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Are Arbonne products the best skin care you can buy

 

Wenditha wonders: So I’m wondering about a beauty company called Arbonne? Could you tell me what the Beauty Brains think? They’re supposed to be the end-all, be-all, but I remain cautious. However, I’ve used some samples of their anti-aging skin line and found it to be very nice.

The Beauty Brains respond:

Thanks for the question. We looked into the Arbonne products and have this to say.

The Arbonne Company

First, Arbonne is one of these multi-level marketing companies like Amway in which you are encouraged to become a salesperson, have parties and recruit other people to become salespeople. I’ve always been skeptical of these kinds of schemes but here’s a guy who has an interesting perspective on Arbonne on becoming an Arbonne salesperson. Personally, I wonder why the products aren’t sold in the normal way through department or grocery stores. This would certainly make it easy to ignore the truth in advertising rules that other companies who sell through stores need to follow.
The Arbonne Marketing Story

Based on the information on their website, Arbonne products are claimed to be premium skin care products are formulated in Switzerland at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD) and made in the U.S.A.

They follow the standard all-natural marketing story that you find from every other natural company, although they imply some kind of advanced science as if there was any. All the usual claims about how great their products are here. We’ve previously discussed cosmetic claims and what they really mean.

Here is a sampling of their claims.

  • Botanically based: based on botanical and herbal principles. This doesn’t really mean anything. What are botanical & herbal principles?
  • pH correct. Big deal. So is every other skin care product.
  • Dermatologist tested. Just like everyone else`s product.
  • Formulated without dyes, animal products, fragrances, mineral oil. Again, more stuff that everyone else says.

The thing that’s different about these products than a mass market brand like Aveeno is the price. Arbonne is a whopping $19.50 for 8 ounces! Aveeno is $9.99 for 18 ounces. Functionally, there will likely be no noticeable difference.

The Arbonne Products

The problem with these products is that they don’t live up to their natural claims. While we here at The Beauty Brains think stories about the trouble with chemicals like SLS and parabens are overblown, the natural crowd does not feel similarly. Arbonne formulas fail in this regard because they contain all kinds of chemicals that those people are afraid of. This review of Arbonne products spells it all out from their perspective. Of course, this fact has no bearing on whether the products are good or not, but it certainly suggests their marketing is suspect.

So, what about the products? Are they worth the extra money? Scientifically speaking, they’re probably not.

It was difficult to find the ingredient lists because they are not on their main website. However, here is one we found related to their skin lotion.

Arbonne Skin Moisturizing Lotion

Ingredients: Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Ergocalciferol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dimethicone, Quaternium-15, Triethanolamine

This is a standard lotion complete with water, fatty alcohols, oils, emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives. All of the natural sounding ingredients are most likely in there at such low levels they don’t really do anything. And even if they were in there at higher levels there is no proof that they would have any special effect anyway.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Arbonne is not the end-all be all of skin care or any other personal care product. They are good formulas, but pretty standard and will not perform noticeably better than the products you can buy at your local grocery store. Buy them if you like (they’ll work fine) but don’t kid yourself into thinking they are anything special, they’re not. And if you’re looking to start your own business, forget multi-level marketing schemes.

{ 34 comments… add one }

  • bobby arbonne February 8, 2014, 10:13 am

    This stuff isvdangerousvn is a pyramid scheme

    • Joanie March 24, 2015, 3:32 pm

      pyramid schemes are illegal, mutli level marketing can be skeezy but isn’t the devil

  • Houtini March 31, 2014, 9:10 am

    I like how you refer to the “stuff” as dangerous but then reference a pyramid scheme. What is dangerous the pyramid or the stuff?

  • Danielle August 4, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Saying “pyramid scheme” reveals to me a level of ignorance that needs to be addressed first; the term pyramid reflects every business model in existence with the person at the top leveraging their time with people below to be efficient. One person cannot do every task by themselves. Many amazing products are ignored because of their business model. If you want to pay more for less to cover the advertising, equal wages, etc. go ahead; but if you trust multi-billionaires who tell you Network Marketing is the opportunity you shouldn’t pass up, I’d rather join those who obviously know what they’re talking about.

