Is Nu Skin a Legit MLM or Pyramid Scheme? [Review]

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. is a company in the United States that sells personal care items and dietary supplements.

They use a system where about 1.2 million independent distributors sell their products under the Nu Skin and Pharmanex brands in 54 different markets.

Now, here’s the big question: Is Nu Skin a legit MLM or a pyramid scheme? We’ll get into that. And hey, we’ll also fill you in on a better way to make money from home.

Who Am I?

Hey there! I’m Benjamin, the person behind MLM Scam Insider. I used to be a sales rep at an MLM company, so I’ve seen both the good and bad sides of the MLM world.

After college, I joined HSBC as a relationship manager. Unfortunately, I got laid off due to some silly mistakes, and I felt pretty hopeless. During this tough time, a friend suggested I join his team.

He flaunted his success on Instagram with a Lamborghini (later, I discovered he had just rented it), so I believed I could attain the same. I purchased a starter kit from him and became a distributor. However, being a sales representative at an MLM company wasn’t what I had anticipated – it felt like a pyramid scheme. Uncomfortable with the idea of pitching to my friends and family, I only managed to sell a few starter kits.

Fortunately, I discovered how to make money blogging during Covid. So I soon quit my job as a sales rep and focused on my blog about budgeting, later selling it for $170k. Now, I’m a full-time internet entrepreneur running several blogs, including this one.

My goal is to provide you with honest reviews of various MLM companies, using my personal experiences to help you understand what’s really happening. I have connections with friends in the network marketing industry, and my team and I have spoken with different MLM distributors to give you the inside scoop.

What is Nu Skin?

Nu Skin is a personal care company that started in 1984 by Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson, and Steve Lund in Provo, Utah. Their goal was to make personal care products with only good ingredients. Now, Nu Skin is a global brand with representatives in 53 countries.

They offer beauty devices, body care, face care, and nutritional products. Nu Skin’s success for almost 40 years comes from their commitment to creating safe and effective high-quality products.

Nu Skin MLM Review

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What Products Does Nu Skin Offer?

Nu Skin sells lots of beauty products to make you look good. They have skincare stuff like anti-aging creams, UV protection, and more. Overall, they offer over 200 personal care items like cleansers and anti-aging products.

If you want something that works well, check out the ageLOC Future Product and the ageLOC Edition Galvanic Spa System. People say they’re effective. Besides skincare, Nu Skin also has perfumes, hair stuff, mouthwash, essential oils, and diffusers.

They sell these products through independent distributors and online. Nu Skin has experts like skin doctors and scientists on their Anti-Aging Scientific Board.

But, be ready – Nu Skin’s products can be pricey. You might find them cheaper on Amazon than on the company’s website.

Is Nu Skin an MLM?

Yes, Nu Skin is an MLM company. But what’s an MLM? It’s a direct sales company where distributors get paid through commissions. Instead of a fixed salary, they earn money by recruiting others and from the sales of those recruits and their downline.

Here’s the deal: When you join an MLM like Nu Skin, you become a distributor. Your job is to bring in others, and you earn a commission on their sales and recruits. This commission can be a small percentage or as much as 40% of the total sales.

One big perk of MLM is the chance to earn passive income. If you build a big downline, you get a percentage of their sales even if you don’t sell products directly. That’s why many like MLM – it offers a shot at financial freedom without a huge investment.

But, MLM can be controversial. Critics say it’s like a pyramid scheme, where only the top few make real money. Supporters argue it’s a legit model rewarding hard work.

Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme?

No, Nu Skin isn’t a pyramid scheme. Unlike pyramid schemes, Nu Skin doesn’t promise quick money for getting others to join. Members make money by selling products, not just by recruiting.

Pyramid schemes are dodgy and usually scams. They rely on recruiting to make money, not on selling actual stuff. Most people in a pyramid scheme end up losing money because only those at the top benefit.

Nu Skin is legit. Members can earn by selling personal care and nutritional products. While recruiting is an option, it’s not the only way to make money.

MLM companies like Nu Skin might seem similar to pyramid schemes, but they’re different. In MLM, members earn by selling products and recruiting, focusing on building a real business with valuable products.

Learn more about the differences between MLM and pyramid scheme

How to Make Money with Nu Skin?

At NU Skin, you can make money as a brand associate in two ways: through retail markups and sales commission.

Retail Markups

As a brand associate, you get NU Skin products at a discount from the company.

You can decide your selling price to customers, and the difference between the discounted price you paid and your selling price is your retail markup.

NU Skin products don’t have fixed prices, giving you the flexibility to set your own.

Sales Commission

Apart from retail markups, you can earn through sales commission.

