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Is Arbonne Really As Pure And Safe As They Claim?

 

Have you been contacted yet by your friendly neighbourhood Arbonne consultant? There are literally hundreds of thousands of mostly women, excitedly promoting Arbonne cosmetic products as Pure, Safe, and Beneficial but are they really? Can we trust the claims the company makes about their products and the messaging they are passing along to their consultants?

We all know an Arbonne Consultant, don’t we?

This might have something to do with the fact that there are more than 250,000 Arbonne consultants worldwide. The number of reps that have any aesthetician training or nutritional training beyond the propaganda from the company that makes the products they are selling is unknown.

In 2013, I first wrote about Arbonne, asking a simple question: Is Arbonne as pure and safe as they claim to be? Now, in 2019, I am updating that original post to share the changes that have been made (not many), and what transpired since writing the article.

My main intentions in writing my original Arbonne Review was as follows:

  1. Help Arbonne Consultants and those who are contacted by them to know what’s actually going on. I have come to believe that Arbonne Consultants, for the most part, have no idea what they’re selling. They get their information from other consultants and it’s the consumer paying the price – that is, paying a premium price for non-premium products that they believe are cleaner, purer and more natural than they are.
  2. Create Change: I wanted to get the attention of Arbonne in hopes that they might take my questions to heart and perhaps start actually making products that live up to their manifesto. At the very least, I wanted to show the importance of transparency and persuade them to share their ingredients without a consumer needing to contact the company or a consultant.
  3. Inspire You: To invite you, the consumers, to start asking important questions about the beauty care products you are using and the claims being made by the brands and – more often these days – by the consultants pushing them at their sales parties.

And what happened?

I do believe I achieved all three of those original goals. Allow me to explain more fully what transpired, what’s changed, and what it means for you, the Arbonne consultant and potential consumer.

How Does The Arbonne Pyramid Work?

For those of you who don’t have a neighbourhood Arbonne Consultant, Arbonne works much like Avon, or Mary Kay, Rodan & Fields, Young Living, DoTERRA, Usana, Juice Plus, or the old school Tupperware.

It’s a multi-level, or what they refer to as “network marketing” company, and sometimes slanderously referred to as a pyramid scheme, where independent reps buy into the company (usually a ‘start kit’ that includes promotional materials) and then go out and promote and sell the products to friends and family, and hopefully get those friends and family to sign up as consultants too. The original rep will earn income not just from their own sales, but also earn commissions on the sales that their friends and family make.

Top sellers are rewarded with lavish gifts like cars, cruises and financial bonuses. It’s an effective structure for a business, and is a great, self-empowering way for consultants to be in control of their careers, income and schedule. You know how I love that!

So what’s the problem?

According to the Arbonne Canada website, “a typical Arbonne participant in Canada earned between $30-$250 in 2017 in bonuses and commissions.” The reality, however, is that of their 250,000+ consultants, only 12% earn anything at all. So the reality is that there are some high earners, and most are non-earners and just heavy shoppers of the product. That fact that most consultants are more shoppers than sellers is fine for Arbonne. More money in their own genetically-modified-oil slick pockets.

And those pockets run deep – Arbonne brought in close to $600 million in sales in 2017.

Arbonne 2017 Earnings

For the cost of $79 plus a $30 annual renewal fee and anywhere from 35 to 50% off purchases, you get to be a consultant. That discount is important because quotas need to be met to maintain status, and so often Arbonne reps end up as their own best customers, making their purchases themselves. Anyone can be an Arbonne consultant, with absolutely no training needed at anytime.

When I asked the Arbonne consultant, who I interviewed for this piece, what training the consultants have in order to make recommendations for specific creams and lotions for skin conditions, or supplements for client’s health needs, she said it is up to the consultant to get their education, beyond the company’s own promotional materials and training. She compared it to asking an employee at a drug store to recommend a vitamin. You know how I feel about drug store supplements and untrained people recommending supplements.

It is the responsibility of consumers to become their own best expert, and ideally, that information should not be coming exclusively from the company’s own promotional materials.

The Very False Claims Arbonne Makes ABOUT THEIR PRODUCTS

Many people are choosing Arbonne, because of the image the company promotes as being high-end, pure, safe and beneficial. The products are plant-based, gluten-free, cruelty-free and kosher. As it states on their website:

It’s not just what we put in our products that makes them superior. It’s what we choose to formulate without. We integrate the most beneficial botanical ingredients from nature with the principles of green chemistry — we craft products with integrity, expertise and innovation. And we do it responsibly, taking care of our earth at the same time.

This is well-crafted marketing copy that doesn’t mean a thing as it relates to the actual quality of their overpriced products.

One might think from this description that the products really are quite pure. I might also ask you to name any skincare, or even supplement, that could not prove to be botanically based. Nearly everything in our world once came from plant or earth matter in some form or another. The other small catch is that from the sounds of it, all of their products are being tested by their own research labs, something pharmaceutical companies get in trouble for rather often. I went into my research thinking Arbonne was better than most, especially as they also highlight these key features:

Arbonne personal care products are formulated without:

  • Animal products or animal by-products
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde donating preservatives
  • PABA
  • Benzene
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Phthalates
  • Toluene

Arbonne nutrition products are formulated without:

  • Artificial colour
  • Artificial flavours
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Animal products
  • Animal by-products
  • Cholesterol
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats

Arbonne celebrates a very long list of 1,400 ingredients that are banned from their products on their “NOT ALLOWED List ™” (Yes, they have trademarked this). This might sound incredible and awesome to the average consumer. But what if some of those ingredients were things like almonds, hazelnuts, salt, pollen and monosodium glutamate (MSG)? Would it still be impressive?

Also found on that list:

  • Alprazolam – sold under the name Xanax
  • Barbiturates – a central nervous system suppressant
  • Lorazepam – an anti-anxiety medication
  • Diazepam – anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drug, more commonly known as Valium

Well, isn’t that a relief to know that their face cream is free of nervous system suppressants. My question: how will I treat my anxious cheeks and depressed eyelids before bed if there’s no valium or barbituates in my cold cream or toner?

As you know, I am not a fan of healthwashing and so don’t take this stuff lightly. In the case of this onion, you peel back one layer and the whole thing is a rotten mess inside.

The Hunt For Arbonne Product Ingredients And Why Their Policy Has Changed

When I first researched their products in 2013, there was no way for you to get any information in terms of the ingredients of a product without physically holding the tube of self tanner/face cream in your hand and squinting at the long list of ingredients. The other option was to find a rep who could send you a PDF sheet of the ingredient list. Of course, if you reached out to an active Arbonne Consultant about a product, there’s a good chance they’d follow up with Arbonne event invites, shlocky motivational memes, and celebrations of the milestone being met by consultants in their downline (network marketing for consultants you get commissions from), as they’re instructed to do by the company.

I did call the company, but no one called me back.

I put a call out on Facebook and was flooded with comments and emails from people who knew consultants, but none readily came forward with ingredient information. Finally, ten days after I first went searching, I got a call from an Arbonne consultant who was willing to share, and proudly, information about the company and the products. I immediately loved her passion for what she was doing.

I shared my surprise at how tricky it was to get ingredient information on the products and was told it was due to the proprietary nature, to ensure other companies wouldn’t copy formulas.

Most botanically based, pure and natural cosmetic companies, however, freely share and even highlight their ingredient lists with pride. Look at Living Libations*, Thera WiseGreen Beaver, and even Alba Botanicals all share their ingredients. All cosmetic companies now do.

My first question was about how pure the products are and I got the response that always makes me cringe: We use the purest ingredients we can, wherever possible. 

‘Wherever possible.’ We see this a lot with organic food in restaurants. That stance allows for the opportunity to use whatever is the easiest, cheapest or most accessible, but still maintain their principles of being, say, vegan, and cholesterol-free (which, by the way, would have to go together as cholesterol is only ever found in animal-based products).

From what I can tell, Arbonne cartwheeled through the ‘wherever possible’ loophole.

As the consultant wrote to me following our conversation:

The motto we stand by is ‘Pure, Safe, Beneficial.’ We aim to use the purest ingredients possible, married with the safest of science to provide products that provide benefit to our clients. I know there is some confusion around whether Arbonne is “100% natural”. This is not our claim. Arbonne wants to ensure that it provides the purest quality in skincare, health & wellness while maintaining safety. To do so, we combine ingredients and technology (like airless pumps to prevent oxidization which means we can use fewer preservatives) that are proven to be safe while doing the job required of the product.

Wait, they are not 100% natural? But the Arbonne manifesto declares it so, using words like green, pure, simple, natural and healthy. They say they are “Earth lovers and protectors”, “Champions of wellness”, “Forward-thinking”,  “Forward looking” and “Future-friendly”. You know I love a good manifesto, but you do have to actually do what the manifesto says for it to hold merit.

The consultant went on to stress the importance that all of their products have gone through rigorous testing, all are FDA approved and all have a Drug Identification number (DIN). What she said to me was this: Wouldn’t you rather know the products are tested and use ingredients that will keep the product stable and not go off, than stuff people just made up in their own kitchen?

A valid question and one certainly worth asking.

Many of you may agree, too. My personal stance on this is that if someone is making something in their own kitchen, then at least I know they are not using Polysorbate 20 and Butylene Glycol as the main ingredient in a body mist, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters in an eyeliner, dimethicone in a facial moisturizer, or HDI/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer as an anti-caking agent in my make-up. You can bet my man is not using a cetyl ethylhexanoate-based aftershave lotion.

Arbonne’s Attempts to Deal With Me

No one likes a squeaky wheel. Though Arbonne initially tried to ignore me, when my post started to gain traction and traffic (thanks in huge part to all the Arbonne Consultants sharing it with each other in outrage), a few very interesting things happened after my original post went up.

Connecting With Arbonne

With the uproar from the consultants who were in my social media circle, Arbonne contacted me – which was great as they had been very tough to get a hold of before my article became the top hit when you googled “Arbonne”. I requested a recorded interview but was declined. I was hoping for an opportunity to ask my questions and share their responses with you directly.

I was told that I could submit written questions, which I did, and they were returned to me a few weeks later. It was clear the responses had gone through several rounds of vetting and what remained were cut/paste blocks of text from their website. I also learned that my blog post was used in their forum for how to manage negative propaganda, which I believe led to what happened next.

Being Used As An Example

One of the top search terms that brings people to my website is “Arbonne”. It is the most popular post, statistically speaking, of the 1,500+ posts I have written. And so when you google “Arbonne”, this post is the second or third link to come up.

Arbonne attempted to remedy this by creating a bunch of ghost sites. I don’t know if this is the technical term, but they basically created a bunch of blank sites in an attempt to push my post down in the search results.

And it worked. Briefly.

Arbonne.com fake website

But see how descriptions weren’t even entered for those fake sites? They were found out and the results re-regulated themselves so my post remains near the top.

Arbonne Review Meghan

Then Change Happened: They Posted The Ingredients!

They couldn’t silence what was becoming common rhetoric about Arbonne. At long last, when Arbonne couldn’t get me or my post to go away, they did something awesome. They revamped their entire website and all of their branding to make the ingredients readily available in full on every product listed on their website.

Now, at least, consumers can decide for themselves – whether a product is something they’d want to use or consume based on the ingredients – without the need for a consultant or contact with the company.

The Ingredients In Arbonne: Are They Pure, Safe and Beneficial?

We received an email from a consultant letting us know that Arbonne had launched a brand new site. And with it came the words “transparency”,  “honesty”, and “integrity” to describe their ingredients. On most product pages, you can now find a link to the complete ingredient list very easily. Thank you, Arbonne!

You can look up any Arbonne product you like and see what’s actually in it. This means it’s no longer up to a consultant or the company to tell you how pure, safe and beneficial their products are. You get to decide for yourself. That is mighty empowering. And then very quickly becomes kind of horrifying.

Arbonne has created a massive line of products that are free of animal-derived ingredients and are gluten-free. They cheerlead a lot for what’s not in their products and seem to be better than most conventional products you’ll find in a pharmacy or department store. And they have a loyal and enthusiastic tribe of (mostly) women selling their heart out.

Unfortunately, many of their formulations are not living up to their own green, simple, pure, natural, healthy, forward-thinking, planet-protecting manifesto.

Definition of ‘Pure’

Adjective

  1. Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
  2. Without any extraneous and unnecessary elements.

How pure are products that use upwards of 20 to 30 plant-derived ingredients, that are not in their whole or unadulterated form?

Similar to how healthier, is not the same as healthy, less toxic, and less harmful is not the same as pure, safe and beneficial. After all, someone who smokes less, still smokes.

The ingredient labels for each of their products are long – let’s a have a look at a few.

Arbonne Product Review #1: RE9 Advanced Intensive Renewal Serum #813

Arbonne Skin RenewalThe marketing copy that goes along with this product reads as follows: Advanced peptides, antioxidants and essential botanicals work synergistically within the formula to hold in moisture and help enhance the look of skin smoothness and firmness.

Arbonne Skin Renewal IngredientsThe ingredient following water is cyclopentasiloxane, a chemical classified by the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List as “expected to be toxic or harmful”. The third ingredient, Polymethyl Mathacrylate, an acrylic polymer, often referred to more commonly as ‘plastic’.

Arbonne Product Review #2: Energy Fizz Sticks – Green Apple

Arbonne Apple Fizz

This product is marketed as a replacement for your morning coffee. As they state, “stir in a fizz stick to create a refreshing bubbly drink when you start to feel tired to temporarily help promote alertness.” How does it do this? Simple, the same way coffee does – it uses caffeine. Here are the full ingredients.

Arbonne Apple Fizz Ingredients

You may look at this and think it’s better than coffee because of all the added nutrients. The challenge is that there aren’t enough of any of the added nutrients to make a difference. The 55mg of caffeine is about the equivalent of a half cup of coffee and the 100mg of ginseng barely adds a boost when most ginseng supplements come in at about 500mg for a single dose.

This product sells for $55 for 30 sticks, which is about $2.00 per cup of what is mostly citric acid and sugar. If you were so inclined, you could buy a full one pound bag of certified non-gmo citric acid for $12.00 on Amazon. The citric acid is what gives the fizz-factor. Add sugar to this, and you’re easily getting 100 servings. You want the boost? 250 capsules of 500mg each of ginseng in the form of eleuthero is about $16.00. Don’t waste your money on fizz stick garbage.

The Antioxidant and Immunity Booster is made up primarily of various juices from concentrate – making those sweetener sources very much fructose concentrates, similar to that of high fructose corn syrup. The eye makeup remover that can easily be replaced by pure coconut oil or jojoba oil contains nearly 20 ingredients including babassuamidopropyl betaine, an anti-static foam boosting cleansing agent that is not particularly harmful, but also not particularly necessary either.

The products all just seem very, very complicated when the solutions can actually be remarkably clean and simple.

I would very happily go on and on about the questionable products and the long list of ingredients, but I encourage you to do your own digging.

As I have said many times before, the ingredient label is the only thing you need to read when reviewing a product, whether it’s a food or a cosmetic.

Still wondering if @Arbonne is as pure & safe as they claim? via @MeghanTelpner #healthwashing

ARBONNE IS NOT Non-GMO Verified

Despite there being no listing on the website, many consultants continue to claim that Arbonne products are organic, which they are not. There is also the common misunderstanding that all Arbonne products are Non-GMO Project verified. They are not. However, Arbonne is doing a great job of making you think they are.

On their website you’ll find the recognizable symbol accompanied by a misleading statement.

Arbonne Not GMO Free

The above is listed with a lot of other labels including Certified Vegan, and Certified Kosher. However, that bit that I highlighted means that none of their cosmetic products are Non-GMO Project verified. Further, I clicked on about 20 different nutrition products and not one carried the Non-GMO Project verification symbol. (Side note: On every single one, sugar was either the first or second ingredient.)

One the main tenets of Arbonne is that they are safe, friendly and supportive to the planet. It is unclear by what guidelines they are making this claim.

The Toxic Load From Arbonne and Other Cosmetics

Most of the chemicals we are exposed to daily were once plants that have been stripped down and refined to such an extreme as to evolve into a science-based synthetic chemical, also known as a drug.

Even abiding by their mission outlined above, Arbonne products contain such varied substances as hydrogenated castor oil, sunflower (latin name helianthus annuus), safflower (latin name carthamus tinctorius) that are not certified to be GMO-free.

The toxicity of a product is much greater when we consider the sum of its parts.

Suddenly, if using a selection of Arbonne skin-care and cosmetics products, plus their supplements, meal replacement shakes, and appetite suppressors, we are taking on a massively un-pure cocktail, of which the combined toxicity is not known, not tested and not harmless.

Arbonne’s “unwavering commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products” has hit a blip and most certainly has wavered. Or perhaps Arbonne and I just define “pure, safe and beneficial” differently.

With what we now know about these ‘science-made’, ‘botanically-derived’ chemicals, we should know better than to keep using them, and companies need to know better than to keep telling us they are okay.

There is no need to continue using products that are the work of chemical engineering. Our beauty care products don’t need to be made in chemistry labs.

My original intention for looking into all of this was just to be informed, so that when people asked, I knew for sure how I felt about the products based on facts.

Prior to gathering this information I thought that Arbonne would likely make a great transitional product, and would be a better, more health supportive, more natural option than what you would find in your local pharmacy or department store. This is why, most people switch to Arbonne – because they believe it to be a more natural option, whether Arbonne uses the word or not. Many of the products are better than a lot of what you’ll find in comparable price points, but is better enough?

More pure, more safe, or more beneficial, is not the same as actually being pure safe and beneficial.

Moreover, there are loads of products available that aren’t swimming in genetically modified, pesticide-laden oils and aren’t as preservative heavy. Genetically modified crops require more chemicals to grow and sustain.

These chemicals affect the people who grow and harvest them, the communities that surround them, and wash into our waterways, affecting life in our rivers, streams and lakes all the way into the ocean causing rapidly growing ‘dead zones’. In short, they disrupt our ecosystem and as part of this ecosystem, they also affect each of us – whether we use these products directly or not.

Arbonne has made great strides in improving the transparency and ease of access to the ingredients in their products, but as they continue to promote themselves as planet-protecting, pure and safe, I urge those of you who are consultants and customers to ask for more.

Approached by an @Arbonne rep? Reads this via @MeghanTelpner #healthwashing

What This Means To The Cosmetic Industry

The cosmetic industry is a moolah making industry. The revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry is estimated to amount to about 62.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. It definitely doesn’t serve the big guys for us little guys to be using coconut oil as our moisturizerdiluted apple cider vinegar as a toner, or chocolate and avocados as our face masks. We want to look beautiful and in our culture, we believe products are going to be the answer. And we can’t get enough.

Cosmetic Usage and Chemical Exposure Stats (via EWG.org)

  • The average US woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals.
  • The average US man uses 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients, on average.
  • Almost 13,000 chemicals are used in cosmetics, and only about 10 percent have been evaluated for safety.
  • Most cosmetic makers self regulate their own safety studies for FDA approval.
  • 12.2 million adults – one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men – are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.
  • The top most common impurity ranked by number of people exposed is hydroquinone, which is a potential contaminant in products used daily by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent of all men.
  • There are no studies done on the combination of the average exposure women are getting with their standard beauty routine (we’re talking the cocktail of products).
  • According to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the federal Food and Drug Administration, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.”

Reading ingredient labels is the first step, for sure. But it’s only one step. The ingredients of ingredients do not need to be labelled (on food or cosmetics). This is how, for example, Arbonne can get away with posting a cologne that has only three ingredients – alcohol, water and fragrance –fragrance being an ingredient that can contain as many as 3,000 different ingredients within it. Sometimes “ingredients” is another word for synthetic plant derivatives or chemicals.

The cosmetic industry is responding to customer questions and customer demands. We don’t want lead and aluminum and other known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors in our beauty care. It should never have been there in the first place. Dramatic change is needed in the whole industry and it will start with consumers demanding it.

Thank You Arbonne Consultants!

Thank you for pushing Arbonne to post their ingredients and for helping them to lead the way on this front. This is no small achievement. Continue asking for the standards to be raised.

Arbonne is a major player in the cosmetic world. If they can ban GMO oils, and truly start caring for the planet, not by making their packaging recyclable, but by ensuring the ingredients they use are grown and produced in a sustainable way and are truly chemical-free from the soil to the bottle, that products are packaged using planet-friendly materials (from production to decomposition) and by continuing to evolve the products to include more pure and less scientifically manufactured ingredients, then they will really start to elevate both their products and you as leaders in the beauty industry.

