Recently, a old friend from high school contacted me about a new product he discovered and thought I might be interested in – Arbonne. I normally run and hide from anything associated with multi-level marketing, but for some reason, I stuck around to listen to his pitch and ultimately decided to give one of Arbonne’s skin care lines a try.
I mean, at this point in my life, what do I have to lose? Well, other than wrinkles, age spots, redness, dry skin – the list goes on and on unfortunately.
I have tried hundreds of skin care products and dozens of lines over the years. I am always trying to balance safety and effectiveness. I want something natural and nontoxic, but also, I am okay with a safe level of chemicals and preservatives, because I want it to actually work. I have used completely natural (food-grade) lines that had me breaking out in a painful skin rash, and used not so natural lines that didn’t do anything to improve my skin. My skin is really dry and super sensitive, so finding good skin care is not easy. I have been fairly disappointed most of the time I try a new skin line.
What I like about Arbonne – and the main reason I decided to try the products – is the transparency of their ingredients. The company’s mission is to develop products that combine the best of nature and leading science. Nature and science – I am a big fan of both.
Arbonne’s products are safe, nontoxic, and committed to being eco-friendly. They proactively search for the purest, most unadulterated botanical ingredients from natural sources. Arbonne’s formulas are free from animal products or by-products, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, benzene, bisphenol-a, carbon black, formaldehyde-donating preservatives, hydroquinone, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic dyes, talc, triclosan and triethanolamine (TEA).
For me, being “green” means more than just ingredients, it’s about a company minimizing its environmental footprint as much as possible. On that note, I appreciate that Arbonne uses soy-based inks and FSC-certified renewable resources for paper and printed materials, their shipping boxes are made primarily of recycled material and are recyclable, the majority of their product packaging is recyclable, and shipments are certified carbon neutral.
But, do they actually work? This was the remaining question for me. Here is what I tried and my results …
I purchased the Arbonne RE9 Advanced line and used it regularly for a few months. This line involves a five-step skin care system, which includes: (1) Smoothing Facial Cleanser, (2) Regenerating Toner, (3) Intensive Renewal Serum, (4) Corrective Eye Crème, Night Repair Crème, and (5) Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème with Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen in the morning or (5) Night Repair Cream at night.
It sounds complicated and time-consuming, but after the first couple of days, I had it down to under five minutes – morning and night. I admit that I skipped some steps if I was rushed in the morning – just did cleansing, eye cream and moisturizer. In the evening, I stuck pretty religiously to the regimen. I usually spend about a half an hour watching TV in the evening before bed, so I washed my face, then set the rest of the products on my night stand, and did my nightly moisturizing while watching The Daily Show (side note – of course, you can moisturize watching any program you choose. I just found that watching Trevor Noah while moisturizing made my laugh lines increase and frown lines reduce – which has been especially helpful for me over the past few months. 😉 )
For this experiment, I decided to take before and after pictures. Honestly, until I compared them side by side, I was still pretty skeptical. Please note that I did not retouch these photos at all and was wearing no makeup in either (yikes!). Here are the before and after photos I took:
Yes, the lighting is not exactly the same due to different times of the day (and yes, I blow dried my hair in the after – being horrified by my wet hair in the “before”), but still, I think there are some clearly visible results. Of course, the wrinkles are still there. I mean seriously, nothing short of needles or surgery will do anything about those. However, the main difference I see is in my skin tone, hydration and coloring. I see a significant reduction in redness and discoloration on my skin – particularly in the up close shot.
Recently, I received some complements out of the blue from friends on my skin. I also noticed when using the product my skin was significantly more hydrated and less dry and scaly. But until I saw these photos and compared them side by side, I wasn’t so sure if this really worked for me.
I can honestly say, my skin feels better, more hydrated and more even in tone than it has in a very long time. In spite of the fact that my stress level has been pretty high lately, I don’t feel like it is showing on my face. Yay for good skin care! That, combined with lots and lots of water (I do not go anywhere without my reusable water bottle), seems to have balanced out the lack of sleep and over-indulgence in wine and comfort food since late October.
(Note: I did not receive any products in exchange for posting this review. I also am not selling Arbonne myself and receive no proceeds from the sale of any of their products. Opinions and reviews on this blog are – as always – unpaid, unbiased and from my personal experience.)