Whether selling NU Skin products individually or in a group across 53 markets (excluding mainland China), your earnings depend on your goals, time commitment, skills, and ambition.

Importantly, you only get commission for products you personally sell – recruiting new brand associates doesn’t bring in commission.

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Nu Skin’s Compensation Plan

Nu Skin’s Compensation Plan

According to their 2020 settlement plan, brand associates in the United States collectively earned an impressive $161,333,653!

On average, a brand associate in the United States sold $160.05 worth of products every month. Here’s the good news: 19.04 percent of active brand associates in the United States received sales compensation, so you have a solid chance of earning money as a Nu Skin brand associate.

In 2020, 43.56 percent of brand affiliates received sales compensation, and for active brand affiliates, 11 percent earned an average of $384 per year. Not bad for a little extra income on the side!

If you’re interested in becoming a Brand Rep, who make up 3% of brand affiliates, you can expect to earn an average of $7,392 per year. And if you excel and become a Diamond Director, achieved by only 0.12% of representatives, you could earn an average of $112,932 per year. 

For those aiming for the top, the highest 0.2 percent of the company earned an average of $449,688 in 2020.

Can You Really Make Money with Nu Skin MLM?

When you start at Nu Skin, you might begin in an entry-level position. The company’s been around for 30 years, so moving up may take time.

But here’s the deal: competition is tough. Higher-ups have bigger networks and more knowledge about Nu Skin MLM.

Only active members count, and guess what? Just 17.86% of all members are active. That means a whopping 82.14% are nowhere to be found!

Let’s face it, the numbers say it all. You can check Nu Skin’s income disclosure statements for the real scoop on multi-level marketing.

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How To Join Nu Skin?

Joining Nu Skin MLM is a simple two-step process:

  1. Find a Sponsor: You’ll need a sponsor to get started. You can ask a friend who sells NU Skin products or find one online.

  2. No Joining Fee: Nu Skin doesn’t require a joining fee, which is attractive for recruits. However, you won’t get any products to sell initially. You’ll have to buy starter packages individually, costing between $475 to $1,519.

After joining, you’ll also need product packaging supplies, which range from $475 to $1,519.

They recommend joining the Automatic Distribution Reward (ADR) program. This ensures you receive products regularly to maintain your active distributor status, with a $100 standing order.

To stay active, you must generate monthly earnings of $200 to $350. 

In summary, joining Nu Skin is free, but to become a qualified representative, you’ll need to invest a few hundred dollars.

Is Nu Skin a Scam?

No, Nu Skin is not a scam. However, some people view it as one because of its aggressive recruitment tactics and misleading marketing claims.

Although it’s possible to earn money by selling Nu Skin products, the truth is that most Nu Skin representatives don’t make any money.

Only the top 1% of sales reps manage to earn money, and typically, it involves a significant amount of effort on team building. 

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Pros and Cons of Joining Nu Skin MLM


  • Nu Skin is a well-established and reputable company with a long history in the health and beauty industry.
  • The quality of their products is generally high.
  • Becoming a Nu Skin distributor doesn’t require any fees or the purchase of a starter kit.
  • You can easily close your account at any time by providing written notice.


  • A significant number of Nu Skin distributors fail to earn any money, with 85% falling into this category.
  • Joining the MLM requires constant recruitment efforts to build a successful network, which may involve pressuring friends and family to join.
  • To qualify for any commission, you’ll need to spend more than $100 per month and sell or use at least 80% of your inventory.
  • Achieving the 2500 points required to become an independent distributor can be challenging.
  • The high price point of Nu Skin products can make them a tough sell.

Should You Join Nu Skin?

Thinking about joining Nu Skin for some extra cash? Here’s my honest take: I don’t recommend it. From my experience, achieving financial success with Nu Skin isn’t easy.

At the start, finding people to join your Nu Skin team can be tough. You might end up doing a lot of prospecting and even asking friends and family to join, which isn’t the most enjoyable experience.

To add to the challenges, your upline will keep pushing you to buy more Business Support Material, even if you’re struggling to grow your team. Unfortunately, the numbers speak for themselves – a case study on the FTC’s website shows that 99% of people in MLMs either break even or lose money.

The pressure to succeed in MLMs can be too much, leading many to quit. Instead of going down that path, have you thought about starting your own online business?

With your online business, you get to choose what to promote and build a sustainable, legitimate business model.

Other MLM Opportunities

Here are the other MLM companies we have reviewed:


Amway (Full Review)


Market America (Full Review)


Primerica (Full Review)


Herbalife (Full Review)


Mary Kay (Full Review)


Vector Marketing (Full Review)


Enagic (Full Review)


World Financial Group (Full Review)


Nu Skin (Full Review)


Q Sciences (Full Review)

See our list of the best MLM Companies.

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