the arbonne girls

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that sometimes I can get a little fired up on issues I care about. Ok ok, most of the time I can get a lot fired up on issues I care about. Usually these topics are like, you know… the gospel, giving people their dignity, enjoying the outdoors, sharing stories, caring for hurting people, really great books.

But yesterday, I found myself feeling a little passionately toward something I would’ve never expected…

Beauty products.

That’s right. Beauty products. If you know me, you’re probably falling out of your chair laughing right now. I barely wear makeup. I try to take care of my skin, but it’s not.. let’s say.. the top of my priority list. Heck, I used to backpack in the mountains for six days at a time without showering and be all good. Beauty products are not something I would’ve expected to get fired up about… but alas, here we are.

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My good friend, Lucy, is a consultant for the Swiss cosmetic brand, Arbonne. Last night,  a small group gathered at my friend Katie’s house for a party to hear more about the brand. We drank wine, ate fancy cheese and sampled products while Lucy made our jaws drop with facts about the cosmetic industry in the U.S. and what makes Arbonne products different. I will get to the astonishing facts in a second.

First, for those of you unfamiliar with Arbonne, they produce pure, safe and beneficial cosmetics and skin & body care products. The company is committed to developing unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and green chemistry. Everything Arbonne sells is dermatologist tested, which means an actual dermatologist used the product on their own skin before approving it. In addition, their direct marketing business model cuts out the middle-man and allows you to deal with an independent consultant, or the company directly, when ordering. Ultimately, this results in you receiving a higher quality product for the same price you would pay for makeup at a department store.

Lucy, blowing our minds with her knowledge.
Lucy, blowing our minds with her knowledge.

If you need a little more convincing, here are few specific ways Arbonne is different from the most popular U.S. cosmetic brands (this is the part of Lucy’s presentation where my jaw dropped):

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  • If you see a product labeled “hypo-allergenic” on the shelf, that means out of 10 people tested in the U.S.,up to four may have had an allergic reaction to it. When one person has an allergic reaction to an Arbonne product, they go back to the beginning. The product continues to be re-worked until zero out of 10 people tested experience a reaction.
  • Many cosmetics and skin care products in the U.S. are “dermatologist approved.” Think you’re in the clear? Not so. All this means is a doctor gave the product a once-over, and decided it was good to go. Everything Arbonne sells is “dermatologist tested.” An actual dermatologist used the actual product on their actual body.
  •  If you don’t have a strong stomach, you might want to skip this bullet point. Ever heard of a rendering plant? I hadn’t either until yesterday, and I still wish I hadn’t heard about it. Ignorance is bliss… kind of. A rendering plant is the place where all the animal and food waste from say… roadkill or cafeterias… go. It all gets melted down, and creates a really lovely oil substance. Turns out that oil is a great “filler” ingredient and the U.S. cosmetic industry is one of the top three buyers. Think about that for a second….. seriously. This is what we’re putting on our skin.

As a society, we have become pretty conscious about the food we’re putting in our bodies. We should be the same amount of conscious about the soaps, creams, and lotions we’re putting on our bodies. Our skin is the largest organ we have, and whatever we put on it is absorbed directly into our bloodstream. Kind of a big deal.

As you can probably tell, I’m a little fired up. But I’m not the only one. You know who else is? My dear friend, Kate. She is an avid supporter of Arbonne products (her skin looks great, by the way), and her hilarious commentary had us laughing all night.

Kate doing her hand quotations while describing an experience with a "natural" product that turned out to be not so natural.
Kate doing her hand quotations while describing an experience with a “natural” product that turned out to be not so natural.

It would be a crime for me to not share some of it with you. I’m no criminal, so here we go:

“It just feels so clean. It’s like I don’t even want to rub it in with my dirty hand.”

“Guys, the other night after I photographed a wedding for 8 hours, my face was still glowing.”

“I would not want neck wrinkles. I changed the way I sleep because I don’t want neck wrinkles. I trained myself to sleep on my back.”

“After I found out what was in my chapstick, I seriously thought, I’m going to get cancer on my lips.”

“If you were in an airport, would you rather be the girl who’s wearing pajamas and looks tired? Or would you want to be the sassy, attractive 50-year old who has on a cute outfit and a matching suitcase? By then, you’ll want to match.”

“Why not look snazzy and snappy in your 50s?”

“I’m looking forward to the future.”

“We should be called the Arbonne Girls.”

In case you’re wondering, Kate is awesome. And she really really loves Arbonne.

Let’s be clear: I could care less about makeup. Really, most days I could go without wearing any and be perfectly content. But, whether it’s my face wash or my lunch, I do care about making sure what I’m putting in my body is healthy. It’s the only one I’ve got, after all. And I am completely fine with supporting a well-run company that holds itself to high standards, sells natural products and keeps the well-being of the consumer top of mind. Getting to support my friend Lucy in her endeavors is an added bonus.

I left our party yesterday wanting every product in the catalog. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit in my budget so I’m going to take it one product at a time. I am, however, committing to a more natural way of caring for my skin, especially in how I treat my face. Here’s my routine:

Night:

  • Wash my face with baking soda. Mix a sprinkle of baking soda with a few drops of water to create a nice scrub.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar acts as my toner and astringent.
  • Moisturize with Coconut Oil. I also use this oil for an overall body lotion. Grape Seed Oil works as well if you prefer.

Morning:

  • Rinse my face with water, but don’t scrub. Believe it or not, naturally produced oils are healthy for your skin.

Kate refers to this as “the poor man’s Arbonne.” It’s true, and it’s also worked pretty well for me. You should give it a try while you’re saving up for your first Arbonne purchase. I think mine will be the tinted moisturizer with SPF….

*If you’re interested in trying Arbonne for yourself, my friend Lucy Lawson would love to help. Send her an email at lucymlawson@gmail.com. 

*Learn more about Arbonne by visiting their website, www.arbonne.com

*DISCLAIMER: I was not solicited to post about this topic, and received no payment or benefit from Arbonne as a result of writing about their company. 

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