Nu Skin Enterprises

Coordinates: 40°14′00″N 111°39′37″W / 40.233437°N 111.660171°W / 40.233437; -111.660171
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Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Company typePublic company
IndustryMultilevel marketing, personal care products
Founded1984; 40 years ago (1984)
Area served
Key people
  • Nu Skin
  • Pharmanex
RevenueIncrease US$2.23 billion (2022)
Decrease US$159.34 million (2022)
Increase US$70.09 million (2022)
Total assetsIncrease US$1.82 billion (2022)
Total equityIncrease US$897.30 million (2022)
Number of employees
3,800 (2022)
Footnotes / references

40°14′00″N 111°39′37″W / 40.233437°N 111.660171°W / 40.233437; -111.660171

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. is an American multilevel marketing company that develops and sells personal care products and dietary and nutritional supplements.[4] Under the Nu Skin and Pharmanex brands, the company sells its products in 54 markets through a network of approximately 1.2 million independent distributors.[5]


In 1984, Nu Skin founders Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson, and Steve Lund launched a line of skincare products using only natural ingredients.[6] The founders aimed to create skincare products and nutritional products without unnecessary fillers with the philosophy of “all of the good, none of the bad.”[6][7][8]

The company first served the United States market and expanded operations to Canada in 1990. In 1991, the company began operations in Asia, starting in Hong Kong.[9] In 1996, the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[10]

In 1992, Nu Skin settled with five states that had accused the company of deceptive advertising and overstating the income earned by distributors.[11] In 1994, following an investigation by the FTC, the company paid $1 million and signed a consent decree prohibiting it from making deceptive claims about its products.[12][13] In 1997, the company paid an additional $1.5 million to the FTC to settle allegations of unsubstantiated promotional claims.[14]

In 1998, Nu Skin acquired Generation Health, the parent company of the dietary supplement company Pharmanex.[15] The company owns a patent on a device developed by Pharmanex called a "BioPhotonic Scanner", which is designed to measure the carotenoid level in skin. According to Women's Health Letter, the device was designed merely to help sell more supplements, since per Nu Skin's 2002 annual report, "as customers track their skin carotenoid content, we believe they will be motivated to consistently consume LifePak for longer periods of time."[16]

In the late 1990s, Nu Skin invested in Big Planet, a multilevel marketing company selling Internet services. The New York Times noted that Big Planet appeared to recruit people "even if they have little knowledge of the technology that they are supposed to be selling." A representative of the company stated: "I believe people who have never touched a computer before can become hugely wealthy in this business."[12]

In 2009, Nu Skin began working with LifeGen Technologies, a genomics company based in Madison, Wisconsin.[17] Nu Skin acquired LifeGen in December 2011. Nu Skin claims LifeGen's genetic database aided in the development of Nu Skin's products, launching the ageLOC brand.[18]

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.[19] 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 United States Securities and Exchange Commission probe.[20]

In 2021, Nu Skin's subsidiary Rhyz Inc. acquired social commerce company Mavely and acquired Dallas-based skincare company BeautyBio in 2023.[21][22]


Nu Skin Enterprises' uses a multi-level marketing business model.[23] Each distributor markets products directly to potential customers and can also recruit and train customers to become distributors. Distributors are paid from the retail markup on products they are able to sell personally, as well as a performance bonus based on the sales of distributors they have recruited.[24] In the early 1990s, Nu Skin was investigated by the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan over allegations of misleading marketing practices.[11] In 1992 the company settled with five of these states, admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to pay the states' investigative costs, refund disgruntled distributors, and revamp its promotional practices.[25][26][27][28] The Connecticut Attorney General did not agree to those terms and sued Nu Skin, charging the company with misleading its distributors and operating a pyramid scheme.[11][29][30] Nu Skin admitted to no wrongdoing or violation of law and paid Connecticut $85,000 for consumer-protection programs as part of a settlement.[31]

In 1997, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania sued Nu Skin, alleging that the company operated a pyramid scheme through a subsidiary, QIQ Connections. The Attorney General's office alleged that distributors paid for the right to market technology services that did not, in fact, exist. Nu Skin discontinued the QIQ subsidiary, allowing those who had paid QIQ to transition to Big Planet, another Nu Skin interest marketing Internet technology. The president of Big Planet described the pyramid scheme as a matter of "a few distributors who in their enthusiasm have been overzealous in some of their marketing activities."[12]

In 2010, Nu Skin was listed among Forbes "100 Most Trustworthy Companies".[32]

In 2012, Stanford University apologized for any "misunderstanding" following a cease and desist letter sent to halt the use of the name of one of its researchers, Dr. Stuart Kim, in Nu Skin's advertising.[33][34] Also in 2012, Citron Research issued a report "stating that Nu Skin's sales model on mainland China, the fastest growing market in direct-selling, amounted to an illegal multilevel marketing scheme."[33] Nu Skin dismissed the claims, calling its sales model in China "kosher" and stating that it had no plans to change its business model in China.[35] In 2014, The Chinese government investigated Nu Skin following a People's Daily newspaper report calling it a "suspected illegal pyramid scheme." Following the investigation, the Chinese government fined Nu Skin for $540,000 due to illegal sales and making false product claims.[36]

In February 2014, a securities fraud class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah against Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. on behalf of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of the company during the period from July 10, 2013, to January 16, 2014.[37]

In a Last Week Tonight with John Oliver segment that covered multilevel marketing companies, Oliver criticized Nu Skin for the fact that in 2015, 93% of its distributors did not earn a commission check in a typical month.[38] Nu Skin says it pays approximately 43 percent of its product revenue in sales compensation.[39]

