Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? – Scam or Legit? [Honest Review]

Hello again, and welcome to my other post! If you’re on this page right now, most probably you’re doing a little bit of research about Nu Skin. Perhaps, youțre wondering: Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? Or is it a legitimate business opportunity, and should you get yourself involved in it? Should you promote it and can you make money from it? Are their products good, and should you go, or should you not?

I am going to be giving you some information and important facts in this Nu Skin Review. Based on this information, you can then decide if Nu Skin worths it or not.

My advice is to no waste any more time and dive deep into the facts right now!

Nu Skin OverviewIs Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - The Logo

Full Name: Nu Skin Entreprises

Type: MLM Business Opportunity


Founders: Blake Roney, Steve Lund, and Sandie N. Tillotson

Year of Establishment: 1984

Price to Join: $25 or more

Recommended? No

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What is Nu Skin Entreprises?

Based in Provo, Utah, USA, Nu Skin Entreprises is one of the multi-level marketing companies (they’re exactly like Amway or Avon). Nu Skin develops and sells personal care products and dietary supplements under its Nu Skin and Pharmanex brands.

They focus mainly on cosmetics, having offices all over the world (all continents), and approximately 1.2 million independent distributors. Since 1996, Nu Skin is a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE).

The company has paid numerous times millions of dollars to settle disputes and accusations in operating a pyramid scheme and deceptive advertising and overstating the income earned by distributors.

Who are the Founders?Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - The Founders

Nu Skin was founded by a group of people formed by Blake Roney, Steve Lund, and Sandie N. Tillotson.

Blake Roney was also a President and CEO from the company’s inception in 1984 until 1996 when he took on the Chairman position.

In 2012 though, he left Nu Skin to serve as a Mission President for the Latter-Day Saints church in France.

This is not surprising at all since a lot of MLM companies were founded by people who have ties with one or the other church. And, people in MLM are using these ties to help target naive and gullible people.

What is the Nu Skin Financial Situation?

If you are constantly reading my blog, you may have noticed that I like to have a look, among many other things, at the current financial situation of the company I’m reviewing.

That’s because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to join a dying company in terms of finances, right?

Since I have started to review MLM business opportunities on this blog, I haven’t yet seen a company that would have registered only positive financial indicators.

Perhaps, that’s because it’s alright for a company to have ups as well as downs in its operation. It’s also the case of Nu Skin too, just from my experience, the Nu Skin’s ups and downs too fluctuate.

For example, if we take the last 5 years, in 2016 their revenue decreased by $40 mln in comparison with 2015.

Then, in 2017, they increased profits by $72 mln in comparison with 2016, and by $401 mln in 2018. After that, in 2019, their revenue decreased again by $260 mln in comparison with the same period of 2018.


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Financial Situation


Even so, that’s not the worst situation in the MLM industry I have seen before.

If you’re curious about what was the worst financial situation an what was the company, you may wish to read my Zija International MLM Review.

What Are Nu Skin Products?

Nu Skin is a skincare and cosmetic company. All sorts of products (more than 200 items) could be found at Nu Skin, including men’s and women’s lines.

The Nu Skin products are sold under the umbrella of Pharmanex and ageLOC brands.

They even have designed beauty devices that are geared towards facial cleaning and spa procedures that could be done at home.


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Best-selling Product


Besides that, they have a nutrition product category that includes all sorts of vitamins for almost any purpose (anti-aging, immune support, bones and joints health, hair, nails, and almost any part of your body is covered).


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Pharmanex Marine Omega


Even though they tell you that you can buy the products only through their distributors, some of the products could be easily found on Amazon.

Are Nu Skin Products Worth the Price?

Nu Skin has great products, obviously, they invest a lot of money in their beauty and cosmetic products because that’s were MLM companies put their money into (the research and development of the products).

At the same time, if we look at the customers’ overall satisfaction rating, it’s not that high, honestly.

For example, based on 69 customers reviews submitted on, Nu Skin gets only a little over 3 stars rating:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Customers Satisfaction Rating


That’s not a lot for a company which is hiring scientists to formulate the best products ever. And when these products are causing health issues in people, it leaves me speechless, honestly.

Just take a look at what this dude is talking about:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Product Causing Health Issues


Whaat?! There’s nothing you can do about it? I’m sorry, guys, but if this is all you can say to your customers, then you have nothing left in this space at all!

Frankly, I don’t know how people could be so irresponsible when someone’s lives and health are at stake?

Here’s another customer who (thank God) didn’t encounter health issues when using Nu Skin products. But instead, his wallet suffered not on merit:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Broken Items Difficult to Replace or Get Your Money Back


After reading this kind of story, I have no desire left to recommend Nu Skin to anyone, not to mention my friends or family.

There’s no guarantee that such situations won’t happen to them, and guess who will they cursing for that?

Do you need that kind of vibrations? The decision is always yours!

How Much Does it Cost to Join Nu Skin?

Almost any MLM company requires you to invest your money for the right of becoming their distributor and sell their products (which is kind of non-sense for me, to be honest).

This may come in the form of registration fees or Starter kits (set of products). 

