It's The 21st Century, So Why Does The Pink Tax Still Exist?

International Women's Day 2018 is highlighting the difference in pay between the sexes this year.

Yep, even though it is the 21st century, we are actually 200 years behind when it comes to our wages, according to figures from the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report.

And even though our pay packets are sometimes significantly lighter than our male colleagues', it actually turns out that we pay more on many our toiletries too, thanks to the Pink Tax.


While loads of brands have attempted to rubbish claims that women still have to pay a premium for female-targeted products, it only takes a glance at the toiletry-adorned shelves of popular high-street drugstores to know that this is complete and utter b*ll*cks.

PRETTY52 has compared the price of male and female toiletry essentials to show that the Pink Tax is still rearing its ugly head, even though no brand wants to admit it.

Razors: For a pack of 10 plastic, disposable razors, a man can expect to splash out a whopping £1.45.

But if won't be seen dead in the shower without your trusty bright pink women's one you'll have to splash out £2.69. Oh, and you only get a pack of eight, and the razors are BOTH aimed at sensitive skin.


Shaving foam: Obviously, to go with your hot pink, super girly razor, you will need snazzy bottle of shaving foam, because one won't work without the other.

For a 200ml bottle of a household brand, you better cough up £3.55.

But for the EXACT SAME size bottle of the stuff for a guy from the EXACT SAME brand, they will only have to pay £1.85.


Shampoo: I'm almost 99.99% certain that men and women wash their hair in the same way: lather, rinse and repeat, (if needed). But apparently, the suds on a woman's head cost a lot, lot more.

A bottle of 'two in one' men's manly shampoo costs just £4.49, but if you're a woman, you'll pay an extra 50p from the same brand for just shampoo.

Adding on to this the price of a matching bottle of conditioner, you will have spent more than double than a man. I'm not one for a cheesy pun, but your money is quite literally just going down the drain.


Eye-cream: If you are following the advice of your mama and using eye-cream now that you are getting on a bit, don't expect the Pink Tax to help you out in the anti-ageing process.

If a guy is after a little tube of the stuff to keep his own bags at bay, he will have to hand over £11.99 to the cashier.

But, as you've probably already guessed it, women have to pay three quid more for a near identical product which costs £14.99 and claims to do the same thing.

Credit: Alice Skinner/@thisisaliceskinner
Credit: Alice Skinner/@thisisaliceskinner

Higher mark-ups on the price of toiletries aimed at women isn't the only thing that's disproportionate, either.

Unless you missed out on a huge part of sex ed, then you'll know that most women have periods.

And if you're really, really clued up, you will also know that tampons and sanitary towels cost a bomb because they are taxed as luxury items by the government. Apparently, they are considered less important that Jaffa Cakes, which aren't taxed at all.

Recent statistics claim that throughout her lifetime, the average woman will spend a huge £18,000 on the cost of having a period.

With the help of 2,134 women, found that each year, a woman spends around £492 on necessities like pads, menstrual cups and tampons, replacing underwear as well as buying pain relief. A woman has around 450 periods in her lifetime, meaning the overall cost of a period is £18,450.


So, what can someone who doesn't have to fork out £18k on periods put their money on instead?

  • A deposit on a £180,000 house.
  • One night in London's Mandarin Oriental hotel.
  • A convertible car.
  • 360,000 Jaffa Cakes.
  • Fly First Class around the world, twice.

Treat yo'self.

All jokes aside, why are women still forced to pay an additional cost on items with the Pink Tax?

The artwork throughout this piece is created by Alice Skinner. You can visit her Instagram account here or purchase her artwork here.

Featured Image Credit: Alice Skinner/ @thisisaliceskinner

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications. She is a Journalism and English language graduate of Kingston University, London, and joined the team in 2017. Contact her -

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