11.19.2013
1
0
RE9 Advanced for Men Exfoliating Wash
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $30
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:11.19.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This cleanser/scrub hybrid is problematic on two counts: the abrasive agent is walnut shell powder and it contains several fragrant plant oils that cause irritation. Walnut shell powder is natural, but the pieces tend to be unevenly shaped, which results in small tears in the skin. That makes the irritant potential of the fragrant oils even stronger, and isn’t what men should expose their skin to at any time of day. Using this before shaving would give your skin a double whammy of irritation.

Claims

Invigorating wash exfoliates and helps prevent ingrown hairs, prepping skin for a clean, close shave

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Glycol Stearate, Walnut Shell Powder, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phospholipids, Panthenol, Stearamine, Glycerin, Orange Peel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Clove Flower Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Thioctic Acid, Ammonium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Eugenol

Brand Overview

Arbonne At-A-Glance

Strengths: A small selection of basic but effective cleansers and masks; good brush set; lip balm with reliable sun protection.

Weaknesses: Consistent and pervasive use of volatile fragrant oils that are irritating, allergenic, and/or photosensitizing for skin; disappointing toners and masks; no effective AHA or BHA products; no skin-lightening or effective anti-acne products; several sun-care products contain problematic ingredients.

Founded in 1975 with the goal of providing skin-care products with "unparalleled quality and effectiveness," Arbonne International is a direct-sales line many of my readers have an intense curiosity about. There must be lots of assertive Arbonne salespeople out there, because no other line with this type of business structure has generated the amount of email we receive, all asking if Arbonne products are worth it and whether or not many of the company's outlandish claims are true. 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: Journal of Burn Care Research, May-June 2006, pages 345–351; Contact Dermatitis, June 2003, pages 293–299; Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2001, page 79; Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2000, pages 44–46; and Dermatitis, September 2004, pages 109–116).

We have also been asked about whether it is true that all mascaras except Arbonne's contain bat excrement. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems many Arbonne salespeople are telling potential customers that all mascaras (except for Arbonne's, of course) contain this substance. We also found that many of the Arbonne representatives we spoke to love sharing the false rumor about lipsticks containing road-kill remnants (except for Arbonne's, of course). We wouldn't mention these tall tales if these were a few isolated incidents, but dozens upon dozens of women have contacted us asking for the truth behind these ludicrous claims. Just to be clear, cosmetic chemists are not venturing into dark caves to collect bat excrement or picking up carcasses of animals on the side of the road all in an effort to save money and create harmful cosmetics. And you have to wonder: If Arbonne products are so wonderfully effective, why do they need to sell themselves using scare tactics about what every other company's products supposedly contain?

Arbonne also advertises the fact that their products don't contain chemical fragrances because of their potential for causing allergic contact dermatitis. We agree with that stance, but it would give Arbonne more credibility if they didn't replace "chemical" fragrances with a slew of irritating plant extracts and volatile oils, several of which are well-known for their potential to cause skin problems. It is their overreliance on such ingredients that makes a disproportionate number of their products impossible to recommend.

we could go on, but to sum it up, despite my reservations, Arbonne has some good products to consider. However, the rather misleading marketing language is not convincing. None of the natural-sounding ingredients in the world can keep you from reacting to an irritating preservative or fragrance, or from breaking out due to cosmetic waxes such as stearic acid or myristyl myristate.

For more information about Arbonne International, call (800) 272-6663 or visit www.arbonne.com.

Arbonne Makeup

Arbonne's makeup is known is divided into two main groups, About Face and Virtual Illusion, and in contrast to its skin-care products, the claims are somewhat tempered. The color palette presented is divided into warms, cools, and neutrals. Although we don't agree with all of Arbonne's classifications, this system can be helpful for making your selection. Regrettably, this collection has seen very little change over the years. Instead, Arbonne focuses heavily on skin care while their latest makeup fails to approach the benchmark standards being set by dozens upon dozens of other companies. The average to poor products are particularly distressing because, for the most part, Arbonne's makeup is overpriced.

Despite this, there is some good news. The makeup categories to focus are blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, gloss, and brushes. You should know that contacting an Arbonne representative to purchase makeup (you cannot purchase it via the company's Web site without having being assigned a representative) will result in more than just a monetary transaction. The Arbonne representatives we encountered were on a mission to recruit anyone who buys (or expresses interest in) their products. Dealing with this company demands patience or a strong resolve. You will need to refute not only the employees' fervent belief that Arbonne products and philosophies are superior to all others, but also the assertion that joining the company is a life-altering experience on par with the most profound spiritual journey you can imagine. Speaking as a consumer, this sort of selling is not appealing, but we are sure there are others looking for just the financial opportunity and lifestyle change Arbonne offers. Those who agree with me should know that the About Face and Virtual Illusion collections include nothing that can’t be found elsewhere, from companies that make it much easier to obtain products than Arbonne does. One more point: Returning products to Arbonne is incredibly frustrating. You must contact your consultant to obtain her information, and then call the company to obtain a return merchandise authorization number. If your consultant doesn't step up, you're stuck with the products unless you want to deal with the company directly, which is about as pleasant as a root canal.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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04.22.2015
Do you physically test products?

Did you happen to test these products before reviewing them? I ask this because I have sensitive skin and I use quite a few of these products including the shave gel and I couldn't be happier, my skin feels great. I have no signs of irritation or ingrown hairs after.

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Justin S
05.15.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We are happy that you've found something you love!  Our review ratings are based on published medical and scientific research, not our personal opinions or biases. We assign products a star rating that ranges from one to four stars. Four stars are given to our BEST products, three to the GOOD products, two for AVERAGE products and one star for the POOR products. These are the general questions we try to answer for each skincare product we review...  We don’t factor in whether we personally like how a product feels or smells—it’s all about the ingredients and what the research says is (or isn’t) possible. When reviewing skincare products, we weigh the following factors:  how farfetched are the products claims?, given the ingredients listed - can it live up to those claims?, will the packaging keep the ingredients stable?; how much of the special/featured ingredient is in the product (is it enough to do what it is supposed to do?); are there problematic ingredients (such as fragrance and irritants?); how does the product compare to similar products?; and is it safe?

When it comes to an ingredient being an irritant (such as the oils discussed in the review), remember that just because you don't see visible signs of irritation doesn't mean that it's not occuring under the skin!  

—Admin
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