A young woman named Kaitlin Sonday who works in the beauty section at her local Target recently posted a video to her TikTok that has gone viral. The video documents a substantial price jump for Cetaphil moisturizer.
Holding the “then” and “now” price tags for comparison, Kaitlin says, “What the heck? They were only $6.19, and they’re like the little mini ones that are eight ounces instead of the regular 16, so they went up quite a lot.” She shows that the current price tag reads $10.99. The video has garnered over a million views and 91,000 likes since it was posted last Saturday.
In the comments, some TikTokers wrote that they had also experienced recent price increases at their respective Targets. According to one, the 16-ounce Cetaphil now costs $24 at their local store. Another woman commented that her usual beauty products only cost $30, but most recently had cost her $50 instead.
Commenters suggested various reasons for the price fluctuations. Some said that Cetaphil had altered its formula, which had made it more expensive. Others suggested that Cetaphil has started price gouging due to its increased popularity (including, some noted ironically, its popularity on TikTok). Cetaphil, however, is not the only product that Kaitlin discusses on her TikTok. She also posted about various other price jumps in the Target beauty section last August. In particular, she made a video noting that Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish had leaped from $4.49 to $9.99 in price.
“Why is everything going up so high?” Kaitlin asks in the video. In the comments section, she notes that nail polish is not the only item whose price increase. Other TikTokers commented that they’d paid more for groceries at Target recently, too.
Kaitlin made a follow-up video to continue discussing price increases for nail polish.
She noted that the Insta-Dri was now even more expensive than the Sally Hansen line of gel polish, which is “crazy,” because “gel [nail polish] is supposed to be [the most] expensive.” The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri was also, at that point, more expensive than any of those offered by Target’s highest-end nail polish brand, Essie. Kaitlin wondered at the time if Essie and other brands would also raise the prices of their polish products. However, according to a second follow-up video, the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish has already gone down in price.
Some users suggested that Target raising its starting wage to $15 an hour in 2020 was responsible for the price hikes. However, it seems most likely that the pandemic, which has disrupted supply chains and altered demand patterns, has created some temporary inflation, in everything from groceries to beauty products. Experts predict that it’s likely to pass as things stabilize.