The Real Price of Beauty in the US

The Real Price of Beauty in the US

Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram or strolling through the grocery store, you may have noticed the wide variety of beauty products gaining popularity in the United States. It seems like a new beauty trend is making headlines every few weeks, and cosmetics companies are eager to keep up with the frenzy. The US is the world’s largest beauty market, accounting for 13% of a $532 billion industry worldwide. And those sales are expected to grow faster than ever before, according to Business Insider.

The Real Price of Beauty in the US
  • Women in Colorado spend the least amount of money on facial beauty products, averaging $5 per day. Meanwhile women in New York, Connecticut, and West Virginia spend the most, with an average of $11 per day, according to data from a SkinStore survey
  • According to the same survey data, the average American woman will spend roughly $300,000 on face products alone in her lifetime
  • American women apply an average of 16 products to their face per day, from eye creams to serums to mascara, according to the same survey

While this might seem like serious money, a growing body of research suggests it could be worth it. According to one study from the University of Texas, Austin, physical attractiveness tends to translate into higher reported levels of happiness. What’s more, an upsetting volume of research has pointed to a relationship between physical appearance and income, especially for men. With a job market and a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on looking our best, it makes sense that Americans want to invest in their appearance. 

We compiled some data on the real price of beauty in the US. So, if beauty on a budget is something you want to know more about then keep reading. Also learn how much are Americans paying for haircuts, moisturizers, and beauty treatments, not to mention related health and wellness expenses such as fitness memberships? Quite a bit, it turns out. We broke down the data on the price of beauty by category and highlighted some interesting trends based on gender.


According to data from Statista, hair care products cost American consumers an average of $73.40 in 2018. Spread out over a twelve-month period, that seems like a pretty reasonable figue. However, it only includes shampoo, conditioner, and other physical products you’d buy from the store. It doesn’t factor in the cost of hair-related services, like trips to the salon or barber. 

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Hair care cost in US

US News reports that the average cost of a haircut was $28 for men and $44 for women. The article also mentioned that not everyone in the country tips for a haircut, but those who do tend to tip 20%. 

While men’s haircuts are cheaper than women’s, they tend to visit the barber more often than women, bringing their annual total to $154.44. Meanwhile, women spend an average of $257.42 per year at the salon, according to Towards Data Science.


If you’re wondering how much does it cost to get your nails done professionally, or more specifically, the average pedicure cost in America, then here’s your answer. Data from Statista reports that traditional or hard gels cost an average of $51.29. A full set of acrylics cost $46.01, and gel polish costs $30.96 on average. 

If you’ve been wondering how much does it cost to get your nails done, it’s important to remember that speciality services cost a little extra. And that’s especially true when it comes to the cost of a manicure or a pedicure. A deluxe or specialty manicure costs an average $33.01, while a basic manicure costs an average $22.75. Deluxe and specialty pedicures cost an average of $48.54, while basic pedicures cost $35.46 on average.


When it comes to the price of beauty, American women spend an average of $115 for makeup and beauty treatments per month, or $1,380 per year. They also spend an average of $65 per month on creams, lotions, moisturizers, and anti-aging treatmentsaccording to the New York PostMeanwhile, American men drop an average of $49 on facial products per month, or $588 per year.

Makeup and beauty treatements costs in US


While gym memberships and fitness classes aren’t just a beauty expenditure, many of the surveys that track Americans’ spending factor them in with the cost of haircuts, makeup, and other appearance-related spending. Fitness can be viewed as both a health and a beauty expense, and one of the only categories in which men outspend women. Americans spend an average of $106 per month on fitnessaccording to the New York Post dataa figure that includes supplements and equipment along with memberships and classes. Men average $123 per month on fitness, while women spend an average of $89.

Health and beauty costs

The Pink Tax

The Pink Tax is a term that refers to the “extra amount women are charged for certain products or services,” reports Candice Elliott for Listen Money Matters. Women tend to get charged more for everything from clothing to dry cleaning to personal care products. And even if the ingredients listed on two different products are exactly the same, when it’s marketed to women, the price goes up.

A study compared 110 different moisturizers from leading retailers and found that the ones marketed to women cost on average $3.09 per ounce more than those marketed to men, according to Health Day. Unfortunately, the phenomenon isn’t limited to moisturizer. One dramatic example is the price disparity between shampoos and conditioners. On average, the shampoos and conditioners marketed toward women cost 48% more

Personal care costs


Among those who regularly invest in their appearance, American women spend on average $3,756 per year on beauty and fitness costs. By contrast, men spend an average of $2,928 per year. “Respectively, that’s $225,360 and $175,000 in a lifetime,” reports the New York Post. While that might seem like a lot of money, for many consumers, the benefits of feeling healthy and attractive outweigh the costs.

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