Chances are, someone introduced you to Nu Skin products and the business plan, and you think, “Is Nu Skin A Scam?”
If yes, you’ve come to the right place. In my Nu Skin review, I will cover the below topics to walk you through the whole thing:
- What Is Nu Skin?
- How to Make Money with Nu Skin?
- Nu Skin Brand Affiliate Commission/Compensation Plan
- Nu Skin Pros & Cons
- Who is Nu Skin For?
- Can You Make Money Selling Nu Skin?
- Is Nu Skin A Scam Or A Pyramid Scheme?
- My Alternative Way to Make Money Online
Before diving deep, I want to tell you that I am NOT selling you Nu Skin products or recruiting you to become my downlines, so you won’t see my pitching or pushing you to click a “JOIN NOW” button.
I am sharing today to examine whether the business plan works for me or suits my personality. You’ll make a better decision once you finish reading this review to the end. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Disclaimer: As the owner of Smileaffiliatesuccess.com, I have tracked down special deals for products, tools, and services mentioned herein. When you click my affiliate links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission, and you will definitely get a great bargain. This is a win-win advantage for both of us.
What Is Nu Skin?
-Summary of Nu Skin-
Product Name: Nu Skin
Founders: Founded by Blake Roney, Steve Lund, and Sandie Tillotson in 1984.
Product Type: Health and beauty MLM
Price: $35 Sign-up fee + $20 annual renewal fee + Nu Skin Products
Nu Skin was founded by Blake Roney, Steve Lund, and Sandie Tillotson in 1984. They develop and sell more than 200 personal care products through multi-level marketing. The company has grown through all worldwide distributors’ efforts, so Nu Skin products are now available in more than 50 countries.
The most exciting product from Nu Skin is the anti-aging product line. Who doesn’t love products that help you look young? That product line caught customers’ eyes, and the sales revenue exceeded US$2.68 billion in 2018.
The products keep people stay young and pretty, but how about the business plan? Let me show you more details below to help you make up your mind.
What’s Inside Nu Skin?
Nu Skin covers a wide range of products, so it’s safe to say you won’t run out of things to sell to your customers. I won’t talk much about every Nu Skin product here. Otherwise, I will digress from the main subject- the business opportunity.
Nu Skin products fall into the below categories:
- Beauty Devices: ageLOC LumiSpa and Nu Skin Facial Spa
- Skin & Beauty: anti-aging, cleansers, makeups, oral care, toners, serums, etc
- Nutrition: vitamins, protein, iron, fish oil, calcium, etc
- New & Loved: recommended product combinations
The most popular Nu Skin is the ageLOC LumiSpa demo kit, which costs $396 for each set. It has a facial cleanser, a recovery fluid, a face essence ultra, and most important – an ageLOC LumiSpa device.
You can purchase it to do your demonstrations to any potential customers or use it every night. The device gives you an energizing facial massage that will give you brighter, softer, and smoother skin. Other facial products will help your facial skin look younger.
Do Nu Skin Products Work?
I don’t use Nu Skin products myself, so I cannot give you my firsthand experience to share. I went online to know what other customers talked about Nu Skin’s products, and I hope it gives you some ideas.
Taking Nu Skin ageLOC TRU FACE Essence Ultra (60 capsules) as an instance, they got a 72% 5-star rating on Amazon. It shows that most customers like the products, and it works on defying aging.
Before becoming a Nu Skin distributor, it’s better to try the products yourself. By doing that, you’ll gain more understanding or knowledge about the products you will promote.
If you like the products, you will have confidence in your demonstration and enthusiastically share them with your customers. If you don’t like the products yourself, people will not purchase from you.
How to Make Money with Nu Skin?
There are two main ways to make money in any MLM company, and Nu Skin is no exception.
- Sell Nu Skin products to earn retail commissions.
- Recruit people to become your downlines and hit group sales for bonuses & incentives.
You don’t make money by recruiting people, but you make money by the group sales made by you and your downlines. This is the major difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM business.
If you only want to purchase Nu Skin products for your personal use, it’s free to sign up as a customer and order the items whenever you want.
If you like to sell the products to make commissions, you need to sign up as a brand affiliate(distributor) under your sponsor, and it’s inevitable to become someone’s downline, which costs you $35 for the setup and $20 for the annual renewal fee.
Once you’ve registered, you could browse the introductory packages for preparing your stock.
Nu Skin does not require you to purchase any products to become a brand affiliate. But, if you join Nu Skin and want to make sales, you need some products for your demonstrations.
Here are the business kits you can choose from:
- ageLOC Me Starter Set $531
- ageLOC LumiSpa Demo Kit $396
- Nu Skin Facial Spa $383
- LumiSpa System Dry Subscription + Free Duo $199
Now, we can calculate the total cost of becoming a Nu Skin brand affiliate for one year.
