Is Rodan and Fields An Ugly Pyramid Scheme or Legitimate?

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You may have heard the expression black don't crack. Well I'm living proof of that. I've been fortunate to have “good” skin for all my life. On occasion I may get some acne or shaving induced skin irritation. But for the most part it's rare and not something I would consider a serious issue for me. Unfortunately that's not the case for many people, which is why companies like Rodan and Fields came into existence. But can helping people with their skincare needs be profitable? Let's dive into this Rodan and Fields review to find out.

What is Rodan and Fields?

Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields were the co-creators of the wildly popular skincare product Proactiv Solutions. But in 2002 they decided to launch their own skincare line. They initially sold their product in several high-end department stores and on infomercials. But after several years on the shelf, they felt that word of mouth was a better way to sell. So in 2006, they stopped selling in stores. They had their own “House Call” where they showed the products to their friends. Eventually Rodan and Fields branched out and offered their products as an MLM opportunity. They currently sell four skin care regimens: Redefine, Soothe, Reverse, and Unblemish.

How Do You Make Money With Rodan and Fields?

Like most MLMs their compensation plan takes some deciphering. But we'll attempt to break it down below. This may change by the time you read the review. But like most MLMs you get paid for selling the products and recruiting people under you. If you don't like selling or recruiting you may want to consider and as a FREE alternative. But let's dive deeper on how you earn with Rodan and Fields.

  • Retail Profit from selling product to Retail Customers and to Preferred Customers (PCs)
  • Consultant Commissions from sales to the Consultants and PCs you Sponsor
  • Personal Team Commissions on sales made by your Personal Team and Consultants you Sponsor
  • Generation Commissions on sales made by the extended organization your Personal Team creates
  • Performance Bonuses for reaching milestone achievements

I'm not going to dive into the definitions of some of the terms described above. It always annoys me that you need to define MLM compensation terminology. It's definitely easier to understand than other MLMs, I've reviewed. But nonetheless you still need a whole multiple page document to comprehend it.

You may be on here reading this very post on Rodan for a few reason. First, you may be looking to for ways to expand your mlm business, second, you may have a friend or acquaintance that has been pushing the opportunity to you on social media. What I can tell you, being in the online space of the last 8 years is that there is an incredible opportunity online in particular in the skin care space, but you have to approach it the RIGHT WAY. By building your own business.

Don't get me wrong. Promote R & F if you want. But treat it like a proper business and build it out in the right way. If you plan on creating something that is long term, trying to hustle friends and family on Facebook or Instagram is going to dry up quickly.

If you like the idea of network marketing, but you want to leverage the online world I can help. In fact, being an Internet entrepreneur with a long haul affiliate marketing experience and experience selling “online” you may want to check out the LEGIT process to Becoming a Skin Care Entrepreneur online. Truth told, I can help you build it!

Rodan and Fields Complaints

Like all companies Rodan and Fields does have its problems. Unfortunately some of their consultants won't tell you what they are. But we'll lay out some of them below so you can make an informed decision.

Compensation Plan Interpreter Needed.

Their compensation plan is a bit tricky to decipher. The fact they need a multiple page document to explain it is a testament to that. Furthermore the web is full of videos featuring Rodan and Fields Recruiters trying to explain the system. This is a common issue with most MLMs and not isolated to R+F. Fortunately free work at home opportunities like SwagBucks and are straightforward to understand and earn with.

Don't Quit Your Day Job!

Most consultants have expressed they do not know of anyone making a full-time or even a part-time living as a Rodan and Fields consultant. Most distributors invest more money in the business than they ever make. Their income disclaimer backs this up. So at least they're upfront about this. But most people that start a businesses fail. But it's definitely more difficult to make MLMs succeed. So Rodan and Fields is no different in that respect. But it doesn't mean you're destined to fail, discover how to avoid failing with MLMs like Rodan Field by reading this.

Facebook Stalking!

