Arbonne Review - 13 Things You Need to Know
Fact Checked|Overview|Company Info|Claims|Effectiveness|Benefits & Results|Weight Loss|Directions|Side Effects|Environment|MLM Opportunities|Product Line|What Users Are Saying|Bottom Line|Arbonne Alternatives|Q&A
Arbonne has tapped into a number of different markets with a line of products ranging from weight loss to skincare. The company claims that its products are scientifically and clinically proven. However, in our research, we discovered that the evidence on one of their key ingredients, glucomannan, comes in on both sides of the debate.
In addition to the conflicting scientific data, our researchers unearthed potential unpleasant side effects associated with some of the ingredients in Arbonne products. We wanted to take a closer look, so we investigated the company from top to bottom to figure out if their products are real. We bring you the condensed here.
Arbonne can be purchased through their Official Site.
Arbonne Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!
Arbonne Video Review
What is Arbonne?
Arbonne is a line of products introduced to the market in The catalog includes hair, beauty, moisturizers, supplements, and makeup products. The company runs as a multi-level marketing venture, which means people are recruited to sell the line, and those people then recruit others whom they earn money from. This goes on and on, creating various stages of income for sellers.
The line currently offers quite the list of Arbonne products for weight loss. These include:
- Herbal Detox Tea
- Energy Fizz Sticks
- Daily Protein Boost
- Arbonne Essentials Protein Snack Bars
- Protein Shake Mix
Arbonne Evolution is a metabolism support supplement that contains chromium, green tea, green coffee extract, cocoa powder, ginger extract powder, cayenne powder, black pepper powder, caffeine, and quercetin.
- Clinical Obesity After an extensive review of research, studies show that Chromium supplementation was associated with some improvements in body composition in subjects with obesity/overweight.
- Molecules Green tea is known to have antioxidant and antiobesity effects, and the + mg in the Arbonne products is in line with clinical research.
- Cambridge Core Research shows green coffee extract may help reduce appetite and support weight loss, but studies tend to include much more of the ingredient than what is found in Evolution. Double the amount, to be exact.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
- = Initial product cost is less than $5
- = Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
- = Initial product cost is between $51 and $
- = Initial product cost is $ or more
How Did Arbonne Start?
Arbonne has a very humble beginning dating back to It is founded by Petter Morck, who had dreams of creating a beauty-products company that would compete favorably with existing beauty companies.
With this goal in mind, Petter went on to build an outstanding team of chemists and herbalists. Today, the company sells a wide range of products in the beauty, health, and detox niche with Arbonne consultants help.
How to Contact Arbonne
To reach a member of the customer service team, you can call or write. Their Standard Customer Care Hours are from Monday–Friday: 6 a.m.–8 p.m. Pacific time and Saturday: 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Pacific time.
Write: Jerome Rd, Irvine, CA
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
The makers of the line of products have brought forward many claims bolstering their market status. Here is a look at some of the essential claims which are worth bearing in mind.
- Healthy living to improve mind, body and skin.
- Holistic approach to beauty, health and wellbeing.
- % vegan-certified products backed by clinical research.
Does Arbonne Work?
The beauty line of Arbonne products such as the detox, moisturizing, and skincare are all renowned for producing remarkable results. Information on third-party websites confirms that the RE9 line is one of their most popular today. Even though some users have aired some complaints, a significant fraction of users still has a lot of faith in products and their ability to work.
Benefits & Results
Arbonne Benefits and Results
Using Arbonne is said to be associated with many benefits. The benefits depend on the nature and type of product that you are using. Skincare products are renowned for producing excellent results by slowing down the aging process. The skincare products also claim that they can keep the skin hydrated at all times while enhancing its strength and firmness. Further claims by the MLM Company also reveal that it is possible to promote collagen production.
Other notable benefits worth mentioning include body cleansing attributes and dietary supplements with high nutritional characteristics.
According to the company, Arbonne weight-loss products tend to make users feel full. This could be due to some supplements containing glucomannan; a water-soluble fiber that expands when it comes in contact with liquid. Lets check this ingredient, and others, out more in detail.
One of the new Arbonne product contains a popular weight loss ingredient, ginseng. According to the Journal of Ginseng Research, there is a paucity of evidence supporting the suggestion that ginseng can exert an antiobesity effect in humans.
Details on Arbonne and Weight Loss
Glucomannan is a natural fiber that may indeed have an impact on your weight. According to the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, KGM [konjac glucomannan] can reduce the levels of glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure and can enable weight loss.
Additional research regarding the benefits of glucomannan in the journal Nutritionconcluded In otherwise healthy overweight or obese adults, there is some evidence that in the short term GM may help to reduce BW.
Another weight loss ingredient mentioned in Arbonne products is ginger. Based on research available in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the current meta-analysis demonstrated that ginger intake reduced BW.
Lastly, one of the main ingredients noted in Arbonne products is green tea. According to an older study in the journal Advances in Nutrition, GTE has been shown in some studies to increase fat oxidation at rest and during exercise.
How to Use Arbonne Products
The instructions on how to use the products depend on the individual product being used. It is advisable to search the Arbonne consultant locator to seek advice from a consultant on using a specific product.
This applies to all offerings, including skincare, weight management, and moisturizers, among others.
Potential Arbonne Side Effects
When researching Arbonne reviews, youll notice some users may mention side effects from the products. These side effects arent from products; rather, theyre from the ingredients in the formulas. For instance, glucomannan is a fiber, so it can cause things like gas and bloat. Any severe side effects could indicate a problem, so if you feel as though youre having a severe adverse reaction, seek medical attention. According to the Journal of Obesity, glucomannan supplements ( g daily) were well tolerated. Given the growing epidemic of obesity, additional studies to assess the safety and efficacy of this widely used alternative weight loss approach are needed.
Arbonne and the Environment
According to the makers of the Arbonne health products, the products are eco-friendly. Like all the other products made by the company, cosmetics do not contain any substances that can harm the environment. Looking at the benefits of offering sustainable products, the National Institute of Standards and Technology stated by implementing changes, you will have a smaller carbon footprint and reduce the number of toxins released into the atmosphere.
This information is in line with the claim that the plant-based protein makers have made on their official website.
Is Arbonne MLM?
This is the question asked by most people who want to make money out of health and beauty products. Over the years, the Arbonne business has been able to capture many business persons attention globally.
This can be attributed to the continued rise in the popularity of most of the MLM Company products. But, it is the line of beauty products that have made a meaningful impact on the beauty and healthcare industry.
Therefore, taking part in a beauty products business would be a perfect idea for using beauty products. With the information currently found, there is a chance of success if you are using the Arbonne cosmetics line. Of course, additional information from third-party review sites is advisable before taking this step.
There are a host of products available to purchase, including:
- Bath and Body
As of mid, some of the new products listed include Ginseng Energy Fizz Sticks, Ginger Green Tea, InnerCalm Adaptogenic De-Stress Powder, and various skincare and makeup items.
In June , Arbonne voluntarily recalled its Shea Butter body wash, after 3, units were found to be contaminated with bacteria.
According to Truth in Advertising, in May , Cynthia and Michael Dagnall filed a class-action lawsuit against Arbonne International LCC. The lawsuit accused the company of being a pyramid scheme, misleading Consultants, and unjust enrichment. The Dagnalls wanted them held liable for violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
Cynthia Dagnall paid $ to become an Arbonne Consultant. Despite promises made by the company, she only earned $30 in compensation. The Dagnall family claimed that only a small fraction of Consultants earn the monetary compensation they were promised.
The company denied the allegations, but the company settled with the Dagnall family in March The settlement amount was never disclosed.
Arbonne International LLC has a BBB rating of A+ along with out of 5 stars based on an average of 60 customer reviews. Their phone is ()
What Users Are Saying
Age Well Set Not sure why all the bad reviews. It is amazing! I have had so many complements people asking what do You use. Your face is glowing! I love it!Linda B.
Do not get involved in Arbonne. Their whole system of taking advantage of low earning women is terrible. If anyone starts sending you “friendly spam” and asking to much into your money situation- do not do it! Wasting money down the drain. Plus just another company telling desperate women that they can loose weight with dieting products. Don’t fall for it, you are great as who you are now. If you don’t believe me watch the This Morning segment about the company on ITV telling you how it’s a great way too loose all your friends and be out of pocketMari
The more the people sell the more the people earn above you. Yes it is pyramid selling no matter how much they tell you otherwise. I was lucky enough I had my head screwed on. Save your money and invest into a savings account or stock shares. This is not a way to make money. Be kind to yourself and stay very clear.GA
The Bottom Line on Arbonne
What’s the real deal with Arbonne products? Several customers offer glowing reports about the benefits of the brand and supplements such as Essentials and Protein. Theres research into several of the key ingredients, backed by solid research. Also, the company has more than 40 years in the business.
Lifestyle changes are necessary to lose weight and keep it off, but how do you stick with those changes after the diet honeymoon has faded? The answer is support and not all support is the same.
Among the best weight-loss support systems weve found is Noom. Major health companies use Noom to help users get healthy and stay healthy. Everyone gains access to personalized meal plans and real-life human coaching, exercise tracking, and more.
Plus, were lucky to be able to offer Dietspotlight readers access to a free trial offer with full access to the Noom program.Learn More About Noom »
Arbonne Review: A Review of The 10 Best Arbonne Skin Care Products
If you’re active on social media, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Arbonne, whether it’s a post showcasing the buzzed-about Arbonne fizz sticks or a DM from an old friend asking if you want to purchase a product from them. Yes, that’s right: Arbonne is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. In fact, it’s a very popular MLM, with over , consultants around the world.
What are the Best Skin Care Products of ?
Due to the nature of MLMs, it’s important to make sure you do your own research before purchasing a product. Sound like too much work? Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. All you have to do is keep scrolling to read the details on the best Arbonne skin care products. We’ll review the product formulations through a scientific lens, meaning we’ll give you the research that supports (or doesn’t support) the ingredients that you’ll find in these products.
What Are The Top 10 Best Arbonne Skin Care Products?
Arbonne offers nine different skin care collections designed to target everything from acne prone skin to the signs of aging as well as sensitive skin. The collections include all different types of products to build your skin care routine, including cleansers, toners, serums, essences, oils, masks, day creams, and night creams. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 best Arbonne skin care products.
Arbonne Age Well Firming Neck Cream With % Bakuchiol
Is it true that you need a separate cream specifically for your neck? In our opinion, no, simply because there are plenty of anti-aging serums and creams that can work well for both the face and neck. But that doesn’t stop companies from formulating neck creams to specifically address the signs of aging in thinner, more fragile skin on the jawline, neck, and décolletage. And that’s exactly what the Arbonne Age Well Firming Neck Cream is claimed to do.
The Arbonne neck cream formula contains % bakuchiol as the key ingredient. Never heard of bakuchiol? It’s the “plant-based retinol alternative” that’s popping up all over the skin care industry (we’ll give you more details on bakuchiol in the Key Ingredients section below). You’ll also find supporting ingredients — like caffeine, peptides, vitamin C, and plant stem cells — in this neck cream, which should help promote firmer, smoother skin on the neck.
Arbonne Age Well Silky Cleanser With Vegan Surfactants
This pearlescent creamy face cleanser contains vegan surfactants to remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, while supporting ingredients like glycerin and panthenol (provitamin B5) help to draw moisture into the skin. It’s recommended for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.