In the case of Nu Skin, at first sight, it may seem that it’s different from the rest of MLM companies because they are telling you that you have to pay little to no cost when joining the Nu Skin business.

Here’s a screenshot from their official website about how to get started with Nu Skin:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Buy a Business Portfolio


So, in order to become a Nu Skin distributor, you have the freedom to choose from the two options:

#1. Buy the so-called Business Portfolio which costs $25.

This Portfolio includes the tools that are supposed to get your Nu Skin business off to a quick start.

As you can see from the image below, these tools are coming in the form of some promotional materials, catalogs, and booklets. 


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Nu Skin Business Portfolio Cost


#2. Make Any of the Below Purchases and Get the Business Portfolio for Free:

  • Purchase any Fast-Start Payment Package (FSP); In the image below is one of them. I’m not sure why my search gave me the Philipino result, and that’s why this FSP Pack comes in Philipino peso currency and equals to approx. $440 USD.  


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Nu Skin Fast-Start Payment Pack Cost

  • Enroll in an Automatic Re-ordering Program (ARO) of a 1 month supply of LifePack or 50 PSV of products; They have a range of LifePacks to choose from, some of them you can see in the image below, along with their prices:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Nu Skin LifePack Options

  • Purchase a minimum of 100 PSV worth of products in a single invoice. According to Nu Skin’s Sales Compensation Plan, “PSV or Personal Sales Volume is the monthly point value of the products and services you purchase from the Company primarily for retail sale or personal consumption. PSV includes points from purchases made directly from the Company by your personal retail customers”. 

In other words, it’s the total number of points of products you purchase in a month. To get 100 PSV, you’ll need to spend around $90. 

How to Make Money With Nu Skin?

There are only two ways in which people could make money with an MLM company, and that are the same with Nu Skin Entreprises:

#1. Retail Sales

When you join Nu Skin, you get the chance to buy products from them at a wholesale price.

Once that’s done, you can then resell these products to your customers at a retail price, and keep the difference (up to 30%). 

The good part here is that as a Nu Skin distributor, you are free to establish your own retail prices but bear in mind also that these have to be in the framework of the Nu Skin suggested retail price for each product.  

#2. Volume Commissions

When you sponsor people in your own Nu Skin organization (it’s often called a downline), you’ll earn a 5% commission on your first level sales, also known as Level 1 Bonus.


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Level 1 Bonus


There are certain criteria to be met though, in order to qualify for this Bonus: you must have a minimum of 100 PSV and at least 5 distinct sales per month.

These keep you tied to the necessity to purchase Nu Skin products every month, even though you might not need them in terms of personal use.

Of course, you can still resell them if you don’t want to transform your home into a storehouse and like this way of making money. 

Does Nu Skin Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?

Yes, they do but they require you to use only the replicated website that they are offering to each and every new distributor.

Replicated websites have a few drawbacks which make you be constantly promoting it either manually or through paid campaigns.

Promoting your website manually can get you exhausted very quickly, while paid advertisement could cost you a lot of money if you don’t know how to do it right. 

That’s why I urge you to not get excited about the opportunity of having your own Nu Skin website which is supposed to make money on autopilot because it simply doesn’t do that.

If you want to have a website like that, you’ll want to create your own but, unfortunately, according to Nu Skin’s Social Media Guidelines, you are not allowed to use other websites rather than Nu Skin’s replicated versions:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Prohibition to Use Your Own Website

Is Nu Skin Legitimate?

Finally, we got this part, it’s the main question of this post, right? So, to be straight, Nu Skin is definitely not a pyramid scheme, it’s a legitimate network marketing company.

The problem with Nu Skin though is just the same problem people have in almost every single network marketing or MLM company.

And what that is, is when you get started in this company, they are going to tell you to make a list of your warm market (which includes your friends and family, obviously), to pass samples of some of the products, attend 10-dollar hotel meetings, host home parties, do three-way calls with your upline, etc.

All these are outdated, old-school methods that no longer work. And this is the reason why 99% of people fail in the network marketing business, while there’s only 1% of people who succeed in this business and ever make a real income with this type of business.

Your warm market doesn’t want to hear about your business opportunity – this is the harsh truth.

A lot of people simply don’t have credibility with their warm market, and even if they do, a lot of people don’t have a warm market that consists of business-minded people or entrepreneurs. And they kind of want to see your results first before they ever want to touch anything.

On paper, network marketing looks great and simple: all you need to do is to invite just 3 people in the business. These 3 people, in turn, invite their 3 people, and so on and so forth.

But in reality, unfortunately, it’s just seriously doesn’t work like that. To succeed in this business, you need to be a great recruiter and promoter, and be able to recruit hundreds, if not thousands of people.

How Much Money Can You Make With Nu Skin?

To answer this question, I took a look at Nu Skin Income Disclosure Statement for 2019.

This is a document that shows how much Nu Skin distributors are making on each level within the Compensation plan, on average.

To be honest, every time I open up such documents, I truly hope that I’ll find different numbers from the rest of the MLM companies I’ve reviewed before.

But every time, I get to see the same tendency which shows that only people at the top of this business model are making some decent money. 