Apparently like Nerium International, Rodan and Fields consultants are encouraged to make numerous posts on social media promoting their product and opportunities. Perhaps you are currently in this boat. Rodan and Fields cyber pestering has been so bad that some are talking about petitioning Facebook to make it stop. Ouch! But I've seen this issue with many opportunities where the reps just do things on their own. So it may not be coming from the top down.

Return Hassle.

Apparently some consumers find that returns are difficult to make. Some have argued their customer service department is very hard to reach or work with.

Autoship Problems.

Some one-time customers who found themselves set up for autoship, although they did not request it. This could be because a consultant didn't explain the terms of the conditions properly. Either way people have complained that stopping the auto shipping is difficult. It often takes more than one phone call to get it done.

So Is Rodan and Fields A Scam or Legit?

Although they do sell popular skincare products, Rodan and Fields is not for everyone. The likelihood of making a full-time or even part-time income is very slim based on the income disclosure. Like most Multi-Level Marketing opportunities, the real money flows upward. It also seems to be more dependent on recruiting other consultants. So if you're not really good at doing that, this may not be for you. You may want to consider a more straightforward way of earning money such as and which is free and easier to work. Legally they're not really a scam or pyramid scheme because they do sell a real product in the skin care space and they actually do have quite a good long term reputation in this space. The products do work for some people.

But I personally wouldn't join simply to promote this product, rather I would recommend that you create your OWN business in the skin care space and open your eyes to over 150,000 products you can promote as an affiliate/authority (including R & F of course).

However you're a grown adult. So you can do what you want. Either way, I hope this gives you more information to make a decision that is best for you.

Let's face it, MLMs can rub people the wrong way (including friends and family). If that's you, there are other business options to consider. I would recommend looking my home base and the platform I recommend to MLM'ers and affiliate marketers alike, Wealthy Affiliate. It's been my home base for the last 8 years online and I have seen it single handedly create Internet success stories, the best part is you can check it out for totally free.

You can get 2 free websites for free. You can get training, expert support and an incredible amount of help with your business for FREE (including that of your R & F business).

At the end of the day, you don't want to rely on another business for your success. That is a JOB. Don't feel pressured by consultants, your “upline” or someone trying to get you to join ANY opportunity. Make sure you get the good, bad and ugly so you're not surprised.

Well that's enough yapping from me. I'd love to hear your experience or thoughts about this company. So please post a comment below.

Eddy with a y

38 thoughts on “Is Rodan and Fields An Ugly Pyramid Scheme or Legitimate?”

  1. I am a consultant for R&F. I did much research before becoming one. It is not a scam. The company is very up front about the money you can make, and even stress that most people do not make much at all. Many of the negative comments are misleading or misinformed. I do not currently actively sell R&F mainly because I don’t have the time due to other commitments. You do not have to pay the $25.95 a month for a website if you do not want one. Also, you have the option spending the $80-$100 a month on CRP (consultant replenishment program). You will still make commissions if you don’t participate in these, the percentage is just less. A benefit of being a consultant is that you receive a 25% discount on all the products. Whether you sell anything to others or not. When you become a consultant you can start for as low as $45, or choose to buy the &695 or $995 business starter kit. The value of the products in the kits is significantly higher than what you pay & are all products you can personally use. You also have the choice of recruiting other consultants or just building a personal customer base. All of this info is laid out in the terms & conditions & in the compensation plan explanation provided before you buy in. The other misconception is that the products are super expensive. Not true if you do an apple to apple comparison to the higher end drug store products which do not work as well. All R&F regimens last for at least 60 days, drug store products typically only 30 days. A consultant can turn participation in CRP & the website on & off easily on the company website. Preferred customers (auto shop customers) can also easily control the timing & contents of their shipments online. You do not need to contact customer service. All that said, just like any other MLM, it’s not for everyone. You have to put in the work to make money. It is one of the most honest & upfront ones I have ever found though.