Arbonne Age Well Intense Repairing Night Cream With 2% Bakuchiol
If you’re trying to prevent or reduce signs of skin aging, then you’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to add a retinol cream into your nightly routine. Maybe you’ve tried a retinol product, but you’ve experienced the common (yet annoying) side effects of retinol, like skin dryness and peeling. If so, then the Arbonne Age Well Intense Repairing Night Cream With 2% Bakuchiol could be a good option for you.
Bakuchiol provides many of the same benefits of retinol – but without the irritation. Plus, there are additional supporting ingredients in this night cream, like niacinamide, beech tree bud extract, and plant stem cells. This combination of ingredients should help to tackle multiple skin concerns, such as lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and more.
Arbonne Age Well Collagen Nurturing Serum With 2% Bakuchiol
Similar to other products in the Arbonne Age Well collection, the Collagen Nurturing Serum features 2% bakuchiol as the key ingredient, along with many of the same supporting ingredients (niacinamide, beech tree bud extract, and plant stem cells).
The formula also contains a stabilized form of vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) to support collagen production. According to the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, clinical studies have shown that the topical use of vitamin C increases collagen production in both young and aged human skin. By increasing the amount of collagen in the skin, signs of aging will be diminished and the skin will appear more firm.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Intensive Renewal Serum
This Arbonne RE9 serum has a light, silky texture that gives the skin a soft, smooth feel. It’s said to help enhance the look of skin smoothness and firmness, but unfortunately this serum contains pretty low concentrations of ingredients that would provide these benefits. For example, the brand lists vitamin C, plant stem cells, and sea buckthorn oil as key ingredients, however, these ingredients are used in concentrations of less than 1% (we know this because they are all listed after xanthan gum on the ingredient list).
The true key ingredients in this formula include glycerin, silicones, sugarcane extract, lemon fruit extract, orange fruit extract, apple fruit extract, and green tea leaf extract. These are beneficial ingredients, but they won’t do much to increase your skin’s firmness.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Skin Revitalizing Sheet Mask
This serum-infused sheet mask is formulated to hydrate, smooth, replenish, and enhance radiance. There are plenty of hydrating ingredients infused in this mask, such as glycerin, apple fruit extract, cucumber fruit extract, and algae extract. These ingredients act like moisture magnets, drawing moisture into the upper layers of skin in order to improve skin hydration and give your complexion that plumped, youthful appearance.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring Eye Cream
This Arbonne eye cream has a rich, silky texture that blends into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy residue. It contains plenty of emollients to nourish the skin, such as olive oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil, mango seed butter, and more. It’s said to help the skin around the eyes look firmer and tighter, however, the ingredients that would actually provide these benefits are used in pretty low concentrations. What a bummer.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring V-Lift Gel
Sometimes we just need a product that instantly disguises lines and wrinkles, even if those effects don’t last. And that’s exactly what the Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring V-Lift Gel is formulated to do. It’s a thin, clear gel that contains sodium polystyrene sulfonate, a film former that helps to superficially mask wrinkles. However, this effect is temporary and will disappear once the product is washed off. The Arbonne V-Lift Gel is claimed to reduce smile lines and crow’s feet with consistent use, but once again all of the other “key” ingredients are used in very low concentrations (less than 1%).
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen
This Arbonne sunscreen provides SPF 15 protection thanks to zinc oxide, a mineral sunscreen. The formula also includes plenty of emollients like jojoba oil, squalane, and shea butter to help lock in moisture. The brand claims that peony root, algae extract, vitamin C, sea buckthorn oil, and peptides are key ingredients. But these ingredients are used in concentrations of less than 1% in this formula. This seems to be a recurring theme for the Arbonne products, doesn’t it?
Arbonne Intelligence Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads & Solution
The Arbonne Resurfacing Pads are said to improve the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and skin luminosity. But instead of spending $98 on these pads, you should be able to achieve similar results by purchasing a bottle of rubbing alcohol at the dollar store and applying that with a cotton pad. That’s because denatured alcohol is the second highest concentration ingredient in these pads! We’ll explain why this is a major problem below in the Key Ingredients section.
Arbonne Intelligence Pollution Defense CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30
The Arbonne CC cream is a lightweight, medium coverage formula that can replace your primer, concealer, foundation, and mattifying powder. It creates a breathable second skin to protect all skin types from pollution. The formula also provides mineral-based, broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection against UVA/UVB rays thanks to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. A few supporting ingredients in this formula include argan oil, vitamin E, alfalfa extract, and chicory extract.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Arbonne Skin Care Products?
After evaluating the best selling Arbonne skin care products, we noticed that most of the products are formulated with high concentrations of key ingredients, which is great. However, there are a few exceptions.
For example, the Arbonne Resurfacing Pads are formulated with an extremely high concentration of denatured alcohol (it’s the second highest concentration ingredient after dimethicone). And this is problematic for several reasons.
One problem is that, at first, products with high concentrations of denatured alcohol seem like they are actually helping your skin. That’s because alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, immediately degreases the skin, and imparts a weightless feel. This is why you’ll notice that the Arbonne Resurfacing Pads instantly help to smooth, tighten, and reduce excess oil. But not in a healthy way!
The immediate effects of alcohol-based products can actually stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, causing skin to look even more shiny and oily than it was before. This excessive oil production combined with the possible irritation that denatured alcohol can cause may lead to an increase in acne breakouts.
Another major problem with using high concentrations of denatured alcohol is that this ingredient is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. According to a publication in the journal BBA Biomembranes, alcohol disrupts the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin). While alcohol may provide short term benefits, it’s not doing your skin any good in the long run.
There are also several Arbonne skin care products that contain synthetic fragrance ingredients. The use of synthetic fragrance ingredients can be a problem because the brand can use a proprietary blend of chemicals to create the fragrance, and they do not have to disclose which chemicals they use on the label. They are allowed to list this blend as “Fragrance (Parfum)” on the ingredient list.
A study by Women’s Voices for the Earthdiscovered that in over 3, chemicals reportedly used for fragrances, 1, were chemicals of concern – and that included at least 7 possible carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. Fragrance ingredients also have the potential to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.
Despite the products that contain denatured alcohol and synthetic fragrance ingredients, the brand does use beneficial key ingredients in most of the Arbonne skin care products. One ingredient that you’ll find again and again in Arbonne skin care products is bakuchiol, an alternative to retinol. But can bakuchiol really provide the same effects as retinol? Let’s take a look at the science.
First, it’s important to know that bakuchiol and retinol are structurally and chemically completely different. Bakuchiol is a seed extract derived from the Ayurvedic Babchi plant. Retinol is another name for vitamin A, which can only be found in animal foods.
So bakuchiol and retinol are quite different, but they work similarly in cosmetic applications. In fact, bakuchiol has been shown to produce many of the same effects of using retinol, including the ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the effects of sun damage (including uneven skin tone). One of the main benefits of bakuchiol is that it provides retinol-like effects without irritation.
For example, a study published in the British Academy of Dermatology compared bakuchiol and retinol in a head-to-head week, double-blind clinical trial on human subjects. For the study, 44 participants received either a twice-daily % bakuchiol product or a once-daily % retinol product. Both groups saw improvements in hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and redness, and there was no statistically significant difference between their results. This suggests that using bakuchiol twice a day is as effective as using retinol once a day. Another benefit is that the bakuchiol group reported less skin scaling and flaking than the retinol group.
If you want to reap the benefits of bakuchiol, consider the products in the Arbonne Age Well collection.
Another plant-derived ingredient that is frequently used in the Arbonne skin care products is sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oil contains unique unsaturated fatty acids, such as palmitoleic acid (omega-7) and gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6), which give this oil skin regeneration and repair properties. In addition, sea buckthorn oil easily penetrates through the epidermis, where it improves blood circulation and facilitates oxygenation of the skin.
Besides bakuchiol and sea buckthorn oil, a few of the key ingredients that you’ll find in Arbonne skin care products include niacinamide (amide form of vitamin B3), different algae extracts, and vitamin C derivatives. These are all excellent ingredients that should help to hydrate, brighten, and protect skin.
Where to Buy Arbonne Skin Care Products?
Arbonne skin care products can be purchased directly from the company’s website, on third party online retailers like Amazon, or from an independent Arbonne consultant. We recommend taking a look at the Arbonne reviews before talking to a consultant because at the end of the day their job is to make a sale.
How Much Does Arbonne Skin Care Cost?
Arbonne skin care products are priced relatively high, for example, the Arbonne Age Well Firming Neck Cream With % Bakuchiol costs $ for 50 mL and Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring V-Lift Gel costs $50 for 1 fl oz. However, you can receive 20% off Arbonne products if you sign up to be a Preferred Client (PC).
What is The Arbonne Return Policy?
The Arbonne return policy states, “A day money-back guarantee is offered on all Arbonne products to Clients (including Preferred Clients). Clients who are not completely satisfied may return the purchased products for full refund or product exchange within 45 days from the Client purchase date. Shipping fees are non-refundable.”
Is Arbonne Cruelty Free?
Arbonne is cruelty free and the products are officially Leaping Bunny Certified. Leaping Bunny Certification means Arbonne skin care products are free of animal testing at every stage of product development.
Unfortunately, the brand does not display Arbonne reviews on their website.
Overall, we were disappointed in most of the Arbonne skin care products since the majority of them contain low concentrations of key beneficial ingredients.
- Some products are formulated with evidence-based ingredients, such as bakuchiol, niacinamide, vitamin C, and more
- Some Arbonne products are fragrance free
- Arbonne is cruelty free
- High price point
- Some Arbonne products contain synthetic fragrance ingredients
- Some Arbonne products contain high concentrations of denatured alcohol (like Arbonne Resurfacing Pads)
- Some Arbonne products contain low concentrations of key beneficial ingredients
- No Arbonne reviews on the brand’s website
What Are Some Alternatives to Arbonne Skin Care Products?
Overall, it’s up to you to decide if you think that Arbonne skin care products are worth trying. At such a high price point for products that contain low concentrations of key ingredients, we think it’s worth considering other skin care brands.
One brand we recommend is Formulyst because they believe in long term skin care treatments rather than short term cover-ups. For example, Formulyst Anti-Aging Concentrate is a facial serum that contains high concentrations of anti-aging ingredients like antioxidant vitamins C and E, green tea extract, peptides, alpha-arbutin, and more. Plus, there are plenty of emollients in the formula, such as shea butter and squalane, that help your skin to feel soft without leaving a greasy residue. Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate is truly an all-in-one serum that can help condition your complexion while helping to reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.
Indian Dermatol Online J. Apr-Jun; 4(2): –
BBA Biomembranes, May , pages
2. Women’s Voices for the Earth “Unpacking The Fragrance Industry”
Arbonne Diet Review: Overview, Effectiveness, and More
Healthline diet score: out of 5
Protein shakes, detox teas, and metabolism boosters are some of the most popular supplements on the market.
Though you can purchase these products from any supplement store, many people buy from multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.
Arbonne is one of the most popular MLM companies that sells nutritional supplements along with its diet program called 30 Days to Healthy Living. However, you may wonder whether the diet works and if it’s something you should try.
This article reviews Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program, including its benefits, downsides, and whether it aids weight loss.
diet review scorecard
- Overall score:
- Weight loss: 2
- Healthy eating: 3
- Whole body health: 3
- Nutrition quality: 2
- Evidence-based: 2
BOTTOM LINE: Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program promotes some healthy habits but relies on unqualified consultants and dangerous dietary practices. Plus, its high cost, food restrictions, and reliance on supplements make it necessary to avoid.