    Second, I want to address the reference to claims and the responses.
    Botanically based: based on botanical and herbal principles. This doesn’t really mean anything. What are botanical & herbal principles? – every product has a plant base rather than a synthetic or oil base. This is not the case for products in the drug store and many spas.
    pH correct. Big deal. So is every other skin care product. – Not the same as every other skin care product. Other products claim “pH balance” which means there is a balance of the pH in the bottle, not that it is pH correct to most skin/hair types to reduce acidity and acidic reactions
    Dermatologist tested. Just like everyone else`s product. – Arbonne products follow the 1200+ banned ingredients in the Swiss model of care products rather than the 12+ in the North American model; and then tests everything before putting it on their shelves.
    Formulated without dyes, animal products, fragrances, mineral oil. Again, more stuff that everyone else says. – Get informed about your products. I will bet that any product made in North America has a mineral oil/petrolatum/petroleum base because it’s good and cheap.

    For someone with relatives with many sensitivities, this product performs as it should’ with no reactions no matter what the sensitivity is. Anti-aging starts from the inside out, not from a bottle to be rubbed in; but for a product with such high standards – the value is there.

    • meagain August 31, 2014, 12:40 am

      Danielle,

      I don’t think posting on a beauty science blog to defend a particular company is doing it any favors. It’s just cementing my feelings about MLM companies and their products. Anyway, I want to address a few of your points.

      Everyone knows what a pyramid scheme is. A lot of people consider MLM companies to be running such schemes. But it’s the scheme part that people take issue with, not the hierarchy.

      If pH correct meant anything on a product label, it would be the opposite of what you suggest. Reducing the acidity of skin and hair is harmful; skin needs acidity to slough properly, protect from infection, etc. and reducing the acidity of hair opens the cuticle and leads to damage.

      All other North American made skincare products don’t have a petrolatum/mineral oil base. Really, very few do. But you’re right that it’s a good and cheap ingredient. And that’s a good thing!

      • Shelly July 25, 2016, 3:33 pm

        Wrong, you have to ADD the acidity to open a cuticle layer of the hair in order for the sulfates to work and then attach to the dirt particles which are then rinsed away by water. THEN you ADD the alkaline ph conditioner to close the cuticle layer. When you have tangles, split ends and dry hair, that means you have an unbalance quantity that needs alkali. Hair and skin are neutral in the ph in a correct state.

        • Randy Schueller July 26, 2016, 7:09 am

          Hi Shelly. I’m afraid pH of shampoo and conditioner doesn’t work like you described. Sulfates (or other surfactants) do not have to penetrate into the cuticle to clean hair. Also, conditioners are NOT alkaline. In fact, almost all conditioners are slightly acidic so the conditioning agents have a positive charge and will stick to hair better.

    • Julie December 14, 2015, 5:20 pm

      We stated, this article really disturbed me. If Arbonne has R & D people who left big name companies like Clinque, and they are very honest about network marketing, I feel the company makes credible claims. What credentials did this author offer us? Opnion vs fact. is not what I was looking for!

  • Dainnie November 24, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Firstly MLM is increasing at a rapid pace as its proven to be an effective way of doing business. I have to agree with Danielle’s comments. Personally, I have had so many reactions and problems with expensive Drug Store products and was resigned to the fact that I would be plagued with skin problems the rest of my life. That all changed when I tried Arbonne products – they have made huge difference to my skin.

    Pyramid Scheme???? These are illegal. If you have to pay money to someone in order to be a part of that company then that’s a Pyramid Scheme. I’ve checked into Arbonne and all you pay is your $95 fee but you also receive 35% discount on products which you should buy if you are going to start a business. Every business requires some kind of initial investment – you can’t start a restaurant if you don’t have a location and food to serve.

    I’m truly amazed at how uneducated people can be sometimes – read your labels, do your homework, speak to the right people then you have the right to post opinions.

  • edumacation March 28, 2015, 2:06 pm

    I’d say both sides of the argument have valid points. I’ve been looking into Arbonne because I was approached to sell (of course). Now, I’m legit a woman who uses the OCM and puts honey on her face and it’s berid me of most of my cystic acne, so convincing me to use and sell products that have pretty long ingredients lists is a difficult feat.

    I’ve got to say that I’m pretty pissed that I was told by a 3-year seller that their products are gluten free. Not the case. If people blindly accept this type of information, they could end up with allergic reactions. I think that’s pretty crappy… I easily located gluten in the ingredients of one of their shampoos.

    Misinformation like this basically just sends me running in the other direction. I don’t know who’s more to blame for that, the sellers or the company. But if they’re actually interested in shipping out “pure” and “gluten free” products to the masses, they need to get their schpeels right.