  2. MLM type businesses always get a bad rap. I’ve gone through multiple meetings through the years from various companies. Mainly has to do with recruiting other people and not so targeted on selling the actual product. They typically want you to build your team. The problem I have with make up or skin care products through the MLM route is unfortunately the people that sell them. For example, there was an older man in his late 50s trying to promote and sell during a meeting Nurium international. This guy was promoting anti-aging products, yet had extremely bad skin and tons of wrinkles. I mean he’s not only selling the products but he’s not believable either. Does that make sense? Typically MLM companies put a disclaimer that you can make some more between $500-$1500 per year. That is not a lot of lot of money to quit your job. The only actual MLM Company that I actually like and have actually used a few times was Legal Sheild. Because you actually got to talk to real lawyers and they would write letters on your behalf. And you could get legal advice. I like the product but I did not want to do the meetings. My husband used to service and spoke to an attorney and had them write a letter on his behalf when he was trying to get out of his car lease. He made numerous calls to the dealership got ignored and tried talking to the GM and was given the runaround. Once he got a letter written by Legal Shield he actually got back $4000 from the dealership. This is 100% true story.

    • Hey Bee, you make some great points and I think that’s why so many of us aren’t big fans of MLMs. Some of the cult like behavior doesn’t help matters either. If you want to see it first hand, read my Nerium Review and the comments below.

      That said I don’t feel all of of them are bad. Seems like you like the one you’re part of and that’s great. I’m sure like any company it has it’s complaints and weaknesses as well. But at least the product sounds useful.

  3. I have a family member who doesn’t give me the time of day and who totally ignores me on Facebook. She suddenly reached out by saying my children have grown then not five minutes later started asking me about my skin regimen. That was a little too obvious. She then gave me the hard sell. I politely told her I wasn’t interested and she never responded. I’m now totally turned off by her and this product. I’m also going to have to hide her from my Facebook feed because she posts at least ten times a day. No one is liking or responding to her posts so I’m hoping she’ll eventually move on. The before and after pictures are laughable.

    • Hey Eileen,
      Sorry to hear about your experience. I can’t say I’m surprised. Too often MLM reps are taught to prospect this way. And as you mentioned even if the product was good or legitimate, the approach is going to turn people off. Either way I thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully people will learn from this experience. Although I’m sure some MLM reps will testify how they have had success doing it this way.

  4. I came across this article wondering what the craze was about R&F! Eddy this was a great article with helpful comments, MLM’s just aren’t for me.

  5. I am in my first month of starting my Rodan + Fields business. I look at it as an investment into a mini-franchise. I don’t need the capital investment of a storefront, but I get to carry and promote products that have made a difference to me. I did not have to buy a big box of inventory to start out. I could have started with just a $45 investment. I don’t have to carry any inventory. The company does that for me. All I have to do is take care of my customers. And that is fun. I have an excuse to be social and connected. There is a monthly fee to have a sales website, but it’s optional. You do have to purchase $100 for yourself every month – it can be business promotion products, products for personal use, or items to give away or sell at retail. I don’t see that as the company making excess money off of me – I see it as making sure I stay current with the line and know what I am selling. I have low expectations the first year. But I am having a lot of fun. The team culture is very positive and empowering to women. I do feel weird approaching friends and family, but I always leave an “out” and really, it’s just me letting people know it’s available, I have it, reminding them sometimes, and then letting it go. I love this opportunity!

    • Kim,

      Thanks for sharing your experience and thought process about this opportunity. I’m all for investing in a business and I do believe any business needs to be approached from a long term stand point. So I totally agree with you. And I would feel weird approaching my family and friends too. You shouldn’t have to. People can come to you. So be sure to check out my recommendation as it can help you learn how to market rodan online so people come to you and you’re not limited to your family and friends.