What is Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living?
Arbonne is an MLM company that’s said to strive to be the best and healthiest company in the world. It sells a variety of products ranging from vegan skin care to nutritional supplements.
You can choose from dozens of products on its website, but the most popular program Arbonne offers is the 30 Days to Healthy Living diet. Notably, the company refers to it as a “reset” after a person engages in poor lifestyle habits.
Arbonne claims that when you experience digestive issues, low energy levels, or other general health concerns, it’s a sign that your body is not functioning like it normally would and needs to be reset.
The diet involves removing foods to which you may be sensitive to revitalize your body from the inside out.
To follow the diet and purchase products, you must work with an independent consultant, which is a person who sells and speaks on behalf of Arbonne products to earn a profit from each sale and person recruited.
Despite selling nutritional supplements and providing diet recommendations, consultants are not required to have any formal education in any nutrition or health-related field.
According to the 30 Days to Healthy Living guide on the company’s website, there are seven steps you must follow:
Step 1: Remove trigger foods
The first step is to remove any foods that Arbonne claims are not beneficial to your well-being. Foods like alcohol, coffee, dairy, wheat, gluten, soy (except organic, non-GMO tempeh), and artificial sweeteners are to be avoided for at least 30 days.
Still, the company does not provide evidence or rationale for these claims.
Considering this practice is an elimination diet, it should only be pursued under the guidance of a qualified health professional.
Step 2: Add healthy foods
Next, Arbonne suggests incorporating healthy foods into the diet, though it doesn’t give a specific meal plan. Instead, they provide general tips, such as:
- Eat every 4 hours to maintain energy levels.
- Have a balanced plate, including mostly vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
- Drink mostly water.
- Eat when you’re hungry.
- Replace one meal with an Arbonne shake.
The diet encourages its followers to replace at least one meal per day with an Arbonne shake “meal,” which includes:
- Two scoops of Arbonne Essentials protein shake
- cups ( mL) of water or nondairy and non-soy milk
- 1/3 cup (around 10 grams) of leafy greens or 1 scoop (7 grams) of Arbonne Green Balance powder
- 1/4 cup (around 40 grams) of fruit
- 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of peanut butter
In addition to these tips and foods, Arbonne recommends 13 supplements to support your health. Keep in mind that these supplements are expensive and contain numerous suspect health claims.
- Digestion Plus: a supplement containing probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes
- Herbal tea: a caffeine-free tea with nine botanicals, though the purpose and benefits aren’t mentioned
- Protein Shake: a vegan protein powder that provides 20 grams of protein per two scoops (40 grams)
- Energy Fizz Sticks: a powder containing ginseng, guava, and green tea that claims to increase alertness and mental performance
- Body Cleanse: a product that claims to detoxify your body by “cleansing” your system
- Green Balance: a vegetable powder that provides one serving of vegetables and fiber per scoop (7 grams)
- Daily Fiber Boost: 12 grams of fiber per scoop (16 grams)
- Healthy Skin Elixir: a powder containing hyaluronic acid and vitamin C that claims to improve skin, hair, and nail health
- Multivitamin powder: provides over 20 vitamins and minerals
- Mind Health Essentials: contains various “brain-boosting” ingredients to support brain function and energy levels
- Omega-3 Plus: algae and flaxseed-based omega-3s
- Fit Chews: small chewables that are claimed to boost energy and relieve mental fatigue
- Protein Bars: plant-based bars that provide 10 grams of protein per bar
Step 3: Get moving
Arbonne recommends daily physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight, heart health, physical fitness, and self-confidence.
Though it doesn’t provide a detailed program, the company recommends moving more than you did the day before, joining a gym, and/or taking up a new hobby, such as tennis or dancing.
Step 4: Be mindful and manage stress
Arbonne strongly recommends stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, hiking, or reaching out to friends and family. By lowering your stress levels, they suggest you’re less likely to overeat high calorie and high fat foods, which can lead to excess weight gain.
Step 5: Get enough sleep
Arbonne recommends resting more often and sleeping at least 7–9 hours per night to prevent weight gain, improve your immune system, and lower your risk of chronic disease.
The company provides general recommendations, such as using essential oils, putting electronics away before bedtime, and practicing a bedtime ritual.
Step 6: Track your goals
Arbonne generally recommends tracking your goals and progress to help you notice changes in your body, things that you could improve on, and foods that are bothersome to you.
Step 7: Prepare for life after the 30 days
After completing the 30 days, Arbonne recommends that you continue using all Arbonne products, meaning the protein shake, Green Balance, digestive support, and so forth.
Further, you should work closely with your independent consultant, the person you buy your products and program from, to help you identify foods you should reintroduce or exclude from your diet.
Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living recommends avoiding certain foods to aid digestive health along with other healthy lifestyle practices. It also recommends 13 supplements that claim to promote health in various ways.
Does it work for weight loss?
Arbonne specifically states that the 30 Days to Healthy Living program is not a weight loss program, though you will likely lose weight on the diet.
The diet focuses on eating mostly vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and it encourages other healthy lifestyle practices, such as daily exercise, mindfulness, and good sleep. All of these are linked to better health and weight management (, , , ).
Though the diet emphasizes eliminating large groups of food, such as dairy, wheat, gluten, and soy, there’s little research to support doing so for weight loss. In fact, consuming foods like dairy, soy, and whole grains may support weight loss (, , , ).
Additionally, despite the diet recommending 13 supplements, there’s no evidence that any of the company’s products lead to weight loss or increase your metabolism. Though, certain products that are high in fiber and protein may help manage your hunger levels.
What’s more, replacing a meal with an Arbonne shake is likely to slash your calorie intake. The shake Arbonne recommends only provides calories, assuming frozen blackberries, spinach, almond milk, peanut butter, and vanilla protein powder are used (, , 10, , ).
Replacing a meal with this shake does not provide enough calories for most people and would likely put them at a calorie deficit — especially when paired with increased physical activity — and ultimately lead to weight loss.
Arbonne recommends replacing one meal per day with a low calorie protein shake. Along with this, it recommends eating whole, minimally processed food and exercising daily, which will likely contribute to a calorie deficit and weight loss.
There are a number of potential benefits to Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program.
Focuses on lifestyle changes
Unlike many diets, Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program encourages numerous lifestyle changes to achieve better health.
Along with eating a diet of whole, minimally processed food, Arbonne encourages its followers to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, manage stress, and practice mindfulness.
Incorporating a variety of healthy lifestyle practices are linked to better health and weight management (, , , ).
Arbonne recommends focusing on the nutrient quality of food and mindful eating rather than counting calories.
Most foods and supplements on the diet are high in protein and fiber, which can help you control your hunger and food intake since they take longer to digest (, , ).
Furthermore, the program encourages followers to listen to their hunger cues and eat approved foods whenever they want.
Still, many argue that this diet goes against mindful eating, as it encourages a lengthy list of food restrictions. Restricting foods can increase anxiety surrounding food choices and goes against the premise of listening to your body’s needs (, ).
Whole, unprocessed food
The diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods and discourages highly processed foods, which most health experts agree is a beneficial eating style (, ).
Numerous studies have shown positive benefits of limiting highly processed foods high in calories, fat, and sugar, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and premature death (, , , ).
As such, any diet that encourages eating whole, minimally processed food will likely benefit your health. However, the high use of processed supplements contradicts Arbonne’s “unprocessed” philosophy.
Arbonne embraces whole, minimally processed foods and overall lifestyle changes that are linked to better health and weight management.
Despite Arbonne claiming to encourage a long-term, healthy lifestyle, it has been widely criticized for its long list of restrictions and claims that lack scientific merit.
Arbonne claims alcohol, coffee, dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, and artificial sweeteners are foods that are “not beneficial for overall wellbeing.”
While excessive alcohol intake is harmful, and those with allergies, intolerances, and autoimmune or gastrointestinal conditions may need to eliminate certain foods, little evidence shows that eliminating these foods improves overall health in all people (, , ).
The diet also performs an improper elimination diet by unqualified consultants to determine which foods you may be sensitive to. Eliminating large groups of food all at once makes it difficult to know which food — if any — are truly causing issues for you.
In many cases, simply adopting healthier eating patterns can lead to improved energy and health, which can be misconstrued as evidence of a food sensitivity or intolerance that may not exist.
Proper elimination diets remove one food at a time based on your specific condition and involve weeks to months of trial and error. In all cases, this should be done under medical supervision (, , ).
Expensive and inaccessible
Arbonne is an MLM company that requires customers to pay a membership fee for discounted products or higher prices without a membership. However, even with the discounted prices, Arbonne’s products are quite expensive.
A package deal including 9 of the 13 recommended products costs $, or $ without discounts.
Considering that most items only last 30 or fewer days and you’re expected to buy the products beyond the day diet, this program’s cost makes it inaccessible for those with lower incomes.
Given that none of these products are necessary to be healthy, you’re better off spending your money on whole, nutrient-dense foods and other healthy lifestyle practices.
Faulty science claims
Though the general basis of the program is sound in that it encourages healthy habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising, and sleeping more, Arbonne uses bold claims on its products that lack scientific evidence.
For example, its Body Cleanse product claims to detoxify the body by “cleansing your system” using ingredients like aloe, ginger, and choline. However, there’s no evidence that any of these ingredients detox the body beyond what your body does naturally (, , , ).
Moreover, its Metabolism Support supplement claims to “rev” your metabolism. Though Arbonne claims a clinical study supported the use of one of its ingredients — green coffee bean extract — in weight management, it fails to directly identify the study.
Even then, claiming its supplement will increase your metabolism without scientific research on the product in question is misleading. Though some people may claim the products help, most improvements are likely from an overall healthier lifestyle.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) companies like Arbonne have fallen under tremendous scrutiny for ethical concerns regarding how they compensate independent consultants, their lack of qualifications, and incentivization to sell products.
Independent consultants are not required to have any formal education in nutrition or health. In fact, the only requirement is that they’re 18 years of age and pay the initial $ registration fee.
Furthermore, because profits are tethered directly to sales, along with recruiting new consultants to join the brand, independent consultants are constantly incentivized to push products onto consumers.
According to the company’s income disclosure statement, 66% of consultants made an average annual income of $, while 97% of sellers made less than $17, — not including the cost of products, hosting parties, and membership fees (32).
Though sellers have the potential to earn more based on sales, many experts argue the design of MLM companies oversaturates the market, making it nearly impossible for independent consultants to make a livable income, and ultimately, an unethical practice ().
As a result, you may wish to purchase your nutritional supplements from non-MLM companies that are required to pay their employees a guaranteed wage.
The 30 Days to Healthy Living diet is very restrictive, expensive, and inaccessible for many. Also, most of its health claims aren’t backed by reliable research, and most benefits are the result of healthier lifestyle changes — not the program’s products.
Sample 1-day meal plan
Though Arbonne does not give a specific meal plan, it provides a general outline of what to eat:
- Pre-breakfast: Digestion Plus supplement (15–30 minutes before eating)
- Breakfast: a vegetable omelet, gluten-free oatmeal with berries, or a protein shake
- Lunch: ground beef chili with kidney beans and vegetables (no cheese) or a protein shake
- Snack: an Arbonne protein bar
- Dinner: a lean protein source (palm-sized), non-starchy vegetables (half of your plate), brown rice (one-fourth of your plate), and a small serving of healthy fat (e.g., avocado, peanut butter, olive oil) or a protein shake
It’s expected that you replace at least one meal per day with an Arbonne protein shake that includes a small amount of nondairy, non-soy milk, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fat. Additionally, all supplements should be taken as directed on the package.