  • Sasá May 18, 2015, 3:26 am

    After your comments I really want to research this, since their are far more natural products in helth shops and whole foods Market, as well as somone I know personally that makes her own skincare that I use and have been to her lab, and have seen the ingredients and have been shown the process! and I want to know if arbonne’s claims are false since I am a ciliac, and have friends that are pressureing me to use or buy or sell arbonne! Are their products organic or do they in fact contain GMO’s and Pestisides? Also are arbonne’s products scientifically validated? Do they have international patients on their products? Are they an open company ? Do they have proven affects? And I’m not talking about before and after pictures I’m talking about cross over blinded placebo tests and blood tests to prove the product works? I will do my own research but feel these are very important questions to ask!

  • Lauren May 27, 2015, 7:00 am

    GET RICH QUICK SCHEME!!

    Please… people. Go and educate yourselves!
    MLM is a fantastic business model and is the way of the future when it comes to selling amazing products and services. Just ask the little guys… you know, Like Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, Paul Zane Pilzner and much more, as they will tell you why they support Network Marketing and how they don’t work for money, but make their money work for them.
    Just a small rant, but I’m sick of people talking out of their ass from things they’ve “heard” in the past without fully researching and leveraging off such great companies.

    As far as Arbonne goes, critique it for its ingredients/price/features and benefits etc. but not how it is distributed, unless you have a more efficient way of getting a product out there!

    Rant over.

    • You have no credibility November 5, 2016, 9:52 pm

      Um, did you really say Donald Trump in the context that he was a brilliant businessman?

  • Stephanie August 8, 2015, 10:22 am

    I think it’s important to remember that most drug store products test on animals, including the above referenced Aveeno (which yes is cheaper but I would never buy since it’s not cruelty free…and shame on Jennifer Aniston!!). There are apps you can get that will keep you updated on companies who test and do not test on animals. Also, I’m not sure how old this article is, but Arbonne does list all of their products’ ingredients on their website.

  • Chris November 7, 2015, 6:57 am

    No no no. Aveeno which is what I used to use for my very dry psoriasis, has mineral oil in it and nothing in Arbonne does. After one week of using the seasource body lotion my psoriasis was almost gone. Idk if this article is up to date but the ingredients for every single product is on the website. And lastly, they choose to not go the traditional route of advertising and sending out to retail stores because it saves them a HUGE amount of money that they can use to manufacture better quality products and also reward their consultants who are basically their marketing team since they don’t have one. Do your research next time before ignorantly writing an ill informed article.

  • HJ December 6, 2015, 7:05 pm

    Wow, it is incredible that anyone can write stuff without knowledge….so question is: what is a pyramid scheme?
    What do you think every Corporation in America is ? Duh. The ultimate definition of a pyramid scheme.

    As for Arbonne, the products are exceptional value for quality Nd in over 35 years that they have been in business, they have Never tested on animals or used animal products……sorry but Aveeno, Avon……neither can claim this fact.

  • Hania February 4, 2016, 5:46 am

    Every skin care company uses already known inci and hazard sheet information about ingredients that is based on previous animal testing in the past.
    Most skincare out there is cruel as they sell a product where 95% of the cost of packaging and marketing, when at the end of the day we can do better more effective skincare with what is in the kitchen cupboard. The people with the most beautiful skin in the world don’t use any manufactured product.

    • Randy Schueller February 4, 2016, 7:55 am

      Hi Hania. I agree that much of the cost of commercial products is in the packaging and marketing. (That’s true for a LOT of product categories.) But I’m curious why you say that ingredients from your kitchen cupboard are “better more effective skin care.” I’m not aware of anything in the kitchen that would exfoliate as well as an alpha hydroxy acid, remove wrinkles as well as retinol, or even moisturize as well as petrolatum.

      • Sarah April 18, 2016, 3:49 pm

        Ehhh…. you know what petroleum is made of yes?? It actually does not allow your skin to breath and only locks in existing moisture in your skin.

        Here’s a little info before you put that on your skin
        By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.
        Petroleum or crude oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and other chemicals. The composition varies widely depending where and how the petroleum was formed. In fact, a chemical analysis can be used to fingerprint the source of the petroleum. However, raw petroleum or crude oil has characteristic properties and composition.
        Hydrocarbons in Crude Oil
        There are four main types of hydrocarbons found in crude oil.1. paraffins (15-60%)
        2. naphthenes (30-60%)
        3. aromatics (3-30%)
        4. asphaltics (remainder)
        The hydrocarbons primarily are alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons.
        Elemental Composition of Petroleum
        Although there is considerable variation between the ratios of organic molecules, the elemental composition of petroleum is well-defined:1. Carbon – 83 to 87%
        2. Hydrogen – 10 to 14%
        3. Nitrogen – 0.1 to 2%
        4. Oxygen – 0.05 to 1.5%
        5. Sulfur – 0.05 to 6.0%
        6. Metals – < 0.1%
        The most common metals are iron, nickel, copper and vanadium.
        Petroleum Color and Viscosity
        The color and viscosity of petroleum vary markedly from one place to another.
        Most petroleum is dark brown or blackish in color, but it also occurs in green, red or yellow.