I have nothing against Arbonne, or their consultants. I love that so many women are taking ownership over their lives, their businesses, their finances and setting themselves up for a life they love. That is UnDiet living through and through!

The challenge is that most of the information being circulated by Arbonne has been generated by the company itself and many consultants, understandably, trust it. Without having any prior education in cosmetology, aesthetics or nutrition, many consultants also don’t know the questions they should be, or need to be asking of the brand they are representing.

With a global network of consultants, Arbonne is in a very powerful position to create new standards of purity and transparency.

The 250,000+ consultants are in a mighty powerful position to initiate amazing and powerful change in the cosmetic industry worldwide. That’s a great place to be standing!

As we know, change happens from the ground up and it starts with each one of us.

Are You An Arbonne Consultant?

Start asking your company the very same questions and make sure you understand the answers, fully and completely to be able to inform yourselves and your customers who are trusting your expertise. Start calling for change, for transparency in the products, their ingredients and ensure they are truly as pure and beneficial as you are being told.

Choosing Your Cosmetics

I hope my questions have become your questions, and not just with Arbonne, but with anything and everything you are using on your body: from brushing your teeth, to your deodorant, to what you paint on your eyelashes, to what’s in those tampons, what you use on your skin and what you use to colour your hair.

Every choice counts and if you want to check the true purity and safety of your products, this database has you covered. The database is not perfect but is the best we have to gauge an overview of our products. What I urge you to consider is not just the single products on their own, but the combination of all of the ingredients in all of the products that you use.

I urge you to consider the combination of all of the ingredients in all of the products that you use.

I know that on this front, my job is never done and as I keep digging, I will keep sharing with you what I learn and I appreciate what you continue to share with me.

There is now the option to choose sustainable, stable, chemical-free, GMO-free, non-allergenic, filler-free products. If this is what you are seeking, then it is your responsibility to make sure this is what you are getting – no matter where you are getting it from and who is selling it to you.

Please help share this important message so we can all do our part!

*This post contains affiliate links

Meghan Telpner Arbonne Update

296 responses to “Is Arbonne Really As Pure And Safe As They Claim?”

  1. https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/?s=51&d=blank&r=g michylacroix says:

    I checked out Arbonne a couple of years ago, in my quest to find clean, non-toxic products. I was disappointed by what I found – the lack of disclosure with regards to ingredients was troubling for me, as was the sheer number of ingredients in each product. In my experience, less ingredients make for a much healthier product. Yes, their products are paraben free etc. but they still contain a bunch of other chemical ingredients I’m not comfortable using on myself or my family members. Now I stick with non-toxic companies that have full ingredient disclosure (Cocoon Apothecary, Pai Skincare, Living Libations, Earth Mother Angel Baby for kids stuff) and/or make products myself. They may not have the same shelf life (a good thing in my opinion!) but I’m able to select organic, non-GMO ingredients, and that is far more important to me.

    • Tracy says:

      I am a self employed Nail tec and run my business from my home. I have been on the search for safe, natural, and healthy products for myself and my clients. I was approached by a Mary Kay and Arbonne rep to buy their products. Once I read this about Arbonne I made my mind up not to buy their products. I’m now asking if there is anyone who can guide me to the products that I’m looking for to use on my clients and myself, please feel free to share. I want to make a note that I do not do gel nails or other fake nails. I believe all lady’s can have nice strong natural nails if some proper care was done. I do use coconut oil for cuticles, it works wonderfully. It’s soooo sad to see so many company’s not giving us customers the whole truth on what they are selling us. It’s all about the money, not the customers. What is the best out there? What can I use on my clients to make sure their health and safety is not being damaged. I for one am one person who can make a big difference to every client that receives my service, who truly cares. May God Bless all of you lady’s who have been sharing all of your comments.
      Tracy :-D

      • Raquel says:

        I am a consultant for Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. I would encourage you to check out my website and read about her products! They are amazing, the only fragrance they have are the actual ingredients, so there is an ever so subtle citrus smell to them (not a medicinal smell like some). She was 14 when she started the company.
        If you would like any information please let me know. I’d love to send you a catalog. Just email me.

  2. Amy Coulter says:

    hey! Love you and your amazing site and the wealth of information you loving share! Thank you for all you do!!
    I wasn’t able to open the link for the ingredient list. It could be my computer, but I wanted to see if anyone else was having an issue or if it was just me.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Amy! We’re testing it, and it seems to be fine in the Google Chrome web browser, but we’re seeing an issue in Firefox. Hang tight, we’re working on it! :)

  3. Kate says:

    Love this ! I have been looking to get away from my bare minerals products and to a less toxic alternative but have been struggling to find a natural makeup that’s not all hype. Have you found any good makeup products ?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/?s=51&d=blank&r=g michylacroix says:

      I really like Alima Pure, you can find their products on Saffron Rouge in Canada or purchase directly from their website. I’ve been looking at a company called Au Naturale as well, they look pretty good, but I haven’t tried the products yet.

    • Andrea Palen says:

      I love RMS, rmsbeauty.com

  4. Andrea Palen says:

    Hey Meghan,

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I had a similar experience asking for ingredient lists and getting no where – and so I assumed they had something to hide. I kindly declined the offer to “join the team” and decided that using and promoting the real natural stuff (most of what I learned from you) was more my style. Thanks so much for all your sleuthing – you’re article was so interesting and informative.

    Xo!

  5. SM says:

    The pdf file will not open in my pdf viewer, nor will it allow me to convert it to another type of document in order to view it, it repeatedly returns an error message that there is a problem with the file’s contents. Just thought you’d like to know that. Thanks for the article; I’ll check back again later.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      It seems to be okay when we use Google Chrome as the web browser, but we’re having some difficulty with Firefox. Hold tight we’ll see what we can do! Thanks for letting us know :)

      • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/39a530be97e8fe559f2f13f23c108951?s=51&d=blank&r=g cmbaptista says:

        Thanks for this. I love that you bring the facts without bashing. I wanted to let you know that I use Google Chrome and I, too, am unable to open the link.

        • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

          You could have a pop-up blocker enabled on your account – if you email us (see our contact info page) we’d be glad to email you the ingredients lists!

  6. Ami L says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. When I was pregnant with my son I ran into an Arbonne booth at a baby show. They were handing out samples and offering information to try to get people to become consultants. It sounded like a great idea at first… I was about to take some time off to stay home after my son was born and could use some extra income/option to make my own hours. The first red flag for me though was when I opened the sample for their baby lotion and it clearly had a chemically fragrance (also the packaging left something to be desired for a company claiming to be “green”). Also, when I asked questions about the ingredients and environmental commitment I got similar responses to what you did- sounded great, but no ACTUAL lists or facts. Thanks for all the research you do! Makes my job as a consumer a lot easier. Also, because of you I feel 100% confident in the brands I now choose to support (Living Libations has been my BEST find yet!).

  7. Amy Hamburger says:

    This is the article I have been waiting for. I am a spa owner who tries to do things as green as I can. I carry the Eminence line but have been approached by Arbonne many many times. What always bugged me first was that I spend a lot of money to go to school whereas these people buy their kit and go.

  8. Rosella says:

    This is very interesting! I have wondered for some time about Arbonne’s ingredients and whether they are as pure as they claim. I purchased some products about a year ago – liked them but did not reorder mostly due to the cost of the product. In the meantime I’ve been making my own body butter with coconut oil, shea butter and lavender essential oil – love it! Thank you so much for this review – food for thought!

  9. Jessica Burman says:

    “Wouldn’t you rather know the products are tested and use ingredients that will keep the product stable and not go off, than stuff people just made up in their own kitchen?” I own a small skin care business with its own lab (legally required) and get my products tested. I know many other small personal care businesses and none of us work out of our kitchens. If this company were the real deal, they wouldn’t be trying to throw local, clean companies under the bus – they would be supportive. So many better products out there (without the harassment).

  10. Kassia Lueck says:

    Thank you for posting this. I was an Arbonne consultant for a couple of years and the reason that I was attracted it besides “multi-level”, was the whole “pure, safe, beneficial.” Then I started questioning the “botanically based”. (enough with “) And that is when I had to switch to a GMO free, company. I loved the concept of Arbonne but that was it. It was a concept of what people were looking for. I think Arbonne got away with it 10+plus years ago but people like ourselves are becoming too knowledgeable about great products out there. I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned but glad that I don’t have to look back. Thanks for validating the best decision I ever made!!! You rock!!!

    • Neasse says:

      What GMO free company did you find? Curious to know. Thanks!

    • Iren Lakatos says:

      Thank you all for posting your comments. I tried the first time the Arbonne facial cream and I had to wash it off after a few minutes. Smells horrible and feels greasy, reminded my grand mother’s cream! Sorry. No disrespect but this is not what today’s women or young women are looking for. I use H2O and Dermalogica for years and it’s amazing! I tried the Arbonne because one of my friends suggested. Thanks but no thanks.

      • Kimberly says:

        have you tried TreSkinRX? I love this product. My skin is smooth. The base ingredients in this product is organic aloe vera. My white heads are almost gone from my checks.

  11. Ashlee Piper says:

    Thanks for sharing, Meghan! I’ve had good experiences with *certain* Arbonne products in the past, but a company is only as good as its most recent product, and I agree that many seem to smell, feel, and product results that are suspiciously unnatural seeming. I look forward to seeing whether or not your get a response back!

  12. Laura says:

    Great questions to be asking! This is amazing and exactly how I found NYR Organic. I hadn’t even heard of organic skincare products until last year when I was introduced to Arbonne, but when I started asking questions the consultant couldn’t answer, I started looking into things myself and found NYR Organic.
    The company has won ethical awards, health awards, product awards, etc. They label every ingredient, tell you what % organic each product is(water, clay and minerals can’t be certified organic). It is certified by a 3rd party. The BEST, most honest, trustworthy skincare company I could find.

    • Neasse says:

      Hi Laura
      I found NYR Organic online too but Canadians cannot join (yet) and I would like to try some products. Not sure how to get them in Canada?
      If we can connect that would great. Thanks

  13. Carla Lopez says:

    I have a relative who is a Arbonne consultant. I wanted to help her, but when i asked about the ingredients and mentioned I could not find any mention of them on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ she became evasive. I see now Skin Deep does have some information on them, but it’s not great.

  14. Heather says:

    I have thrown away all of my skin care products – a bottle of castor oil and a coconut oil is use now and my skin has never felt better!

  15. Lisa Cipparone says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! A million times over for this post Meghan. I was approached by Arbonne a few years ago and like you did some investigating. I tested the products and quickly got a migraine from using them….which then made me think…. these are not natural!

    So when the consultant came to my home as a follow up she let me in to her back office to see the ingredient list. We were both astonished to see all the chemicals. Especially in the Baby Line!! And did you know on skindeep.com the Baby line rates as TOXIC!

    I too get approached by Arbonne Reps all the time and to let you in on a secret a few of the Arbonne Reps actually purchase Miessence Certified Organic or Ilike Organic Skin Care products from me once they realize how toxic these products are. They say there business is too lucrative to give up but they would not use the products themselves or give it to their families!!

    I too am all about the empowerment of women I just wish more would do their homework before they choose to sell Arbonne.

    Thank you again for this. I will share it multiple times!!

    Best!

    Lisa Cipparone
    The Rejuvenation Room

  16. Sara says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this!!!!! I had been contemplating how to do this for months. (Especially re. the shakes.) I have so many friends, acquaintance and women in my life involved with this company I haven’t for fear of offending them (and I definitely would). Even thought about doing it incognito. Now I don’t have to. Thank you!! xo

    • Sara says:

      P.S. The “baby cream” made my skin break out in a rash, and the shampoo made my hair fall out. So yucky!!!!

      • Maya says:

        what shampoo/conditioner are you using now on your hair?

        • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

          Hi Maya, when we’re not using Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil (and nourishing our hair & scalps from the inside out), we love Living Libations around here!

    • Alicia says:

      Good thing you can do it incognito Sara, no one will be offended then.

  17. Andriana says:

    Thank you for posting this. I own Purelement Naturals and make organic skincare products. I have been so frustrated with companies that claim to be so natural and pure, but once you evaluate the ingredients, you learn they are not so natural. People are bamboozled every day with clever marketing. It’s really scary what some companies put into skincare and cosmetics, and of course food too. I look forward to reading more of your posts. : )

  18. Kelly Childs says:

    BRAVO!! Thank you for doing all of this work Meghan! Well done! I am approached at minimum, once a week by these consultants who arm themsleves with the false knowledge that Arbonne is a product perfect for a vegan :)
    I never entertained them as I felt it was just a high pressure, great-rich scheme for these ladies who kept approcahing me. I asked for an ingredient list many times and none could supply me with one. It was funny, they kept saying, “Well it’s vegan….”. (Does that automatically mean it’s HEALTHY and SAFE? :))) too funny.
    Thank you! Now I get to share this!!!
    xo

  19. MF says:

    I have been talking to a consultant about the products and I had no problem at all getting an ingredient list, I told her I am very picky about what I use and promote, she also gave me the email of the ingredients guy and he answered many of my questions. I am surprised that everyone had such a hard time getting them. I too am leary about the ingredients

  20. Mary Calvillo says:

    I left Arbonne two years ago for all the reasons stated in your research. I was with them for 6 years and with each passing year and objection I had to learn how to spin, I lost my excitement for them. Very thorough research and a fair assessment. To have to be a consultant to get the ingredient information should be a red flag to everyone.

  21. Laura G says:

    Thanks for looking into this. I was on the cusp of joining but I knew in my gut that something didnt quite add up. Having said that, what the heck DO I use?? Any suggestions on making my own shampoo? Body cream? IN MY OWN KITCHEN!! :)
    Thanks

  22. Lorraine Gray says:

    My cousin-in-law sells Arbonne. I immediately went to the EWG.org website to find out more. I didn’t like what I saw. So I never touched the stuff. Expensive without a very good reason. And I don’t like the way they sell it. Much like Melaleuca products – sketchy.

  23. https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

    As was discussed on Facebook, from your other message to us, I would be pleased to update any misinformation you feel has been shared. No consultants have been able to point specifically to where there have been inaccurate statements. We are very open to a conversation around this and encourage you to support your views critically, without the need for personal attacks. I would assume from your comment that you do have cosmetic chemistry training, and that would be very helpful to the discussion. Thanks in advance, for your input!

  24. Michelle @ Find Your Balance says:

    Kickass. I love dispelling healthy marketing myths and will definitely pass this one along!

  25. Marcella Lynn says:

    To echo nearly all the comments, I totally agree. I was hounded by a rep after a single “no thank you” did not satisfy her; she left “samples” at my place of business that I threw out before she told me she needed them returned. Apparently, they were open bottles that she lends out to whomever has an interest (or to just whomever). I figured if a rep lives by these unhygienic and disrespectful standards, how can you trust the product? I’ll stick with Eminence, thank you.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/?s=51&d=blank&r=g michylacroix says:

      In response to several of the negative comments posted on this blog – the last time I checked, stating one’s opinion openly falls under the category of freedom of speech, and is justifiable regardless of your credentials (of which Meghan has many). A nasty personal attack reflects poorly on the sender, and does not lend any credibility to any potential counter argument. Thank you Meghan for having the guts to do your research, and voice your concerns about this company. Given the nature of many of the responses, you are not alone! If we lived in an environment where people kept their mouths shut for fear of reprisal, we’d be in a very sorry state indeed.

  26. Pam says:

    Great article. You mentioned a few companies that list their ingredients that claim they are natural. I have have often wondered about some of the ingredients because they still sound to be chemical in nature. How would you go about finding out if it is chemical or botanical? Is it as simple as googling it? Because there is another company that I am trying for essential oils and they say naturally safe, purely effective, guaranteed 100% essential oil. I want to be sure because I really like the products. And is it possible some products are safe and others in the line might not be as safe? thanks

    • Barbara Henderson says:

      I use http://www.ewg.org/skindeep for TONS of research on things like that. I consult with NYR Organic, and found some of the items sound chemically, but they are UK based, and the labeling laws there drive that. For example, Sorbitan olivate sounds creepy, but it’s an emulsifier derived from olive oil.

      • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

        The carcinogenic chemicals currently being used in cosmetics have been approved for use by the government. I believe that any government supported/funded review board is worth questioning.

  27. Cherie Elliott, RHN says:

    Thank-you for this article!!
    I have also been approached by and know of many local Arbonne consultants. As an RHN (and an environmentalist), I have been meaning to investigate further (I had previously been frustrated with being unable to find the ingredients in the products).
    This puts my questions to rest.
    Thank-you!

  28. Jenna says:

    Hi Meghan,

    Thank you so much for doing all this research on Arbonne. Natural skin care is my passion, and I spend a lot of time researching toxins and advocating for healthy skin care products. I have always found Arbonne to be really sneaky with their marketing techniques, and am disappointed when I see them at health trade shows. Glad you went through all this to expose them for the health-washers that they are!

  29. Greg says:

    I’m not sure how long this will work, but if anyone wants to find an ingredient list for an Arbonne product, go to the Arbonne website, and find the product number.

    For example their FC5 Shampoo is Item#: 7391

    Then enter in the pdf document link.

    (Note: you can enter us,ca,uk,au depending on your country)
    This brought up a pdf of the ingredients list. I found 378 documents in total in the US domain.

  30. Yvonne Souza says:

    As a licensed skin care professional I also have been solicited by not just Arbonne but many other skin care lines. The bottom line is that you have to know skin physiology, skin care ingedients and skin typing. I am certified in Oncology esthetics which has major concentration on ingredients, their origin and processing methods. Even in the professional aesthetics arena there are plenty of product lines that formulate with chemical ingredients claiming to be natural. It can be overwhelming even for trained professionals. Anytime a product is marketed throug MLM there is always someone at the bottom being lurred into the “lucrative business plan.” It’s not ever what it seems unless you get in on the ground floor and have lots of people under you. And the products are always over priced with the excuse is that it is competative with the market. Bottom line is this, there are ery few prodct lines of any kind that label according to INCI standards. Companies can hide the true nature of all ingredients because there are no laws in place to require it. Seek out a licensed skin care professional who has advanced training or buyer beware.

  31. Marissa says:

    HI Meghan,

    This blog was sent to me by a friend.

    I will just start off by saying that I am an Arbonne consultant. I am not offended by your article. I commend you for looking into products as a consumer and knowing what you put on your skin and sharing the knowledge.

    Arbonne is a brand that states it uses safe science and botanical ingredients. It does not or never has claimed to be “all natural”. A lot of people have that misconception and then feel duped.
    Safe science I think is what you are arguing more so.

    Arbonne follows the guidelines of the FDA but more importantly the European Union (which is a lot more strict). Arbonne is offering a safer product to many that are on the shelves in department stores, but is in no way organic or all natural.

    Anyone looking for all-natural or organic products should not consider Arbonne as their skin care/nutrition brand. True. Arbonne’s goal is to get people to look at what they are using. They have helped many people change to safer products.

    YES. We pride ourselves a lot for what is NOT in our products, but I can say that we are also proud of what is in our products. Many of Arbonne’s products are clinically proven to do what they say they are going to do. And a lot of people are looking for products that work for them. I cannot say that Arbonne “cures or heals” people, but I will say that so many people have had incredible results using Arbonne’s skin care lines. I personally know babies that have come off cortisone creams using Arbonne’s ABC line. Also people with ridiculously sensitive skin using those shots of cortisone to stop their skin irritations, prescribed by doctors, try our baby line and see miraculous results. I can’t say that will happen for everyone, but many it has worked for tried many natural/organic creams and everything else possible, but this was the one thing that worked. So, for some people, using safer products vs. all natural ones, work better.

    In regards to GMO’s, Arbonne has put into place an ingredient policy to screen out gluten and ingredients that contain GMO. They are working to continue to bring to market top-quality products that are carefully reviewed to meet their high standards of safety.

    Many products (including corn, soy, etc.) potentially have GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). A genetically modified organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering. They are potentially in certain commodity crop seeds like soy and corn. They are created to possess desirable traits, such as resistance to pests or harsh environmental conditions. Government regulations manage the risks and safety. And the company regularly audits Arbonne’s raw materials and finished products to ensure there are no GMO’s.

    As for our testing… it is not done through our own labs, for safety and efficacy (I am not sure where you got that information?). They are through Third-Party, Double-Blind panels on human volunteers. (By Dermatologists, Pediatricians and Ophthalmologists).