In politics[edit]

In 2011, two Utah-incorporated business entities linked to top executives of Nu Skin each made a $1 million contribution to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC established by former aides to U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney to support his bid for the White House.[40][41] Starting in 1989, Jason Chaffetz worked as a professional spokesman for the company for a decade.[42][43][44]


  1. ^ "4.46 million shares of Nu Skin sold for $114 million". Deseret News. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  2. ^ "Nu Skin CEO Ryan Napierski Reveals Strategy for 2022". Direct Selling News. 6 January 2022. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  3. ^ "Nu Skin Enterprises FORM 10-K (2022)". SEC. 31 December 2022. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  4. ^ "NOX Tech being bought by Nu Skin unit". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  5. ^ "Nu Skin Enterprises - 10K (2015)". United States Security and Exchange Commission. March 2, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Nu Skin has evolved into giant — and changed Provo area". Deseret News. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  7. ^ "2011 UV50 TOP 10 Revenue Companies". Utah Valley BusinessQ. March 10, 2011. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "Nu Skin Enterprises: Innovation in a Brave Nu World". Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14.
  10. ^ "Nu Skin Asia Pacific Stock Soars in First Day of Trading". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  11. ^ a b c Romboy, Dennis (January 3, 1992). "Nu Skin still has wrinkles to iron out in Connecticut". Deseret News. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Davis, Ruth (May 28, 1998). "Selling Sites Like Soapflakes". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  13. ^ "Consent Order C-3489" (PDF). Federal Trade Commission. 1994-04-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  14. ^ "Nu Skin to Pay $1.5 Million Penalty to Resolve FTC Charges Over Fat-Loss Claims for Supplements". Federal Trade Commission. August 6, 1997. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  15. ^ "Nu Skin to Acquire Generation Health". Bloomberg via Los Angeles Times. October 7, 1998.
  16. ^ "Don't fall for this scam". Women's Health Letter. 14 (11): 5. 2008.
  17. ^ "LifeGEN Technologies".
  18. ^ "Nu Skin Enterprises Acquires LifeGen Technologies". PR Newswire (Press release). December 14, 2011.
  19. ^ Long, Josh. "Nu Skin Reaches $47-Million Agreement to Settle Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit". Natural Product Insider. Insider Law. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  20. ^ Ganapavaram, Abhijith (2016-09-20). "Skincare products maker Nu Skin settles SEC probe". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Why One DTC-Skincare Brand Decided to Acquire Its Own Social Commerce Solution". Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Dallas Skincare Trailblazer, BeautyBio, Acquired by Nu Skin Subsidiary". Dallas Innovates. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  23. ^ "Direct selling and the big impact it has on the Utah economy". KSL News. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  24. ^ Xardel, Dominique (1993). The Direct Selling Revolution. Understanding the Growth of the Amway Corporation. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0-631-19229-9.
  25. ^ "Nu Skin settles complaints with 5 states". Pittsburgh Press. Associated Press. January 3, 1992. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  26. ^ Yeomans, Adam (January 3, 1992). "Nu Skin settles suit with state". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  27. ^ Elmore, Charles (January 3, 1992). "Coming clean: State drops pyramid probe as Nu Skin agrees to refunds". Palm Beach Post.
  28. ^ "Nu Skin will pay 5 states in pyramid-scheme case". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 4, 1992.
  29. ^ "Connecticut sues Nu Skin". The Boston Globe. January 3, 1992. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  30. ^ Waggoner, John (January 3, 1992). "Nu Skin signs up for a makeover". USA Today. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  31. ^ Romboy, Dennis (June 3, 1992). "Connecticut and Nu Skin Sign Pact Limiting Company's Sales Practices". Deseret News. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  32. ^ Coster, Helen (April 5, 2010). "The 100 Most Trustworthy Companies". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Exclusive: Nu Skin told not to use researcher's name". Reuters. August 16, 2012.
  34. ^ "School of Medicine statement regarding its relationship with Nu Skin Enterprises". August 17, 2012. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  35. ^ Wahba, Phil; Bases, Daniel (August 16, 2012). "Nu Skin CFO calls China model 'kosher', plans no changes". Reuters. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  36. ^ China Fines Nu Skin $540,000 for Illegal Sales and Claims, Business Week, March 24, 2014.
  37. ^ "Saxena White P.A. Files Securities Fraud Class Action Against Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc". Wall Street Journal. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  38. ^ Bort, Ryan (November 7, 2016). "John Oliver Says Multilevel Marketing Companies Like Herbalife Are Pyramid Schemes". Newsweek. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  39. ^ "How do participants in the sales network earn money with Nu Skin?". Nu Skin Enterprises. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  40. ^ Martin, Jonathan; Kenneth P. Vogel (July 31, 2011). "PAC brings in $12.2 million for Mitt". Politico. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  41. ^ Farnam, T. W. (September 12, 2011). "Donation helps Romney get some skin in the presidential game". New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  42. ^ Cottle, Michelle (January 24, 2015). "The Media's Best Friend". National Journal Magazine. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  43. ^ Daniells, Stephen (January 18, 2017). "Dietary Supplement Caucus reforms, remains unchanged". Nutra Ingredients. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  44. ^ Long, Josh (August 1, 2017). "Congresswoman from Utah Steps up as Co-Chair of Dietary Supplement Caucus". Natural Products Insider. Retrieved September 28, 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nu Skin Enterprises at Wikimedia Commons