Arbonne recommends eating minimally processed meals with adequate protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. It also recommends replacing at least one meal per day with its protein shake and take a long list of supplements.
The bottom line
Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living diet has grown in popularity as a lifestyle diet to help you improve your health. However, it has also received tremendous scrutiny for its faulty claims and unethical practices.
The diet promotes many food restrictions and supplements that are unnecessary, not backed by science, and expensive.
What’s more, the company relies on unqualified consultants to provide nutritional and health guidance and fails to pay them fair compensation, which raises numerous ethical concerns.
Some redeeming qualities of the diet are that it promotes eating nutrient-dense foods, exercising daily, and many other healthy behaviors. Together, these behaviors may help you lose weight, especially if you’re new to this type of lifestyle.
Although the diet has some positive qualities, most of the benefits are the result of adopting healthier lifestyle changes — not the diet itself or the products required. If you’re looking to improve your health, you’re better off avoiding this program.
Cults, Cancer, and Covid Welcome to Arbonne, hun!
“Hey babe!,” “Hey Hun!”
If you’re a woman and you’re on social media, you’ve probably already had the awkward experience of a long lost high school friend messaging you this on social media, followed by some sort of generic compliment about your life.
You begin thinking ‘this is kind of nice’, but something doesn’t feel right… Has she been hacked? Is this a robot? And then bam! “I think you would be a perfect fit to join Arbonne!” (or any other multi-level-marketing scheme) quickly accompanied by a script about all its benefits.
If this has happened to you, you aren’t alone. The internet is filled with horror stories of people being harassed by MLM (multi-level-marketing) reps, anti MLM pages, memes, and forums full of family members and friends asking how they can save their loved ones from the cult-like grips of a multi-level-marketing scheme.
During the times of Covid, it seems that the Arbonne “huns” are particularly active and MLM’s like Arbonne are having a resurgence. But what are they? And are they as bad as they feel?
An MLM (multi-level-marketing) scheme uses its representatives or ‘consultants’ to sell products.
They use word-of-mouth to get consultants to bring on additional people who they then also turn into consultants.
By doing this they can distribute their product to a wider audience. Consultants earn monetary rewards for the sales made by their ‘downline’, or the people they recruited underneath them.
The structure of MLMs like Arbonne means that in addition to selling products, each consultant can earn money off of every sale made by the recruits below them, and they continue to earn more as they recruit more people, forming a kind of pyramid structure…
Arbonne has been around for around 40 years and sells a wide variety of health and cosmetic products including those fizzy strawberry sticks that you might have seen a whole load of skinny white women crying over at Arbonne’s recent product launch.
A report by the Federal Trade Commission looking at the business models of MLMs (including Arbonne) found that 99 percent of people who join MLMs lose money. 74 percent of people in MLMs are women.
MLMs have been around for decades. They originally started by employing housewives to be sales consultants, as women had little opportunities to work outside the home. MLM reps had the unique advantage of being able to enter other women’s homes in the way that men couldn’t. It was easy for housewives to sell and market their merchandise via word of mouth as they could endorse products to their friends and inner circle. A lot of women found MLMs a great way to gain a sense of independence by having their own side income which would fit around childcare.
MLMs appeal is also social. They allowed often isolated stay at home mothers to create a sense of community by hosting ‘parties’ and becoming friends with other consultants. You hear time and time again how women have made friends, found a community etc.
Unfortunately, most don’t realise that this sense of community is built on manipulation and sales tactics. As the MLM system heavily relies on your social network of friends, consultants often pester their loved ones to become their clients, and unsurprisingly, this creates some obvious issues. In the end, many women end up losing friends due to the constant pressure to promote the products to everyone and anyone who will listen.
The structure of MLMs has not changed greatly in the last years. Today they work in much the same way but instead of knocking on doors, consultants are sliding into people’s direct messages.
Social media has drastically changed the way MLM’s operate and no doubt contributes to their current ‘success’. Consultants now use Instagram and Facebook to pressure friends, family members and complete strangers to buy their products or join their team.
Arbonne posts buzz words on their social media and packaging like “empowerment, pure, natural, transparency, grow, family, amazing”. Consultants post photos posing with a white Mercedes they don’t own, boasting about how they made $10, today. They flash carefully curated expensive-looking lifestyles to make themselves appear more successful than they are so that other women will want to join them. The term “boss babe” is synonymous with female-driven MLMs like Arbonne, along with the typical recruitment slogans like “Work your own hours. Be your own boss. You can do this from home, from your phone! It requires as much energy as you want to put in”.
Those higher up in the company consistently tell their downline consultants that when approaching prospective clients, no doesn’t mean no, it simply means try again later. And consultants are advised in their online coaching sessions that if someone still doesn’t want to buy from you or join you then they’re not supportive of your business or your ‘journey’ and you’re better off without them.
If you watch Instagram stories by an Arbonne consultant about how to make money or succeed at life or how life-changing Arbonne is, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are preachers at an evangelical church.
That’s probably because MLMs and conservative Christian religions are often closely linked. Amway, Mary Kay and Younique are all Christian based MLMs and if you take a look at the profiles of the consultants it seems most of the Arbonne women promote Jesus just as much as their chocolate protein shakes.
One of the most prominent and successful of those women is Kiri Tamaki, the daughter of NZ’s money-hungry Destiny Church creators Brian and Hannah Tamaki. Kiri is an NVP (National Vice President) for Arbonne in Australia.
In an obscene display of wealth, she posts photos on her Instagram page of her sitting in her (leased) Arbonne Mercedes (much like the one her parents pose with) with a Gucci bag on the console and a branded Arbonne drink in her hand. Her Instagram stories detail how she makes her Arbonne shakes in the morning, then walk us through every curated Arbonne themed moment of her life.
In one of her Instagram posts, she poses in a hot pink dress, perching on the roof of her leased white Arbonne Mercedes surrounded by palm trees and motorbikes. “This white Mercedes represents hundreds of lives being transformed through financial freedom, time freedom and personal growth! A phenomenal industry and incredible company giving me the vehicle and platform to connect with hundreds and thousands of people around the world. Everywhere, every arena, every platform the sole of your feet tread, God has given you!! Know him and you will know the True You and be fearless enough, courageous enough and bold enough to walk through it!”
In another post, she states that she and her team made over $, of sales in a month. She goes on to say, “Who’s here to work with me?… I’m here to breathe belief into you that you were destined for more, you have everything in you to fulfil a purposeful life and I can play a lil [sic] part in you believing that you can I am blessed to be a part of that! Come follow me!”
This bizarre hybrid of preaching and promising a dream life not only sounds like a religion determined to convert people, but it borders on cultish. And that’s exactly the vibe I got from Arbonne reps in my own experience with the company.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a bizarre, overly friendly message from a stranger in my inbox making sure that I was okay during this “difficult time”. Feigning sympathy for me, she said that she had the intention of spreading love and light via social media. Immediately, something smelled fishy to me, so I clicked on her page and discovered she was an Arbonne consultant. I replied asking if her intention of messaging me was to convert me to Arbonne. She denied it and persisted in telling me that she was only messaging strangers to spread positivity. “Sure”, I said and ignored her as she continued to assure me of her genuineness.
About a week later I received almost the exact same message word for word from a different Arbonne stranger. The proof was in the fizz sticks. Arbonne consultants were sending mass copy and pasted scripted messages under the guise of providing a listening ear for those who were suffering insurmountable hardships during Covid
I decided that this was a bit off, so I left a comment on the Arbonne Instagram page asking them to cease using Covid as a conversation starter to attract people to their company. I immediately received several aggressive replies from Arbonne consultants, accusing me of wanting to “tear people down” and also received messages in my DMS telling me how I have “hurt them” by speaking out against the company.
It quickly became apparent that consultants’ self-worth and identity have become so entwined with the culture of the company they find anyone speaking out against it to be personally targeting them…. And they got offended.
About an hour later I received a deluge of abusive comments from an unidentifiable private account on my page calling me fat, ugly, unlovable etc. I couldn’t convince myself to believe that this was just a coincidence.
But unfortunately, my weird experience with aggressive Arbonne consultants was golden compared to what Australian model Kimberly Valetti recently experienced.
Kimberly is currently suffering from stage 4 cervical cancer. After posting a photo opening up about her battle, using the hashtag #fuckcancer on her Instagram page, she received a private message from an Arbonne sales rep.
“Hey babe! So sorry to hear about your battle with cancer. Seeing as you might be dying soon I think it’s a really good idea to get involved with Arbonne as it’s such a good income and you won’t want to leave your son with nothing right??? That would be so selfish! The money you can make from it will be enough for him to go through school and Arbonne look after your family after you die. I think you have a lot of followers who will by our amazing products off you because they know you are dying so they feel sorry for you so its a really good marketing platform. Let me know your thoughts and when we can get this journey started! “
And then it got worse. After sharing the message on social media in outrage, Kim was then sent comments made by Katharina Cser an NZ Arbonne Regional Vice President (RVP) accusing her of faking her cancer.
Kim sent several messages and emails to Arbonne asking for an apology, which were all largely ignored. Eventually, Arbonne released a statement:
“Recently it came to our attention that someone, who claimed to be an Arbonne Independent Consultant, contacted a member of the Instagram community with a hurtful and distasteful message. Arbonne has privately reached out directly to the impacted individual to let her know we are equally appalled and saddened by the messages she received and the hurt they caused. We have a strict code of conduct that prohibits and directs against such abhorrent behaviour. At this time, we are working with Instagram to identify the person(s) responsible for the message so that appropriate measures can be taken.”
Kim claimed that Arbonne had only contacted her once with a brief Instagram message saying that they would call, and they hadn’t.
Sound recordings were then leaked from an Arbonne chat group where another Arbonne RVP accused Kim of sending the message to herself and said that Arbonne was claiming that she made it all up. She then went on to say that it was all a big scam and “it was from a person trying to get clout”.
However, it was later revealed by another Arbonne consultant that the original person who sent Kim the message had been identified and was known for her unethical marketing tactics. Despite public outcry on their social media, Arbonne has yet to release an apology or publicly acknowledge the incident or any of their consultant’s comments. Instead, they have been deleting negative comments on social media and restricting accounts who criticize the company.
After her story began to go viral, Kimberly said she had also received several messages from other people who had dealt with belligerent consultants feigning sympathy for cancer sufferers.
She said that one that stuck out to her was about a man who got a tattoo of his mother on his arm and posted it with the hashtags #ripmum #fuckcancer
“He then received 3 messages from independent consultants saying they noticed his post and were so sorry about his mum passing away. They then told him that signing up to Arbonne would be a gift and a blessing and that he would make his mum proud.
…it had been one week since his mum passed. He declined politely and said no. One of them then said ‘I’m sure your mum left you something in her will? It would be a great idea to invest that back into something as beautiful as Arbonne’”
And the stories don’t seem to stop…
Only yesterday, when I thought that Arbonne was starting to chill. I was forwarded a message sent to someone whose father was suffering from cancer. The message was sent by an Arbonne consultant in response to a public post asking for donations to her dad’s Givealittle page. It started with sympathy then went on to explain how she could use this “social marketing opportunity” to pay his medical bills and spend more time with him.