        • Randy Schueller April 19, 2016, 8:11 am

          Hey Sarah. I think you’re confused. “Petroleum” is not used in ANY skin care product. Petrolatum is. Google it if you don’t understand the difference.

          • Sarah May 23, 2016, 6:44 pm

            Randy, I just googled it, and it seems google is just as confused as the rest of us, including you, because petrolatum is grouped together with petroleum/petroleum jelly/paraffin… 🙁

          • Randy Schueller May 24, 2016, 6:35 am

            No confusion there Sarah. Petrolatum IS derived from petroleum.

  • Dave February 12, 2016, 1:31 pm

    Thanks for your review. It was helpful. Your total negative attitude towards multi level marketing is ill informed. I make $200k in one of those and my brother makes $500k. Seriously. I think the problem is where “some” in presenting these opportunities “over sell” and aren’t realistic with people. I figured I had nothing to lose 15 yrs ago, and so thankful I did, sitting here on my couch on a Friday afternoon about to go on an all expense paid trip to the bahamas with my company. Just Saying !!!

    • Perry February 12, 2016, 4:29 pm

      Well, perhaps you are in the 0.02% of people who make money off of MLMs. According to statistics gathered by the Federal Trade Commission, more than 99% of people lose money. Your positive results are certainly not the norm.

      • Lori March 14, 2016, 6:32 pm

        Thank you Perry.

  • Kenzie and Greg April 3, 2016, 12:29 pm

    I love your “expose” filled with all of your ” probably’s, maybe’s and stuff’s”. I’m suprised that someone who runs a blog isn’t aware that network marketing is the way of the future. If you had researched the Arbonne business model the way you claimed to have, you would have discovered that the reason it is not sold on drugstore shelves is because they re-direct money that would be going to corporate businesses and put it into the quality of the products, and ultimately, back into the consumers pocket. =)

  • Emma June 9, 2016, 8:34 am

    This article is literally hilarious and so misinformed it’s laughable. Do you actually know what you are talking about, or have such a big ego that you THINK you do, but you’re just making these things up in your own head? I think the latter.
    I really can’t be bothered to go on about how wrong you actually are on a lot of points you’ve made here, I don’t have the time and quite frankly I don’t care because while you’re sitting there writing all these claims, I am busy running my extremely profitable Arbonne business, smug in the knowledge that I am advising on a healthy lifestyle, not hard selling, simply advising people on how to live better and feel better with lovely vegan certified products. It’s really that simple.

    • Randy Schueller June 9, 2016, 2:12 pm

      If we’re misinformed on any points we’d appreciate you helping us out with some facts instead of sarcasm.

  • Kristen June 15, 2016, 10:00 pm

    Mineral oil is NOT in Arbonne, and it IS in every other product. Do the homework before you pop off — mineral oil is the WORST possible thing you can put in your skin. It’s dead animal fat from rendering plants, and the US cosmetic industry is the single biggest consumer out there. Thus the cheap products that are 90% mineral oil! Additionally, you NEVER pay retail with Arbonne, and the products actually work!

  • Diane Evans July 17, 2016, 2:57 pm

    My DIL is recently obsessed with Arbonne and wants to become a seller. She says she’s read all the info available and loves it. If she were your daughter, what would you tell her?

    • Randy Schueller July 17, 2016, 9:39 pm

      If she really has read all the available information (both pro and con) and she really loves the product line, then I would say go for it.

  • Beverly Blake July 18, 2016, 12:11 am

    I have compared Arbonne to several other skin care lines. It is far superior to name brands like Loreal, Clarion, etc. You can’t even put it in the same level as Mary Kay, Jafra, they are awful. Store bought products actually age your skin.
    If you try Arbonne, you will see a difference in twenty-four hours.
    I am a master Esthetician

  • Danielle Chilcote August 24, 2016, 4:17 am

    The company moto is Pure>Safe>Benedicial
    & combines the safest of science and nature

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