I was recently contacted by Louise, a consultant for luxury skincare company Arbonne International. If you haven’t heard of them before, they were developed in Switzerland in 1975 by a chap called Petter Mørck. He aspired to create a range of luxury products that were not only highly effective, but also eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free. Together with his team of scientists, they created a range of skincare for women, men and children/babies, as well as cosmetics, hair products and fragrance.
I was keen to try out the RE9 Advanced Skincare for men, and Louise kindly obliged. Clearly I wasn’t going to be testing these products myself, but my brother and my husband were very keen to give them a go. After Louise ordered the products for me, they arrived within a couple of days – super quick. My husband Ian decided to test the exfoliating face wash and the moisturiser, and my brother tested the shaving gel and post-shave balm.
My husband Ian is a 31-year old electrician and enjoys using skincare products. He has been known to have more fun buying skincare treats for himself in Boots than me. He uses facial wash daily as well as moisturiser, and uses a range of products from high-end brands such as Clinique, to averagely-priced brands such as Nivea. Ian has combination skin, suffering from some dryness on his cheeks, but oily areas on his t-zone. He has occasional outbreaks of spots, and this can sometimes be exacerbated by certain products. The first product he tried was the RE9 Advanced for Men Exfoliating wash.
Before sending out the products, Louise advised us that we would only need to use a tiny amount of each product, because they were highly concentrated and a little would go a long way. She wasn’t wrong. Ian said that he used a significantly smaller amount of the facial wash than he normally would, and it went a long way. He said that he could have perhaps used a smidgeon more but, either way, he didn’t need to use as much as he normally would. He said that the product felt really nice on the skin, cleansing effectively and gliding on well. It isn’t very foamy, which in my view is a good thing, because a lot of foam just means that there is more of a chemical added solely to produce foam (this stuff is found in toothpaste, hand wash and shampoo).
The facial wash, like most of the Arbonne skincare products we received, had a light, citrusy scent, a little like an Origins moisturiser I once used. Ian liked the scent, describing it as zesty and fresh. He did mention that although the facial wash is described as exfoliating, and contains exfoliating beads, the concentration of beads needs to be much higher to produce a really exfoliating experience. I actually tried this facial wash out myself (even though Louise advised me that the men’s products are chemically formulated for men’s skin), and I agree. It did not exfoliate my skin at all as there were only a tiny amount of beads contained in the tiny amount that is required to wash a face. This is a shame, as I don’t know how they would get around making it more exfoliating when only using a tiny amount of product. Aside from the lack of exfoliation impact, Ian and I both agreed that it was a lovely product and did cleanse the face effectively.
The Arbonne RE9 Advanced Exfoliating Scrub retails at £25 for 118ml. Although Ian liked the product, he said that he would like it to have much more powerful exfoliation if he were to consider purchasing it. That aside, he admits that the product had a silky, decadent feel about it, and it left his skin cleansed.
Next up, Ian tried the RE9 Advanced for Men Facial Moisturiser with SPF20. Ian liked this product. He has been using a moisturiser by Boots for a long time and feels really comfortable with that product. He found that he needed to use half the amount of the RE9 than he normally uses of the Boots moisturiser, which is a positive thing. He said that it didn’t have much fragrance, which he understands that some people may prefer. He prefers a little more fragrance to his products. Ian said that the Arbonne moisturiser felt much richer than his Boots product. He liked this moisturiser a lot, and all in all, he rated the product very well. The only con he found was the price point. It retails at £34 for 60ml. The product is certainly concentrated so a little does go further, but the pricing is still not as competitive as some of the better known luxury brands. So, apart from the price, Ian gave this moisturiser a thumbs up.
As I mentioned before, Ian sometimes suffers from spots following using certain products. He didn’t experience any sensitivity or outbreaks following using his Arbonne RE9 products. They are anti-aging products, and although Ian liked the overall feel of the products, he didn’t find that his skin had a significantly improved condition. That said, Ian is used to looking after his skin with good products and, in my humble opinion, already looks pretty youthful for his age (early 30s). He certainly said that the RE9 products he tried were very nice and undoubtedly luxurious.
My brother Leon is also 31, a registered mental-health nurse and an aggressive inline skater (this doesn’t mean he is very angry, it is merely a style of inline skating). Leon wet shaves on a fairly regular basis. He sometimes sports some facial hair too, so decided to review Arbonne’s shaving products. He reviewed the RE9 Advanced for Men Shave Gel first.
Leon had a great experience of the shave gel. He took on board the fact that he only needed to use a small amount and, although he did use significantly less than he uses of his normal gel, he said that he could have used a teeny bit more. Leon reported that the gel had a good consistency, it spread very evenly on his face, without any clumping. Leon normally finds that the shave gel he uses goes on far too thickly, and he often has to shave away a lot of the product before he can actually see what he’s doing to his face. Because the Arbonne shave gel does not have a foamy consistency, he could see perfectly well what he was doing with his razor and didn’t have to go over the same area of skin repeatedly. Despite that fact that his face was not covered in foam, as is the case with his usual gel, he found that the Arbonne formula lubricated his razor exceedingly well.