  6. I really liked your review. I do have to tell I just got a call from a friend and an old massage client of mine. Great lady and someone I do miss a lot since my family has since moved to another state. I guess what just ticked me off is that she called acting like she wanted to visit and see how I was doing and ask me if she could call me for my opinion on something. She hits me up to sell this junk. And when I said that was not my cup of tea she sort of became short with me and said she had to go. I know a lot of people that sell this skin care system but in my opinion it is too expensive for my pocketbook !!! I guess I was just a little taken aback by her call? (Sad Face) And yes I just think its a fantasy pyramid scheme all glossy and shinny. I think if someone approaches you to sell this stuff Run !!! Thanks paula

    • Hey Paula,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the review. See, I hate when these mlms have friends and family viewing and treating us as a prospect. Her approach was so contrived. So even if you would have considered rodan and fields, now it’s going to leave a bad taste in your mouth because of your friend’s approach. Thanks for sharing your experience and opinion.

  7. Thank you for writing this review. I appreciated the honesty. One of my old
    High school friends is peddling this on Facebook and it is a bit annoying, and she has messaged me saying she thinks I can be a great “resource” for her. So I thought I’d do a little research first. This helped a lot.

  8. When you look at it all businesses are pyramid schemes. I mean, all workers don’t get paid the same. The CEO gets the most money, options and shareholding. All businesses hold “parties,” but with regular companies they’re called shareholder meetings, conventions or expos. Each business has to get the word out. MLMs just give everyone a shot. One does not have to hit up friends and family. There are so many ways to get traffic to your site by using keywords and such. Word of mouth isn’t as big or as quick as “word of internet.”
    But you’re definitely right about the bad taste as it just becomes tiresome that the friend who has the business hasn’t figured out how to expand outside their circle of friends and family and depends on them for sales. I too like the idea of not asking my friends, coworkers and family to buy into my business. If I can get it up, running and profitable they will all come running at some point anyway.

    • Kayla,
      I appreciate your insight but don’t totally agree with everything you’ve said. Yes most corporations have a pyramid like structure. But unlike some of the shady MLMS most real corporations make money via the sale of their products not the recruitment of sales reps. And not all businesses have “parties”. I’ve never had to attend a “party” for my affiliate marketing business. You are right that you don’t have to resort to harassing your family and friends assuming your MLM parent company and sponsor teach you other marketing techniques. But far too often they don’t. That said not all MLMs are bad.

  9. I do love the products, but I’m tired of large chunks of money coming out of my account with no real recourse or consistent warning. The rep and the company are supposed to warn you when it’s time for a replenishment order, so I’ve become used to that system. When they don’t do it, there’s nothing you can do but wait for them to refund the money. Today (again), I received a “Your replenishment order has been processed” email, but I didn’t get the “You have an upcoming replenishment order” email. So it’s too late to cancel. That’s almost $200 that I have to wait to be refunded. This happens when you think you’ve delayed an order to be shipped in a later month, but either (1) the delay message doesn’t register with R+F, or (2) you think you pushed it further than you did. I didn’t think my next order was scheduled until February, and they didn’t send an upcoming-order email, so it wasn’t on my radar. I received the email this morning that they had processed the order, and it’s too late to do anything about it. Two earlier times were for almost $400 each (under slightly different circumstances, but still the same surprise). It always takes a long time to get the money back. This would be a minor annoyance if it was $30 or $40. When it’s $200, $300, $400, it’s more than a minor annoyance.

    • It’s unfortunate that do many have had a bad experience with Rodan and Fields. Unfortunate due to the fact that it’s really an amazing product . For those individuals who are receiving products on auto ship -you can stop this right now. As far as getting rich selling the products -I can only say that I personally know a few individuals who are very successful -I guess it depends on what you consider rich🤪. I will say that I am a 69 yr old woman who is more often than not, mistaken for 50 ish -The products are wonderful and a whole regime costs less than one wrinkle cream at the department stores. I soon figured out that I would rather have great skin than purchase anew pair of shoes or a new outfit. I love the products and my skin is a testimony -I don’t “bug” my friends -it sells itself 🥰. Gotta Love it ! It may not be your cup of tea and that’s okay with me! However-don’t knock it till you try it!