- Signup Cost $35
- Annual Renewal Fee $20
- Business Start-Up Kits $199-$531
The best case is $254, while the worst could be $586. Other costs, such as additional training, travel, gas, food, or miscellaneous expenses, are not included, so the total cost must be higher than my calculation here.
Nu Skin Brand Affiliate Commission/Compensation Plan
Here comes the most complicated and confusing element of this review, the compensation plan.
Most MLM likes to create fancy terms and acronyms to make people see loads of ways to make money online.
I have to admit that I feel dizzy after reading them every time. Don’t worry here! I’ve tried my best to make things easier for you!
- Sharing And Retailing Bonuses: Earn commissions between member prices & retail prices
- Building Bonus: Earn 5%-40% on the commission volume made from your downlines, and you need to maintain your status as a Brand Representative
- Leading Bonus: Earn 2.5%-10% when you become a Brand Partner or Brand Director and help your downlines to make sales
That’s the basic bonus you should know before you join Nu Skin. For more details about the compensation plan, feel free to check the official 31-page document HERE.
How Much Do You Need to Sell to Stay Active?
In 2021, to be eligible for bonuses, you must have product sales to five different unregistered customers, retail customers, or members each month.
If you cannot meet this requirement, you must notify the Company immediately to let them know your current status. They might have someone help you with your sales.
Ugly Truth About Nu Skin
It’s easy to find lawsuits against any MLMs. Since the famous Amway ruling in 1979, it seems like every MLM has tried to word the business agreements in a way that makes it less “pyramid scheme.”
Nu Skin also got many lawsuits in history, just to name a few:
- In 1992, The Connecticut Attorney General sued Nu Skin for misleading its distributors and operating a pyramid scheme.
- In 2016, Nu Skin agreed to pay a $47 million settlement for operating a pyramid scheme after being sued by China in a Utah federal court.
- Later in 2016, Nu Skin was also forced to pay another $750,000 for bribing a top Chinese official with funds from Nu Skin’s charitable division after a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe.
TOP#2 Nu Skin Income Disclosure
Wanna know how much you can make in the first year after joining Nu Skin? Let’s look at the 2020 income disclosure. There are interesting numbers you need to look at before you join:
- For all Active Brand Affiliates, the average monthly income was $32.
- For Qualifying Brand Representative, the average monthly income was $103.
- For Brand Representative, the average monthly income was $616.
- For Diamond Director, the average monthly income was $9,411.
- For Blue Diamond Director, the average monthly income was $37,474.
The income disclosure indicates that only those who sit on the top ranks of the commission structure can make the most money. Those who join in the later phases could end up losing money.
Selling Nu Skin might be able to cover your bills, but it’s far from supporting your daily expenses or the whole family.
It’s also not a work-from-home opportunity to be your boss, so I don’t suggest you quit your 9-5 and make it your primary income source.
TOP#3 Expensive Products
Nu Skin marked up 30-40% of the product prices to pay a small percentage to affiliates for their promotions. At the same time, Nu Skin saves costs on marketing and advertising.
If you surf a bit on the website, it’s easy to find out their products are pretty expensive than similar products we could find in the supermarket.
Especially for the ageLOC Youth product line, the price starts from $180 to $390. I know it’s hard to resist the desire to keep looking young and beautiful, but I am sure there are more options on the internet at much lower prices.
What I Liked About Nu Skin
TOP#1 Social Responsibility
When a company earns profits, people expect to see them trying to improve our world to become a better place to live. Nu Skin isn’t absent from social responsibility.
They have the below two organizations to shape our world into a better place for the next generations, and it’s great to see Nu Skin doing something other than nothing.
Nourish the Children: To fight childhood hunger sustainably, Nu Skin has donated more than 650 million meals since 2012.
Force for Good: To improve the lives of children, Nu Skin does provide children with life-saving heart surgeries in Asia, crucial eye care in Latin America, educational opportunities in North Asia, and sustainable futures for families in Africa.
TOP#2 A Well-Designed Website
The official website of Nu Skin is nice and clean. It won’t take long to navigate you to the page you want to check on. The color theme is bright, and the layout is well-designed.
Most of the time, the first step to winning potential customers’ hearts is to have a pretty website.
If you were like me, you are also trying to start a blog as your side hustle, and I would recommend you try this platform to build yours. It only takes less than one minute to build your very first blog.
Who Is Nu Skin For?
An extrovert who loves to meet different people every day and is not tired of talking about the same products again and again. If you are also good at presentation, communication, and recruitment, Nu Skin is a must-go!