    Arbonne’s Green commitment is stellar. I am surprised that you brought this up on the negative. Arbonne uses recycled, soy-based inks for 80% of their printed materials, and they seek out printing facilities that aim to achieve carbon neutral standards. They use FSC-certified renewable sources for 100% of their paper packaging and all printed materials. Their catalogues are printed with the first high-efficiency printing press, resulting in a significant power reduction during catalogue printing/drying.
    90% of Arbonne’s personal care product packaging is recyclable.
    Arbonne harvests responsibly, they are a carbon neutral company themselves. And the list goes on… Is that not Green?

    If people are looking for all natural products, Arbonne is NOT for them. I agree.

    I am hoping this is not sounding like an attack. I really just wanted to start a conversation…

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you Marissa for this very intelligent, balanced and informed response. I appreciate you being part of the discussion.

    • Lyndsy P says:

      Thank you Marissa for proving that Arbonne serves a great purpose in the safe product market today. YOU are the definition of an Arbonne consultant. Clinical studies and dermatologist testing proves that we are effective and provide results with the marriage of nature and science. I also want to point out that many of what you are underlining was simply in the catalog. I imagine that the Arbonne consultant that Meghan spoke to didn’t provide her with one. Just like any profession or specialization there are consultants who are not as versed as others in what they are selling. Just like bloggers.

    • Megan P says:

      Hi, everyone. To Meghan – thanks for this blog, and your discussion! A fabulous conversation to start, and in a beautiful, non-biased way. Love what you write and looking forward to reading more. To Marissa, Nisha, and any other consultants I may have missed, you are the true embodiment of my Arbonne experience! I will add my little corner of the world here:

      I’ll now say that all of the following are my own personal views (some of them go a touch off-topic), so take what you will from them!

      I’m an Arbonne consultant, and have been for 2 years. I am in love with the people I’ve met so far with this company. I joined Arbonne in 2011, and prior to that point had spent a couple of months wrestling with myself if I felt comfortable promoting a product that used chemicals in its ingredients. I was a strict vegan at the time with no income, and wanting to keep my energy focused on creative projects. I did the MLM research, the product research, and listened to a bunch of people say online how bad their experiences were.

      In the end, I got clear about what I wanted to create in life. What was important to me were the people who introduced me and the values they lived by: the personal development training, comraderie, and total acceptance of my now-team has made me a better person. Challenges in my success-line are not sales-driven challenges, but “how can I stretch my comfort zone and better person today”- driven challenges. Every time I commit to growing my business, things in my life have shifted for the better. And the more time and income I can create with a home-based business, the more I can write creative works (i’m an actor-singer-writer), travel the world, and meet more vibrant people!

      There is a lovely Saskatchewan-based woman I met earlier this year on a sideline who, with her Arbonne income (working from home, her own hours, etc), has retired her husband from working in the oil industry, and he now has a small start-up selling affordable alternative energy. Yes, she sells beauty products, some of which are made with chemicals. But if it weren’t for Arbonne, her husband would still be working for (in my opinion) a far worse thing for the environment. And my own experience: prior to Arbonne, I would make money where I could: doing well-paid promotional work for yogurt companies (remember I was vegan), shoe companies, beauty companies with even worse ingredients on their labels.

      We live in a world where we drive cars that use fossil fuels, where we are told to lose weight and look like certain people or we can’t succeed, we are told we need to make money in this world. Perhaps it’s getting a bit out there, but my perfect world is an economy based on the service and love we provide to others, where grow all our own food together (or at least know where it’s from), where no one cares what our faces look like, where we are always working to be the best human beings we can be to others and ourselves! (totally attainable in this lifetime, obviously, riiiiiiight???) :D

      In my travels, I have encountered strict vegans who meditate for hours every day, and yet say terribly slanderous things to others on facebook. I’ve also met the most loving, happy people who work “unmeaningful” jobs like being servers just to pay the bills. In my opinion, who you are being while you do something is what matters way more than what you’re actually doing.

      Arbonne is giving me a vehicle that allows me to travel with my solo show, interact with people who are wanting to make a difference (one of the women in our team goes to Africa every year to build housing and help bring food to smaller communities), and write works of art that offer one person’s perspective little pocket of the world. Our compensation plan is pretty phenomenal – “ordinary” people actually succeed with a little consistency. I’ve seen it happen with myself, and others in my team. This business is teaching me consistency in daily action and belief-building – something I didn’t have in my own life prior to joining.

      Marissa is bang-on: I have NEVER claimed to sell an “all-natural” product! But we have a product that works, that is lower on the scale of harmful stuff out there that also works (though not as well, in my experience). Working in the film & tv industry, I am having more and more makeup artists join my team and client list. There is not a makeup artist in Vancouver who does not carry some form of Arbonne in their kit. Our products do what they say they are going to do: they work on Hi-Def digital film, which is an incredible quality to have as a vegan company (not many makeups will work Hi-Def, let alone vegan and safer than other stuff out there).

      Everything Nisha and Marissa have said already are so true. The company has a heart, and has recently made quantum shifts in its leadership team. They are so great at responding and respecting to even just “consultants” – even those who don’t have the car or make the million-dollar incomes (yet:D). There’s been stories of people who work for the head office of Arbonne (they see the day-to-day development, etc), and leave to become consultants of their own, because of the time leveraging. My team strongly discourages smack-talk on other companies, poaching others, etc. We focus on ethical business-building and work with the laws of atraction and karma.

      My personal crusade is to help people feel better about themselves from the INSIDE out, both with my Arbonne business and my small vocal coaching business (which I like small… if I teach too much I get grumpy). If I could change society and the Entertainment industry right now, I would. But currently, that’s not my reality. Arbonne is giving me the vehicle, growth, and opportunities to change my industry through the space to fund my own films, and to live from a prosperity mindset. The company’s made me a better person, and helped me to support other people in their own transformation. And don’t get me wrong — I’m out to change the world! I just want to be able to live abundantly in the process with a company that listens to what I and other consultants have to say.

      So yes! Please read, make informed decisions, and listen to your gut. And keep writing your perspective. It’s a good conversation to have.

      Thanks for the space to write this,

      Megan

  32. Nadia says:

    Arbonne never claims to be 100% natural. There is a difference between saying you contain natural ingredients, and are 100% natural. Even in what you post directly from the Arbonne site, it does not say 100% natural. “words like green, pure, simple, natural and healthy. They say they are “Earth lovers and protectors”, “Champions of wellness”, “Forward-thinking”, ”Forward looking” and “Future-friendly” – nope, doesn’t say 100% anywhere.

    I’ve also never personally had any issue with obtaining their ingredient lists.

  33. Jody C says:

    Wow! Thank you so very much for such an informative and objective piece of journalism. I am asked about Arbonne quite often, and as you have alluded to, “it’s all about the ingredients”.

    My own research led me to join the Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Company – a company that truly “walks the walk” when it comes to disclosure, purity, and non-toxicity. We are actively involved in helping get legislation as part of the “Safe Chemicals Act” in the Senate right now, in fact…and all of our products are rated 0-1 by EWG! No parabens, PEG’s. synthetic “fragrance”, hidden ingredients such as phthalates, nitrosamines or formaldehyde, no Glycol, sodium laureth sulfate, petroleum byproducts or animal testing. All products are gluten-free, most are Vegan and all of the packaging is recyclable!

  34. Jessica Rinner says:

    I agree with Jody C. Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is the way to go!!

  35. Nik Juneau says:

    Thank you very much for this article. I only have one slight correction for you. It is “Mary Kay” not Mary Kaye and Mary Kay is DIRECT SALES not Multi-Level Marketing.
    Otherwise, I found this article informative and quite interesting so thanks again.

  36. Kerry says:

    I’m an Arbonne consultant and I’m fine using and promoting products that are formulated using European standards. The “selling point” for me is that Arbonne’s products are certified vegan. I want a guarantee that I’m not putting something on my skin that came from a rendering plant. (If you’d like to know what goes into rendering plants, just google “Wise Geek” + “rendering plant.”)

    BUT, this is not why I’m responding to your article. I’m responding because I feel obligated to set your readers straight about Arbonne’s Antioxidant and Immunity Booster. I don’t want anyone to miss out on its benefits due to the misinformation in this article.

    READERS, this is such an awesome product!!!! The main ingredient is saccharomyces cerevisiae. The trademarked name for that is EpiCor which has been clinically proven to balance your immune system. (See link below.) In addition it has milk thistle extract powder, amla extract powder, holy basil extract powder, olive extract powder, elderberry extract powder, turmeric extract powder and green tea extract. You can look up all those ingredients if you’d like to know the benefits of each ingredient. And yes, this potent blend of ingredients is in a concoction of water and fruit juices to make it easy to drink. PLEASE don’t let that tiny fact prohibit you from trying it if you ever get the chance! I know so many people who have benefited from this 3 ounce drink. One of my friends had sinus infections every winter all winter long until Arbonne came out with this product. I’m not making medical claims, but I’ll bet she will never quit using this product just to see if it was a coincidence she quit having sinus infections when she started using it.

    Arbonne doesn’t need anyone to defend its products, but I just didn’t want misinformation to keep anyone from trying a product that could help them in some way.

    epicorimmune.com/what_is_epicor/how-it-works/

    • Greg says:

      So the anti-oxidant/immune booster has brewers yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) in it. What it also has is 10g / 3 fl. oz. of sugar Which is 2g / fl. oz. more (mostly fructose) sugar than you get in the same amount of Coca-Cola according the the USDA nutrition database. It might have some beneficial ingredients, but that doesn’t make it healthy. You need to look at a product as a whole in order to judge it, and as long as it has that much sugar in it, I don’t know that I could take it with any sort of regularity.

      (and really, anecdotal data isn’t useful in talking about wether something works or not, google placebo effect)

      • Kerry says:

        I totally agree with you, Greg, that you need to look at a product as a whole in order to judge it. And I’m willing to risk consuming 10 grams of sugar from fruit juice to get all the benefits from the product. Did you check out the link to do some research on EpiCor? I gave you an anecdotal example, but if you’d like to see the scientific evidence, you’ll have to go to that website. BUT, if a placebo effect made my friend’s sinus infections clear up, she probably wouldn’t have a problem with that. Yay for placebo effects! :-) Anyway, my post wasn’t meant to get into an argument about whether or not anyone should use the Antioxidant & Immunity Booster. My point was to let the readers know that there was more to that product than fruit juice. If anyone doesn’t want to take it, they shouldn’t take it! It’s okay with me! :-)

      • Ky-Lee says:

        Coca Cola is not a relative comparison as it’s a different sugar and added sugar and a serving is 20 fl oz compared to the immunity booster being only 3 fl oz with no added sugar, only fructose from the juices.
        The immunity booster contains Vitamin D’s, Vitamin C and Selenium which are the three properties together that produce the human tumor suppressor protein named p53. Deficiency in this runs rampant in our society.

  37. Barbara Henderson says:

    I am THRILLED to see a number of people in the replies mention NYR Organic, as I am an NYR consultant. It means word of our company and product is spreading, and I think that’s great. I am a former Arbonne customer, and was approached often to be a consultant for them – I always declined. I’d never been interested in direct sales, or any sales for that matter. I discovered NYR Organic product at a local farmer’s market, and loved using the product. Initially, I decided to sell it because it would fund my “organic skin care addiction”. Over the past year I’ve learned about the company, its history, its product, its “DNA” and I am so proud to be affiliated with them! Every ingredient in every product we sell is clearly listed on the product page of our website. Ingredients are sourced ethically, GMO free, no animal testing and so many other things in it and NOT in it that I feel strongly about. There are other truly good and pure products out there (Eminence is one for sure) – this is just the one the one that I’ve discovered, use and freely recommend.

  38. Kerry says:

    I just had a thought about this topic while I was enjoying my cup of coffee this morning. It occurred to me that the author of this article and those of us who commented might be “missing the forest for the trees.” I’m going to share my thoughts and I hope that I don’t make anyone angry because anger will hurt a person faster than a chemical (that’s been approved in the European Union, anyway) in a skincare product. :-)

    Before Arbonne came along, I drank a 12-pack of Diet Coke a day, had a HUGE sweet tooth and was financially dependent on my husband. Fast forward 6 years . . . I’ve replaced my Diet Coke habit with Arbonne’s Energy Fizz Sticks and Arbonne’s Detox Tea and I manage my sweet tooth with Arbonne’s Fit Chews. Are those products perfect? Probably not. But, I’m extremely grateful for how they’ve helped me improve my health. Because of Arbonne, I’ve learned things about nutrition that I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to learn if I had never gotten involved with the company. I’ve become a “product of the product.” My doctor told me that my numbers (i.e., blood pressure/bloodwork) are “disgustingly good” and I plan to run 60 miles on my 60th birthday this July. I feel better playing softball than I did 10-15 years ago. In addition, because of my income from Arbonne, I was able to buy a house and turn it into a daycare for 9 of my 11 grandchildren. I have a life that most grandmothers can only dream of. The best thing that’s happened to me because of Arbonne, though, is that it has given me a way to give people hope. I’ve seen what hope can do for people who believe they’re stuck forever in a job they hate or who believe they can never get out of debt. My mission in life is to help people who are living lives of “quiet desperation” whether it’s through Arbonne or some other avenue. I’m so happy that I didn’t read this article 6 years ago or I might have gotten stuck on the “trees” and missed experiencing the wonderful and magical “forest.”

    But there is a bigger “forest” encompassing MY “forest.” Two years ago, Arbonne created the Arbonne Charitable Foundation to “provide support for programs and opportunities that promote the development of confidence and self-esteem in teenage girls and boys . . . and empower the next generation.” Arbonne has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations like “Big Brothers Big Sisters.” I’ve seen Arbonne consultants who are at the top level of the company pour their hearts and souls into helping young people through this Foundation. They’re not just involved in fund raising. They’re involved in mentoring and building relationships with young people.

    The reason I’m writing this isn’t to convince people that Arbonne is a great company. There are other companies that have transformed the lives of people like me and there are other companies that support charitable organizations. The reason I’m writing this is to give readers food for thought which can probably be applied to many situations.

    Is it more important that Arbonne’s products aren’t “natural” OR is it more important that Arbonne has helped thousands of people get off medication for blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other disorders by educating them about nutrition.

    Is it more important that someone in Arbonne’s customer service department failed to return a call OR is it more important that the company is on a mission to improve our society by reaching young people when we can actually make a difference in their lives?

    Is it more important that Arbonne’s definition of “pure, safe and beneficial” includes the use of chemicals (that have been approved by strict European government agencies) in order to make them safer and more effective OR is it more important that Arbonne has given baby boomers like me the opportunity to avoid poverty after retirement.

    People will have to decide for themselves. As for me, I’m very grateful for this article because, until today, I had never given any thought to the idea that I could be taking away someone’s “forest” by causing them to focus on the “trees.” That’s a pretty sobering thought.

    • Carolyn Henderson says:

      Not really happy with the negative comments in this blog about Arbonne. It is constantly stressed that it is botanically based with the safest in science. It’s not completely natural and in no way was presented to me that way – ever! It is an awesome alternative to what’s on most store shelves. It’s providing an income to many people were in dead-end jobs and are now making good money and constantly uplifted with praise. I’ve had the healthiest winter season in years using the protein shake, vitamins and immune booster, and that’s saying alot considering I have an auto-immune disease. It has sugar, oh well, the other ingredients are amazing. If you have been approached by pushy salespeople with misinformation – don’t brand the whole company with the same negative brush. I think since Dr. Peter McTraverse joined five years ago, most products have been reformulated and will continue to be. There are so many positives with being carbon-neutral, blind-panel testing, and it’s educating people on harmful ingredients. Take a step back for a minute. I used to be a reporter. So your misinformation is upsetting to me especially since you reach so many people. I really don’t think you tried very hard to confirm your facts before blogging. I used to go THE contact person before reporting something – maybe you should do the same. Dr. McTraverse is very approachable.

      • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

        Hi Carolyn,

        Thank you for your comment. We are currently in talks with people from Arbonne, including Dr. Matravers, and are waiting for their responses to our questions (I believe they have to consult with their legal team before responding) to ensure we are being as clear as possible.

        • Ky-Lee says:

          Meghan,

          That is really cool. Thank you for continuing to look into it. Arbonne has changed my life for the better, so much that I have prevented repeat removal of abnormal cell surgery that was originally excelled from toxification in my food and products. I am an Arbonne Consultant but was very scared of products and spent 5 weeks straight researching every ingredient in Arbonne and compared it to a dozen other “organic” or “with organic ingredient” companies.

          TRANSPARENCY IN ARBONNE
          As many have stated Arbonne does not claim to be 100% Natural and that is ok with me. They have never stated to be Organic and that is ok too because a GMO screening method to me is much more powerful of a mission. In America that really is the purist you can get. Organic is now sadly a buzz word and the laws are not very strict. Arbonne can vouch for their botanical properties and the products are very well formulated and effective, and when you do speak to the company they do avoid chemically treated ingredients.
          Take Avalon Organics for example, good enough company but they aren’t 100% organic certified, they are not vegan certified and I have come across some ingredients that really could be swapped for better options. This is just one company on the market that many think as a pure choice. Arbonne doesn’t call themselves Arbonne Organics, nothing. Everything is very transparent.
          Oh by the way, every rep has quick access to every full ingredient list online for easy pdf download and printing. Ingredients change, this is the best method of distribution. Trust me Arbonne is not very good when it comes to their website – they are not a tech company (can be super annoying!).

          MY STORY
          I am insanely strict with my toxin intake as it was a matter of life and death. Not only were my cells becoming cancerous but my body was screaming in pain through eczema, dandruff, acne, red blotches, dry skin, etc. I wanted only pure things but natural companies are full of animal products, gluten and wheat which were causing all these negative reactions WHICH IN TURN was taking my bodies energy away from repairing my cells to battle cosmetic complications. I got more sick.

          Arbonne? Botanical and Vegan, ok give it a try. Unbelievable results. My skin honest to god has no problems now, none except the occasional pimple. My only focus now is internal and mental health.

          PRODUCT FORMULATION
          In the beginning and still moving forward with Arbonne, I continue to research (hence why I am on your website today). So in the beginning I was scared of certain ingredients but I had to also consider the conversion rates used in the products, how long the products last and where the ingredients lie. Maybe preservation isn’t such a bad thing I thought.
          The first 3 or 4 ingredients make up 90% to 95% of the entire product. The mid section (but there is a lot of mid section here!) is roughly 5% to 8% and the last 5 or so ingredients make up the remainder 1% to 3%.
          Lets take Phenoxyethanol for example. I am not ecstatic that Arbonne uses this but I did my research. Its a plant derived preservative, approved by the EU who ban 1400 harmful ingredients (I fully trust them, no one works as hard as they do for human safety), Arbonne uses less of the amount approved in the formulation of products, and here is the kicker – Arbonne products are botanical based and they last for what seems like forever. Since they last so long, consider 100 or more uses per container. If the entire make of a product has .5% of a potentially harmful chemical what rate is actually touching your skin? And does it have time to absorb before you rinse? It takes 26 seconds for the body to begin absorption and not everything is absorbed down to a cellular level. Not to mention if you are living the Arbonne lifestyle of purity through out your daily life, then your body is strong to detox and is able to detox as it is now paraben, SLS, and petrochemical free (we use zero of these compounds!). Some of these maybe harmful chemicals in Arbonne have been tested in strange circumstances such as moderate exposure over long periods of time on animals. Where as we have a tiny amount that we instantly wash off? Yes still maybe not ideal but preservation is pretty important too. Arbonne does have many products with very short labels and they don’t pose to be anything they aren’t.
          Sea Salt Scrub
          Ingredients: Sea Salt, Carthamus Tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, crambe abyssinica seed oil, passiflora edulis seed oil, passiflora incarnata seed oil, persea gratissima (avacado) oil, sclerocarya birrea seed oil, tocopherol, tocopheryl cetate, citrus medica limonium (lemon) peel oil, coriandrum sativum (coriander) seed oil, musk, rose flower oil, citral, limonene, linalool.

          EWG MIGHT NOT BE RELIABLE
          Also wanted to leave a quick note on ewg.org, so many people here are referencing that site when most naturopaths and doctors (even Facebook bans the linking of that site) have said it is spammy, their % rates are so out there based on random studies and aged facts.

          LABELLING
          The real effort we need to focus on is proper labelling laws such as Australia has. We also need to follow EU standards, not the FDA. And dont trust something simply because it says natural or organic – this doesn’t mean much anymore.
          Do you guys realize that restaurants are the biggest source of chemically treated and GMO’s? If you avoid this in your products but consume it all the while, the purpose is defeated. Your restaurant will say the same thing “we use organic whenever it is readily available”. Take your anger and yell at Monsanto if you really do care. Stop the supplier, then we have nothing to worry about.

          • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

            Hi Ky-Lee, thanks so much for your informed and well-articulated contribution to the discussion!