Guess what? She had also used the hashtag #fuckcancer…
On Twitter, others have begun venting their frustrations with Arbonne consultants. One woman shared a message she was sent just after her sister had died. In the message, an Arbonne consultant starts off with sympathy for her loss, then ends the message by asking if she wanted to purchase some fizzy sticks for $55 along with her bank account details.
Another person talks about how an Arbonne consultant brought and tried to sell fizzy sticks at her grandmother’s funeral.
It seems that cancer patients, Covid and those who have lost loved ones are the targets-du-jour for Arbonne consultants. Fortunately, some consultants are starting to see through unethical marketing tactics and have started speaking out against the company.
On Glassdoor, a recruitment website where people can rate and review their employers, the site is full of complaints by disgruntled employees who had felt scammed by Arbonne. The company has a total score of out of 5 for employee satisfaction. As a comparison, McDonald's has a score of
One of their most recent reviews titled “Run from this cult as fast as you can” stated:
“They tell you which people to prey upon and what cues to look for. It’s sick and happens from day one. This is why I refused to work for them almost immediately after starting. They will tell you to stop speaking to family and friends, to leave your spouse or partner, just because they say they “don’t support you”. Arbonne is your REAL family now!! (can you say cult?) When the whole time, all these people are trying to do is to protect you from yourself, and you should listen to them. They want you to give everything to them in hopes of someday making money.”
When I asked questions on Arbonne’s Instagram page about how it works and the logistics of making money I wasn’t given any answers. Instead, I was called uneducated, and ignorant, and was accused of trying to tear people down. This seems to be a common theme in the retort from the consultants where obedience is encouraged and critique is silenced.
Anyone who questions the company appears to be seen as the enemy and it’s not just outsiders that get this treatment. One woman I spoke to who was a current consultant and wished to remain anonymous because she didn’t want to be harassed said “I love the products but hate the sales tactics. Not all consultants are that way but some just make me sick. Anytime I question anything they get rude and ugly because I question… I argued the donations to healthcare works… I had so many hate messages and comments. “
Arbonne consultants had been organising donations of Arbonne products to donate to healthcare workers during the Covid crisis. Which might sound sweet, if it weren’t for Arbonne and its consultants making a profit off the “donations”.
Again, when facing public backlash Arbonne consultants took a defensive stance and the company again, ignored the problem. A leaked message in an Arbonne group by National Vice President said;
“We need to lay low on social media regarding this, do not post that you are raising money…do not post under any circumstances how much you have “raised” We all know our hearts are behind this but “haters gonna hate” and not everyone who follows you on social media wants you to succeed. Now more than ever people who have no purpose are looking for people to take down… especially if they are jealous of our success”
Oh and also, in Arbonne was sued for refusing to hire a deaf person.
Under any other normal circumstances, in any normal company, the people overseeing these wayward consultants would be taking responsibility for their employee's behaviour- but because Arbonne reps are not technically employees but “Independent Consultants”, Arbonne washes their hands of all responsibility while continuing to incite a toxic culture that puts profit before people.
We must question why the women working for Arbonne feel the need to use such aggressive and unethical marketing tactics in the first place. Who is encouraging them to send these copy/paste scripted messages targeting vulnerable people? Who profits from such a toxic culture?
It’s hard to get exact figures on how many people succeed with Arbonne but a review by the website The Finance Guy showed that at least 88% of people who join Arbonne as a consultant earn nothing or lose money.
Another report by The Talented ladies which was verified by MLM expert Robert Fitzpatrick showed that in the UK % of people earn less than a living wage with the company.
Arbonne consultants claim that many people join the programme just for the discounts on the product - that’s why the numbers of income loss are so high. But there is no evidence showing where the majority of the income comes from, no selling or profit numbers are disclosed. Do the sales come from outside customers or is it from the consultants themselves? It’s one of the questions that leads many to accuse Arbonne of being a pyramid scheme.
According to Peter Vander Nat, a senior economist at the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) “an organization is deemed to be a pyramid scheme if the participants obtain their monetary benefits primarily from recruitment rather than the sale of goods and services to consumers”. A article in the European Journal of Marketing by Van Nat and William Keep defines the underlying theme of a pyramid scheme as "a money-transfer scheme in which the foreseen losses of the vast majority become winnings for a small minority at the top of the recruitment structure.”.
The company was sued in with a class action lawsuit, accused of being a pyramid scheme and a settlement was reached.
However, if anyone dares to call it a pyramid scheme Arbonne babes quickly retort “it’s not a pyramid scheme because I don’t make anything when I get people to sign up and you don’t have to do a monthly minimum spend.” Except neither of these things is entirely true.
Consultants receive a cash bonus when they get two or more people to sign up as consultants. Plus, they make money when their recruits sell something or buy products for themselves, therefore they are encouraged to recruit people to work below them so that they can get commission from their downline.
And to collect this commission from those you recruit, you need to be earning a minimum points (roughly $NZD) a month to qualify.
So, if consultants are converting all their best customers into consultants in order to receive residual income how do they keep up with the $ sales each month? Those who can’t make their quota often end up buying the product themselves. At each level you move up the more minimum sales you have to make, so people can often end up spending $s a month just to make their target. Arbonne’s best customers often end up being the consultants themselves.
Another sign of a pyramid scheme is that the company requires you to invest a large amount to join. When registering to be an Independent Consultant Arbonne requires you to purchase a Welcome Kit package at $75NZD which has some samples and basic info about the company. Not bad. However, if you are wanting to sell the stuff you need to know what you are selling, so you have to purchase the products. Arbonne has a wide range of products stretching over skincare, nutrition and makeup and even with the 35% discount, none of them are cheap. For example, their Nourishing Facial Oil retails at $NZD… that’s around $ with the discount, so not exactly a cheap investment once you start adding those products up. If you were to purchase their business pack which the website claims will give you “an amazing opportunity to start trying and sharing our products” it would cost you $1,NZD.
On top of this, Arbonne adds to its catalogue yearly, so consultants would be expected to update their kit with new products too. From what I could find online, these kits with the latest products cost around $USD. And if you think that their learning materials were free - well, you’re obviously crazy. Our anonymous source said it was $99USD for an online conference which was just people speaking about how successful they are. She said she has spent around $ USD on products alone.
Mathematically, the probability of individual financial success declines as more people join MLMs. Why would a company encourage its individual “business investors” to create competition for themselves in an already heavily saturated market? That goes against any logical business model.
Those at the top of the pyramid structure benefit, while those in the bottom tier end up losing money. Arbonne has an entire army of women working for free and they’re bringing individuals into the business knowing full well that they will probably fail. When consultants do inevitably fail, they’re often told it’s because they didn’t work hard enough while completely denying the structural faults and societal inequalities that have set them up for this failure.
It seems the goal of Arbonne is clearly not to make consultants money, it’s to sell more Arbonne. And they don’t seem to care what moral or ethical issues get in their way.
If you’re privileged enough to have a couple of grand spare to invest and have a wealthy network of friends and family willing to buy overpriced products and get sucked into becoming consultants underneath you, then maybe you’ll get lucky and be in the very small minority who earn money.
Since writing this story, Arbonne was issued with a stern warning letter from the FTC with regards to the health and earning claims that their consultants were making in relation to Covid
Arbonne consultants have since been sent warnings by their uplines telling them to go dark on social media and not post anything about Arbonne. Stating “we need to be very cautious about what we are sharing right now”. Most Arbonne reps have changed their profiles to private, including Kiri Tamaki. Maybe we will get a break from the relentless, unscrupulous messages and claims that Arbonne will save the world?
Arbonne has still not publicly apologized or acknowledged any of the issues mentioned. Which means that new prospective consultants are unaware of all the shady shit going down right now. If you’re like me and find this irresponsible and unethical, there are a few ways we can help:
Complain! Let your voices be heard. Complain to Arbonne (not like they’ll listen), complain to the FTC, complain to your government, complain to your gran. Make their shady dealings be known far and wide.
Send this article to any Arbonne rep who tries to recruit you or sell to you. Their behaviour needs to be discouraged.
Do not buy any of their products. There are plenty of comparable (or better) vegan products that actually are organic available locally.
Remember the golden rule: Friends don’t let friends join MLMs.
Ainsley Ds is a travel blogger and photographer. You can find her on instagram at @ainsleyabouththeworld.
This piece was originally published in April
WE LOVE PROVIDING YOU ALL WITH SHIT YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT.
But as you all know in this world, shit doesn’t come for free - so if you want to keep seeing this page grow & help us to spread the good shit, here’s your chance. If you can (and if you want to), feel free to “shout us a coffee” AKA donate a couple of bucks to a pretty bloody worthy cause.
Bad why arbonne is
I went to an arbonne party a few months ago, and was told that the products are completely natural with no nasty chemicals in them, and that it would be a great match for my sensitive skin. So I bought the Re9 kit. I suffer from acne and dry skin. After using the range for a few weeks, my acne flared up and my face was completely oily all the time. The masque gave me allergic reactions and I couldnt continue using as my skin was starting to burn after applying everything. This didnt seem normal considering these products are all natural with no chemicals, so I decided to do some research It didnt take me long to find out that these products have plenty of toxic chemicals in them, just not the most popular ones that you hear about, like paraben and mineral oils. I returned the Re9 range and was told by my consultant to try the calming range before giving up on arbonne altogether. I thought this to be fair, so I tried the calming range for another few weeks but had the same reactions. I told my consultant that it was not working for me and that I would like a refund and to return the products. She told me she would collect the products and refund me the money. This was over a month ago. The products are still sitting in my mail box for her to collect, and the money has not been refunded into my account. It would seem that because I am not a customer anymore, I dont deserve the same customer service. Very disappointed.
MLMs have been around for decades, and especially in the nutrition space, there’s always more popping up. People flock to them because as consultants, they’re looking to make money. And as consumers, the products promise all sorts of great things that aren’t available in mainstream stores.
My Arbonne review post continues to be my #1 performing piece on my site, probably because Arbonne is so popular. Its flashy, go-for-it messaging and female-targeted products (rose champagne fizz sticks and marble cake protein shakes, anyone?) really bring home the bacon for the company.
But there’s another side to Arbonne and other nutrition product MLMs, and it’s not so bright.
The Issue with Arbonne and other MLMs
The first indication that somethings shady is with the information thats online for consumers.
A quick search online reveals Arbonne materials put out by Arbonnes ‘independent consultants’ aka salespeople probably unauthorized, but bearing the Arbonne logo to look ‘official’ that communicates a vaguely ominous message:
You need our products, or else youre unhealthy.
These infographics are complete garbage science, yet theyre neat, engaging, and appear to be professionally done.
Unfortunately, the layperson doesn’t understand how faulty a lot of this information is. All they see are the promises and ‘wellness’ verbiage:
‘Pure’ Arbonne’s products are ‘pure,’ therefore they must be high-quality.
‘Cellular’ Your cells need cleaning, and Arbonne can do that for them.
‘Detox’ Your organs need support, and Arbonne can support them.
‘Unprotected’ You can’t trust the FDA, but you can trust Arbonne.
‘Cleansing’ If you’re fat, you’re unclean. But once you’ve cleansed, you’ll lose weight. Then, youll be clean.
Every one of these statements is untrue, but its the MLM M.O.: rely entirely on fear to persuade a buyer that a product is something they ‘need’ for some nebulous condition that youve convinced them they have (but actually dont).
