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The power of pink: They cost more, so why do women buy personal care items specifically marketed to them?

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Companies offer products like deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner and body soap "made specifically for women," but those products could be costing you a lot more than than the exact same thing "made for men!"

It's all about the power of pink. The so-called "Pink Tax" involves a message so strong, it changes how you spend your money. Personal care items are marketed to women for a higher price.

An investigation by FOX6's sister station, FOX8 in North Carolina has discovered some examples. Degree deodorant, made for women contains fewer ounces of product, and it costs 5% more.

degree

"Nivea for Men" body wash costs 29.5 cents per ounce. The "Touch of Sparkle" version, marketed towards women costs 35.4 cents per ounce -- a 20% increase.

nivea

Then there's "Cortizone for women" -- which comes in a pink box. "Cortizone 10 Intensive Healing" has the same ingredients, but the product packaged in pink costs almost 50% more. A pharmacist told FOX8 she buys the less expensive version.

cortizone

FOX8 even found a big difference in something as specific as Rogaine. The men's and women's versions were found to cost the same, but the women's product has less than half the active ingredient -- so shouldn't it cost less?

rogaine

Then, there are those expensive razors. Schick Quattro Titanium, with eight cartridges costs $16.79. Schick Quattro for Women, with eight cartridges costs $17.99.

schick

FOX8 found two types of disposable Bic razors with the same blade count -- but customers pay 45% more for the fancy, colorful handle.

bic

"Why would a woman be more willing to pay more for a pink-handled razor than a gray?" Michelle Steward said.

Steward teaches marketing at Wake Forest University.

"The products that we buy say something about ourselves," Steward said.

Steward says marketing research shows consumers will pay more for products that support how they see themselves.

"We are looking as consumers for products that fit our attitudes, beliefs, needs and the packaging is one way to show what the product might contain and what it`s about," Steward said.

That's why a lot of women really do want that deodorant in a pretty container -- but at least we can be aware of why we're buying it.

"I don`t think there`s anything wrong with someone paying more if they find it fulfilling. It doesn`t mean we can`t cross the gender aisle and buy the cheaper product," Steward said.

So maybe, just maybe, on your next shopping trip -- consider trying out that cheap razor made for a man. You may only notice a difference when it comes to your wallet.

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