  10. My experience with R & F, I suspect, is the same as most people who sign up to sell it. I lost money on my investment and ended up having to apologize to friends I convinced to join me in my excitement to get started. The thing I became so resentful about was the fact that R & F required that each consultant purchase $85 worth of product per month plus each consultant must pay $24.95 for a website to do business on. Turns out, there is no combination of products that add up to $85 and you end up spending minimum of $100 or more per month+ $25.95 just to stay eligible to sell!! To me, that’s the scam of this company. They are guaranteeing themselves profits by shaking down their consultants. The way these products are instructed to be used, one cannot possibly use that much product. This expense is on top of the initial investment of either $695 or $1000 for a kit. Also, one must have sold so much product by a certain date each month to be eligible for commissions. I believe it’s $600 depending on ones consultant level. The higher you move up, the more you must have in your commission bucket. If one has not sold that much by the cutoff date, then there is no commission at all on what you have sold. The good news–your required purchase could be counted into that $600. It just seemed every time I turned around, I was spending and not quite earning anything. It is totally geared toward the company guaranteeing themselves profits every month which mostly consisted of consultant purchases. No thank you, there have to be better ways to make money on the internet. The only other way to sell it is by speaking to strangers in public or parties where your friends and friends of friends are ambushed at a party or group presentation and aren’t privy to the fact this is a party where they are going to feel very uncomfortable if they don’t buy something.

  11. As a R+F consultant, I can see where people would be leary of a company that requires you to reach out/solicit. However, I can honestly say,I am so glad someone reached out to me! I love what it has done for my skin. As far as maKing money…. while it is important to strive for a growing team, you actually have the potential to make more from happy customers. I always shoot for more customers than consultants each month. If you work it like a side job, that’s how you’ll get paid. Work it like a full time job and well, it’s retired 5 of my direct directs, 4 of them earning a free Lexus! 2 of them also choosing to retire their husbands and they have only been in the business 2 to 3 years! I am FAR from retirement, but I also don’t put forth the effort like some do. It’s all what you want out of your business.

  12. Actually, a pyramid scheme CAN have a product to sell, according to this definition straight from the FTC: “Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s probably not. It could be a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.” So just because an MLM sells an actual product, does not in turn mean it is not also a pyramid scheme. That myth needs to stop NOW!

  13. Love the review of this opportunity. There are a lot of companies out there in the MLM realm that offer skin care products – heck, any type of products – that depend on your reaching out to people in your circle of family and friends in order to get started. This is the biggest turn-off, for most people, when it comes to MLM.
    Most folks just don’t want to be a bother to those closest to them & come off as pitchy when talking with them.
    I know there are people out there who are making good money with MLM, but I definitely prefer less family-intrusive methods of making money online.

    • I agree with you Kevin. I’m just not big on any business model that requires me to pitch my family or friends. I’d prefer people that want what I offer come to me which is why affiliate marketing is a lot more favorable for me. Not all MLMs are bad and there are people that do well with them. It’s just not my cup of tea.

  14. Great review!!
    As someone who considered a lot of home base businesses and self-employed income, I can tell that even some MLM’s might be legitimate, but they are very hard, and the people promoting the product’s feel like people don’t want to talk to them, people crossing the street when seeing them etc.
    As you said Wealthy Affiliate is a very good of making money, while you earn some very great skills, they educate you all the way,
    Thanks for the review,

    • I agree with you. People just don’t feel good about MLMs or the people that promote them even if they are legit.

  15. I have recently signed up with Rodan and Fields and one reason I chose to give it a try is because my consultant kit had a 60 day money back guarantee. I told myself that if I didn’t earn my money back in 58 days I would return it. I earned my money back within about 20 days. I did this by contacting old friends, inviting them to coffee and having a social at my house where we had wine and talked skin. I have also gotten some clients and a consultant from posting on facebook.

    You can’t be afraid to reach out and offer your friends and family a great opportunity. You have to work. I do at least 10 reach outs a day and I post on my fb newsfeed about 2 r+f posts a day, which have gotten me customers.

    I also will talk to random people in the store about it and have gotten business that way.

    I’m not gross or pushy. I talk about MY experience of extra money and great skin and people want to know how they can get the same.