    • norah says:

      Dear Kerry, thank you for that! It was very heartening to read. It is a life changing organisation and they are hugely proud of that…I have not as yet introduced any baby boomers, but will absolutely consider now!
      Just one thing…your sweet tooth..Im sure you are aware ( but just in case you were not ) that a tin of DIET COKE or any other diet drink has not been near a grain of sugar in its life? Far worse..it is loaded with ASPARTAME. This is the most pernicious, evil “food” additive on the planet. It is linked with obesity, brain seizures, cancers such as , breast cancer, pediatric brain tumours, too name but a few. It is also linked with Gulf War Syndrome and it is in sooo much of our diet. Chewing gum, “no sugar” added soft drinks, weight loss food….vitamins….the list is endless. One of the by products of a ASPARTAME is Formaldehyde which is a deadly toxic chemical to the human system. ASPARTAME was invented as a possible ulcer cure I believe, and the scientist, James Schlatter, running the experiments discovered that it was incredibly sweet! Opportunity struck! My biggest advice to you is to do a little research and share this info with your community. Just google Aspartame and you’ll be shouting from the tree tops! Forgive me if you know already but if just one person reads this who does not know then that could save a life and many more! That good old word of mouth method! Best wishes, Norah Marshall / Arbonne Consultant London Uk

      • Cali says:

        I completely agree with you on the aspartame, its better to have regular soda if you choose to drink soda. I have completely cut it out of my diet, and I used to be addicted to diet soda (3 months without having any soda). Its also in green tea that is already pre-maid, drink mixes etc. So scary in how much stuff this is in. Wish the FDA would ban it from being in products.

  39. jules says:

    Again, another great article exposing “healthwashing”.

    No offence to the previous poster, but after battling health problems for over 20 years, I am so glad to have finally been able to soar high above the trees over what use to me my forest….and see the big picture. Everything used to be so complicated. For every ailment was a band-aid. For every body part an expensive product to make me “beautiful”. For every new fad a health claim.

    Thanks to you, my own research and other bloggers I’ve soared above the forest I used to be lost in. Everything is so simple…so light now. Simple ingredients in the body create health from the inside out. Simple ingredients on the body create beauty from the outside in.

    I don’t use any particular company apart from ordering most of my products online to save money. I simply use the EWG website and buy products within the 0-2 rating.

    I use a $6 honeybee gardens eyeliner and a couple of $10 keeki nail polishes and a bottle of top coat which lasts me all summer. I love my Dr. Bronner, Burt’s bees or Sierra Bees lip balms and some Aubrey’s Organic or Badger tinted lip glosses for special occasions.

    My biggest splurges (after battling an eye rash for months) are a $20 Korres mascara and $18 Korres eye makeup remover from Sephora which last me for a few months.

    My biggest expenses are about $15 a month for my Dr. Bronners or Aubrey Organic hair care products and $7 for my Andalou Naturals, Badger or Burt’s bees lotions/balms which keep my cracked sensitive hands looking like a newborn baby’s bum

    I no longer use anything on my face, except for coconut oil, which is usually put on my face whilst baking….$0 because I use whatever was left on my spatula or spoon.

    I make my own deodorant from 3 safe ingredients…in my kitchen.

    My skin has never been so clear, my hair shiny and my inner beauty so light. Beauty doesn’t have to be complicated.

    • Cali says:

      Just a heads up, I read an article yesterday that Burt’s bees lip balm has lead in it. I completely agree with ou that beauty does not have to be complicated!

      • cali says:

        thanks for the info Greg, I just saw a couple of Burts
        bees lip products on the list and again it was from an article I didn’t research it.

        • Greg says:

          No worries Cali. Been on a big life detoxification kick and my wife loves BBs so I had done the research already. Just wanted to share.

    • Kerry says:

      Absolutely no offense taken, Jules! I’m THRILLED that you have overcome your battle with health problems over the last 20 years. I never care what products people use to get healthy. I just want people to get healthy! :-) I wish you a lifetime of health! ~ Kerry

    • norah says:

      Hi Jules,
      I dont know what your feelings are around this, but just wondered if it concerned you that Sephora are owned / allied with L’Oreal and Korres are allied with Johnson and Johnson. Both companies have terrible records of animal testing and which by any other name is cruelty. It just seems incongruous to me that if one is so into “natural” that one could tolerate the idea that this goes on to provide us with the products we are using. Hardly a natural process, even if we are not directly applying the ingredients or caging the animals ourselves. Just food for thought which might help you review your ethos, particularly if you were not aware. We all love the idea of natural but this needs to be aligned with integrity. By the way, this is also something I really need to review for myself. Thanks for inadvertently waking me up! Best wishes as we all strive to live and eat well…not an easy thing to always achieve with so many cloak and daggers and misinformation! Norah.

      • Cali says:

        I actually have to say that I love Korres products, and my skin has never been so great, I still do like Arbonne products but Korres has worked better on my face and actually has reversed my fine lines that Arbonne RE9 set couldn’t. Sad part is the RE9 set worked for a while and then stopped and my skin was actually getting worse with fine lines.

  40. Cali says:

    I am a new consultant to arbonne and have been questioning it and doing more research. I’m also researching on finding new products that are safe and natural that “actually work”. Thank you so much for this information!

    • Jessica Rinner says:

      Cali, Check out Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. If you like what you see I can send you samples to try! I found them a year ago and love the products so much I signed up to be a consultant!!

    • Kerry says:

      Hi Cali!

      I think it’s awesome that you’re doing research. No one should get involved in building a business with any company before they feel comfortable with the products.

      Before you give up on Arbonne, though, I think it would be helpful if you emailed Dr. Peter Matravers with your concerns. According to his profile in Bloomberg Businessweek, Dr. Matravers came to Arbonne from Aveda and “guides the Product Development and Regulatory teams in creating extraordinary and innovative products. He has more than 25 years of skin care and consumer product development experience and has supported the success of several major name brands. His accomplishments include proprietary ingredient development, creative formulations and new methodologies in product performance testing. He is also the recipient of over 20 U.S. and international patents in these areas. He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.” I’ve heard him speak and I believe he’s brilliant. I give his words much more weight than anything I read on blogs written by people who don’t have his extensive education. He made me realize that there is so much that goes into formulating personal care products and that “natural” does not always mean safe.

      If it makes any difference to you, the founder of the American Anti-Cancer Institute endorsed Arbonne’s products in the second edition of his book, “Killing Cancer – Not People.” I haven’t done research on that organization or read the book, so I don’t know how much validity there is to that. You might want to check into it when you’re doing your research.

      I wish you the best in making a decision that works for you. I decided to join Arbonne 6 years ago and it has been one of the best decisions of my life! :-)

      ~ Kerry

      • Jessica Burman says:

        Why isn’t Arbonne listed on the EWG’s Cosmetic Database? This is the main source for non-toxic brands.

        • Jessica Burman says:

          First of all, the EWG Cosmetic Database is not meaningless. Just look at the comments on this blog for proof of how relevant it is to people. Thousands of people in your target market visit this database every day so I highly doubt Arbonne is dismissing this marketing opportunity on these grounds.

          This ‘doctor’ refers to a higher safety testing program than what the EWG has proposed. I have no idea what he is referring to unless he means the Safe Cosmetic Act in the US which I truly hope Arbonne supports since it will help to regulate the cosmetic industry (much needed). When he refers to testing, is he talking about the regular microbiology testing that all companies put their products through – big or small? See, I’m starting to get the impression that your company is trying to make small personal care companies seem irresponsible to make your mass-produced line look better.

          The doctor states, “Lastly the most important element, EWG/SKIN DEEP/ Safe Cosmetic Compact ingredient evaluation method is bogus, and not scientific” Excuse me? EWG draws all of their information from academic and government sources so what on earth is he talking about? Go to EWG and look at a product, for instance, your Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 (rated a 7 OUCH!) If you click on one of your ingredients, say the oxybenzone, you will see all the data sources i.e. Environment, Cosmetic Ingredient Review, and several academic studies proving it to have serious endocrine-disrupting properties (this is a product you are selling for babies?) This doctor is implying that your internal testing, which he is quite vague about, is superior to the governments, NGOs and universities of the world. Ridiculous. He sounds like more of a spin doctor than anything.

          The truth of the matter is that Arbonne does not sign the compact and does not list their products because they rate poorly on the database.

          To malign one of the most important environmental groups in the US tells me so much about the character of your company. Thanks for the clarity:)

          P.S. The cosmetic safety standards in the EU are better than the US but still not great so I wouldn’t use that as some kind of a selling feature.

          • Greg says:

            I think there is a point that needs clarification here.

            When the Doctor says:

            “Lastly the most important element, EWG/SKIN DEEP/ Safe Cosmetic Compact ingredient evaluation method is bogus, and not scientific”

            What he is saying is technically true. But he is also incorrect. Let me give an example to explain.

            Let’s look at Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) which is found in Arbonne shampoo.

            If you go the the EWS database it is given an 8 on the harmful ingredient list. it’s a bio-toxin, and has been shown to cause cancer in low doses, it breaks down under UV rays into a reproductive toxin, and so on.

            Seems bad so far right. But if you read on you see that it isn’t thought to be persistent or bio-accumulative, it is also see it is used in foods (it is Vitamin A for goodness sake.) and is “Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful”

            It almost seems like there are mixed messages here. How is it possible that you could put something in food that rates an 8/10 in the EWS database?

            The problem is that in large enough Doses, just about everything is bad for you even vitamins. Not only that, but a substance that is perfectly healthy in one biological process is carcinogenic in another.

            A quote from a friend of mine who is a bio-chemist
            “What we can say about vitamin A is that in several systems retinoic acid does stop the individual cell from entering the cell division cycle and promotes differentiation instead. This can be a good thing in the context of cancer as it means the tumor cells stop dividing. This can be a bad thing in the context of cancer if it means the undifferentiated tumor cells start turning into a cell type that promotes the survival of the tumor as the whole.”

            So the reactions of this one compound is so dependant on such a multitude of factors, that the only way you are going to say anything about its effect, is to understand what it is in, and what mechanisms it is interacting with in the body. Retinyl Palmitate may be utterly safe in shampoo which is put on your hair and then almost immediately washed off, while being utterly toxic if used in suntan lotion and baked under UV light all day. What is more, is another substance could aid it’s skin absorption etc.

            EWS does not have the funding or mandate or access to conduct clinical trials on every single cosmetic, and so as the Dr. implies, they use a less than scientific method of classification, and look at the product by use and ingredients, but as we see in our example case, it is an utterly unreliable method of classifying it.

            But. there is a caveat to this and I think Meghan points this out in her article. In such a case, where an ingredient might be perfectly safe, or might be toxic, would you rather a product that has it, or a product that doesn’t? Personally I’ll do without, and this is why the doctor is dead wrong about the data base. Until I can read peer-reviewed data on the clinical trials undertaken on the product, I want to know which products have ingredients that pose a possible toxic risk.

            And if it’s all the same to you, I’ll keep the vitamin A in my carrots not my shampoo. :)

    • Kimberly says:

      I meant pharmaceutical grade aloe vera. Sorry for the typo.

    • Cali says:

      Kimberly – these products have peaked my interest and am going to do some more research and will contact you if I decided to use them. Thanks for the info :)

  41. Kerry says:

    Hi, Jessica!

    I just relayed information that made a lot of sense to me. Obviously, you feel very strongly about this topic and should probably get your information from someone who is more knowledgeable than me.
    My own view about the EWG was formed before Dr. Matravers ever joined the company. I used that organization as a source of information until I saw that they listed products from Arbonne that I’d never even heard of. I sent them an email letting them know that those products were no longer available. I think it was two years before they ever updated the old information.

    As far as oxybenzone, here is some information that might ease your mind about Arbonne’s baby sunscreen: “Oxybenzone has made the news recently with sensationalized reports claiming that it is not safe and should not be used as a sunscreen. Yet scientific studies have proven otherwise. The Skin Cancer Foundation ─ an international organization devoted solely to education, prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment of skin cancer ─ released a statement about the safety and effectiveness of oxybenzone: ‘Oxybenzone underwent extensive review and was approved by the FDA for its current use in sunscreens. It has been available in the US for more than 20 years and there is no evidence that it has any serious side effects in humans.’ ”

    I realize that there is certainly no black and white in anything and a person will be able to find studies that contradict the FDA and Skin Cancer Foundation. We all have differing opinions, Jessica. I certainly didn’t mean to make you so angry or slam an organization that you feel so strongly about. (But it is kind of ironic that you feel it’s okay to slam a company that I feel very strongly about.) I thought you were asking an innocent question and I replied with the information available to me.

    My apologies! ~ Kerry

    • Jessica Burman says:

      Oxybenzone is not known to cause skin cancer so its approval by the Skin Care Foundation is irrelevant. It is considered an endocrine disruptor by the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption. It is persistent, bioaccumulative and eco-toxic. It is responsible for killing coral reef all over the world by bleaching the algae! You would not be able to bring this sunscreen into a protected area.

      And yes, I am very passionate about the EWG. I am a compact signer with champion status and I believe in what they do as an organization.

  42. Kelly Martin says:

    Meghan – Is there a way we can email back and forth – I am an Arbonne Consultant, live in the US, have a doctorate in Pharmacotherapeutics, minors in nutrition and chemistry and have the information I believe you would like – I have been going around and around with corporate about disclosing the package labels for anyone to access for the ingredients and I believe I have a unique perspective on the Arbonne products – I would like to be honest and transparent with you but not the entire blogasphere….lol. Looking forward to your response.

    Dr. Kelly Martin, Pharm.D.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for your comment! We are currently in contact with Arbonne and are waiting for their answers to some follow up questions (I believe they are checking with their legal team before responding). If you have anything to add to the discussion you are welcome to email hello@meghantelpner.com :)

    • Lucy says:

      Hi Dr Martin,
      I’m a relatively new consultant in the UK. As far as I’m concerned the products actually work and are as safe as a product can be without making it with plants from your garden in your own kitchen. I have obviously been doing lots of research and go to every training I can! I would love to email you about your view point. I’ve met a lot of doctors on this side of the Atlantic who are passionate about their Arbonne businesses, would be great to get your opinion too!
      lucygrainger.arbonne@gmail.com

  43. Chantal says:

    I agree about the CONFUSION even on websites that rate cosmetics products for the already ill-informed consumers. For having been in the industry myself trying to market an “honest to goodness” skin care line, here are some FACTS not a whole lot of people know or will divulge: 1. the cosmetic industry is not properly legislated to fully protect the consumer. 2. FDA or Health Canada have no time to even prosecute the BIG bad companies that pollute or sell neurotoxic baby shampoos and cancer causing skin care, but will find time to impose long and costly procedures for good natural products…why is that ? Because BIG beauty companies have more money to lobby for laws that will protect them instead of the consumer. Even EWG (skin deep data base) is an NGO’s initiative to help the consumer find some truth. My simple advice…1. read the LABEL 2. go for a 100% natural ingredients list (no fillers, chemical preservative..etc) 3. search for products your skin will actually use (food for skin: oils, butters, essentials oils) 4. buy creams in airless pumps and waterless if you can find them…remember… the more water content, air and fingers exposure..the more companies HAVE to put preservatives. Visit dermecology.com

  44. Nisha says:

    Thank you so much for this blog and the discussion it has provoked. As a new Arbonne consultant, I too had the same concerns about odd ingredients after I joined (pure, safe beneficial?). Yes, the products worked, and did what they claimed to do – but all this internet research left me confused, and wondering if I should quit.

    However, as you say, Meghan, we consultants have a unique opportunity to change this company from the ground up – if we want to. Arbonne has set up a site called the Source, in which consultants can directly ask questions of the head office team. The higher-ups are actively seeking feedback and requesting suggestions from the consultants, and they respond to every comment. Arbonne consultants – if you want something (or don’t want something, such as GMOs) ASK, and if enough of us ask, we shall receive!

    I posted a question regarding availability of ingredient lists for every product on the consumer site (as did about 10 others), and they replied that this is something they are working on as they upgrade the website. Ingredient lists should be visible later this summer for all to see.

    Despite the occasional ambivalent ingredient (which I asked about, and received satisfactory answers for), I decided to stick with the company. I am proud to be associated with Arbonne because of its commitment to its people. It listens to its consultants; it respects and values their opinions.

    In the end, feeling supported and empowered is probably much better for your health than the worry and stress over miniscule amounts of whatever is in your food or beauty products. So let’s enjoy our products, whatever they are, for the pleasure they bring us (yes, I adore Living Libations too). Belief is a powerful thing…

    (see “the Roseto effect” on uic.edu website for how people-support trumps toxin-avoidance for good health)

  45. April says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I have recently agreed to become an Arbonne consultant, but it was after much research into the company practices, ingredients used, and after investigating at least 20 other brands of beauty companies’ products (I have purchased nearly all of them at some point so just had to open my bathroom cabinet) with “natural” or “organic” somewhere around their name. What I found is that they all use preservatives in some form, and none are actually all pure or all natural. I come from a very holistic background, where I literally just used coconut oil and olive oil on my face and body, so was hesitant to make the switch in any way. That being said, my skin was moisturized, but still getting wrinkly, blotchy, and saggy. In using Arbonne, I am getting the results I want, without wearing the rose colored glasses of believing that this is exactly as safe and natural as say, olive oil. What I like about Arbonne especially is that they are constantly sifting out the not so safe ingredients for ones that are more safe. In addition, they are also switching to ingredients that are more sustainable. They are still using some palm oil derivatives, which angers me, but are searching for replacements, which I like. By being involved and providing feedback to the company, in addition to education to the regular population, I feel like I am actually in a very good position to help promote positive change for our environment and for our health. So no, I won’t be promoting their sunscreen products just yet, but am confident that very soon, the necessary changes will be made where I can confidently promote them.

    • Nisha says:

      Hi April –
      I did post a reply to the original article but it never appeared. I also just started Arbonne, for exactly the same reasons. I used to be a coconut oil, pure shea butter type, but was still getting skin issues. I even tried the raw diet for a while! With Arbonne, I am finally seeing improvement. I do not promote the sunscreens either (though I will use one only when I am going to be in the water outdoors for a long time). In the meanwhile, I keep asking the hard questions at the Source website, and hopefully that will trigger others to do the same, and eventually get the message across that we want something that is truly safe.
      I think we can be holisitcally inclined and still be Arbonne consultants. The aim is to be conscious of what we do, always, and recommend products according to what will benefit each person (not always our pocketbooks). Nothing is inherently evil in this world – just depends on how it’s used.

  46. Barbara Beaty says:

    This blog references the Environmental Working Group and the Skin Deep Database. I believe it’s important for readers to understand that neither are based on solid science. I recommend that readers go to personalcaretruth.com to get the FULL TRUTH

  47. Greta says:

    Even though this blog seems to be an Arbonne “hit-list”, I have enjoyed using the products for 6 months now. My skin has never ever looked so young and felt so great. I LOVE the products. Whatever your concerns are, aren’t most women after the vanity that products produce? How you look? I would say so more than the health reasons. I mean, why do you lay out in the sun or in tanning beds when you know you can easily get cancer? Come on now!!! Let’s get real ladies and stop bashing Arbonne. I’m sure you are doing other things that are dangerous to your healthy being!!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Laying in the real sunshine and in a tanning bed can’t really be compared. That’s like comparing whole eggs and cartoned egg whites.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      The point is to be able to make informed choices- that is the sole purpose of what is shared here. Many of the readers of my blog are here because they are seeking safe options to promote their health.

  48. Trina says:

    The sun is actually good for you Greta. You used a bad comparison. It is the overuse of sunscreen that isn’t too healthy. ARbonne sunscreen has too many chemicals. I use the sun products by living Libations. It’s from Canada and it’s amazing. The sun gives you natural Vit D and prevents depression

  49. Megan P says:

    By the way – Meghan! – I am SOOOOO looking forward to hearing what Peter Matravers writes you!! He is like a “little Buddha” – to meet him, he’s a cute little elvish guy with the most infectious smile you’ll ever meet! Talk about someone who lives in his Inner Child!!

  50. susan picano says:

    I fell into the trap and became a consultant. I wanted to try out the shakes and tea and when it took me 2 weeks and a very annoyed response from somebody in the company to get an ingredients list I lost my interest. What was I looking for? To find out if there were treenut ingredients as my daughter has a treenut allergy. I received replies that were guesses, the lingo, but no list and no specific allergen ingredient list. As time went on I researched further and found what you found. Quite honestly, I wash my face with unrefined honey now and get much better results, much faster than I ever did with the RE9 that seemed to burn most of my customers faces….. I say look to your kitchen, stow your money away and enjoy the benefits of what nature has to offer!

