Overview:

Petter Mørck, together with a group of leading bio-chemists, biologists and herbalists, fulfilled his vision and founded Arbonne. The company was founded in 1975, in Switzerland. Arbonne focuses on creating skin care products based on botantical principles. Unlike many other cosmetic companies, Arbonne is available through independent consultants, Arbonne takes pride in this type of selling technique.

The Good:

Arbonne doesn't test on animals, they do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products. They also do NOT use petroleum based ingredients. The company has focused on leaving a minimal impact on the earth, according to their site they:
* Support responsible harvesting of our botanical ingredients (harvest and replenish)
* Never utilize endangered plant species in our formulations
* Practice “source reduction,” optimizing packaging and product design to use less materials
* Use renewable sources for all of our paper packaging
* Strive to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all paper packaging
* Incorporate Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) content in all shipping cartons and plastic packaging, wherever possible
* Print with soy-based inks wherever possible
* Ensure our distribution facilities have recycling programs for all incidental packaging and shipping supplies

Marta liked the RE9 Advanced Firming Body Lotion for being creamy but absorbing well. The tinted moisturizer and foundation found a long term place in the bathroom cabinet of our tester.

The Bad:
Despite having such a green initiative, Arbonne refuses to print their ingredients on their site. When buying something, there's no telling what's in it and if you might be allergic. While the site ensures us that their products are free of "harmful ingredients," sometimes that is just too vague. If their ingredients really are that great, then maybe they should make it available on the site. The sales "consultants" or reps can be overly aggressive. We once posted a review of Arbonne and were swamped by hundreds of reps leaving comments. Ingredients include toxins such as linalool, sodium benozate and sodium hydroxide.

Our tester found the makeup primer unsuitable for oily skin. The eye cream didn't cut it for Cristina either, who found it too expensive for a good moisturizer that lacked lightening and brightening action. Meanwhile, Bev found that the RE9 Advanced Serum didn't help her dry skin.

The Truth:
Arbonne is a unique experience. You can become a consultant for them and sell their products or you can just buy them online. While they've focused on using botanicals in their products, we as consumers can't tell how true that statement is unless we can see the ingredients online. However, we do commend them on all of their "green" efforts, they are setting a great example. The products are a mixed bag, but the RE9 line is worth checking out.