    Most people who don’t succeed in direct sales have fear about how they will be perceived. You can’t be a snob about this. You have to realize that there is a reason that doctors, nurses, lawyers, celebrities, PR execs, etc. have signed up to sell Rodan and Fields.

    If you let your fear go, you share about your new earning possibilities and your beautiful skin people will want to join you. If you mumble about your business and make excuses as if you’re embarrassed and never post about your business you will not have success.

    • Rita,
      Thats’ great you’re doing well. But I do think it’s perfectly normal for people to have fear of reaching out to their friends about products or any business. The reality is we’ve all been harassed by someone that is part of an MLM and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. So with that said I’m not a big fan of any business model that depends on me having to use my family and friends as prospects.

      It’s one thing if my friends asks me what I do or what I’ve been using. Then that conversation feels natural. I’ve done that with my current business. If they want to know more then I share it with them. But I just couldn’t imagine setting up “parties” to promote my business or product. I prefer having people that already expressed an interest come to me. Fortunately that’s exactly how my business works. And that’s what I prefer. But to each their own.

      Ultimately I agree that with any business fear plays into it. You have to be able to combat the fear of failure and continue to push forward if you run into it. But I’m big believer of trying to find ways to make money that fit your personality and strengths. Thanks for sharing though.

  16. I’ve always been confused on the difference between MLM and pyramid schemes. Aren’t pyramid schemes illegal actually? My guess is these MLM guys are working on some loophole to have a pyramid scheme without getting in trouble :/ .. This is a well written article and will check out wealthy affiliate. Thanks for this.

    • People like to mix and match the words MLM and pyramid scheme. With a pyramid scheme there is no real product to sell or buy. People buy into the scam and the person that recruits them gets the money. Then the person that buys in has to get someone else to do the same so they can make money. But there is no product. With an MLM, there is a product that people can buy and you do earn a commission of that product purchase and percentage of the people you recruit under you who sell products as well. So that’s the major difference and what keeps MLMs legal. But often time the products aren’t usually good and just a front to stay legal. So that’s why a lot of people view MLMs as scams.

  17. Hey Eddy! I have learnt the hard way that mlm is not really for me, it’s like a pyramid scheme but legal because they sell a product like you said, I have seen that these companies don’t call themselves mlm anymore because this kind of business model has a very bad reputation, thanks for sharing this review of this mlm company that sell those skin care products, is there any other company that will actually help me to make extra money (not mlm please)?

    • The MLM model never worked well for me as well. And I agree they stay legal because of the products aspect. But I prefer affiliate marketing much better. Aren’t you a member of Wealthy Affiliate? Why not put more effort in applying what they teach since that will help you earn extra money and full time income.

  18. Rodan and Field’s is totally the most exceedingly bad healthy skin item available. What’s more, client administration is a finished and aggregate joke. They didn’t give it a second thought or demonstrate any sensitivity when I let them know my better half’s face poor out from their cream (or process. who knows with them). What’s more, the gear I got was somewhat harmed and they never sent the substitutions as guaranteed. It is truly similar to you get a computerized reaction saying they can’t do any discounts… BE FOREWARNED, our dermatologist says this is a finished misuse of cash, as well as their items, do incorporate hurtful fixings… some even illicit!

    • It sounds like you have some first hand experience with them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  19. I’m loving this review Eddy. I read it all the way till the end. That’s because I was in a similar company. I used to sell Avon and I love the products, but it was really hard to make any money at all. I found that I was the only one buying products from me! Lol… Except the occasional people that actually bought. But then, it was not enough to make a substantial amount of money, because their commission rate was really low. AND their products are not expensive. Pretty competitive market this is, I can definitely say that! Now I just use my Avon rep account to buy what I personally need and get the rep discounts on the purchases. Lol

    • Hey Reyhana,

      I actually reviewed Avon a while back. So I can totally hear where you’re coming from. Beauty products are obviously big money but like you realized I think it’s much harder to sell them with this business model. So I’m glad you could relate and share your insight. I appreciate it!

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