  51. Jessica Fairclough says:

    I am sad to read your article because you clearly asked one consultant who was not qualified to answer your questions. I do want you to know that Arbonne tests all of their ingredients to ensure that there are not Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in any of our products.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I have actually spoken with many reps and have been in touch with and communicated directly with the top of the pyramid at Arbonne. I also called and recorded conversations with Arbonne Customer Service team. Unfortunately, I am unable to share those recordings as Arbonne would not give me permission. As well, they would not conduct an audio interview without first being able to vet my questions with their legal team. The questions I sent to them in writing, went through their legal team and therefore their answers were distilled down into public relations form responses. They were unable to confirm that all of their products are GMO free, and they are not organic (though one rep who emailed me insisted they are). Arbonne even sent me a package of products, without ingredients accompanying them which prove my point further. Any brand that is so secretive about the contents of their product are not going to have a place on my skin or in my body.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Neither the customer service reps I spoke with nor the company executives could confirm the GMO status of their products.

  52. Marian Alderson says:

    Great Blog… I too have always been leary about ARBONNE…. not a good feeling from the reps….however, I too am with a dirct sales company – BEAUTICONTROL – we fall under the TUPPERWARE business umbrella as of 13 years ago. Arbonne approached Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware at least five times and finally Mr. Goings told them not to come back and that Tupperware was not interested in buying them… Tuppeware did not like their sales force nor the claim of all natural…. I’m sure there is more, however, we weren’t priviledged to that information… To me, ALL NATURAL is a apple that is peeled on kitchen counter then stored in refrigerator – that is ALL NATURAL…

  53. Maldon fairy says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for this blog, I recently was approached by an Arbonne rep as I rent a room as a beautician in the gym she attends. My back was up straightaway as hate these companies and I should have used my instinct & said no thank you straight away but instead thought what the hell, as she was giving me free products to try. Needless to say I’m glad I tried these products on myself first because after 2 days of using the RE9 range I had an allergic reaction, my skin on my face came out in a terrible rash & my eyes were swollen. I have just contacted the rep to tell her about this & due to this reason I would not be happy to use the range on myself or client. The reaction I got was not surprising from someone who is not in the beauty industry ” the products are for sensitive skin maybe that’s not for you I’ll give you some more products”.
    Note to self stick with your instinct!

  54. Carole says:

    Hello Meghan,
    Thanks for your article. Would you thing the same of Doterra which is briefly mentioned?
    Thank you,

  55. Ashley says:

    I hate seeing their reps on social media. The amount of money they spend on these reps is insane! Mercedes Benz and lavish getaways! No wonder their products are so dang expensive, your paying for their reps trip to Hawaii!

  56. Tanya says:

    Loved this article ❤️ I was once an Arbonne consultant(pressures in very aggressively) But no longer am. I was always a little skeptical Of their claims. Thank you for the information as I have been trying to decide wether I wanted to purchase more products for myself. It’s so hard to know what products and brands to trust.

  57. Lizzie says:

    I appreciate this. I did the Arbonne healthy eating challenge to try to get help with my autoimmune diseases. I was so excited that my consultant claimed I’d be well in 30 days. I was doing the shakes, their probiotic, and detox tea as that was all the money they could suck out of a very sick woman desperate to be better and on a disability income. I liked the clean eating ideas, but found when my money ran out for their super overpriced products, I kept to eating clean, but without Arbonne products. I started to feel slightly better, but looked at the protein powder that contains SUGAR!! Arbonne says no sugar. That’s a little ironic. My Arbonne consultant claimed to be a nutritionist (which I think she has the education for), but she sold herself as a nutritionist, not a sales rep. When I had some serious dietary questions, she disappeared as I wasn’t interested in products anymore. Nonetheless, I feel like a fool for believing the hype and now I’m stuck finding a real nutritionist who can help with my autoimmune diseases after spending hundreds of dollars I didn’t have on sugary drinks that probably made me worse not better.
    Thanks for your post and glad to know I’m not alone in realizing the hypocrisy!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you for sharing, Lizzie, and I’m happy that you found this post helpful. Please don’t be too hard on yourself for getting caught up in the hype, as it happens to the best of us. The important thing is you have the knowledge now to eat healthfully with whole food ingredients and can move forward doing what is best for you. I wish you good health!

  58. Maurita says:

    I throughly enjoyed this article as I have s coworker who sells Arbonne and approached me. However I declined as I use Rodan and Fields. I would be greatly interested in a review of Rodan and Fields like you did for Arbonne.

    Maurita Heemeryck
    Ardrossan Alberta Canada

  59. Alexa says:

    Wow! I just heard about and was considering this company. Someone else recommended Plexus. Have you had any experience with this brand?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I haven’t heard of Plexus before. I’d recommend checking out the ingredients of their products and use some of the criteria I’ve discussed in this post as a guide to whether or not it’s something you want to buy!

  60. Melanie says:

    Hi thanks for this article, I’ve been to a few pushy parties, and the reps know very little. For example they were pushing the spf cc cream, but couldn’t tell me if it was broad spectrum.
    Also they were pushing the fizz sticks like crazy. When I looked at the I gredients, and one which hasn’t been listed on their website, it contains nicotinide. Seriously?!? I appreciate this comes from a plant but not exactly healthy is it?
    My husband does Facial aesthetics and they’re always after him to sell their products, which he refuses to do. He did his research using a website called beautypedia.com where scientists look at the ingredients, and Arbonne is slated. Yes it uses a lot of plant based products, but the scientists were baffled as to why so many skin irritants were put into their products purely because they were ‘natural’

  61. Jeff says:

    Can’t help but laugh at some of the hate you’re receiving. I know a few Arbonne reps, and it just feels like a slimy business the way they try to promote their products as better than the competition (not to mention trying to sign you up as a consultant). Keep up the good work in exposing the sham that this really is!

  62. Hallie says:

    Megan, thanks for your words as you consolidated some important points for me to use when i must decline (quite often) the imploring of a friend to be a host, buy, become a consultant.
    I particularly like “Most of the chemicals we are exposed to daily were once plants that have been stripped down and refined to such an extreme as to evolve into a science-based synthetic chemical,…. the combined toxicity of which is not known, not tested, and not harmless” and ill add not inexpensive😊 ~Halle

  63. Zoubisous says:

    @Ashley – I would not take any of that on face value. For starters they have to pay for travel to those holiday. I happen to know an Arbonne rep who is quite high up in the network in Europe and the price of flights to the destination is not included – it costs a fair whack to get there in the first place and if you don’t want to go your upline will try to bully you into submission because you have to display wealth and achievement to your downline. True story. Re the car: you have to earn a certain number of points to get that Merc and it’s a lease in *your* name that Arbonne pays. If you fail to make the points, they stop paying and you have a leased car that you have to pay for (or whatever is remaining on the lease. Not exactly *free* . Here is more detail on how it works:
    https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/why-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-free-mlm-car/

  64. Allyson says:

    Hi Melanie,

    Nicotinamide is the chemical name of Vitamin B3. It is not nicotine, which I assume is where your concern comes from.

    Allyson

  65. Kent Scheer says:

    Thanks for your evaluation…clearly honesty in promotion and formulation is the only gauge for any company. However, even more fundamental is this…anything that begins with a pyramid scheme relying upon people to pitch for support primarily from friends and family is simply belittling. That is making people weak rather than strong.

  66. Dina says:

    With all the research that you do with the companies which company can recommend that has zero chemicals in it that is safe to use? Thank you

  67. Jill says:

    thank you thank you thank you Meghan. I have no experience with the cosmetic side of Arbonne but a good friend talked me into doing the 30 day cleanse and when my stuff arrived I was shocked at the ingredients – the twice a day shake had quite a bit of added sugar in it and those fizz sticks!! I didn’t like the fizz sticks so I gave them to my husband. He had one the next morning and reported that they made him feel jittery, shaky, and awful because of all the caffeine. The good news is I was able to send it back and get my money back. And the ‘cleanse’ part in the middle seems all about (temporarily) losing a few pounds. Overall I was really disappointed and did not feel the 30 day cleanse was about health and feeling good in the way that it was advertised.

  68. Melissa says:

    I cam across this by looking for ingredients. Last time I looked I couldn’t find any. I was to say thank you for this post, I hope it continues to go around and people realize how good it really isnt. Let me share a story with you. 3 years ago my daughter tried a face cream. Her skin was always beautiful so I dont know why she attempted it, the next day after using their product she had a horrible chemical burn on her face, as the days and weeks went on she started peeling and breaking out horribly. She had to get a prescription for it and is also on anti depressants now. 3 years later and she can not apply anything to her face without those exact spots breaking out. When we emailed the company we got no apology just a ” take it up with the person who gave you the cream” no care for their consultants. My husband ended up calling them, told them we arent looking for anything we just want them to check the batch since it’s supposed to be plant based yet our daughter has a burn on her face. I even told them I can send pictures, their response to my husband. ” have fun fighting our lawyers in court” no care for their customers at all. Couldn’t be more disgusted with a company

  69. Bianca says:

    Some of the older formulas from 3 yrs ago do contain irritants. I use some of their products and they work fine. Their products on general are overpriced. I do wear their blush daily as it’s talc free and I like some of their other cosmetics.

  70. Allison says:

    Thank you for the article. I have been target by Arbonne and this is helpful to know.
    Now I’m receiving videos containing Dr Tanda Cook? A lady I’m struggling to find any info about on the net, unless it’s Arbonne related. Is she a real DR and does she come from a medical back ground?
    It wouldn’t be the first time the word Doctor would be used to make the gullible (me) believe they are, as in the UK you have to hold a qualification to be a Doctor.
    I’m looking for natural, vegan nutrition products to use in business. At first Arbonne looked ideal. Thank you Ali

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Allison. I’m glad you found this article useful. I am not familiar with Tanda Cook, though a quick google search tells me she is a naturopath. If you’re looking to learn more about her, it’s helpful to visit her website, where you can then decide whether she is credible for you.

  71. Barbi says:

    I love this post!! One of my dearest friends has jumped head first into Arbonne and as brilliant as she is she’s bought the bait and I struggle trying to educate her on why it’s important to read ingredients lists. I’ve been a journalist for years and my two of my beats were health & fitness, and the environment so I have an arsenal of information but she’s headstrong and like most MLMers (I’ve had many in my family) can be evangelical about their company. I’m relieved to find a very well sourced, honest and helpful blog/website regarding Arbonne. Like you I’ve had to dig deep and wide to find anything not tied to the company or a rep. My original and biggest complaint was that their ingredient list for the protein shakes LOOKS innocuous at first glance, but when you see the first five or six ingredients are in parentheses thus creating the FIRST actual ingredient and the actual second is sugar, I was floored! Especially since she’s touting the shakes and diet as avoiding sugar! Hopefully, with the help of your blog I can encourage her to ask the tough questions and demand Arbonne to do better and live up to their claims.

  72. Jenn says:

    Thank you for this 🙏🏻 I had signed up as a consultant years ago and tried to get ingredient lists for my clients, it was SUPER difficult and being somewhat knowledgeable, I didn’t love what I found. I’m so with you, if they could up their game in terms of ingredients they could effect global change. I would love it if you could do something similar for Melaleuca, I haven’t researched them but had difficulty getting ingredient lists from one of their consultants. Their big selling point is how green they are.

  73. Alanna says:

    Thank you for sharing this information!! I always wondered how “natural” this company was. Keep up the great work! Love your blog.

  74. Kelsey Smith says:

    I have been drinking Arbonne Chocolate Protein for a while now and have always wondered why it stuns my speech and I can’t talk after. I got curious this evening and read your blog and wow 😳 i will be looking for a new protein powder!

  75. Amie E. says:

    Thank you for this article! Answered all my questions! I try to make fully conscious choices of what products I use and couldn’t get a true grasp of what Arbonne was about as there are a ton of reps in my area.

  76. Rachael says:

    Hi Megan,

    Really in-depth post about Arbonne’s claim to be pure. I’ve been trying to find this sort of information as well and haven’t had much luck, so thank you for this information!

    However, I would encourage you to do a bit more research into MLMs (multi-level marketing). Essentially, they are a pyramid scheme, just with extra steps. The main difference between the two is that an actual pyramid scheme doesn’t have a product, but MLMs do. They also make the majority of their money off their sellers, not an outside consumer as the “wholesale” price for the sellers is typically already marked up by around 20%.

    You say that you don’t have a problem with Arbonne as a company but they have misdirected, lied, and attempted to cover up the “purity” of their products. They also claim to be a company with truth, transparency, and integrity but the earnings they report on their website are not true profit (revenue less expenses) but only the revenue. It does not include how much each Arbonne seller spent on actually selling the products (like if they’re buying from themselves). Sellers frequently go into debt trying to keep up with necessary quota to keep their “wholesale” discount and rarely sell to outside consumers as the market is completely over-saturated with their 250,000 consultants.

    MLMs (including Arbonne) also use training techniques that tell their sellers, “If you try hard enough, you WILL succeed. You just have to TRY!”. If the seller isn’t succeeding, it’s ‘obviously’ because they just aren’t trying hard enough. This causes sellers to continue going into debt because they just need to try harder, do a better job, post more on social media, etc. The more money sellers “invest” into these companies, the harder it is to get out (look into the sunk cost fallacy) and the failure is blamed completely on the seller.

    MLMs are predatory and manipulative “businesses” where the only way to make money is if you’re near the top (maybe the top of a pyramid?). It is not empowering and is completely unethical.

    If you’re interested in learning more, I highly suggest the podcast, “The Dream”, as it gives a pretty good overview of the history, legality, and psychology of MLMs.

    As a side note, I want to point out that I don’t think sellers are inherently bad people. I think they’re victims that got caught up in the promise of wealth and happiness, only to benefit those on top, and the last thing I want is more victims while those on top grow increasingly richer off the losses of those underneath them.

    Hope you take this all into consideration and do some further research as well.

  77. Anna says:

    I feel really sad about this, I literally only had a meeting with someone wanting to recruit me as a seller last night.
    I was quite excited at the thought of selling a good quality product that I would enjoy using myself.
    But now I would just be doing it for the money, rather than actually believing in what I am selling.
    This sucks.

  78. Danni says:

    Hi
    Thank you for this article. After having used Arbonne for a few years, because it didn’t irritate my skin and the colour was perfect and the catalogue was claiming that the products were vegan and organic and free from chemicals.
    I found it odd last year that their liquid foundations were temporarily unavailable to purchase from their websites, only to find when I finally could order, it arrived in new packaging and the foundation change. It smells chemical, feels like chemicals on the skin and is runny, no longer lasting all day and slides off the face.

    Looking for answers on their ingredients I’m glad to had found your website. Unfortunately, they won’t have their old formula for the liquid foundation present on the website for comparison.

    D

  79. Pat Powers says:

    I am a consultant with Arbonne for 4 yrs, and this is not a pyramid scheme, anyone can surpass the person above them, or work beside them. I am that person moving forward from my consultant who I signed up under. I really don’t think you really have up to date facts. I also use the new foundation, haven’t had any issues with it sliding off my face. In fact I apply @ 7:30 am and take off @ 10:30 pm , I can actually say I do not need to reapply. Just some valid information on your thoughts.

  80. Kaii says:

    Thank you so much. Was approached by a rep and had a meeting this morning. I’m so glad you’ve done this research and published this article, otherwise I’d probably be enthusiastically selling this stuff and believing what I’d been told!

    Thank you

  81. Leone Wilson says:

    love this! I knew it was probably dodgy stuff, but found it hard to find enough information to decide

  82. Akia says:

    I was recently contacted by a consultant, seeking to enlarge her team. She was very polite and pleasant to speak with, but even so, instinct told me that I was being groomed for something that was not exactly for my benefit. Throughout our conversation I was asked various questions: did I like products? Would I like to make extra ‘passive’ earnings? And various assumptions were made, including the holding of parties in my house, and involvement of grown up children? Now, I have to say, I am fascinated by all of this, especially the way women get tempted by it all. This consultant then discovered my lack of suitability as a good ‘prospect’- as I’m not remotely interested in ‘products’ to assist me to live my life or boost my appearance – I haven’t got the time nor inclination – I’m too busy doing other things and generally speaking, I’m satisfied with how I look. But…it’s always interesting to know about what’s going on in the world about me, and so, was willing to listen to her. But only listen, with no intention of signing up. At the end of our discussion, we agreed I wasn’t a ‘good fit.’ I wished her well with her aim to gather together new members into her team, but was left wondering as to why women buy into a stance that insists we MUST have a certain look, otherwise without it, we’re not attractive enough. Are we really so insecure about our presentation that we’re so easily sucked into this way of thinking? So much so, feeling happy with our appearance, or even ourselves becomes dependent on what creams or lotions or foodstuffs are marketed? Isn’t it sad that vast amounts of profit can be collected just by simply making women insecure about themselves? Why on earth do we sign up for this?

  83. Jackie says:

    Your article was very informative. Thank you!

  84. Brian Kay says:

    What a terrific article, Meghan!

    I am being pursued by Arbonne, but may consider Mary Kay instead after reading this article.

    I am a mental health therapist by trade, but believe I would excell selling or building a side business because I connect and understand women better than most men.

  85. Geeky Healthy says:

    Hi Meghan,
    I heard about Arbonne about 10 yrs ago and always loved their products. I only joined recently them last month, but I love to always look at both sides / different opinions (currently researching about the debate between vegan vs. carnivore diets). I absolutely agree that all companies should list their ingredients for the public to make an informed decision 100% :)

  86. Gretchen says:

    Great read! Have a close friend who has done very well in this business but not sure if she truly has taken the time to investigate exactly what she is selling to others and promoting as ‘pure’. Unfortunate that this company masks this information to make a quick dollar and sell a lifestyle based on non-truths.

  87. Sara Bradford says:

    I’m always so grateful for what you bring to light. Back when your first article came up I was delighted but too afraid to share very far and wide because SO MANY WOMEN in my community were convinced, at the time, that Arbonne was changing their lives. (They’ve all since when back to regular jobs.)
    I knew their claims were full of holes because I had to get a consultant to “sneak” an ingredient list to me of their protein powder (which i was horrified to read). I was running nutrition food programs online at the time, and was being challenged by Arbonne consultants attempting to do the same with these products.
    I was supportive of women in business. I bought the shampoo — it made my hair fall out in chunks. (Not even kidding.) I bought the baby cream — I broke out in a rash. The list doesn’t stop there… but I will. (The point is their products aren’t “pure”.)
    My biggest issue with any multi-level-marketing company is that in the end it does NOT empower women. It steals their money as they must continue to purchase sub-par products in order to keep our their selling status, or while they are buying starter kits, etc. I believe these companies make ALL of their money from their “consultants”.
    I’ve been a hard-working, small business owner a long time, and it also infuriates me when they say they’ve “started their own business”. Argh.
    Anyway, I’m not afraid to say how I feel about Arbonne anymore. I loved that you came back with a follow-up article. Thank you for all you do. xo

  88. Alex Maggy says:

    Take this from someone who just left Mary Kay, You will be better off with Arbonne. And I was a Sales Director With a Car.

  89. Jennifer A. says:

    I highly enjoyed your article because when I did a Google search for Arbonne 30 Day Challenge, all I could seem to find was positive articles from people who tried it stating almost the same cookie cutter story over, over again. Most of these people were Arbonne consultants that sounded brainwashed by the product and misinformed. I appreciate your honesty and the fact you took time to do your research to give another view of this diet plan. It’s like, “DUH! Of course you’re going to lose weight when you’re pretty much living off a liquid diet!” However, is this really that healthy for you in the end? I question how addicting this plan could be in a bad way because of how easy it is for a person to lose weight. Then I see people taking this product while pregnant and giving it to their kids, which leaves me feeling more concerned because your baby and child need extra calories in their diet. I will surely be doing more research on this whole thing and I actually have the product at home to try, but have yet to even open the package. It’s a shame how certain words are misused to sell something and how quickly a lot of humans fall for it; I’m even guilty of this too.

  90. Zee says:

    I actually became an Arbonne consultant the end of last month. Even after a month of researching if the company was safe and beneficial for me before joining(income-wise), I see I haven’t done enough research. I actually came across this link after watching a video on mica mines and children workers. I wanted to see if Arbonne uses mica in their products, they do. The question is, how is the mineral resourced for the company?
    Since I am already an consultant, I will try my best to get answers and encourage integrity for the company. The company looks better than most, I pray and hope for it to be more integral and legit all around as it states. As stated in this article, we can push worldwide change for the beauty and nutritional industry. We just have to stand for the right cause and not be silent.
    Thank you so much for your research and dedication.

