Most skin-care lines don't offer massage oils, so this is a nice change of pace. Whether you're lucky enough to have someone willing to give you a massage or you just want to use it to treat dry skin on your body, massage oil can be a handy item to have around—but not this pricey formula!
The main ingredients in this massage oil are excellent non-fragrant plant oils that can be considered "essential" for dry skin, and this contains some good skin-repairing ingredients, too. The problem is the amount of fragrant plant oils, all of which have research demonstrating they are skin irritants. Of particular concern is lavender oil, discussed in the More Info section.
Scent can be a wonderful part of the massage experience, but it doesn't need to come from your massage oil. Instead, enjoy a massage using a lukewarm, non-fragrant plant oil and light a scented candle. You'll make your skin and nose happy, while also creating a relaxing ambiance!
One more comment: It's important to note that you cannot "detox" your skin with an oil or any other product (this is a recurring urban myth, but we prefer fact to fiction so we aren't going to perpetuate it). Skin isn't storing any sort of toxins that can be removed or "drawn out"; toxins in the body are broken down and removed by the kidneys and liver. Besides, cosmetics companies like Arbonne rarely, if ever, identify what specific toxins we need to be concerned about. Sebum (the body's natural oil) and dead skin cells are not toxins, nor are the bacteria that are naturally present on our skin—and the dirt that accumulates on our skin from the environment washes right off; it doesn't stick around, penetrating our skin and slowly poisoning us. And when you clean the skin gently you also don't damage the skin's protective barrier which is so important—a damaged barrier leaves the skin open to a host of problems, up to and including sores and infections.
- Contains some very good plant oils for dry skin.
- The texture works beautifully for an all-over massage.
- Expensive given that the best ingredients included here can be obtained for less at most health food stores.
- Contains several fragrant plant oils, including lavender, juniper, and peppermint.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
This essential oil blend contains stimulating, marine-derived ingredients to help remove toxins and deliver nourishing minerals. Deep skin conditioning is provided by linoleic acid. Bisabolol provides calming and anti-irritating effects.
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Laureth-4, Canola Oil, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens Leaf/Nut/Stem Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
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.