The concept of this gel moisturizer is to make skin quickly feel tighter and firmer. It does that, but before we explain how, you need to know that simply making skin feel tighter isn’t the same as actually tightening loose skin. In other words, don’t expect to see lifted skin—this lightweight moisturizer cannot combat the effects of gravity, bone loss, and other biologic occurrences that lead to skin sagging.
What makes skin feel temporarily tighter is the ingredient pullulan. This natural ingredient is a starch derived from a specific strain of yeast. In much the same way you can temporarily smooth a wrinkled shirt with starch, you can, though to a far lesser degree, do the same for skin. The effect is short-lived and no one’s going to mistake you for being 10 years younger than your real age, but it can provide a bit of assistance. The problem is that doing so with this product also exposes your skin to irritants, including a high concentration of orange peel oil. Orange peel oil is a major source of the fragrance chemical limonene, which is known to cause contact dermatitis on exposure to air (Sources: Chemical Research in Toxicology, March 2010, pages 677–688; Contact Dermatitis, December 2009, pages 337–341, and November 2006, pages 274–279). This isn’t an advanced way to care for your skin, and it’s really disappointing that the most intriguing ingredients (the ones that do have some good research establishing their antiwrinkle abilities) are barely present. In the end, it’s the amount of orange peel oil that earns this a Poor rating.
Advanced formula Works quickly to make skin feel tighter and firmer.
Water, Glycerin, Sucrose Laurate, Pullulan, Carrageenan, Orange Peel Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Algae Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Clover Flower Extract, Pea Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panthenol, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Sorbitol, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Glucose, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyamino Sugar Condensate, Urea, Sodium PCA, Stearamine, Lactic Acid, Thioctic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol
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'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.