were the same price. Women were more likely to be charged more for razors and shower gel, but men were more likely to be charged more for moisturiser.

So if you don’t mind using a product aimed at the opposite sex, the best way to save is to always compare prices of both options before buying.

What’s the worst example of unexpected pricing differences you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments below, on Twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.