People who are introverted and shy like me may choose affiliate marketing to make money online. It’s cheaper than running a Nu Skin business.
Can You Make Money Selling Nu Skin?
Yes, scroll/slide up to see the income disclosure in 2020 again.
Although the majority failed to generate a good income with Nu Skin, we cannot ignore that around 0.32% of people made decent money per year.
If you commit to yourself and NEVER GIVE UP, I believe you can achieve something.
Ask yourself. Can you take the rejections and only earn $32 per month for the first few years? I don’t see the harm in doing Nu Skin if the answer is yes.
Is Nu Skin A Scam Or A Pyramid Scheme?
No, Nu Skin is not a scam nor a pyramid scheme.
They develop more than 200+ products that every customer and Brand Affiliate can purchase for personal or selling purposes. 0.32% of affiliates did make decent money through the compensation plan and the commission structure.
However, if you ask me whether I would join Nu Skin, my answer is NO.
I wouldn’t say I like to join a company with many lawsuits in history, a low-income potential, and expensive products. What I love to make money online is through Affiliate Marketing.
My Alternative Way to Make Money Online
My alternative way to make money online is through Affiliate Marketing instead of promoting Nu Skin products in person.
Try to imagine you sell Nu Skin products to your friends, family, or anyone around you. Don’t you feel blushed? My face turns blushed when I only imagine myself selling products, not to mention that they might avoid you ever since.
Doing affiliate marketing will save you from that:
- It’s free to start your affiliate marketing business.
- You don’t need to buy physical products and sell them face to face.
- There is no monthly minimum sales quota in affiliate marketing.
- You don’t recruit people to become your downlines to build a team.
- You are not restricted to promoting one product. You can promote anything you like!
- Work on your own schedules & you are your OWN BOSS!
You only need to start a blog with quality content. So every time people land on your site to read your product reviews or other articles, they will find insight and value.
If they like it, they may purchase the products or services via your links. Here come your earning potentials.
The platform I am using currently is Wealthy Affiliate. You will find all the proven-to-work training courses, every Friday night LIVE training courses, one keyword research tool called Jaaxy, 24/7 site support, and the most friendly community.
You are more than welcome to check my full Wealthy Affiliate review HERE, or click the button right below to start your online journey with us.
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Wealthy Affiliate Income Proof
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I hope you enjoy this review, and you are more than welcome to share ideas or leave your comments below. I will reply as soon as I can, thanks.
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16 thoughts on “Is Nu Skin A Scam?”
Hi Matt, Thank you very much for your interesting article, a great and very detailed review.
I know Nu Skin products, and they are pretty expensive, the same as Mary Kay, which is why I would never buy them, among other reasons. My skincare products are all organic and healthy for my skin and body. So, I would never go for chemical components like alcohol in products because it dries out the skin.
I have to admit that I love that they do much for children and that they have donated so much for the meals. However, earning money is not easy with such schemes. Wealthy Affiliate is the better option for sure! They are a real opportunity to build up an online business, even it is hard work and takes some time. I would always recommend them! 🙂
Yes, MLM companies mark up the product prices to pay a little portion back to their distributors. That’s how this business model works. I know someone who made a nice decent income from Nu Skin, so we cannot ignore that people did make money with the MLM business model. But if you ask me whether I would join Nu Skin? My answer is still no because I know I am not good at it.
I prefer to start a blog running an affiliate marketing business to make money online, and Wealthy Affiliate is the platform that teaches me everything and helps me make a stable online income after a 19-month endeavor. If I can make it, everyone can make it too.
Hey MATT! Thanks for another great review. From what you wrote, it is more than obvious, that this is MLM and not an affiliate opportunity. Seeing the price, and the fact that one has to remain active when wanting to stay with the company is something that will make me stay away from it. Adding the lawsuits, I am done. On the other hand, I love your other opportunity, as it really offers the real opportunity for making money online and without approaching friends and family with low-quality products. That is the choice people should go. Cheers mate
Yes, Nu Skin is an MLM business for people who like to make money by promoting various products. I’ve known someone who made a nice income by becoming one of Nu Skin distributors, so it’s possible to make money with the business plan, which requires patience, hard work, and persistence.
If you prefer to make money online, I will recommend you to try affiliate marketing. It’s affordable, easy-to-follow, and no prior experience is needed. I’ve leveraged this educational platform to make a stable online income, and I think you’ll be interested. 🙂
Like you say, these schemes are best for those on top. Most people who join Nu Skin or any other MLM/pyramid scheme will end up losing their money. And it’s not cheap to get started. That’s why I avoid these schemes in large circles and don’t want to touch them, not even with a ten-meter pole. Plus, you really have to be super passionate about this niche to make some money. Most people don’t have a passion for beauty and skincare, but they do want to make money. That’s a formula for disaster.
