Cosmetic Prices: Singapore vs Malaysia

Hi guys! Today’s post will be on cosmetic prices and not on any reviews since it’s something not a lot of people actually talk about online. Many times us Singaporean beauty lovers lament about how pricey certain items can be. From Watsons to Sephora, prices are definitely MUCH higher in Singapore compared prices for let’s say… In the US. But what about prices in Malaysia and Singapore? How different are they? Well, today I’m going to address that.

I have been doing my cosmetic/toiletries shopping in Malaysia as often as I can. I travel across the causeway every 3 months or so to stock up on my necessities which cost much less there compared to Singapore. My staples include the Miracle Skin Perfector by Garnier, Biore Oil In Cotton Sheets as well as more personal products like razors and toothbrushes. The Miracle Skin Perfector which retails for SGD 15.90 at Watsons Singapore retails for RM 14.90!

The difference in prices not only occur in the drugstores, they occur at Sephora as well. The Vice Palette by Urban Decay retails for SGD 88 and in Malaysia RM 199! If you calculate, that’s about a SGD 10 difference and a saving of 11%. I don’t know if that amount seems a lot to you guys, but to me it certainly is, especially if I were to go on a huge shopping spree. The Blockbuster Palette by Sephora costs SGD 69 compared to RM 159 which is about SGD 6 lower. Chanel quads retail for SGD 96 and RM 198. These few dollars can amount to quite a lot in the long run.

The reason why prices there are cheaper is because Malaysia charges no service tax. Meaning that price charged at duty-free shops are the same prices charged downtown! Because of this, prices for high end products tend to be higher compared to Singapore ( a mark up of almost 10-17%) since you’re paying higher taxes for your goods.

So, is it worth it to travel just to save on cosmetics? Well, that depends on how much you’re buying and where you’re going. If you plan on shopping for high end cosmetics at Sephora, do note that there are only two in Malaysia as of 2012 which are located in KL. So unless you are already planning a trip there, it wouldn’t make sense to travel all the way there. High end cosmetics like Bobbi Brown are available at some shopping centers like Jusco in JB so it might not be a bad idea to drop buy.

For drugstore cosmetics, traveling is highly recommended because the nearest Watsons to the Woodlands Checkpoint is located only 3 minutes away from the JB customs at City Square Mall. If you are planning to buy a few items, it would be worth your time to make the trip.

I hope this post has been helpful in addressing some of the concerns you might have 🙂 Questions? Comments? Leave them down below!


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