MLM claims are almost always based on immeasurable metrics. So, they might sell a product that ‘cleanses the cells’ or ‘rests the liver,’ but how in the world does a person even measure an outcome? They cant. All they can do is trust the MLM and the people theyre buying from.
The fear tactics that MLMs use to sell products and establish loyalty create anxiety and fear around food, and a distrust of our food system.
And as we start to get a sense of belonging and become one of an MLMs followers, we can lose our common sense and ability to think critically about what theyre telling us.
In other words, they suck us into their tangled web with alternate facts and a community of believers that creates a biased echo-chamber.
Even the salespeople are subject to the same influence: with a promise of earnings and bonuses while they work at home, plus an insta-family of like-minded women who are also selling the products, its a no-brainer.
To ‘prove’ the efficacy of their products and convince people to purchase them, companies like Arbonne often use very poor science, or no science at all.
For example, Arbonne claims in a roundabout way that its Metabolism Support product causes increased thermogenesis to burn calories, but then at the bottom of the materials, in small print, says this:
**Increasing thermogenesis may aid in weight management, although this has not definitely been shown.
Okay, so which is it? Does thermogenesis work, or is Arbonne full of it?
The plot thickens when the company says the product includes the ingredient Svetol, which ‘research’ says helps with weight loss:
Rev it up. Metabolism Support provides mg per day of green coffee bean extract, which in a clinical trial was shown to help study participants manage their weight.* Also contains a blend of targeted botanicals to help support metabolism.”
Oooh! CLINICAL TRIAL!!
And again: “**Consumption of Svetol induces a reduction in glucose absorption in the small intestine, which may help support weight management.”
SCIENCE-Y AND STUFF!! Sounds like it works!
But does it reeeaaaaally? What is this special Svetol stuff that works so well?
Pay attention now, because I’m going to show you how MLMs (and any other nutritional company, really) pull the wool over peoples’ eyes with their ‘research’ to convince them that their stuff has magical, ‘scientifically proven’ ingredients that are worth buying.
Svetol is a name-brand green coffee bean extract, otherwise known as chlorogenic acid.
Curiously, both the Svetol and Arbonne sites don’t link to any of the Svetol research that’s so incredibly fantabulous. I wonder why?
So, I went digging, because of course I did.
I found the review of studies that both sites reference. Here it is.
Aside from the fact that the review was done by the company that produces Svetol (I know, so shocking!), the studies that were reviewed were faulty AF.
There were only two human studies included in the review. The other studies were in rats or about drinking coffee. Irrelevant.
Both human studies were done by the developers of Svetol.
Both were small. Both were short. Both are over 10 years old. This is important, because if Svetol was a big important discovery, we would have seen more of it since
But we haven’t, and there’s a reason for that.
The first human study the authors refer to links back to their review. Weird.
The second study, and the only one done specifically on Svetol’s effect on body weight, has typos (boby mass index?) and questionable science like this: “There is a relationship between the amount of carbohydrates in the diet and the amount of fats in the adipose reserves since the carbohydrates are responsible for most of the calories introduced and the intake of sugars reduces energy consumption.”
Um, pardon me?
So, carbs are responsible for most of our calories, and if we reduce sugar then that automatically reduces our caloric intake?
How about the other two macronutrients, fat and protein? Do those not count or something?
Not exactly what I’d call, ‘strong clinical evidence.’
Aside from questionable research, I have real issues with how MLM nutrition products are sold.
The Structure of MLMs
MLMs work because the consultants are incentivized with sales. Consultants are encouraged to sell product themselves and to recruit ‘team members,’ whose sales the original consultant will get a percentage of. The more everyone recruits and sells, the more everyone makes, and the higher they climb within the pay structure.
So obviously, recruiting and moving product is a big deal. Gotta level up to Area Manager!
Im not even going to address how MLMs target women and how many of them lose, not make, money from them.
The problem with the MLM setup is that consultants have little to no information about their customers. And when you’re selling supplements and weight-loss products, there’s risk that comes with that.
Sure, anyone can go to the drugstore and buy products that are basically the same as Arbonne’s and others protein shakes, fat burners, energy drinks. But MLMs way of selling ads another layer onto that: its not just someone wandering into a store.
A person establishes a relationship with their salesperson or consultant. Theres a conversation and a give-take that happens.
Many of these MLMs are selling programs and lifestyles, and although I don’t expect salespeople to take a full health history, I do expect them to hold off on selling products to people who they know full well aren’t appropriate for them.
But the combination of a drive to sell, coupled with ignorance of a customers health status, can be deadly.
I’ve heard from far too many followers who have first-or-secondhand experience with MLM salespeople from Arbonne, Slimroast, and others selling shit to customers who they know have eating disorders.
A lot of MLM nutrition products contain stimulants like octodrine, which can be dangerous if overconsumed, and active ingredients in ‘proprietary blends’ that may interact with certain medications.
But salespeople don’t know anything about that.
The question remains: should we actively be searching out and selling weight loss programs and supplements to random people who we really know nothing about?
Which brings me to my next point: the coaches.
How to be a Nutrition Coach
A lot of MLM nutrition companies use coaches with zero experience, in particular to communicate complex nutrition science or to counsel people on their eating habits. These coaches are also driven by incentives, combining bad nutrition information with the desire to make money into a vortex of misinformation.
Why in the world would anyone hand over their precious health to somebody with what amounts to no nutrition training.
It’s like the blind leading the blind, and in extreme cases, it can be dangerous. Weight loss isn’t something to take lightly. It can be a tangled web of emotional and physical issues that can worsen with the wrong type of counselling.
It’s not a matter of ‘just eat less and drink these protein shakes and take these detox pills,’ so let’s not pretend that it is.
Saying that to the wrong person can be deadly.
It has taken me literally YEARS to get where I am in terms of nutrition counselling, and I’m still learning, so make no mistake about it: MLM coaches are in no way qualified to do what they’re doing. And no, going through the program and losing weight is NOT adequate experience to coach others.
Aside from irritating MLM consultants clogging up your social feeds and asking to ‘meet for coffee to reconnect,’ MLMs can be dangerous physically and emotionally.
The false claims, bad science, and shady tactics aren’t going to lead you to some undiscovered weight-loss pot of gold. More likely, you’ll be out a bunch of money and in for a lot of BS.
Abby Langer NutritionArbonne dietdiet reviewdietitianMLMnutritionistToronto dietitianToronto nutritionistweight lossSours: https://abbylangernutrition.com/here-are-the-biggest-dangers-of-arbonne-and-other-mlms/
- Bigo live login
- Louis vuitton office supplies
- Hearthstone patch notes
- Davidson county tn auditor
- Davis cabinet company catalog
- Chain of gold goodreads
- Spring floral background
- John deere 5205 price
- 2020 medium haircuts
- Italian actress in hollywood
- Adopt me cow
Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Business Opportunity? A Deep Dive Into Arbonne
If you’re under 30 and on social media, chances are you’ve come across Arbonne. The Arbonne MLM company is one of the most popular multi-level-marketing schemes in the world right now, and hundreds of thousands of young women are taking to Instagram and Facebook to promote this incredible ‘business opportunity,’ with promises of ‘financial freedom’ and being able to ‘be your own boss’ and ‘make money from your phone.’
Many multi-level marketing companies like Arbonne use phrases like these in their social media posts all the time, and it’s easy to see why – who wouldn’t want to own their own business, work from anywhere in the world and never have to worry about money?
It sounds incredible. It also sounds too good to be true, and you know how the saying goes – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
BTW – make sure you stick around until the end of this post because I have a freebie to share with you!
I have written before about MLM schemes (if you are unsure of what multi-level marketing is then you should definitely check out that article out before this one) and why I believe that they are a crappy business model, but the most common question that I see online is ‘Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?’ (or whichever company they’re interested in) which is often met with defensiveness and frustration from people working in MLM schemes.
With this in mind, I decided to do a deep dive into Arbonne, one of the most popular MLMs, in order to find out whether or not Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and just how much money you can make selling Arbonne.
As I always say, this one will be a long one so I suggest you make a coffee (or pour yourself a glass of wine) and get stuck in.
Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Business Opportunity? | A Deep Dive Into Arbonne
What is Arbonne?
Before we dive in any further, let’s start by establishing what exactly Arbonne is.
Arbonne International is a multi-level marketing company (also called network marketing) that sells cruelty-free beauty products. It was founded in Norway in , but by , Arbonne co-founder Petter Morck set up its international headquarters in Irvine California. Since it has been owned by worldwide health and beauty brand, Yves Rocher.
Arbonne markets itself as a health and beauty company and sells products including makeup, nutritional supplements, haircare products and skincare. It claims that all of its products are totally vegan and use the best ingredients that money can buy. They say that these high quality ingredients are the reason why Arbonne products are so expensive (they actually have a section in their FAQ titled ‘Why is Arbonne so Expensive?’ which I find a little odd).
Arbonne do not have brick and mortar stores selling their products. Instead, the products are sold online through their ‘distributors,’ who advertise on social media, using the products themselves and making videos showing off how well the product works.
In addition to making commission from selling products, the distributors make money by recruiting others into the scheme. Every person that they recruit becomes part of their ‘downline’ (with the recruiter being known as the ‘upline’), and the distributor also receives bonuses for every person they recruit, as well as for every person that their downline recruits and every item that their downline sells.
Thus, the more people you recruit, the more money you make as you begin to reap the benefits of the passive income generated by your downline. In theory your income source can just keep on expanding, the more people you have in your downline (hence, multi-levelmarketing).
What is a pyramid scheme?
A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits its members by taking an initial investment from them and promising to pay them for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or selling products. As members of the scheme increase, recruiting quickly becomes impossible and so most members are unable to profit from the scheme or even make their initial investment back.
The Wikipedia diagram below illustrates just how unsustainable this business model is – after just a few levels of recruitment, the scheme would have recruited everybody on the planet and there would simply be no-one left to recruit!
Why are pyramid schemes bad?
Isn’t it obvious? Pyramid schemes are designed to benefit those at the top while making it impossible for those at the bottom to succeed. They sell people a dream, promising that ‘anyone can make it!’ even though statistically this is impossible.
The more people ‘pay to play’ (invest money into the scheme), the richer those at the top of the pyramid get, while the others never end up making their initial investment back.
You actually have better odds of making money gambling than you do investing money into a pyramid scheme.
As a result, pyramid schemes are illegal.
Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Let’s take a look.
Arbonne distributors often find themselves having to defend themselves against the accusation that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme.
Many people who are anti-MLM like myself flippantly refer to ALL MLMs as pyramid schemes, provoking defensiveness and even anger from those in the companies.
Now, I’m going to start by being petty and saying look – if you are constantly having to defend your company against claims that it is a pyramid scheme, it’s probably a pyramid scheme.I don’t know anyone in any other line of work that has to continually say ‘hey – my company isn’t a pyramid scheme!’ because, well, they aren’t trapped in pyramid schemes.
But enough of the sass. Let me be serious. It is easy to look at Arbonne on a surface level say, well how can Arbonne be a pyramid scheme? First of all, pyramid schemes are illegal. And second, they sell products! Arbonne are just a beauty company who believe in a different way of marketing!
Not so fast.
While Arbonne’s rules may be carefully crafted to appear like a totally legit multi-level marketing company, it is possible that they may still be operating an illegal pyramid scheme in practice, exploiting loopholes in order to skirt around the law.
When you are trying to figure out whether an MLM is a pyramid scheme in disguise, you should always follow the money.
