One of my most talented, beautiful and funny friends from high school, Alissa Albertson, contacted me recently and asked me if I had ever tried any Arbonne products. I had always heard of Arbonne products but I had never known anyone who has used them and I had never tried them for myself so I jumped at the opportunity when she offered to send me some of their products to review. (Especially when they are being vouched for by said talented, beautiful and funny friend. And I do mean talented– she is a professional opera singer. I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to stand near her and hear her sing even in high school.)
Alissa sent me a bunch of different products along with a great deal of information about Arbonne, including their quality standards and ingredients. This is where I learned that Arbonne products are made in America but are Swiss formulated and match up to the Europe standards of safety in skin care/nutrition products. I didn’t realize that there are over 1300 ingredients that are not allowed in skincare/makeup products in Europe but only 12 are not allowed in the US. Yikes. Essentially, in Europe you have to prove something is beneficial before it’s allowed to be put into a personal care product. In the states, you have to prove that something is harmful before they remove it from the product. That’s so interesting. Also makes me wonder what the Korean standards are since I’m constantly putting bee venom and snail slime on my face. (In products, obviously.)
Among the products she sent, Alissa sent me the full line of Arbonne’s flagship skincare line, RE9 Advanced. She asked me to go “all in” and exclusively use these products for a week. This was hard for me because I finally have a skin care routine that I am really happy with but anything for journalism/science.
The first step of the routine is the Smoothing Facial Cleanser ($40.) This stuff will remove every trace of makeup quite easily. I’m not sure how it does it– it even removes mascara! Oftentimes, I have to go in with a cleansing cloth after I’ve washed my face to remove any last traces of mascara or eyeliner but this stuff gets everything. You also do not have to use more than one pump and the pump does not give you more than you need. (I HATE it when a product comes with a pump and then gives you a ton more than you would ever need with the pump.) I also liked that this product was very creamy and did not leave my skin dry at all. My skin just felt supremely clean and fresh.
The next step was the Regenerating Toner ($35.) I’m kind of notorious in my disdain for a toner step– to me this feels like a waste of time. However, this toner was interesting as it is a spray. It is not the traditional “douse a cotton ball in toner then drag it all over your face” toner. It feels refreshing. This step in the regimen helps to balance and refresh the skin to prepare it for the subsequent steps. I really liked this.
Next, I used the Intensive Renewal Serum ($58.) I tend to love serums a lot. A serum is the step in your skincare routine that packs the most punch. They tend to be more expensive but this is because they have the most active ingredients that are doing the most work out of all of your products. This serum is meant to improve elasticity, moisture and overall appearance. I swear I felt like when I used this serum that I *glowed.* My skin felt healthy, incredible and dare I say, younger? I don’t buy into general skincare claims where they tout they will get rid of wrinkles because I think that is impossible for most/all (?) topical creams. It just seems like an urban legend. But Intensive Renewal Serum isn’t promising anything like that. So when I say younger, I just mean more even, moisturized and “glow-y” skin which is a mark of youth.
Now we are onto one of my favorite products– the Corrective Eye Creme ($55.) First, I should mention that almost all of these products I’ve mentioned so far, a little goes a long way. So while you might have sticker shock for a minute, these products are going to last for a very long time. This definitely applies to the Corrective Eye Creme. You only need a little to dab around your eyes and they feel moisturized and ready for makeup. Or sleep. Whatever you happen to be doing.
During the day, this is when I would go straight to my Dr. Jart+ BB Cream but since I’m playing along, I used the Restorative Day Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($50.) For me, since my BB Cream doubles as skin care, I feel like this step is generally unnecessary since it also has SPF in it BUT if you are NOT using an SPF cream in your daily routine, you need to drop everything right now and buy one. Buy this one, buy anything. Seriously– SPF is important. This cream felt very nice. Once I put my makeup on, I did feel like I was wearing a bit too many products but this may work for you if you are used to that. I think if I was wearing a different foundation, it would have felt better.
At night, I obviously forgo the SPF and used the Night Repair Creme ($85.) This is another one of those products that you only need a little to go a long way but I swear I wanted to bathe in this stuff it felt so good. My very dry skin loved this stuff and drank it up. This tub would last you a good long while.
Overall Grade: A
While I loved almost all of the Arbonne RE9 Advanced products, it would definitely be an investment to get them all at once. The ones I am eyeballing pretty hard to buy first are the Intensive Renewal Serum and the Corrective Eye Cream. And while looking at all the products at once makes it seem like an overwhelming investment, these prices are mostly lower than luxury brand skincare products. I know Arbonne would prefer that you don’t deviate from their 5 steps, I think any of these products could also enhance an existing skincare routine. While the Smoothing Facial Cleanser works soooo well, I tend to like to spend my money on serums and eye creams where I feel like I am getting the most bang for my buck.
Alissa has her own Arbonne site here where you can buy these and any of their other awesome products. (I tried their primer and it was pretty great– might need to do another review just on that!) She will be your go-to gal for all things Arbonne. She did mention that their website is fairly new and they’ve had a few kinks but you should be able to contact her from there. If for some reason you can’t, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with Alissa.
Products were sent for review but all opinions are my own.