In any case, I’m not going to be joining Nu Skin, especially after reading about all those lawsuits and problems with the company. Thanks for sharing this review and keep up the good work, Matt.
The majority indeed lose money when they become distributors since the success rate is only 1% or lower…Not to mention the expensive startup cost and the stockpiling issues they will face. You are also correct on the reason why people fail to make money with Nu Skin. They only love to make money instead of being passionate about Nu Skin products.
On the other hand, I do think people can start a blog to run an affiliate marketing business because this is the method that I make most of my online income. This platform taught me everything, and I’ve leveraged it to make a stable online income. 🙂 You are more than welcome to check it out.
Hi Matt – I’ll admit that I’m not too familiar with Nu Skin, but from what you’ve provided in your review it doesn’t seem like anything that I’d personally take part in. Mostly because this isn’t my cup of tea, per se, but the commission ranges also don’t seem too great. I will applaud the company for their social causes, and the fact that they seem to have been around for quite a while, but at the end of the day, these types of businesses always seem to work out for a few and not the majority. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and providing this informative review, hope it can help others make an informed decision!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment on my Nu Skin review. The problem for an MLM business is the low success rate and the expensive startup cost. I believe people have better options to make extra money instead of becoming a Nu Skin distributor. Among all the methods to make money, I love affiliate marketing. It’s affordable, easy-to-follow, and has no prior experience needed before starting. I am sure you will be interested.
While Nu Skin products may be high-quality many distributors could find them hard to sell at such a high price. The compensation plan sounds ok but in my experience, MLM isn’t easy unless you’re an extrovert in nature. Affiliate marketing is far better with greater potential. As an introvert, this is my preferred method for making money online. Your alternative is a much better option, teaching affiliate marketing with great training and support:)
Yes, MLMs are most suitable for those born to be top sales(AKA people’s people!) If you are good at presentation, marketing, and recruitment, you must try Nu SKin to make extra money. If you are introverted, it’s not a good route. Affiliate Marketing is the cure!
This particular educational platform teaches me everything I need to start a blog running an affiliate marketing business. I’ve leveraged it to make a stable online income. If I can do this, trust me, you can make it too.
Hi Matt, Looking through I think the NuSkin range which is older than me by 2 years is one you can trust. I think that after 36 years it would have gone out of business already. Yet I said this before I am not a fan of MLM and I think there would only be one way I would consider this kind of opportunity. If I had sold the product prior to joining. Maybe even as a standard affiliate – do you know if this is something the company offer – an affiliate program outside of the MLM program.
Yes, Nu Skin is so far 36 years old, which shows that they are doing something right!
I agree with you that if you use the MLM products and love using them before you join its business plan, it’s no harm to become one of its distributors to make money with. Since you are satisfied with the products before becoming a distributor, you’ll gain more confidence in the products. You’ll feel like you are sharing something valuable and helping people solve their problems. It’s indeed good advice for those who like to join any MLM business.
Nu Skin doesn’t provide an affiliate program, but Nature’s Sunshine has one. You are more than welcome to check my full Nature’s Sunshine here. 🙂
I always wonder why MLM’s get so many lawsuits. In several MLM reviews lawsuits have been mentioned. Despite that, I think that there are some positive things here, especially their donations to organizations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Their products are expensive. I have also heard of them before. They seem to have good skincare products, but I would not spend so much money on it.
I always thought that MLMs and pyramid schemes are similar. What’s the difference?
MLMs must do something wrong to maximize the sales in history, and I think they have dark sides… People should consider all pros & cons before they make the decision, and this could filter out bad ones in the beginning.
Thanks for asking the difference between MLM & pyramid scheme, I think people have this kind of concern. By the definition of Wikipedia, a pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.
But, Nu Skin does provide all distributors with legitimate products to make sales for commissions, that’s the reason we cannot call it a pyramid scheme. I hope this answers your question. 🙂
I joined NuSkin as a distributor few years ago. Some people do it successfully, some just don’t. I think it bound down to does the work suitable to our personality? Obviously it doesn’t suit me at all. I stopped pursuing after a year. Thanks for the post, to clarify to most people who are unsure about NuSkin.
Yes, I do believe MLMs only suit people that are out-going, passionate about meeting new friends and sharing, social & open-minded. If you are this kind of personality, congratulations, you must try MLM with high-quality products that you love to use and want to recommend to anyone around you.
For you and me, because we know ourselves, Affiliate Marketing is a better choice to make money online, right?
-You don’t need to stock any products as your inventory to sell.
-You don’t need to promote things and convince people how good the products are in person.
-You are not limited to sell the products from one specific company. Anything you love can be promoted by you online.