Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

The Cosmetics Cop on Arbonne

Paula Begoun, who calls herself the Cosmetics Cop, reviews Arbonne and a few of the company’s products.

Paula says that she receives more email about Arbonne than any other “direct sales” cosmetics line. Now I disagree with the characterization of the company as “direct sales” because it implies that the focus of the plan is retail sales of the products. Like Mary Kay, the Arbonne product is really just the “front” for the real thing they’re selling – the recruiting opportunity.

She has this to say about the company’s sales tactics:

“More than many other lines, Arbonne is big on playing up the alleged evil of many benign cosmetic ingredients. Topping this list is mineral oil, which the company maintains interferes with skin functions and delivery systems. Cosmetics-grade mineral oil is not a problem for skin and is in fact one of the mildest and most effective ingredients for making dry skin look and feel better. It doesn’t have the best texture or finish, but its effectiveness is indisputable (Sources: Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2001, page 79; Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2000, pages 44–46; Dermatitis, September 2004, pages 109-116)”

Paula also addresses the often repeated myth that all mascaras except Arbonne’s have bat poop in them. Apparently Arbonne reps are also promoting the myth that many other companies’ lipsticks contain “road kill remnants.” She has heard these outlandish claims so many times that she finally addresses them. They are false.

Her take on three of the Arbonne products:

  • NutriMinC RE9 REactivating Facial Serum, Day & Night ($40 for 1 ounce) – Contains fruit extracts that don’t really exfloiate, and the lactic acid exfoliant isn’t strong enough to be the most effective.
  • NutriMinC RE9 REnewing Gelée Crème Hydrating Wash ($35 for 3.15 ounces) – Very good water-soluble cleanser, but too expensive.
  • NutriMinC RE9 REstoring Mist Balancing Toner ($30 for 3.15 ounces) – Thumbs down because this product has lots of comfrey extract, which Paula feels is problematic.