Leon has a huge mop of gorgeous, curly hair on his head. He often finds that his usual shave gel is incredibly messy, clinging to his curls and spilling all over the place. Leon reported that the Arbonne shave gel was mess-free and perfect for men with long hair, because it doesn’t expand exponentially and foam up. Of the fragrance, he said that he liked the subtlety, as it didn’t have the typical ‘man smell’ of other brands. Leon reported that it didn’t do anything unexpected and performed excellently. The Arbonne RE9 men’s shave gel retails at £19 for 168ml and got an overall thumbs-up from Leon.
The final Arbonne product that Leon tested was the RE9 Advanced for Men Post-Shave balm. Arbonne really had their work cut out here, as my brother is used to using a post-shave balm from another high-end brand which he rates incredibly highly.
Leon reported that the Arbonne balm applied excellently, gliding on smoothly and evenly. The balm didn’t sting or irritate his face at all, feeling neutral and moisturising on delicate, freshly-shaven skin.
However, although Leon felt that the balm was luxurious and rich on application, he felt that the moisturising effects diminished too quickly. With his other high-end balm, he feels that the softness that his skin feels on immediate application of the product lasts for the entire day. With the Arbonne balm, Leon felt that the lovely soft feeling you get immediately after application, wore off by around midday. So although his face felt adequately hydrated, that luxe feeling didn’t stay with him all day as his other balm does.
Regarding the fragrance, unfortunately Leon did not find the citrus quality to his taste at all. I will emphasise that this is just Leon’s personal taste in fragrance. He elaborated that although the balm didn’t sting his face, he felt that citrus quality of the smell was too pungent for him. He felt that a product that is applied to raw, freshly-shaven skin should have warmer, sweeter notes to it, and that the citrus fragrance gave him a psychological feeling of irritation to the skin, instead of the soothing quality that he was hoping for. In this instance, Leon really felt that the fragrance of the balm detracted from his overall enjoyment of the product. With that in mind, he did acknowledge that the balm provided adequate hydration of his skin with no untoward reactions. Leon was always going to be a tough crowd to win over in this instance, largely due to being used to an exceptional brand that he usually to uses. I feel that if it hadn’t been for that, the Arbonne balm may have got a better response from Leon.
So, we looked at four luxury men’s skincare products from Arbonne. Let’s summarise what the chaps said. Ian and Leon both rated all of the Arbonne products very well on performance. All of the products did the job better than the products they usually use, with the exception of the post-shave balm that Leon tried. Do keep in mind that Leon is currently using a high-end post-shave balm, and other more moderately-priced balms may not perform as well as the Arbonne did. Both men had differing opinions on fragrance, and I guess that one fragrance is never going to appeal to every single individual. It certainly seems to be true that Arbonne products are indeed highly concentrated, as a small amount went a long way for both men. This is great, as you would need to fork out for these products. Knowing that a little is going a long way will definitely lighten that blow.
As well as the RE9 Advanced for men, Louise kindly sent me some samples of the women’s skincare range to try. I have to agree with the boys; these products do feel luxurious and rich on the skin. I don’t look any younger, but I was mistaken for a schoolgirl in a branch of Schuh recently!
Arbonne International are making luxury products with environmental and chemical ethics in mind. They are trying to take care to leave as little negative impact on the planet as possible, which is fantastic. Their pricing certainly reflects this; they are undoubtedly expensive. However, Louise has advised me that there are significant discounts available should you wish to sign up as a preferred client. Here is a run-down of the discounts available:
- Become a Preferred Client (PC) for £15 and enjoy benefits of PC programme with a 20% discount for a year. Renew annually for only £11.
- When first order is 250qv (our points system) or more PC’s receive £15 instant rebate applied to that order.
- PC’s get reward points with every order that they can use off their next shop.
- Free Gift: Valued at 50qv (about £32) with 150qv order in their start month.
- Arbonne Special Value Packs (ASVP’s) – 40% off a selection of product bundles.
Some Arbonne products could work brilliantly as a special Christmas gift to really treat a special fella in your life. And who knows, they may well end up getting so hooked that they will want to go back for more once they’ve (eventually) run out!
If you are interested in purchasing some of these male skincare products, you will need an Arbonne consultant’s ID number to use at the checkout. Therefore, please use Louise’s ID number: 441112911 to purchase any products from the website at http://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/
*Disclaimer: All of the opinions in this review are of the testers of the products; my husband Ian and my brother Leon. All of their opinions have been relayed honestly and accurately by myself. I was not paid to write this post.