While the rest are earning pennies, really, or not earning at all, just losing money. 


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - 2019 Income Disclosure Statement


In this table above,  you can see that only the last 3-4 positions are bringing more or less substantial income, which together sums up only 0,56%.

And, attention, this is not profit, these sums are calculated before expenses. So, profits are even less. 

The Good and The Bad


#1. Relatively Low Start-up Costs

You can start your Nu Skin business with minimal costs. In some cases, it could cost you a few hundred bucks but this is optional.

There are MLM companies that charge way more money to become their distributor (like Royal Prestige MLM, or Matilda Jane MLM). 

#2. Wide Range of Products

If you like Nu Skin products, you can purchase everything you need in terms of personal and skincare for the whole family, except kids.  

#3. Giving Back

The Nu Skin company is giving back through charity activities which is always a good thing.

For these purposes, it has even founded The Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation to support children’s causes throughout the world.

Through their Nourish the Children Initiative, more than 450 million meals were donated to hungry and malnourished children around the globe.


#1. Auto-delivery Renewal is a Mess

If you ever get the chance to buy any product from Nu Skin, chances are that you are going to be receiving products every month, and charged for that correspondingly, even if you didn’t sign up for this service!

A lot of people are telling such stories over the internet, and there’s no guarantee that it couldn’t happen to you or me. So, I don’t know about you but I would rather stay away from this company.

Here’s a screenshot of just one story like that:


Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? - Auto-Delivery Renewal is a Mess


#2. Bad Reputation of Class-Action Lawsuit

This reputation is already a common thing in the MLM industry. There’s unlikely an MLM company that could boast with the lack of lawsuits unless it’s a newly established network marketing company.

Unfortunately, Nu Skin couldn’t avoid this reputation either. There were plenty of lawsuits in the company’s history, and to settle those lawsuits, Nu Skin agreed to pay millions of dollars. 

#3. Most People Failed to Make a Substantial Income with Nu Skin Business Opportunity

Nu Skin is another MLM company that proves a general rule in the MLM industry which says that less than 1% of people are making decent money with this business model.

When the majority of distributors are struggling to get ends meet, meanwhile losing money until they quit. 

My Final Opinion About Nu Skin + A Better Alternative

Nu Skin is not the company that sits well for me and that’s mainly because of its business model and overpriced products that people could find at a more reasonable price elsewhere.

Chasing friends and family just isn’t for me. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it a few years ago. In order to succeed, I felt I need to love what I’m doing and that’s why I quit the idea of building a network marketing business.

But that doesn’t mean that I quit the idea of having my own business! I continued to research the possibilities and as the good old saying goes: “Who seeks will always find”!

I have found myself in blogging and affiliate marketing, and I’m so happy that I did!

I was able to learn so many interesting and in-demand things like SEO, Social Media Marketing, website creation, and development, conversions, and many, many others.

What’s the most rewarding is that my two websites are starting to produce income for me and that usually happens when I don’t have time to work.

So, it’s a true way to passive income online, what was always my dream – making money while sleeping or spending time with my family.

Of course, I couldn’t do this without the help of a step-by-step training I’ve followed. It’s free to get started, so I said to myself: what I have to lose? Nothing!

Inside, I have found so many useful affiliate marketing tools that set you to success: a keyword research tool, 24/7 support, an affiliate program research tool, and even website hosting is included.

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Here you have it, my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, and now you’ve got your answer to the question: Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme?

I always love to hear from you, and today is no different! Please leave your thoughts or questions if you have any, in the comments section down below, and I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as I can!

Otherwise, thank you for reading my blog, and I’ll talk to you next time very soon!

Take care,


Nu Skin MLM






Business Opportunity



  • Relatively Low Start-up Costs
  • Wide Range of Products
  • Giving Back


  • Auto-delivery Renewal is a Mess
  • Bad Reputation of Class-Action Lawsuit
  • Most People Failed to Make a Substantial Income with Nu Skin Business Opportunity

6 thoughts on “Is Nu Skin a Pyramid Scheme? – Scam or Legit? [Honest Review]”

  1. I think I have heard of Nu-Skin before. I am not a fan of MLMs, and I agree with you that this method of promoting to your friends and family won’t work anymore. Besides, you don’t really want to pester friends and family with that anyway, right?

    I had no idea that many MLM creators come from churches. That makes sense, they have so many contacts to whom they can sell and also recruit. That was an interesting fun fact.

    The complaints look bad, and the one where the lady ordered a spa kit and was going to be sent another one every month with a new charge on her credit card is scary.

    That makes me not want to buy anything with that company …

    • Hi, Christine,

      Thank you for reading my post!

      I’m glad you’ve taken away something new for yourself from it.

      Speaking of complaints… Unfortunately, there are too many issues with MLMs.

      They are trying to make you believe that you’re going to be an independent business owner but in essence, you just have to play under their own rules, and they reserve the right to change them how they want anytime.

    • Hi, Delyana,

      Thank you for your comment. After trying a few MLMs in the past, I also didn’t like the process.

      For me, affiliate marketing is a much more comfortable business model.




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