  91. Cindy Green says:

    If you want to lose weight quickly this does work. I am not and never will be a consultant but know 2 people who lost a lot of weight within a month. If I were to do the Arbonne 30 day program I would take a multi-vitamin. I would only do this for 1 or 2 months to get a good start and switch to just eating healthy. They were never hungry and had a lot of energy. People are always looking for a “quick” fix and there really isn’t any.

  92. Linda Soder says:

    First off, I am a new Arbonne Consultant. I was recommended by my health coach to try the 30-day detox. The protein powder does have vitamins and minerals and keeps me satisfied. Other marketed protein powders were just too chalky and didn’t provide the energy or keep me from craving foods. I’ve learned to eat clean and don’t crave sodas, candy bars, etc.

  93. Shawna Korgan says:

    Hi Megan, I would love to know what accredited 4 year college you received your degree in nutrition in? Always looking to continue my education – I have a degree in exercise physiology and have been in the fitness industry for over 20 years, own a wellness center, etc. Thanks!

  94. Katelyn says:

    I’m a newer Arbonne consultant of two months and it took me a month to see past the BS and the brainwashing. Still upset with myself for not seeing it sooner! I’ve been using the RE9 Advanced Set myself for almost 2 months and my skin hasn’t changed for the better but for the worse…breakouts are worse and I also feel that my forehead lines are worse than when I had a very simple regimen. And I’m not in love with the nutrition products at all. I cannot in good faith sell this stuff to others when I don’t love it, but am constantly “encouraged” to keep messaging people over and over. If people were interested then they would message me! I am ashamed to say I fell for it for a month and did message a lot of people within that time along with constantly posting on my social media platforms. The major point of realization for me was when a lady posted in the 30 Days to Healthy Living group that she had lost 17 pounds in SEVEN days!! Instead of seeming concerned that she had lost an extremely unhealthy amount of weight so quickly, all of the consultants were congratulating her and people wanted to know how she did it. I was stunned! I’ve found several sources including your blog post in the last few days doing more research that I should have done before I joined… I did a little research but definitely not enough. Thank you for this article!

  95. Joanne Stevely says:

    Megan: I don’t know who you are, but you should be working for the FDA; you are a breath of fresh air. People really want to purchase healthy products, however, are misled most of the time. Thank you for your information. Joanne

  96. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for your review!!

    I had been gifted a ABC baby package. The more I use it on my babies, the dryer their skin gets. I found they both have extremely dry patches all over their body since using the products and cream simply doesn’t help.

  97. cla says:

    oh dear I have a friend who insists on selling me this stuff and joining. First of all, it is a fortune. For the price of one moisturiser I buy the entire line of my “The ordinary” skincare which actually works. It is annoying when friendships are reignited or lost because of this type of network marketing companies.

  98. Tamara Hollis says:

    I am searching for a great skin care line for women in their 40s. In your extensive research have you found one to be better than others?

  99. Molly says:

    Hi! I came across your post when researching Arbonne products. Do you have a skin care/makeup brand that you would recommend? I am so overwhelmed trying to research all these different products that claim to be “natural”.

  100. Kady says:

    It’s like babyganics! Read the fine print. Nothing is organic in the product.

  101. Mary says:

    I wish I read your article before I became a consultant a few years ago. I was so naive and so desperate to lose weight that I didn’t question anything. I heard there was just a small fee to join, then suddenly my inbox consisted of products I never would even use and paid a whopping $390 on my initial sign up. I constantly felt bullied to host more parties and I had to buy my own products and let others borrow it so they can sample it and want to buy their own. The rep who was in charge of my district called me cheap for not wanting to buy the entire anti aging skincare line. I was 29 at the time and did not need that much accesive use of an anti aging line. But she insisted it’s more professional. It’s been more than 2 years and I still have a drawer full of Arbonne products I’ve never even used.

    I’m not going to lie that the detox program helped me lose weight and I very much enjoyed the fizz sticks and didn’t really care what was in it , I just wanted to lose weight fast. But it wasn’t necessary for me to buy the ENTIRE detox kit. I asked to buy just what I needed and I was told , no it comes in a packages. Only to find out that’s a lie and I could have easily purchased the individual products that I was interested in.

    I threw away 2 large bags of protein powder because it expired . And the rest I donated for free to others even though I paid over $80 a bag.

    I’ve spent way too much money as a “consultant” I remember I spent close to $700 my first 3 months. I was stressed out so I quit selling but till this day get contacted to come back , omg you’re missing out on all the fun. No thanks

  102. Jamie McQuirter says:

    I really appreciate and respect the time that you put into your article, however, I really believe that you gravely misjudged our company, and even though you did in fact interview, it is clear that not all the facts are crystal clear, being that in the first 5 minutes of reading I found multiple statements that are fundamentally untrue. It hurts me that a company that has done so much for me is being chastised and I hope more research can be done in the future to better acquire facts.

  103. Stephenie Bowker says:

    Thanks for this article. I just saved my daughter from selling it. I was wondering if you did research on Optavia? What do think about their program or rather ingredients?
    Thank you

  104. Megs says:

    Thanks for doing a thorough job on this product range… Though I just really wanna consume some weight loss stuff, (not sell) LOL! x

  105. Anne-Marie Cat says:

    Great article! I stumbled upon it by accident, as I was searching for the discontinued Arbonne sunscreen ingredient list… You’re right, your page does show up on top!
    One thing though, it’s a bit of an overstatement to say that “genetically modified crops require more chemicals to grow and sustain”. While it is true for some crops, it is actually the opposite for others, who have been made resistant to pest, hence not needing as much chemicals as the natural version. I’m sure an agronomist could help you dig on that subject.
    But still, good read!

  106. Leticia Martinez says:

    I appreciate the information and will continue to research about this and other products before buying and using them.
    Thank you.

  107. Sophie Jackson says:

    Just came across your article when I googled Arbonne, unfortunately I was stung by this company few years ago, I spent over £600 on the products, whole box of them used less than half, gave it threw most of it away, it was only when my mum expressed her concern about this consultancy role I was going to do that it confirmed to me that I didn’t want to do it at all and couldn’t refund the products even though I hadn’t used any of them at that point, the whole experience made me feel very uncomfortable especially when I knew I had host ‘parties’ in order to sell the products which I had no idea about. I have never had any experience working in sales which made it even worse. I had a feeling Arbonne products aren’t “pure and natural” as they’re making out to be, I really appreciated reading this article which confirmed this to me.

  108. Lois Arbuckle says:

    My granddaughter became an Arbonne consultant in December, 2018. She is married and the mother of a 2 and 1/2 year old child. She is totally absorbed with Arbonne and convinced that their products have been a panacea to cure any mental or physical problems she may have. I personally feel that she has been drawn into a cult-like situation and will waste her money and tme.

  109. Rebecca lazar says:

    Fantastic article, Meghan! I was using Arbonnes fizz sticks and pre/post workout supplements for a few weeks (their salespeople are really good) until I came to the same conclusion…..not to mention how ridiculously pricey the products are given the small amounts of beneficial ingredients in them. Post workout supplement at $4 a packet for what is essentially BCAA and sugar? I can buy a whole tub of unsweetened BCAA powder for the equivalent of 60 cents a serving and add a little organic maple syrup if I’m so inclined. Anyway, thank you for the detailed research of this company’s products!

  110. Marie says:

    I had been curious about the Arbonne hype and with one simple Google search was lead to your blog post. Thank you for bringing an alternative perspective to the surface, I imagine it is not easy to speak up in the face of a large company . It is so important to know what we are putting on and in our bodies, knowledge is empowerment. I’ll stick to the simple (and listed!) ingredients that I can name and I am familiar with.

  111. SB says:

    A little over a year ago I was bed ridden with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, and hashimoto’s at 38 years old. I wasn’t even capable of taking care of my kids let alone our house. I was taking upwards of 10 prescription medications and a lot more supplements just to get through a day, it was around 50+ pills a day. I was dying a slow painful death and I wasn’t living life at all. I decided to give Arbonne a try because I was willing to do anything to be able to raise my kids. A month into using the nutrition line my life was changed. I had energy, I was able to keep up with my kids, get housework done and a whole lot more!!! A little over a year later and I now take 2 prescription pills a day, I have lost 25+ pounds, I AM LIVING LIFE!!

  112. Haylie says:

    I respect the amount of research you’ve conducted and can say if you were using Arbonne and still eating your current diet then yes adding all this extra sugar is not good for you. When you use these products in the program it’s a different story. In the 30 day program you cut out dairy, high sugar foods (including bananas and pineapples), pesticides (which is sprayed on coffee beans and corn) and alcohol. The program is designed to enhance your gut health. Consuming cane sugar is what your body is able to consume and properly digest. Eating processed sugars has further harms than the low calories are worth. The items Arbonne sells are designed to aid in consumers journey through the 30 day program. It’s up the them to continue on.

  113. Nat says:

    Wow that’s some extensive research! Great write up. Yeah I’m with you on this one I can’t stand how companies can easily market their way into people’s homes.
    Kids these days are becoming more aware and it’s the older generation who fall for it all. HONESTLY just eat healthy don’t be lazy and discipline yourselves. It’s a rich scheme for the people at the top and as long as money is coming in for them the more they will be able to put a shade over themselves.

  114. Amelia says:

    Wow! After an insomnia-fuelled journey through Instragram propelled Arbonne-land, I was almost ready to join as a consultant; all that was left was for me to check the ingredients to make sure these nutritional products were okay with my food intolerances. That’s when I came across your article. Thank you for doing all the heavy lifting for me! I’ve gone on to look further into what you’ve stated, and can say that it’s all checked-out. Which is actually really scary! But hey, ain’t this capitalist system grand…

  115. Michele damour says:

    Thank you so much for that post. I was looking for an alternative to what I currently use, because we are all looking for products that are safe, non endocrine disruptors etc . As I started reading the list of ingredients on an Arbonne conditioner I realized it had a lot of ingredients that were considered immunotoxic, and the rep was shocked and appalled when I told her. Thank you for the great work you are doing, and if you have any info on products that are actually safe, let us know. In the mean time, I will continue to read labels

  116. Mary says:

    I am disappointed in finding this after thinking I could really increase my health by switching many of the products I use now to something that would be much healthier. Can you recommend better products? What company can you trust to be the cleanest and purest?

  117. Miranda says:

    Hi I was just wondering if there are products out there that are all the things that Arbonne claim they are adhering to is it possible to have products with out some of these ingredients?

  118. Cathy Fraser says:

    Thank you for explaining what is really in the fizz sticks. Can you recommend something to pick me up that is healthier than this product. Many thanks for informing us about this product.

  119. Debbie says:

    Brilliant review on Arbonne and thankyou so very much for pointing out that it’s not enough to just look at the ingredients but it’s also important to look at what’s also within those ingredients. And thankyou for getting Arbonne to be more transparent.

  120. Stephanie B. says:

    Your article confirmed what I’ve been suspecting for many years. I have been approached by 3 different Arbonne consultants over the years and politely declined their “sales pitch”. I was doubtful of the “purity” of their products, and now even more so after reading your article. I also take issue with their marketing network setup as I feel it’s akin to a “popularity contest”: the more you sell as a consultant, the more $ you make, the more awards you get (a car, a trip), the more recognition you get from your Arbonne peers, and the more other consultants wish they could do as well as you. A cosmetic sorority. A clique of people who yes, support each other, but in a cultish way. I am FB friends with one of Canada’s top Arbonne sellers and her happy posts of hosting training conferences, how she is self-made, and how much better her life is thanks to Arbonne seems to have nothing to do, in the end, with the actual products she & other consultants are selling, but rather what a lucky group of consultants they are to know each other and be able to go on “Arbonne” trips together etc. It’s all very suspicious, glamourized, and deceiving. No thanks.

  121. Shannon says:

    Thank you for this! I have had my own concerns about this company as their products are manufactured in a facilitator with nuts, wheat, diary and soy. Can you really claim vegan and gluten free when processed in a facility that has those things?

  122. Anne-Marie Mills says:

    My daughter and our family have a loss approx 10k… She was a consultant from April to December 2018, this was also on top of working, finishing study and doing volunteer work. My daughter worked hard and believed what she was being told from her sponsor, who became her ‘friend’. She was already using the products as she liked the concept of natural, vegan and cruelty free. She signed up to give it a ‘go’ and of course because she believed in the dream she was sold. She ended up buying a lot of product to meet targets each month as well as paying to be one of the team at the Arbonne stall held at food expos around the area to find new people out of her circle of friends. The postage was also expensive $12.95 each order unless you spent over a certain amount of QV which didn’t quite equal the same as dollar value. There are also conditions regarding the etiquette of the wider community within Arbonne, where it wasn’t seen as ‘great’ to sell to friends who was already assigned to an Arbonne Consultant.

    I feel Arbonne is not what it claims to be, I bought the Arbonne Essentials Protein shake mix, as part of their 30 days to Healthy Living, for the ‘health benefits’, we were told at a Nutrition Night. This was led by my daughters’ sponsor, who is an area manager with the company. I was told how wonderful, natural and contained no chemicals in this product.. Well so I thought, upon recent discovery, this item contains e.g. chemical 321 – Butylated hydroxytoluene
    It also contains lots of cane sugar. i.e. 20g sugar per 100g but that is the chocolate flavour ..

  123. Judy Raye Canzoneri says:

    Thank you for this article. A friend is having a fb Arbonne Party. I decided to look up information because I have never heard of Arbonne. Eye opening to say the least. I tend to read labels on food, but, not so much in other areas. I shall be researching my cosmetics before future purchases. Again thank you. People really need to know what they are putting into and onto their bodies♡

  124. Mary says:

    Thank you for this article. The Arbonne consultant whom I know described to me how she makes up sample kits to give to prospective customers. She tells them the total value of product in the samples is around $300 and uses that figure to “guilt” them into returning any unused samples. She then mixes the unused portion of the returned samples with other product to create new sample kits. Yes, she is reusing product without knowing where it has been, how many people’s fingers may have been dipped into it, how it may have been contaminated. This is grossly unsafe. I don’t know whether Arbonne corporate approves of this practice, but she was obviously very proud of herself for being clever enough to reuse returned product. I was appalled.

  125. Michelle Hansen says:

    Thank you for posting this!! My daughter recently wanted to get the detox, and I REALLY wish I found this before I spent $600… but, alas, I didn’t. I tried the detox tea that they suggest you drink twice a day, it tastes EXACTLY like Traditional Medicines Smooth Moves tea. I feel a bit duped… but it’s a $600 lesson to research first. Thank you for this.

  126. Denise Jones says:

    Hi Meghan,
    I’m an Independent Consultant with Arbonne. I’ve been with Arbonne for over 10 years. I always like reading different view points on both our products and business opportunity.
    First, regarding training. Arbonne offers a wide variety of tools, plus your sponsor offers online training such as zoom. As an Independent Consultant, this is my business. I’m the CEO. It’s my responsibility to plug in. Wouldn’t any business owner do that? This is an effort based business. Regarding the products, Arbonne is the best nature and cutting edge science – and we voluntarily ban over 2000 harmful ingredients. I love this company and business model.

  127. Rita says:

    Thank you for info. I really trusted and like lady I know selling but I just was not sure I have bought nothing. Thank you this made me make the right choice. Run and run fast Forest. lol

  128. christina says:

    I honestly knew most of these things from spending 5 minutes scanning their products myself. However I HAD to congratulate you for this incredibly accurate and unbiased factual article of your opinion about these products. Very well said and very positive. Thank you for helping people wake up. Real powerful substances are made by nature, and they only have the true power to heal us. Ginger, oregano, ashwagandha, reishi, chaga, minerals, vitamins, fresh organic plant based foods made from the earth, plenty of clean water are some examples. We don’t need sticks or creams made of a list of chemicals we can’t pronounce. Life is simple, health is simple. Embracing it will change ones life incredibly!
    Blessings

  129. Tracy says:

    So what product do you recommend that you think is 100 cent safe, pure, organic etc.

  130. Pam says:

    Arbonne has successfully sold over 544 Million in 2018 and have changed countless lives. Sound like they are doing something right. Carry on Consultants you are doing great.

  131. Brandy Stillings says:

    I have what appears to be a chemical burn all over my face from their skin care products

  132. Pauline Felix says:

    I am a nurse working in a Cancer in California. So far I have Two Regional Directors with cancers coming for treatment. Their families are big time users of Arbonne products. If the Arbonne products are so pure and free of toxicity then these people should not be having any cancers since they detox and know how to use the products to care for themselves. I was given some products by these two patients and I took them but did not use them. I have often questioned companies that will not respond to calls regarding where their ingredients are sourced.
    I would like to thank you for your invaluable info on Arbonne products.
    Just like everyone who is a consult, they are misled by the romantic French owned company, French people know their skin care. I was forced to eat one of their fruit bars by the patient who came for treatment and that bar tasted like wood shavings. Real fruits do not taste like that!!
    I am thankful to have people like you wake up those who are NOT aware of these business minded people who mislead those innocent trusting people to make money!!

  133. Denise Colak says:

    When I first became an Arbonne consultant, which was so many years ago that I can’t remember, the ingredients were clearly marked in our catalogs. At some point I stopped selling Arbonne, but I have used it religiously for at least 20 years, and raised two beautifully skinned daughters on these products. I will also say that back then I compared ingredients one by one to a list on ewg.org, and spent nearly the same 20 years working within the haircare and skincare industries, representing major salon-only product lines. When comparing the ingredients to those in the major brands I was repping, many owned by a company that starts with an L’ , Arbonne was far better. The largest claim that I was aware of was the lack of mineral oil. Mineral oil is not allowed in products in Europe and it causes skin cells to suffocate, creating premature aging as the skin begins to sag as the pores expand. All that being said, I continue to use Arbonne products at age 55, and get constant compliments on my complexion. The reason I stopped selling Arbonne was that it did become too saturated, and everyone has a cousin, sister, aunt, etc. that they are buying from. I now sell Pampered Chef, which is part of Berkshire-Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffet. I am the only consultant in a 100 mile radius in a resort town, and it’s much better money with a clearer pay plan than Arbonne’s. 3 of my friends earned their white Mercedes with Arbonne, but I do agree that it is not easy at all! Also, I can hold virtual online parties and don’t even have to leave my house! I can do home parties if someone wants to have one. I haven’t mentioned Pampered Chef to anyone that hasn’t said, “I love Pampered Chef!”

  134. Annie says:

    Thank you so much for this article!

  135. Kathy D'Agostino says:

    I started the 30 day cleanse and on the 5th day after drinking my protein shake my hands got red and my left side of my lip swelled up…and this is suppose to be chemical free. Something caused my hands and lip to swell?

  136. Dee Dee says:

    Loved your article! Thank you! I would love to see an in depth article done on another franchise gimmick Jazzercise.

  137. Lauren says:

    I agree that Arbonne (and every health/beauty company) should be more transparent with their ingredients. However, I disagree with some of what you said about GMOs, specifically that they require more chemicals to grow and that they contribute to pollution. Generally, GMOs are developed in order to reduce the amount of chemicals needed during growth, not to increase it. One big reason why GMOs were created was to remove the need to use pesticides. The plants themselves are resistant/toxic to pests, so there’s no need to dump pesticides on. GMOs actually reduce the amount of pesticides and extra chemicals used when the plants are growing; they’re not this evil, dangerous thing people seem to think they are.

  138. Shannon H says:

    I’d like to state that Mary Kay is not a multi-level marketing company. We are a dual marketing company.

  139. Alex says:

    Thank you for this very informative post.

    I consider myself fairly technologically skilled, but after spending at least 10 minutes, (with the link you provided to their “new website,”) I found it very user unfriendly – going back & forth from one page to another – I finally “uncovered” their information. It was through another click down menu, under “Our Products,” then “Ingredient Policy” & “Ingredient Guide.” Maybe the website operates differently on a phone (what I was using) vs a laptop or computer, so I’ll check that out. But I expected an actual list. Instead it’s more of their flowery & beautifully designed advertising. Either way, just reading your post confirms what I already thought/knew – Arbonne has very skilled marketing & advertising people working on their behalf. The old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” applies here. Interestingly, recently a friend of mine who is a “consultant” gave me a website link that took me to the “pure30revolution” site (the cleanse program/kit.) Directing a potential user/customer to another site, promoting another program, that’s just sloppy & as far as I can tell, without ordering the program/kit, there are definitely no ingredients on that site.

