What Is Arbonne? Skin Care Products with MLM Wrinkles


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Another day and yet another company that is claiming you can make a living at home peddling skin care and beauty products. Clearly this is a profitable billion dollar industry but can you really carve a piece of it for yourself?

Arbonne International claims you can. In my Arbonne Review, we are going to take a real close look at their products and business opportunity to determine if it's worth your time.

What is Arbonne?

Arbonne International is a Swiss based company, founded by Pettar Morck in 1975. He entered the U.S. market in 1980. The U.S. Headquarter is located in Irvine, California.

This is how Mr. Mork describes his products and his company:

“Arbonne skincare products, based on botanical principles, became a reality in the United States in 1980 and are now shared throughout the world through the Arbonne network of Independent Consultants. Building on these same founding principles, the product line has since grown to include both inner and outer health and beauty products that are unparalleled in quality, safety, value, benefits and results.

The wonderful thing about Arbonne is that it's not just about great products, it's also about great people. The Arbonne family is made up of thousands of individuals working to make their dreams come true. Through sales incentives and rewards, travel opportunities, a generous SuccessPlan and great products, Arbonne offers a unique opportunity that can help make anyone's vision for the future a reality”.

What are the Arbonne Products?

In 1980 Arbonne had a total of 19 products. Today, you can choose from over 250 different products in the following categories:

  • SkinCare
  • Bath & Body
  • Hair Care
  • Sun Protection
  • Cosmetics
  • Fragrance
  • Nutrition

Arbonne claims that their products are ‘superior‘ and explain….

“They are naturally inspired, and scientifically proven. By integrating 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”.

Arbonne products are PURE: Developed with meaningful ingredients from nature

Arbonne products are SAFE: They are nontoxic and eco-friendly

Arbonne products are BENEFICIAL: Their commitment is to provide effective products that deliver a TRUE benefit”.

What is the Arbonne Business Opportunity?

It's a typical MLM model that provides you with 2 ways to make money. You can sell the product at the suggested retail price and the difference between wholesale and retail is your profit. Or you can become an independent Arbonne Consultant and build your own team of consultants. You then receive commissions from their sales as well as bonuses as team leader.

The Arbonne compensation plan is as convoluted as all MLM plans are, but even harder to understand. They also added a ‘wrinkle‘ to their plan. The Arbonne compensation Plan is a breakaway compensation plan, or a uni-level plan, and seldom used in the industry. More about it a little later on.

What are the Arbonne Complaints & Concerns?

Every company, even the best, see a number of complaints which is absolutely normal. “Can't please anyone all the time”, as they say. However, there is an unusual high number of complaints related to the products.

Products contain ‘harmful' ingredients

Are Arbonne products really as ‘safe and pure‘ as they claim them to be? It may be true as far as their active ingredients is concerned. However, taking a closer look at the ingredients list shows a completely different picture.

The Arbonne Day Creme, as illustrate above, contains four (4) active ingredients but forty two (42) inactive, mostly laboratory produced, chemicals. Some of them can indeed be harmful.

Disodium EDTA is a chemical that may contain dangerous amounts of two toxins called ethylene oxide or dioxane. Disodium EDTA is also carcinogenic (causes cancer)

Phenoxyethanol is rated as a hazard and is linked to cancer, allergies, skin, eye or lung irritation, neurotoxicty and organ system toxicity.

This looks to me that these complaints are warranted and a real concern.

Arbonne products give me rashes and other adverse reactions.

These are complaints you will find with every company that sells skincare and beauty products; Arbonne is no exception but has an unusual high number. I read over a hundred of these and I believe that there is indeed a problem with some of their products.

Of course, there are also many rebuttals from Arbonne consultants which vehemently defend their products. The bottom line, however, is that there are way more of these complaints compared with products from other companies. Here are some of them.

The Arbonne products are too expensive

Well, that lies in the eyes of the beholder. The Arbonne products rang from $12 to over $140 for a single item. Compared by weight or count of the content, most products are indeed more expensive than that from Arbonne's competitors. The question is if YOU would be willing to spend $17 for a deodorant, $17 for a tube of toothpaste or $ 18 for a single bar of soap. I let you be the judge of that issue.

It is difficult to get a refund

These kinds of complaints are very common in the MLM industry. The main problem is that some of the product “has been used already” and the customer decides that it is not the right thing. It is easy to understand when companies are very reluctant to issue a refund. So, I take these complaints with the famous ‘grain of salt‘.

This sums up the reasons for customer complaints about the products. Lets take a look now at the issues Arbonne Consultants complain about.

The Arbonne Compensation Plan sucks

To start with, MLM compensation plans are complicated and very difficult to understand. They are supposed to give the independent distributors the incentive to build and maintain a strong sales team. They also should allow you to create residual income not only from your work but also from the work of your down line.