Investigating whether Arbonne is a pyramid scheme
How much money can you make with Arbonne?
Arbonne reps often brag about their lavish lifestyles and ‘financial freedom,’ and the Arbonne website itself promises to give you the ‘freedom to live the life of your dreams’ and ‘your own successful business.’
However, is this really attainable with Arbonne? I had a look at Arbonne’s income disclosure statements to see for myself, and the numbers paint a pretty grim picture.
Arbonne in the UK
In , Arbonne had 21, Independent Consultants in the UK but according to Arbonne themselves, only 12% of Arbonne Consultants each month earned any money from Arbonne. This means that out of 21, people, only 2, made ANY money with Arbonne.
The income disclosure statement below shows only the 12% of Arbonne reps who made any money at all. These reps are known as ‘active consultants’ by Arbonne, but that term is misleading as it implies that the person is not actively trying to sell products and work rather than the truth, which is that this person probably is putting in the work but is not making any money.
Let’s break these numbers down.
- Of 21, Independent Consultants, 88% (18, people) earned nothing.
- 7% ( people) earned £42 per month, or £ per year.
- % ( people) earned £ per month, or £ per year.
- % of Arbonne Consultants (that’s people) earned £ a month, or £10, a year.
- % (just 70 people) earned £ a month, or £41, a year.
- % of people (18 people) earned £ per month, totalling £, per year.
Now, these numbers alone are pretty shocking, but let’s dissect this even further.
The 88% of people who made no money in Arbonne would have actually lost money because you have to pay to be an Arbonne consultant. Now, while most people would (quite rightly) say – ‘huh? You have to PAY to work? What the F?!’ Arbonne reps would point out that actually, they own their own small businesses and any small business owner has to invest money into their business.
Now, it may be true that small business owners invest money into their businesses, but not only do people working in an MLM do not own their own businesses, but only 39% of small businesses owners lose money compared to 88% of Arbonne reps.
What’s more, according to the Office for National Statistics, a person aged 25 and over who works hours a week on the New Living Wage will earn £ a week after Income Tax and National Insurance.
This means that only 88 Arbonne Consultants in the UK earned above the National Living Wage in
The other % of Arbonne reps either earnt less than the National Living Wage or actually lost money due to the amount that they invested in Arbonne (more on that later).
Arbonne in the US
In , there were , Arbonne Consultants in the US.
- 83% (that’s , people) earned nothing.
- % (19, people) earned $70 a month or $ a year.
- % ( people) earned $ a month, or $ a year.
- 1% of people () earned $ a month. That’s $18, a year.
- % ( people) earned $ per month or $71, a year.
- % ( people) earned $21, a month, or $, a year.
Unfortunately, Arbonne has not provided full income disclosure statements from (I wonder why), but they did say ‘A typical Arbonne participant in the United States earned between $ – $ in in earnings and commissions.’
This is $2 – $10 per week, not taking into account any money that they have sunk into the business.
You can read a more thorough analysis of Arbonne’s Income Disclosure Statement here.
On their website, Arbonne feature testimonials from Arbonne consultants raving about how Arbonne has changed their lives and helped them build ‘global businesses.’ However, in the small print, Arbonne admits that ‘The Arbonne Independent Consultants featured have achieved the rank of Executive Area Manager, Regional Vice President or National Vice President.’
In other words, these success stories are from people who are part of the top 1% of all Arbonne reps. Not exactly representative of the experiences of 99% of reps, is it?
Taking all this into account, perhaps the original question should really be ‘can you make money with Arbonne?’ rather than ‘how much money can you make with Arbonne?’
How much money does Arbonne cost to join?
As I mentioned above, the figures in the income disclosure statements do not take into account money spent by the consultant on expenses and products. In the small print they say ‘These figures do not represent Arbonne Independent Consultants’ profits, as they do not consider expenses incurred by Arbonne Independent Consultants in the promotion of their businesses…’
So, how much does it cost to work for Arbonne?
It is difficult to work out the exact costs of working for Arbonne because they tend to keep them hidden. I almost drove myself mad trying to figure out how much I’d need to initially invest to work for Arbonne. Arbonne say that the first thing you need to do is pay a registration fee of £30 and place an order of Arbonne products that totals QV.
This registration fee buys you a ‘Welcome Kit’ that includes a ‘Product Lookbook (presumably a catalogue of Arbonne products, which you can see for free on the website), Welcome Letter, Success Plan (this is Arbonne’s compensation plan which you can see for free online), a Discover Arbonne Brochure, Consultant Resource Guide and a Healthy Living Brochure.’
Now, I don’t know about you but to me that seems like quite a lot of money for a product brochure and some pamphlets.
As for how much QV is, it remains a mystery. The general consensus online seems to be that 1 PQV point (Personal Qualifying Value) is the equivalent of 1 USD. If PQV is the same as QV then, you’d need to spend USD on Arbonne products in order to join. That said, I couldn’t find anywhere whether PQV equates to the same amount as QV, and even the PQV that I could find was only for Arbonne US. I couldn’t find Arbonne UK figures anywhere.
Not only must you must create an Arbonne account (give Arbonne your contact details) before the price of the Welcome Kit is displayed, but even then, the amount of product that you must buy to reach the QV target is not revealed.
I went as far as creating an account and filling up my basket but even then, I was not shown how much QV the products in my basket added up to – in order to see the final amount that I would have spent, plus shipping costs, I had to enter my card details – now, I didn’t do this of course but I’m including this just to show you that Arbonne are shady as hell and will do anything to keep their costs a secret.
In fact, I didn’t even get to see the Terms and Conditions of shopping with Arbonne until I’d given them my email address and home address. Yikes.
If you’re confused at this point then trust me, I FEEL YOU. The bottom line is that it seems impossible to find out how much money you must invest into Arbonne in order to be a distributor for the company.
If all of that isn’t enough to put you off, then just know that your costs don’t end there.
You are encouraged to purchase ‘business tools’ such as sample kits and marketing packs. The prices for these are not listed anywhere on the Arbonne website but I did find an Arbonne US promotion online that said that the ’Share Arbonne’ pack (a pack containing catalogues and product samples) was 49 USD if purchased with the Welcome Kit and USD if purchased separately.
You are also given the option to add two ’Special Value’ packs at £ each, a ‘Cosmetics Pack’ at £ and a ‘Business Pack’ at £ You do not get to see what these packs contain.
How much does it cost to run an Arbonne business?
So, we’ve established that the costs of even signing up to Arbonne can be pretty high, but of course that’s not all – this is an MLM of course.
Something that any anti-MLMer will tell you is that the best customers of any MLM are the distributors.
MLMs manage to avoid being identified as pyramid schemes because they sell products.
Who is buying the products? Is it the general public, or is it the distributors themselves?
With Arbonne, every consultant must spend a certain amount of money on Arbonne products every month in order to ‘remain active’ and earn any commission.
In other words, you pay to play.
Sure, you don’t HAVE to buy the products. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head. But if you don’t spend the allotted amount of cash on Arbonne each month, you will not be eligible for any commission from your sales, and so you will be working for free.
And how much is this minimum amount?
Well my friend, I’m glad you asked!
In order to remain active with Arbonne, you will need to generate PQV worth of product with your Arbonne account each month. PQV is basically a points system, and in the US, for every $1 you directly spend on Arbonne products, you will earn 1 PQV. Thus, you need to spend $ on Arbonne products every month to earn any commission on sales you make.
You can even set up a standing order of $ per month to ensure you keep your active status.
I’m not sure that I know anyone who spends $ per month on beauty products. While I’m sure that those people do exist (and it is very possible to spend so much money if the products you buy are as expensive as Arbonne products!), it certainly isn’t the norm to be spending that much. This answers the above question then – Arbonne’s biggest customer is their own distributors!
Now, there is a way to reduce your spends – by signing people up.
For every person that you sign up underneath you, their purchases also count towards your PQV.
If you don’t manage to recruit anyone into your downline then tough cookie Karen, you’re going to need to flash that cash.
This is also another sneaky loophole that Arbonne exploit – pyramid schemes pay people to recruit others. Arbonne gives you ‘cash bonuses’ and increases your commission.
You also get promoted by recruiting others. Not a DIRECT cash reward, but definitely a financial incentive to focus on recruitment rather than selling shampoo.
So, while it isn’t technically doing pyramid schemy stuff, it’s also definitely doing pyramid schemy stuff if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.
Living the Arbonne life
In addition to the required amount that you HAVE to spend to remain active in Arbonne, there is also a whole lot of money that you are ‘encouraged’ to spend.
Arbonne encourages all of its consultants to ‘live the Arbonne life.’
This means use Arbonne products, showing your audience how great your Arbonne makeup is, how energised you feel using the Arbonne ‘fizz sticks,’ how your morning skincare routine looks when using all of your Arbonne products etc. Your upline will encourage you to make Instagram or TikTok videos of you using the products, and from a marketing perspective, this makes sense – social media influencers sell products by showing themselves using the product.
Celebrities get paid millions to endorse products because if we see someone we know and trust recommending something, we are more likely to buy it.
The catch is that influencers, brand ambassadors etc. actually GET PAID to do all of this AND THEY ARE NOT PAYING FOR THE PRODUCT.
Arbonne Consultants must purchase the products in order to advertise them and ‘maybe’ earn some money.
I cannot roll my eyes enough at this – what person in their right mind would do this?!
You should also know that Arbonne products are not cheap. An Arbonne eyeshadow pallet retails for £ A can of hairspray costs £
Of course, Arbonne reps get a discount (35%) on any products that they buy, but when the markups are so high, are they really getting a discount or are they still paying over the odds for what many reviews claim is a mediocre product?
In fact, Arbonne actually tells its reps not to go bankrupt (gee, how generous), but to ’spend enough that you feel uncomfortable’ which they say will be a great motivation to work and earn your money back.
The technical term for this is the sunk cost fallacy. This means that the more money you sink into something, the longer you are likely to stick with it to make it worth your while.
This roughly translates to: ‘I can’t quit now – I’ve spent so much time and money building my business!’
And this is how they get you. The more money you invest in Arbonne, the longer you stick around, investing more time and money and so on.
It’s an endless cycle.
Earnings vs. Investment
Remember earlier when I outlined the shocking lack of earnings for Arbonne Consultants?
Do you remember how, in , 83% of Arbonne Consultants earned nothing and % earned $ for the entire year?
Let’s take a look at those people who were actually earning anything with Arbonne.
If we take the minimum amount that an Arbonne Consultant has to spend each month in order to earn any commission from their sales, we get the following:
per month X 12 months =
So, therefore every Arbonne Consultant must spend AT LEAST $ per year to make any money.
So then, the largest percentage of people who ‘earned’ ANYTHING with Arbonne (Independent Consultants) made an average of $ for the year.
– = –
So these ‘earnings’ are actually a LOSS. The people in the bottom of the chart did not MAKE A PROFIT of $ They LOST $
District Managers earned an average of $ in the year
With the above maths, – = , so % of active consultants earned $ in a year or $ per month.
Don’t forget that NONE of these take into account additional expenses such as:
- Registration fee ($49)
- Sample pack ($49)
- Any additional sample packs and ‘business tools’ purchased throughout the year
- Any additional Arbonne products that the consultant purchased in order to keep ‘living the Arbonne life’
- Any travel expenses, hotel costs, conference tickets etc. (Arbonne hosts a yearly conference in Las Vegas).
You get the gist.
Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme in disguise?