    Also, in reply to Lauren’s comment re GMO’s – the actual term itself, “Genetically Modified Organism” should be a clue to its nefarious origin. While one of the original missions of GMO’S creation was to reduce the amount of pesticides used, the GMO crops are now responsible for the emergence of “superweeds” & “superbugs,” which can only be killed with more toxic poisons such as 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). For more info (as per mentioned in your post) visit:
    https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/

    Thanks again for your in-depth post.

  140. Veronica says:

    There is some misinformation with your post. The sign up fee, is $59 in Canada, not $79.
    And arbonne DOES not require you to buy a “kit with promotional” items. It’s an option, but not mandatory. I’ve seen other companies who force you to buy said kit and it skyrockets the sign up fee past $100 or more.
    At least with arbonne, they ingredients are on the website and are safe for someone like me who has celiac. When I inquired into several other companies who sell similar type products, they either formulate with gluten, or they all have the SLS which severely dries out my skin and hair and makes my skin get really red and irritated, or they don’t actually list the ingredients on their website. :( I know your post said earlier arbonne hadn’t before) But I know it’s the only products I’ve used that’s kept my face oil and acne free. It’s also the only hair products I’ve used for over a year now and my hair finally grows. With the salon brand products or drugstore products or Walmart crap, my hair was falling out and so dry and felt like straw and was just awful. So I believe for me the products work and are worth the price tag. I’m curious if you also wrote and article for younique or senegence or any other MLM company? Thank you :)

  141. Elaine Saghafian says:

    Thank you SO much for all of this, Meghan. I was tempted by an Arbonne rep to join her, but after reading all these comments am now reconsidering. Their products are SO pricey, and I’m on a budget. I actually started using pure coconut oil recently for my body, and it feels soooo good! But when I tried it for my face, I started breaking out sadly. I’d like to try living libations, but really want a facial moisturizer that has SPF so I don’t have to apply them separately. Did not see one in living libations, but maybe I missed something? Please let me know.. thanks a bunch!!!

  142. Kristahoyme says:

    I too had a skin reaction from Arbonne. My consultant assured me it was “safe and pure” but really had nothing else to add.
    I now am a consultant for a company called Pure Haven. I think their products are much more Pure and are certified organic.

  143. Sam says:

    Excellent article. We have a growing instagram following (primarily men) and were approached by a consultant to push their men’s line. I personally am very conscious about what I eat and products I use so I was skeptical. Your article gave me all the answers I needed. Thanks.

  144. Deborah Doody says:

    Thank you for this blog post! I was invited to an Arbonne party coming up next week and was also contacted by another consultant about the product. After reading this, I will skip the party. Thank you again!

  145. https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/f95cb580ec8bdc5190c33e27a36c0514?s=51&d=blank&r=g ChefStar007 says:

    Thank you for this. I have a family member who sells this stuff and she was rather aggressive when I found their shake mixes too sweet. Her response and subsequent responses during the No thank you phase was to mix it with other items to dumb down the taste. I briefly thought of buying the energy powder mixes to be nice and then, stumbled upon this post. Now, I get to save 55 – 220 dollars and be able to buy healthy from other sources.

  146. Jo says:

    I fell I to the trap without doing my research because I wanted to believe in it so badly. The nutrition products are full of sodium, sugar (stevia AND cane sugar, why both? Not necessary), fillers and “natural flavors”. If you’re watching your sodium intake and trying to maintain the recommend 1500mg/ day, one protein shake and one fizz stick in the am will have you at 35% of your daily intake – before lunch! I also had a wicked reaction to their skincare. Small hives and bumps all over my face and it dried me out tremendously . Returned it all

  147. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for continuing to research and post information about Arbonne products. A close family member is a consultant and, whenever we are together, she shares whatever is new or upcoming in their line with obvious excitement and investment in the products. I have to admit that I am not as diligent as others in carefully observing the ingredients in the products I consume and purchase for my daily skincare/make-up regime. However, many of her claims have proven to be inflated or false with a little bit of research. She is smart, educated, articulate and, most importantly, so enthusiastic and invested in the products that it is hard not to take everything she says at face value. She is a family member and I trust her and her judgement — I believe that Arbonne counts on this phenomenon and continues to profit on the backs of women attempting to support other women.
    Most recently, I was concerned about a claim that Mica is a fantastic and “safe” alternative to Talc. Of course, the negative effects of Talc are well documented; however, I did not know very much about Mica. So…I did a quick internet search which brought up many conflicting articles and studies done about the possible carcinogenic properties (particularly, the risk of effects if inhaled over long periods) and the effects on workers involved in its mining. Further, there are serious concerns around the maltreatment and unsafe working environments surrounding these mines. Most concerning is the discovery that a large population of Micah mines actually involves child labour. (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/nov/21/children-as-young-as-five-make-up-most-of-madagascars-mica-mining-workforce) This would seem to directly contradict Arbonne’s Environmental Policy on their website that claims, “Ingredients that are harmful to the environment and have a negative impact on communities are NOT ALLOWED.”
    I would encourage women who are involved in the Arbonne business to research at length the claims that are touted by the organization. Within the Arbonne infrastructure, there is a lot of good — women (mostly) empowering other women to become independent and become invested in what they use and purchase for their family. From what I have heard and witnessed as an outsider, the conferences are an uplifting experience meant to encourage their consultants to go out and “do good” by making the world a cleaner and healthier place. The problem remains that the gleam of their carefully constructed marketing exploits loopholes and the good intentions of their own consultants and those with whom they come into contact. Regardless of the release of their ingredients’ list, it seems that many aspects of the business are still operating within dark corners and transparency and the use of misleading language remains their largest obstacle.

  148. Sarah RK says:

    I love this blog post. As one of the objectives was for people to question was to question their products, I think that this was very successful. Just by commenting on your post, I am helping bring it to the top of the google searches about Arbonne and I think that’s important because people need to hear all sides of the info that is being ‘peddled’.

    When I first read this post when I started my Arbonne business, I thought I had made a huge mistake in joining.

    What was shared about the ‘allowed list’ seemed like a lot of propaganda. The sugar, the sodium, the this, that and the other thing helped solidify my feeling that I made a mistake in committing to this company.

    So now that I am over three years in, obviously I didn’t leave. Why? Because of the day my husband told me that he hoped i would join Arbonne even if I never made a cent because of what it did for my mental health. Yes that may seem weird to a lot of people who need to make money or want to make safer choices, but it’s important to note that the growth I have been exposed to will help me serve people even if it had nothing to do with Arbonne. Mel Robbins, Rachel Hollis, etc have been a couple of the paid guest speakers at our conferences. Why? Because Of we subscribe to growing ourselves as individuals, then we need exposure to the best out there. I haven’t gotten to the income level that I was hoping to at this point and yet I still stay.

    So coming back to personal care products, the ingredients, claims etc. the strictest guideline in the world for banning ingredients. They ban approx 1400. Arbonne? We’ve banned over 2000! We The consultants on here? We’re not in the business of convincing anyone that Arbonne is a great choice for people wanting to make a shift. The info that is being shared on this blog is helpful for people to have. At least they may question their own products and switch to something else, even if it’s not Arbonne.

    Why? Because ultimately, at the end of the day, we are a purpose driven company, which means more than just profits. It means that we are helping people make safer choices which is exactly what this post does!

    I’m not just a brand ambassador, Arbonne is a part of MY brand. Me.

  149. Sarah RK says:

    On a side note, I also thought I would point out (since this is fact based) there are NO sales quotas to maintain membership. In Canada it is FIFTY-NINE ($59) dollars to join and after the 12 months, $35 to renew. There are no obligations to purchase/sell and credit card are not billed on a monthly basis unless the individual chooses as such. In my experience, arbonne would not be able to reactively post ingredients because of an opinion piece… it was a planned thing. Arbonne has committed to being zero waste including terra cycling, using not easily recycled packaging to turn into playground equipment and park benches. Sustainable, is based on many aspects. Environment, diversity, economic, so like the term ‘organic’ needs to be scrutinized further. Things like sourcing Shea butter as fair trade is not only sustainable from an environmental standpoint, but also from an economy’s standpoint since people are being paid equitably to harvest these ingredients.

    A company may be able to market without FDA approval, but to be clear, the fda only bans a handful of ingredients that are banned via the European guidelines… however Arbonne has been able to market there for years because of meeting and exceeding standards.

    The company chose not to continue to market in Taiwan because of China. (This isn’t a criticism per se, but something people should know). China still obligates personal care product companies to test on animals. If a product is sold there, then the company made that choice for there (and will hopefully change their ways or the regulations will change).

    Is better actually enough? No it’s not. But it’s a start. I was overwhelmed by ingredients. Arbonne made it simpler for me.

    Regarding Enviromental impact. This one is actually almost funny to me as this is my hubby’s bread and butter of his employment. As someone who is asked to present all over the world on environmental impact of his industry, he doesn’t take what we use in our household lightly. The conversations of microbiome related topics is (eye roll here) a common point of discussion. Hormone disrupting products are heavily scrutinized here and we have stopped using certain ‘apparently socially conscious’ companys’ products because of it.

    Fragrance, unless specified being derived from essential oils is proprietary and any company can hide what they want in it, organic or not as long as it is under acceptable levels.

    Consumers in general do not have a background in cosmetology, etc. Arbonne consultants are also consumers. You’re a consumer. I’m a consumer. We don’t know what we know, but we share anyhow. Why? Because we learn as we earn.

    Products that don’t have a shelf life get wasted at a faster rate. And not all of those things return to the natural cycle of life because its not like we are walking into the forest and harvesting ingredients ourselves. Things go through processes. Find out if the process is via ammonia or citric acid (for example) to preserve a product.

    The reason that they ban something is because of the fact that formulations from other companies have shown they exist. No, I don’t have the peer-reviewed publications for you to analyze the authenticity of this claim, but if you do have a scientific background, you’ll be able to find the peer reviewed research.

  150. Elle says:

    I just had to comment and say the part where you said anxious cheeks and depressed eyelids made me SCREAM!! Please never stop writing, that was so hilarious. I can barely type this

    Secondly, thanks for writing this article. I was contacted on Instagram by one of those so called “consultants” because of a comment I had made about corona virus. I instantly thought “this sounds like a scam,” but I’m very glad to have confirmation.
    Have a great day Meghan!
    Cheers,
    Elle

  151. Clara says:

    Arbonne is a business just like meghantelpner.com is a business selling cookbooks and whatever else in the nutrition realm. Both well intentioned quality businesses that aim to do good. However one creates attention purely for its own benefit at the expense of the other. It’s very transparent and not a good look.

  152. Connie Gurzeni says:

    I was contacted by a local rep for this company but have always been very wary of these style of companies for very good reason. Your article reinforced by thinking. Thankyou

  153. Brandon Blevins says:

    Capitalism at it’s finest! And by that I mean worst! Thanks for the read.

  154. BERNIE says:

    I am shocked that you can cut up a company before even trying the products or even getting to know who and what its all about
    This is why people join groups to empower women not cut them up
    YOU can voice your opinion but its just an opinion not for everyone !
    Its a B corp 45 day money back guarantee and
    one who will change the world for good!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Products are still not living up to their claims. And I’m not in a group doing so. You are here on my blog which you clicked on to get here. Either way, what does this have to do with disempowering women?

  155. Sylvia says:

    This article was great and your information was so helpful! Would there be any company that you know of that you would work with to help start/maintain a healthy lifestyle?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Sylvia! Can you be more specific about what you are looking for? Beauty products specifically – or something else?

  156. Chelsea says:

    I have so many friends that have signed up as consultants for Arbonne. I’m just constantly bombarded by the posts about how amazing it is. Literally after reading this article I said “you know what I’m gonna go on their website and check out a product.” I chose a moisturizer with spf. Guess what? All chemical active ingredients. Ha!! That was all I needed to see.

  157. Helen says:

    I find this a really helpful article but also a bit concerning as I have recently started on Arbonne’s meal replacement shakes. Do you have any specific advice as to the ingredients in them? As a lay person, I find the ingredient list to be confusing and I’m not sure if they are healthy or not healthy. I chose not to get the energy fizz sticks because I could easily see them were nothing more than caffeine and I don’t need that but thought the diet shakes were a healthy choice and now I’m second guessing myself.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Helen! I’m not entirely sure which flavour you bought, but looking on their website I see many of the shake formulations have sugar and modified food starches that can mess with blood sugar levels, sunflower oil (it’s not the best oil), and a few different kinds of gums that may cause digestive upset. Also, some of the forms of the vitamins and minerals in their formulations are the most absorbable, for example the forms of calcium and B12. Overall, it’s not the worst product – but you’d get more nutrition by making a simple smoothie yourself, and adding extra protein by using nut or seed butters.

  158. Pane Jensen says:

    Whats your alternative then? Not saying there wrong or right, just asking. Thats all people do these days is tear others down for trying. Your damn if you do and your damn if you dont. Theres lots of pyramid selling everywhere and its peoples choice whether they want to get involved or not. I myself am not personally involved in Arbonne on the business side but am a customer and I know many who have used it to kick start their weight lose and from it personally and talking to others has brought ourselves to cleaner eating, each to their own not necessarily sticking to Arbonne and both my husband and I have benefited from that kick start. These days if you listen to everybodies opinion we wouldnt be able to eat bugger all or do anything.
    Let people be, its our choice, our responsibility to do our own research and if we err well thats our problem not yours.
    Move on now and bring us positivity from what you believe is a better way and let people make their own choices.
    Whatever you, me or anyone else brings forth business, diets ideas, whatever, may it be a success and prosper if its done right, and if it done to decieve and rip off people well it will eventually fall by the wayside or we will have to wake up to ourselves. Unfortunately, there will be casualties, but thats just the way the world is, sad to say and hopefully there will be someone to pick them up either side of the fence. Just my opinion.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Pane! My purpose with all of my content is to provide evidence-based information to those who choose to come here and read it. As you say, it’s up to each individual to weigh all of the evidence and make decisions they feel are best for themselves and their families.

  159. Deyanira Paz says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It truly opened my eyes.
    What do you think about The Ordinary brand? Do you have any review about them?

  160. Nathaly says:

    Thank you for your thorough research, efforts and information. I was wondering if you’ve either done and article on or have recommendations for skincare and supplements that you’ll rather recommend as being both effective and safe for our health.. many times you find the very plain and pure aren’t necessarily too effective, and the ones that have amazing results.. then they aren’t too safe at all!! Have you found any happy mediums? Thanks

  161. Cheryl Oleary says:

    Thanks for the interesting article, I really appreciate your research and clear explanations. I read the Arbonne labels and get dizzy with all the unpronounceable items listed. Three weeks ago my family and I started the Arbonne 30 day Heathy Living Challenge. I’ve been on many programs before but none that left me feeling so blasé after 3 weeks. The first week I felt awful and was told that was withdrawal from sugar-caffeine-alcohol & whatever else is unhealthy, so kept going. The second week was slightly better, but not much. Now just finished week 3, still hoping for that burst of energy promised by all the consultants, but still feeling dull headed and lackluster which led me to the internet to find out what we are really consuming…I know a little late. The dinner menu eating plan is great, but I’m concerned about the source of protein in the protein shakes and Arbonne’s detox tea. I prefer the chocolate protein powder but have also used the marble cake and cinnamon bun. I’ve dieted all my life and really want a healthy living plan instead. Is there a protein powder that you would recommend, and also are Soy or Whey proteins bad for you? I guess I don’t understand how to get protein into a shake unless its eggs or meat based.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Cheryl! There are a number of ways you can add protein to a smoothie. Hemp seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds are great as they add protein, fibre and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Nut and seed butters are also a great option. Collagen is good too – just be mindful that it’s not a complete protein. Some people even like to add a small amount of cooked beans to their smoothies (like white beans or black beans), though I’m not personally a fan of adding beans. If you’re looking for information about quality protein powders, my husband Josh has a full rundown of them here: https://www.joshgitalis.com/your-definitive-guide-to-protein-powders/. Also, keep in mind that fruits and vegetables have small amounts of amino acids so you’ll be getting a small amount of protein from them as well.

  162. Mirna Melo says:

    Love and appreciate articles like these! Thank you! So informative!

  163. Dianne says:

    For those people touting Arbonne’s Certified B Corporation status as proof of their environmental cred, I strongly encourage you to read through Arbonne’s B Corp assessment: https://bcorporation.net/directory/arbonne. The Environment section is a whole bunch of greenwashing and admissions that they don’t monitor much within their own supply chain. And on top of that, how about how they don’t count their consultants as workers? And note that this company, built on the backs of thousands of these invisible women, has zero women on its board of directors and a male leader.

  164. J.F. says:

    I signed up for consultant status for the discounts. Arbonne shakes and green balance, and their lotions helped my mom recover from a hip break. Maybe it was a placebo effect, but she loves the products and has kept weight on. She’s in her 3rd year of recovery. She easily could have been a statistic. The Clear Future acne line is great for teens. Far more effective than anything we had in the 80s/90s. I get that no product is perfect – I get dizzy in the “beauty products” section. I only know that certain Arbonne products have truly benefitted my family. I get the 35 percent consultant discount and always place a large enough order to generate free products in the order. Just putting two cents in that if you find a product that really helps you, don’t get too uptight about a perfect label. Same reason I only buy Kosher hot dogs: are the ingredients perfect? No, but at least somebody considered what went into it. All the best!!

  165. Alexis says:

    I was invited to an Arbonne facebook party
    I joined having not ever heard about the company at all. The party is all fluff a bunch of posts about how “life-changing” the products are without any evidence or elaboration.

    One post by the consultant is simply “I drink fizz every day and I feel great!”

    The host sent me a pm asking about my health goals. I replied. and then basically she invited the consultant to the convo and I was told how everything I am doing is incorrect despite my current plan being not only my own carefully crafted plan but also has the stamp of approval from my doctor, a nutritionist, and a Personal Trainer. If that means anything at all… and it might not. Really tho what I did was look at people who had achieved the goals I want to achieve. I talked to them about what they were doing then made a plan. If it’s good enough for that girl at the gym or my friend who is a competitive bodybuilder, or Rhonda Rousey or John Cena….. She really is going to tell me John Cena is eating all wrong? ( she did btw) Not that I should eat exactly like a 40 something male pro wrestler. When I replied that so far it’s working for me. She replied by saying she was a food scientist and she knew best. Well maybe. Then I asked what the ingredients were and she assured me it was all 100% natural no chemicals nothing artificial no sugars etc. She also agreed to link me the ingredient list… but has yet to do so..

    The party has been open for a week and nothing real about the products has been shared. Which even tho Im not really interested seems fishy. If the products are so life-changing why can’t anyone prove it beyond saying “try it and see”

    Maybe the iowhey I use is life-changing?

    what a funny claim anyway… falling off a ladder could be life changing too.

    Anyway now that I ranted on about nothing I should end by saying I enjoyed this blog. Thank you for writting it.

  166. Bree Dickhart says:

    Thank you for your commitment on this. Your persistence has paid off!
    Journalism at its best, you’ve answered all of the questions that Arbonne did, but with real information….not their positive company credos.
    As consumers I would like to think that after 10+ years of meal replacement systems, “detox’s” we don’t need and cult like recruitment tactics as an MLM opportunity ONLY….aren’t we fed up.
    🥰🥰
    They disappear as fast as they arrive. The promise of earning big bucks from home. Did anyone actually earn a decent income? I’ve never met a single person who will admit their abandoned MLM venture was a bust… nor have the consultants been willing to elaborate on their earnings. It’s so bizarre.

  167. Haidee says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I’ve recently been advised that any skincare to have an effect, you need a good Vitamin A ( Retinol) , Vit C&E &peptides. On the basis I’ve decided this is true (still not 100%!) I’m now on a mission to research which products I should be using. I’ve been recommended Arbornne but it’s such hard work as with most beauty products to really understand what’s in them and decided if it’s worth the cost.

  168. Linda says:

    Thank you for this post ❤️ I am changing my environment, mind, body, soul to be as chemical free as possible. This is what I needed to get off the arbonne train. I have tried being a consultant, but it’s not easy? I have Maintained my status as consultant to have access to the discount, but now I can let go.

  169. Michelle says:

    I used to be an Arbonne rep many years ago but never really got into it, although I loved their products. Today I was looking for some natural, cruelty free face creams etc, and remembered Arbonne but I was always dubious about their claims as they seemed too good to be true. So looking into their website I wasn’t overly impressed that the ingredients had changed and your review has only confirmed my suspicions. Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention, I have no time for devious companies making money off the backs of honest, hard working people. At least everyone now can make an informed choice. Thank you once again.