As I mentioned earlier, Arbonne decided to use a ‘breakaway‘ compensation plan which creates a dire situation in achieving residual income. As you move up the ranks within the pyramid structure, so do some of the folks you recruited. In case one or more of them achieve the same rank, or even move ahead of you, you will lose almost all your bonuses from them AND their down lines.

Arbonne is doing that to ‘keep the fire under your behind burning‘, so to speak, and force you to keep recruiting, recruiting and recruiting. This is obviously the reason that some of the top earners at Arbonne simply quit and left the company

I don't make enough money!

Duh! This is not an Arbonne-only problem, it is ‘The MLM Syndrom‘. Less than 1% make real money, another 1% make a livable income, yet another 1% may make a couple of hundred dollars a month. That's the reason for the horrendous drop-out rate of independent distributors in MLM schemes.

And lets face it, many people simply do not have what it takes to be successful in network marketing. Not everybody is cut out to recruit people, train them and build a strong sales team

Is Arbonne a Scam?

No, it is not. Arbonne is a legitimate MLM company that sells tangible products and they don't do anything wrong under the existing laws. Their products may not be as superior as they claim, they may be over priced, and more people than usual show adverse reaction to the product.

With that I am goiong to wrap up my Arbonne review and hope I could answer the questions you may have had. I would appreciate to hear your opinion, so please leave us a comment in the box below.

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That's all for today, folks. Thanks for stopping by

Eddy with a Y

17 thoughts on “What Is Arbonne? Skin Care Products with MLM Wrinkles”

  1. Best friend from grade school is the Area Manager for Arbonne with a Bachelors Degree in Nutrition and Wellness. I have used Arbonne myself and have lost 30lbs. with exercises. I also use their skincare line and never had any issues. Yes, your first purchase is a bit pricey but after that 1st purchase you are a preferred shopper and receive discounts. Arbonne is expected to be Internationally available in Taipei, Taiwan by 2016.

    Reply
    • I’ve been using Arbonne products for 34 years. I won’t use anything else. Yes, the initial cost may be high; however the products require such a small amount to be effective that once you’ve gotten yourself established, it truly is inexpensive. Become a consultant! Then you get a 35% discount, plus many other incentives. I’m allergic to almost everything ( thanks Mom!), and Arbonne is simply amazing stuff. OF COURSE, there will always be folks allergic to ingredients; however, sometimes it’s just getting the years of inferior products detoxified out of your skin. I look half my age (or so I’m told). All you can do is try it. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee, so what have you got to lose? I’m not a bot, nor receiving any compensation whatsoever. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

  2. My wife loves Arbonne products and has been using them for over 15 years. She has attempted the business opportunity but felt very pushed by her upline so now she just continues to order her products at her consultant discount.

    Reply
  3. Appreciate your labors in evaluating products and possibilities. This one looks to be too expensive and chancy to be attractive. Especially as an affiliate program without any real backing and the environmental questions raised by ERC.

    Reply
  4. Is alarming to see that many inactive ingredients. I found another company very much like them – NuSkin. They have a wide range of products. I have been using them and they seem to work quite well. My one concern is their expiration dates. With the natural active ingredients they seem effective but is hard to stock too many of them for distribution. Their plans seem well organized. Could you do a study on them?

    Reply
    • Hey Jerry,

      NuSkin sounds familiar. We’ll try to add it to our list of things to review. But I’ll be honest I’m getting tired of reviewing these beauty MLMs. lol
      Thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it.

  5. With the products of rising negative feed backs could destroy the companies goodwill, much better to do something better or best. Try to erase historical bad reputations

    Reply
  6. Back in the 1080’s, a lady was selling this. She had us try the products and I really liked it. And I always thought about purchasing it, but never did. So I’m surprised there are problems, but then again, maybe they made changes since then. This is good to know. Because over the years, I learned the most expensive cosmetics are not always the best. In fact, in most cases, cheaper cosmetics or regular home remedies are just as effective – if not more.

    Reply
  7. I admit that often I will only look for the active ingredient in a product, but if I saw an ingredient list this long I would be suspicious and running in the other direction. The price is outrageous. I would guess that you’re paying for all those inactive ingredients!!

    Reply
    • This “inactive ingredient list” is VERY MISLEADING. So many of the natural ingredients are in the “inactive“ list. The natural ingredients are what is the base for these products!

  8. There was also a 2014 consent agreement between a non-profit called “ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
    CENTER (ERC)” and Arbonne in which ERC alleges:
    “ERC has identified violations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Proposition 65”).

    Reply
  9. Hi Eddy,
    Always glad to hear about companies but as far as skin products go I don’t us many so this company doesn’t interest me.

    How old is your daughter now? Bet you are very proud of her.

    Reply
    • I hear ya. But fortunately for this industry there are millions that feel totally differently than you. LOL

      My daughter is 7 and yes when he’s not annoying me I’m very proud of her and my son. LOL

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