The number one argument made by people in MLMs against pyramid scheme accusations are ‘but pyramid schemes are illegal! My MLM would have been shut down by now if it was a pyramid scheme!’
And yes. Pyramid schemes are illegal.
However, what many MLMs manage to do is to carefully word their terms and conditions in a way that skirts around legal loopholes. They end up functioning as a pyramid scheme and either evading the law entirely, or bamboozling people for long enough that they can avoid running into lawsuits.
In order to work out whether or not I believe that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme in disguise (I don’t want to get sued so I must stress that all of this is my opinion), I am going to try and answer four questions:
How do you make money with Arbonne? (Is there a focus on recruitment?) If the answer is yes then Arbonne meets one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.
Do you have to pay to work for Arbonne? If the answer is yes then Arbonne meets one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.
Does Arbonne use loopholes that allow it to function as a pyramid scheme? If so, what are they? The answer to this will be my opinion based on the research that I have conducted.
Has Arbonne ever faced legal issues related to this issue? Self-explanatory.
So, let’s dive in.
How do you make money with Arbonne?
The main thing that sets pyramid schemes apart from ‘legitimate MLMs’ (I have doubts as to whether any MLM can be legitimate but that’s another story), is the product.
This dates all the way back to the case of Amway vs the FTC. After 4 long years in court, Amway was found to be operating a legal business rather than a pyramid scheme. This ruling came down to technicalities in some of the wording in Amway’s paperwork, which has come to be known as the 70/30 rule.
The 70/30 rule means that 70% of a company’s profits must be made through retail sales of a product selling rather than recruitment. If the scale is tipped then the company could be accused of being a pyramid scheme.
This means that as the company’s focus is not purely recruitment, they can flirt with the idea of being a pyramid scheme without ending up in any legal trouble.
A big focus with Arbonne is definitely on recruitment, or on signing people up to the ‘Arbonne life.’ This video by Emily Leah shows two Arbonne babes bragging about how ‘people think we sell makeup – have you guys ever seen us sell makeup? Has anyone ever bought any makeup from us? Probably hardly anyone.’
They go on to say ‘you guys CAN buy products, it is [sic] there as a second income stream […] but what we do is bring people in, share a business concept and mentor people in their business. We’re business mentors basically.’
If this isn’t admitting to being a part of a pyramid scheme, I don’t know what is.
Arbonne reps get huge bonuses and promotions from recruiting other people to join their downline, and the more people they recruit, the more passive income they stand to make. If you can get a one-time commission from someone buying a lipstick from you or a lifetime of commission from another person’s sales (and recruits), it’s a no-brainer.
Why would you even bother selling products when selling the ‘business opportunity’ is so much more lucrative?
Now. That isn’t to say that Arbonne reps don’t sell products at all. You can make money selling Arbonne products to the general public. Whether or not you choose to is up to you.
Arbonne does not release any of its data as to how much of its profits are derived from selling products to the public, and so we cannot say definitively how they square up on the 70/30 scale as far as retail sales are concerned.
What we can say is that if every Arbonne consultant is spending at least $ per month on product, it is highly likely that it is the consultants themselves and not the public, who are Arbonne’s main customers.
However, a company cannot worm its way out of pyramid scheme allegations by pointing out that it does still sell products, even if they are to its own distributors.
You must be making 70% of your profit from retail sales to the general public, NOT interior sales from your workforce.
But ah! Arbonne doesn’t have a workforce – they have independent contractors who are not ‘employed’ by Arbonne.
I don’t know about you but this certainly sounds like a loophole to me…
It sounds like Arbonne likely does make the bulk of its income from sales…to its independent contractors. Sneaky, sneaky.
So, Arbonne has met one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.
Do you have to pay to work for Arbonne?
YES, YES, and YES again for anyone at the back.
You have to pay well over a thousand dollars every year to work for Arbonne. What other job actually makes you pay to go to work?!
Even a salesperson who works only on commission is not paying to go to work. Sure, if they don’t sell anything then they don’t MAKE money, but they aren’t losing money.
A car salesperson doesn’t have to purchase a certain amount of cars each year to be allowed to sell cars!
If you’re keeping count, this means that Arbonne has met two of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.
Does Arbonne use loopholes that allow it to function as a pyramid scheme? If so, what are they?
I cannot say with absolute certainty that Arbonne exploits legal loopholes in order to function as a pyramid scheme in disguise.
I am not a lawyer.
Do I believe that Arbonne use loopholes in order to get around being labelled a pyramid scheme?
Yes, I do.
MLMs have to make the majority of their profits based on retail sales to the general public. This does not include sales to people employed by the company. If Arbonne employed its distributors, chances are we would see that the majority of product sales are going to Arbonne distributors, not Becky Smith from down the street.
However, Arbonne distributors are not employees of Arbonne – they are independent contractors. This means that in the eyes of the law, they are not working FOR Arbonne, and can thus be considered members of the public when looking at product sales.
Loophole #2 – MLMs have to show that they do not have a ‘recruitment focus.’ If Arbonne were directly paying distributors to recruit then we would probably see exactly that they do indeed have a recruitment focuses. What they actually do is give their reps ‘bonuses’ and promotions instead. Hmm…
There are probably more intricate loopholes that Arbonne is exploiting but you see what I am trying to say. Just because something cannot technically and legally be defined as a pyramid scheme doesn’t mean that it isn’t operating in exactly the same way as a pyramid scheme does in practice.
Has Arbonne ever faced legal issues related to this issue?
In May , Cynthia and Michael Dagnall raised a lawsuit against Arbonne in the Orange County Superior Court. They alleged that the company was an illegal pyramid scheme.
Part of the lawsuit stated that ‘Arbonne requires them to purchase start-up packages and pay annual dues, and the Arbonne system makes it a virtual necessity that the distributors purchase Arbonne products– lots of them. In return, the Consultants receive the right to receive compensation based in primary part on their recruitment of new Consultants (who pay fees, pay dues, and purchase product). Just like a classic pyramid scheme, the more new Consultants a Consultant brings in the Arbonne program (and the more payments those new Consultants make), the more money a Consultant can make.’
In the end, a settlement was reached and so the lawsuit was dropped.
This doesn’t mean that Arbonne was found not to be a pyramid scheme.
It means that Arbonne paid money to the couple to get them to drop the case.
Similar to how other totally innocent people like R Kelly and Harvey Weinstein reach settlements with their accusers…
In April of , Arbonne also came under fire from the FTC, who spoke directly to them, saying‘Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff has reviewed social media posts made by Arbonne International, LLC, (“Arbonne”) business opportunity participants or representatives that unlawfully advertise that certain products treat or prevent Coronavirus Disease (“COVID”) and misrepresent that consumers who become Arbonne business opportunity participants are likely to earn substantial income.’
So ignoring the fact that Arbonne reps are claiming that Arbonne can treat Coronavirus (wow…just…wow), what the FTC is saying is that Arbonne representatives are making false claims that people are likely to earn a substantial income with Arbonne when, in fact, they are not.
The FTC goes on to say that ‘Express and implied earnings claims must be truthful and non-misleading to avoid being deceptive, which means that claims about the potential to achieve a wealthy lifestyle, career-level income, or significant income are false or misleading if business opportunity participants generally do not achieve such results.’
This isn’t regarding whether or not Arbonne is a pyramid scheme, but it is definitely food for thought if, for someunknown reason, you are still considering signing up with Arbonne.
Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Final thoughts
I think it’s pretty clear what my feelings are regarding whether Arbonne is a pyramid scheme or not.
Do I think that Arbonne meets the legal definition of a pyramid scheme and could be closed down by the FTC?
No, I do not.
Do I think that Arbonne is still functioning as a pyramid scheme by the manipulation of legal loopholes?
YES, without a shadow of a doubt.
Do I think that eventually the law will catch up to companies that are using these loopholes?
Yes, yes I do. While Arbonne at present are not an illegal pyramid scheme, I firmly believe that the FTC and other relevant authorities are catching onto their tricks quickly and that the day will come when the law is changed so that companies such as Arbonne are no longer able to do what they are doing. I believe that Arbonne’s days are numbered, and that if anybody is working for Arbonne and feeling smug that they are not part of an illegal pyramid scheme, know that you will not be feeling so smug forever.
Lastly, and perhaps the only question we need to be asking ourselves – is Arbonne ethical?
Arbonne may well be operating under the law right now, but that doesn’t mean that it is an ethical business model. After all, if you knew that less than 1% of people would generate a real income, would you still feel comfortable selling Arbonne as a ‘business opportunity’ and recruiting them?
My guess is that no. You wouldn’t.
An alternative to joining Arbonne
So then, how the hell do you make money online?!
Well…you could try blogging 😉
I won’t lie to you and say that blogging is easy, or that it’s fast money. Blogging definitely takes hard work and a savvy business mind.
With that said, it definitely isn’t as much work as being part of an MLM, you actually will be your own boss, and if you do it right, you will see incredible results.
The best thing about blogging is that it can lead to TRUE passive income.
Most of the money that I make on this blog comes from posts that are over 2 years old. I wrote them, tossed them to Uncle Google, and let the algorithm do the rest.
Those posts bring me tens of thousands of pageviews every month, and because I run ads on my site, pageviews = money.
There is a LOT to learn when it comes to blogging – how to grow an email list, how to work with brands, how to make sure your posts rank on Google…the list goes on, and it’s definitely overwhelming as a newbie.
That’s why I am so pleased to be able to tell you that Jessie Festa from the popular travel blog Jessie on a Journey is offering an incredible deal on her membership club Travel Blog Prosperity – I’m signed up myself, and it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever paid for in terms of courses/educational blogging materials.
If you’d like to enrol in Travel Blog Prosperity and gain access to MORE THAN $ worth of course materials, you can do so by clicking this link (technically the doors are closed but she gave me this link for my followers!).
Travel Blog Prosperity is usually $ per month but if you use code JEZEBEL, you’ll get your first month for only $9!
The best bit? You don’t have to send a single Instagram DM 😉
If you need more persuading, you can read my Travel Blog Prosperity review here.
what do you think? would you still consider joining arbonne after reading this? have i conlet me know your thoughts!
And finally, something a little lighter
With all this talk of small businesses and being your own boss, I wanted to share something with you.
I actually own my own e-commerce store which sells a mix of lingerie, BDSM and fetish wear, cosplay stuff and more.Jezebel By Night is a brand new business (we launched at the end of !) and it is an entirely one woman show – I am the one who does everything, from sourcing products, influencer marketing, customer service, social media, product descriptions, managing stock…you name it, I do it.
I’m super proud of myself and what I’ve achieved in such a short space of time, and as a ‘thank you’ for reading my article until the end, I would like to share a little something with YOU, reading this.
I have created a 20% discount code just for you, Travelling Jezebel readers, to use across my ENTIRE store.
Just enter the code BOSSBABE20 at checkout and 20% will be deducted from your entire order!
I can’t wait to see what you pick 😉
If you liked this article and would like to support my work, please click the button above to donate a couple of bucks and buy me a coffee. The ad revenue that I receive on this website is minimal, so support from my readers enables me to keep creating content that you (hopefully!) love to read.
Disclaimer: Travelling Jezebel uses affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase on a partnered site then I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Posted In: Anti-MLM, Issues· Tagged: anti-mlm, arbonne, is Arbonne a pyramid scheme, mlmSours: https://travellingjezebel.com/is-arbonne-a-pyramid-scheme/