  170. Monica says:

    Loved this article! Tried their protein powder and greens powder for the first time and have been enjoying them, but do you have any nutrition and skincare brands that actually do what Arbonne claims to do? I’m always on the hunt for simpler/safer products made by companies that truly care about what they make and how they make it.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I am a fan of Living Libations and Seaflora for skin care. As for nutrition – a whole foods diet is going to offer you most of what you need, for example if you made a smoothie with fruit, greens, a good source of fat and a protein like nuts or seeds you’d be getting a full spectrum meal. Then you could add in extras like powders or supplements if you know you have a deficiency in a particular nutrient.

  171. Alyssa N says:

    I’m a cosmetic chemist and the EWG isn’t a reputable source of information. I’m not too familiar with Arbonne products but just letting you know that NOTHING is natural and everything is chemical. If you want to pay for basically water (which is still a chemical) by all means. Cosmetics should be made in a lab. Leave the cosmetic science to the scientists.

    On the other hand.. I agree with your marketing comments. They should disclose IL on their products. That’s normal practice.

  172. Jan says:

    I enjoyed reading your research on Arbonne. Have you done the same research with Mary Kay? I am curious, because I have used both and Mary Kay seems to have a lot of chemicals too. What is your take on MK?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I haven’t researched Mary Kay – but I hope that this post gave you a good sense of the types of things I look for in products that you could apply when looking at any other brand.

  173. Sarah says:

    Are they a couple of your affiliate links? Asking for a friend who gets paid by endorsing companies (like Get Fresh, for example) via her blog but ensuring she states that info at the beginning that her post has affiliate links. Not just at the end of a very, long, post.

  174. Leah Morris. says:

    I was curious to read your article after googling Arbonne after getting tired of a FB friend (consultant) constantly talking about it. I was wondering if it was a pyramid scheme. You stated it was. But you also said Avon was and I sold Avon back in the day for 14 years as a second job. Unless things have changed, Avon a not a pyramid. We only got a small bid time gift which we selected from a catalog for a new representative we selected who came on board. Our commission was based on our own personal sales.

  175. Emma says:

    There is an error in your article which is really important. Uplines do not get paid on what downlines sell, they get paid on what downlines purchase. Nobody within Arbonne cares whether the lowly downline actually sells product, just that she buys it. It’s a system of internal purchases. As a business structure what does that sound like to you?

  176. Meg says:

    Hello, I noticed a few errors that need to be corrected in your article.
    1) Arbonne consultants do not pay $79 per year. It is only a one time payment of $49 per year, then only the renewal fee every year after.
    2) The “Immunity Booster” is off of the shelf as well as going through an name change until further notice, as to fix the issue of people being mislead. No comments should be made until it is remade and an active product for Arbonne again.
    3) Arbonne consultants DO NOT make commission off of the consumers their team members sell to, only on what their team members buy.

  177. Mary-Jo says:

    I tried to research Arbonne several times years ago and had a difficult time getting the ingredients. I chose not to purchase every time. I have been to enough MLM conferences to know how manipulative they can be, we all want to be a part of something “fun and amazing”. Meghan Telpner’s Culinary Nutrition Expert course is positive, healthy and ticks all the boxes to support a journey to being the best you can be. I am sensitive to chemicals and decided it shouldn’t be this difficult to get the ingredients, they must be hiding something. Thank you for your research and blog. It supports the choice I made and will empower others to make their choice while being well informed.

  178. Susan Emitt says:

    I am an Arbonne rep. I use Arbonne products because I have sensitive skin. Even makeup like Almay made my skin irritated. I feel that Arbonne has become transparent in their ingredients. My consultant never said it was 100% pure. There has to be a little science mixed in with natural ingredients. There is no makeup that is 100% pure.

  179. Denise says:

    What a wonderful article ..keep doing what you do .I just discovered you today but i see you have to be thick skinned to take the abuse. I, being diabetic was horrified with the amount of sugar in the fizz sticks and people give them to their children. I used to follow someone very high up in the company in Scotland on Instagram but she blocked me.

  180. Brendin says:

    I have tried using the RE9 advanced skin care line and the 30 day health package. 2 weeks in and I feel awful, my stomach is always in pain and I’ve had the worst break out of my life. This has resulted in me finding your website. After spending over $600, not feeling well and looking like a 15 year old boy with raging hormones I will not be continuing using this product.

  181. Julia Wilhelm says:

    Hey I’m from Germany and I came across Arbonne by chance. I follow somebody on Instagram and i read that she is Area manager by Arbonne. And when i surs through her profil i was impressed of what she said about the products. Then i searched for Arbonne in Germany but i couldn’t find something about it. Only an article from 2017 which prophesied that Arbonne will come to Germany on next time. So i began to search on the englisch sites cause i wanted to know,what Arbonne is. So i came to your blog. It was very time-consuming to understand everything cause my English is a little rusted, but now i know what i wanted to know. Thank you for your tireless research. I can imagine that the Ingriedience and the company philosophy do not fit together. This could be the reason that they have not been approved in Germany. Ok, so I have to keep doing sports and eat my fruits and veggies😂
    Stay safe and thank you very much for saving me from this mistake.
    Big hugs from Germany
    Julia

  182. Lesina says:

    Hi Cheryl, I’m not on Arbonne but people talked about it even offer me an opportunity to buy but I’m very skeptical so I did some research and even read your blog and that satisfy my intuition cause I believe if you make your own shakes at home yourself you know what u put in it most of healthy fruit n vegs, healthy seeds with protein at least its healthy whether it’s not loosing weight but you feel fit happy and healthy

  183. Mellissa says:

    Interesting blog
    I was invited to an online event, quickly worked out it was another pyramid scheme. I searched the company and came upon this blog. Very interesting read, and I still feel uneasy about this company and how it’s run like other pyramid schemes, by people who have little education in the subject matter they are selling.
    There still is an underlying pressure to be seen as supporting consultants (maybe family and friends) and buying these products. Really makes me wonder how much information/observation is made of people attending physical or online parties. Who best to target, who to work on, who’s deemed a difficult person to sell to. There’s no pressure, but there always is that underlying pressure.
    I’d rather support any local businesses who make their own stuff, who research and experiment with ingredients from their own research, not those who repeat what a company has told them to say

  184. Megan says:

    Do better research.

  185. Louise says:

    Thank you for the article. Two friends have recently become consultants who live opposite ends of the country. On a daily basis I get FB postings about the 30 day plan & the importance of gut health. It’s a lot of money especially when you still have to buy ‘normal’ food for your family. So, so tempting to maybe lose those extra pounds but I’d be losing monetary pounds than fat lbs!

  186. Harpeet M says:

    Wow, this is incredible research, well done. I was recently contacted today, via Instagram, by a Arbonne Manager, asking for me to hear about her company. She sounded very convincing how the company is 100% vegan, like herself. Thank you again for this article. I will now like to look at their products and ingredients (I hate companies that are super sneaky like this)!

  187. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this insightful article. I have been invited to a party by a friend and amongst reading the actual Arbonne site I wanted to balance my thinking.

  188. Loyda says:

    I evaluate most of my choices and elect for the more natural and purest products. I considered Arbonne because I started to believe what they advertise without asking the right questions. When I searched for Arbonne reviews, your article came up. GREAT JOB! It shows you asked the right questions and researched a lot. No doubt in my mind you know your stuff. Thank you for taking your valuable time to help educate us by thinking and asking the right questions.

  189. Rachelle says:

    I’m curious to know where there products are sourced, manufactured, all of it.

  190. AE says:

    Thank you for this insightful article.

    As support for a friend, I attended a Zoom meeting about a new business opportunity. It was during the Zoom meeting that I found out it was about Arbonne, and that my friend had recently signed up as a consultant.

    Though the claims were mentioned of FDA approved, Kosher, Vegan, natural ingredients, I was still skeptical. There are several “natural”, as well as, “not natural” ingredients which may not be mentioned on the products list of ingredients, that many individuals may have reactions from ingesting, be it internal or topical. The importance of full disclosure on any products that are sold under these claims is of vital importance.

    Even though MLM is a great way to make an income, it takes a lot of time and dedication to rank up.

    Let’s face it, especially with the world’s current circumstances, the cost of these products can really put a damper on, in most cases, a tight family budget.
    Once again, thank you for your diligent research.

  191. Evie says:

    I wish I would have read this before I bought my kit. I bought in to the whole program as a consumer wanting to shed a few pounds. I get the program. Two shakes a day and a low carb meal. It was the “Fizz” that made me question everything. I was already a couple weeks in. One day I made my Fizz water and drank half. I had to run to a meeting. When I got back, the fizz looked funny. I started to drink it but could not. It completely changed. It has a weird unnatural taste that completely put me off. Then I began to really question what I was putting into my body. I decided to follow the basic plan but with my choice of protein powder and drink black coffee or green tea if I needed a boost.

  192. Michaela Whitehouse says:

    This information seems extremely dated.
    To start, every single arbonne product has a product sheet with complete transparency and full ingredient list.
    You also made a comment about having to meet a quota in order to maintain an arbonne business – this is not true.
    I can understand the negative tone towards a company like this, because that used to be me.
    As a consultant, I am speaking from experience. I have not felt the pressure to buy from Arbonne for my business. I have not felt the need to put my money into these products unwillingly. There is no where that states you have to be doing x, y or z to be a consultant or remain as one.
    Arbonne has a team that monitors the information consultants are sharing about the products, and will contact consultants if they are making inaccurate or inappropriate health claims.
    I think the company has come a long way in recent years to fix this misconception. By having the product information, by not making inaccurate health claims and by not manipulating people to spend money. At least within the community that I know through arbonne, no one is pushing anyone to spend money.
    And most of the time, consultants are looking for people to sign up as Preferred Clients rather than consultants, but most will offer both.
    And if you think it’s a ploy or something to reel people in, it isnt. PCs save 20-40% off all their products, and the consultant earns LESS commission on PC orders. But it’s there for the customer.
    What’s more, Arbonne in 2020 was recognised globally as a certified B-Corp.
    It’s all well and good to research with ONE consultant, and I am sorry you didn’t have a positive experience, but it’s an international company that’s been running for 40 years. If it was a scam or not safe or not helpful, it wouldn’t still exist.

    For anyone who has commented about products they aren’t happy with, arbonne has a 45 day money back guarantee. I saw a recent comment about a fizz stick sitting funny after a while – I sip mine throughout the day with no issue, so contact your consultant or call head office and get your money back!

    Hoping this cleared some things up. I have met different people who have been screwed over by individuals who work for arbonne, but it is the work of most consultants to take care of their customers and show up the positive work of the company.

    And in regards to annual earnings, all information is obviously averaged out. But you can find clear information on what to expect from a business perspective through the arbonne site: earnings.arbonne.com

    I know someone in my team who pays for her 2 daughters’ private school education with arbonne. She is a ‘stay at home mum’ who works everyday on her business and has absolutely killed it. I also know consultants who sign up simply for the 35% discount on their products. Each person is different. And that’s okay!

  193. Sarah says:

    This is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  194. Jennifer says:

    Michaela Whitehouse, according the FTC report, 99% of Arbonne consultants lose money. Only 1% will make steady income so the chances of making it big is really small. 99% will not be successful because of the MLM structure. You could be the best salesperson but when it comes to MLM you will not be as successful because you need a huge downline to make real income and most of the downline will drop out after a year. Nobody with Arbonne will be sucessful without building a huge downline. The highest rank will never maintain 160000 dollars per month without a huge downline. Its all about recruiting and most of the time people drop out after a year so that is why only 1% will be successful.

  195. Corinne Shields says:

    Hey guys, I’m an Arbonne Consultant and a trained Pilates Instructor with hyper mobility. Before Arbonne, I ate whole foods and exercised, considering myself very healthy. I’ve been injured for some time and in chronic pain. Doing the 30 days to healthy living enabled me to see how some things (we are talking ‘healthy’ whole foods here) were contributing to inflammation and making me feel ill. I wasn’t aware until I did the 30 day plan. That and the encouragement from our training to meditate and be mindful has honestly changed my life. Everything can’t be for everybody but I feel a lot of the negative articles come from a place where there is a personal distaste perhaps for the business model? On a day to day basis we are fed advertising owing to ‘natural’ and effective products – I don’t know how Arbonne is different? All products natural or not natural have a chemical name. I ask for recommendations from friends all the time and don’t expect them to be a trained specialist, that’s what network marketing is.

    I have been subject to network marketers myself going about things in the wrong way but we can’t hold a company responsible for that. There are tonnes of companies with employees, if we get bad service do we then start slandering the company? When we start we are not obligated to sell, the sign up fee is very low and obviously you buy products as it’s a product based business. The reason you join is because you have an interest in the products anyway. Very few people can be bothered to put the effort in to building the business, it’s essentially like starting up as self employed. It’s hard! I would know, I’ve done it a few times but the investment Vs return is way less than doing that. What’s more is if you don’t like the products or business, you can get your money back. Full transparency on ingredients is on the product pages, I refer to them all the time.

    The business isn’t for everyone and neither are the products but I would say don’t be put off by opinions. Try them, send them back if you don’t like! They are the best products I have used for my skin and the nutrition line plus 30 days plan has drastically reduced pain for me. Much love to all x

  196. Michaela Whitehouse says:

    Jennifer, I didn’t see this reply until now. Arbonne is very transparent when it comes to income. Yes, only 1% reaches the biggest promotion of the business, and that is clearly stated. If you want to look up Arbonne specific stats, you can go to earnings.arbonne.com

    Yes, of course you need a team to build to this. And yes, some people throw in the towel. But some people – and I know a lot of them – absolutely love this job and thrive off it. An MLM may not be for you, and that’s okay. I simply commented as I KNOW the regulations, training, research and behind the scenes that goes into this company. Meghan clearly doesn’t see it that way and is basing a lot of the info off (what it seems) a few bad experiences with individuals. If anyone has questions or wants to reach out regarding this, just search me on fb and send me a message, I’d be happy to help answer anything.

  197. Sonia says:

    This info is outdated. Arbonne has been recognised as a B Corporation which you should be aware, has the highest and most stringent standards to adhere to. You just can’t apply and automatically get certification. There are many criteria that need to be ticked off BEFORE you even get certification … and you need to keep meeting the criteria in order to keep it. It’s not a one and done certification.

  198. Rachelle says:

    I’m just here to say that Arbonne teaches you how to make a meal replacement shake! So you have all you need to actually make it enough calories that’s all lol

  199. Isabella Russo says:

    Hi, I’m thinking of buying their mascara again because it’s the best mascara I have ever used (I haven’t worn mascara in years) and I also thought that their ingredients were safe, now I’m not so sure.

    I wanted to start wearing it for every day and was wondering is it safe to do this?

    Regards
    Isabella

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      If you haven’t looked at that product in awhile, I’d recommend revisiting the ingredient list to see if anything has changed, and if there are any ingredients that concern you. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide what products they are comfortable using.

  200. Melissa says:

    To the people saying this information is outdated, it’s really not. All her points are still valid, informative and apply today.

    I think this article was very well written and believe openness and respect was maintained throughout.

    Yes, Arbonne posts their ingredients which Meghan addressed – What Meghan is saying is that you should do your own research and research each ingredient individually to know EXACTLY what is going into your body before you decide to fully invest in these pricey products (and yes they are pricey for what they are) to see if you agree with what’s going into your body. She also addresses how certain ingredients listed may have sub-ingredients and companies aren’t obligated to post all the sub-ingredients of certain ingredients and for YOU to be mindful of that.

    In terms of the “quota” comments. No, if you sign up as a PC or IC there are really no obligations or quotas BUT if you plan to make it into a business, once you get into certain tiers of commission you need to upkeep that selling point to keep that current tier each month. Otherwise, you drop down. Once you hit a tier you don’t just get to stay there and thats were “quotas” come into play so that you can maintain that title and commission.

    I recently bought a lot of products – upon trying them I to get a hint of a “chemical” type taste in the Fizz that made me question what was in the products. I haven’t and won’t touch the make-up but in the protein & Fizz sticks alone, it’s a lot of ingredients. The protein I was using prior had all of 4 ingredients so that makes me question why Arbonne needs SO many ingredients in one product for it being classified as vegan, natural etc.

    I think Arbonne is great for anyone wanting to start to change up their lifestyle, to earn a side income, to help empower other women and bring more positivity into this world and their own lives. It can be life changing! I think the message behind Arbonne promoting health will encourage people to change small daily habits. Maybe they’ll drink way more water with Fizz, maybe they’ll finally get more protein intake with the protein powder etc. Which is so great, but I think once you get those foundations in place – then you need to be mindful of what you’re actually putting into your body and do some more research.

    I would consider myself a little more advanced in the health awareness in that ingredients matter to me. I would rather drink straight up water and squeeze whole fruits into it for flavour then to insert a powder packet that has 15 different, good and “iffy” ingredients. I would rather force myself to eat whole fruits and vegetables then to take a scoop of powder with 30 ingredients and only receive 1/3-1/2 of the nutritional value of those whole foods. I would rather switch back to my previous protein that has 4 ingredients all with names I can pronounce and easily search then to intake a protein with 30 ingredients and that has a slight chemical aftertaste. The protein also doesn’t mix then best. It separates the minute it sits for a short period of time if you drink it alone.

    As I said, I think Meghan did amazing at explaining her views, acknowleging both sides but ultimately keeping number 1 in mind and what’s going into her own body and helping to educate others to do the same, even if the answers aren’t what you want to hear – because thats tough, when you invest so much into something you believed to be whole and it turns out to be different Thant that. But it’s on you to be accountable for doing your own research.

    I questioned the products after identifying an odd taste in Fizz – I searched and it led me here giving me some confirmation and validation that I need to dial in more on these products and if I want to continue putting them through my body.

  201. Jessie says:

    Melissa, I am curious…which protein shakes do you like? I have trouble finding a brand that isn’t too chalky or that doesn’t separate like these do. I would also prefer one with less ingredients.

  202. Rachel Petty says:

    This is the most helpful and respectful article I’ve ever read that breaks down an MLM company. Thank you so much.

  203. Cassandra S says:

    THANK YOU! Thank you for this article. I had thought about trying some of the nutritional products because all the “sparkle” around them being “pure and natural” made me want to try them to see if I could maybe make some changes to my life. However, I think I’ll just try and change some things on my own. Buy more fruits and veggies instead of snacks (cookies, chips, etc). I’ll start using fruits and fresh herbs to make my own flavored waters and such.

    It also kind of upsets me that they claim to ban all these ingredients and yeah while I wouldn’t want some things in my products, but don’t make it sound more than it actually is. Just because you don’t use certain ingredients doesn’t mean that everything in the product is “all natural” and whatnot.

  204. Christine says:

    Hi Meghan, I’m a consultant with the company as well, I stumbled onto your blog post (to my sponsor’s dismay😂) and found it quite interesting. I was initially looking for reviews of products from someone outside of the company (which I couldn’t really find) and this is truly an eye opener as I was not sure about how pure the products were as I mean all products have chemicals in them. I’m somewhat in a crisis of whether or not to continue as an IC with the company as although I am doing well and earning well I am unsure about how to handle the hatred and backlash I am receiving on a daily basis from people I am reaching out to to buy products or share the opportunity with. It just seems like a lot to take even though I know most are basing their hate towards to brand or MLMs rather than me. Though, I’ve had messages from people calling me a cult leader or a brainless bimbo (quite literally quoted from one person I reached out to as a response to ‘would you like to hear more’)… I know leaving will hurt my self pride as I am quite a stubborn person but I don’t know what else to do otherwise!!!

  205. Allie says:

    Meghan, thank you so much for this informative, fact-based article. Really appreciate the time and effort you put into researching the company, as well as the fair and respectful approach you took addressing their product claims. Awesome work!

  206. Melina Roussel Gluck says:

    Thanks for this post. I always knew it was fishy but now I understand why! Please know your efforts are well received and so grateful to you!

  207. Kelsey Martin says:

    Hello, so I have been using Arbonne fizz sticks for quite some time and found this article quite informative and interesting. Thank you. I sometimes question my sanity for ordering the fizz sticks but then they help me so much that I give in. So my question is, does anyone have a good/healthy alternative that also tastes good? would LOVE to know. thank you!

  208. Gen says:

    What do you use that works as well?
    I’ve been using Arbonne for YEARS because their products work. I’ve always had access to the full ingredients list. And they’ve been gluten free and certified vegan since I started using the brand in 2004.
    Since then, they seem committed to constantly upgrading their ingredients, for example they removed parebens years ago and just discontinued my favorite skin care line, the one that brought me into the brand, because as they stated, their younger demographic cares more about ingredients than results from marginal ingredients , which wasn’t the case when I bought my first anti aging set (which worked!).

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