Monat is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that sells hair, skin and wellness products. The brand describes itself as a "global leader in naturally based, anti-aging haircare, skincare, and wellness innovations."
But do Monat products actually improve hair and skin quality or are they a waste of money? Do they contain science-backed ingredients? Do they contain any harmful ingredients? And how do real users respond to their products?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review Monat's most popular products in each category: hair (Volumizing Revive Shampoo), skincare (Rejuveniqe Oil) and supplements (Sleep Drops). We'll also highlight user reports of damaged hair from their products.
Monat Shampoo Review
Monat's shampoo called "Volumizing Revive Shampoo" appears to be the brand's most popular hair product. It contains an unbelievable 57 individual ingredients, which are shown above.
It does contain some naturally-derived and effective ingredients, such as coconut oil which can hydrate the scalp and naturally reduce dandruff levels, and sunflower seed oil which is shown in clinical studies to enhance skin barrier function.
Glycerin is another effective and healthy ingredient choice for a shampoo, as it's typically derived from plant sources and is hydrating to skin, as we referenced in our Native Deodorant reviews article.
Unfortunately this shampoo contains fragrance which is an ingredient we recommend consumers avoid. A medical review of fragranced consumer products published in the Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health journal concluded the following: “Results of this study provide compelling evidence that everyday fragranced products can impose serious risks to human health, environmental quality, businesses, and society.”
Monat shampoo also contains four separate preservative ingredients (benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol) and four separate individual fragrance ingredients (citronellol, limonene, hexyl cinnamal, linalool).
While we consider this shampoo to be likely effective for hydrating the hair, we do not recommend it overall due to all of the questionable additive ingredients.
Monat is also infamous for news reports of unsanitary conditions at their manufacturing facility during an FDA inspection. There have been hundreds of adverse event reports related to Monat hair products, along with multiple lawsuits.
Consumers complained that Monat hair products caused hair loss, itching, scalp irritation and more:
The volumizing shampoo product we recommend is Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated with some of the same effective botanical compounds that Monat's shampoo uses, such as glycerin. It also contains aloe vera and argan oil. Most importantly, it's free of preservatives, free of fragrance (it's naturally fragranced with peppermint oil) and free of all other questionable cosmetic additives.
Interested consumers can check out Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo at this Amazon link.
Monat Skincare Review
Monat's most popular skincare product appears to be their anti-aging oil called "Rejuveniqe Oil." It has a simpler formulation than their shampoo.
Monat claims that "Abyssinian oil was the first ingredient selected for its remarkable rejuvenating properties." This claim is not cited and we cannot locate any medical studies suggesting that Crambe abyssinica seed oil is an effective anti-aging ingredient.
Coconut oil is an effective anti-aging ingredient. A medical review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reviewed clinical research on various plant oils and concluded that coconut oil was the most effective, and that it had an anti-aging effect when applied topically.
There are no other ingredients in this formulation that we consider to be anti-aging based on a review of clinical research.
Monat Rejuveniqe Oil also contains three individual fragrance ingredients we recommend avoiding as they may be skin-sensitizing: citral, limonene, linalool. This oil is free of generic fragrance and free of preservatives, so we consider it to be a better formulation than Monat's shampoo. That being said, we don't recommend the product overall because we are only able to identify one effective ingredient for anti-aging, and because of the three fragrance ingredients.
HydraGlow is our top moisturizer pick. It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." In the linked trial, topical bakuchiol reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity and firmness, and reduced photodamage (damage from UV rays). There are no questionable additive ingredients in this product.
Interested consumers can check out HydraGlow at this link.
One of the most popular YouTube reviews of Monat skincare is published by a channel called "Kenna" which is run by a biochemist. She reviews their highlighted ingredients, their cleansers, their essential oils, their creams, their moisturizers and provides an overall review. The video appears unsponsored:
Monat Sleep Drops Review
As we referenced in the intro to this article, Monat also sells dietary supplements and their most popular appears to be their Sleep Drops, which is a supplement for relaxation and "to help achieve restful sleep."
Melatonin at a dose of 1 milligram (mg) is the most important ingredient, because melatonin is the most well-studied sleep supplement and is totally safe and non-toxic. A 2013 meta-study analyzed data from 19 clinical trials on melatonin involving over 1,600 trial participants, and the researchers found that melatonin supplementation decreases time-to-sleep, increases overall sleep time and improves overall sleep quality.
Chamomile powder is another effectively-dosed ingredient at 400 mg. This plant is typically consumed in tea, but it's proven effective for relaxation and sleep enhancement at the dose that's in Monat Sleep Drops. As we documented in our Relaxium ingredients article, there's significant clinical backing for chamomile as a sleep aid.
L-theanine at a dose of 200 mg may indirectly improve sleep quality because this amino acid induces relaxation. It stimulates alpha brain wave activity (similar to individuals undertaking meditation) and we consider it a logical choice for a sleep supplement.
Unfortunately, even though this supplement contains several effective ingredients, it also contains two preservatives (sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate), natural flavors, and citric acid, all ingredients we recommend avoiding.
Citric acid may cause whole-body inflammation in a small subset of patients according to a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal.
The sleep supplement we recommend is called Bulletproof Sleep.
It contains an effective dose of melatonin (3 mg), and also passionflower extract which has been shown in a clinical trial to increase total sleep time and decrease wakefulness. Most importantly, the supplement contains no questionable additive ingredients like flavoring agents or preservatives.
Monat Sleep Drops currently costs $69.99 for 30 servings, which equates to a per-serving cost of $2.33. Bulletproof Sleep currently costs $29.95 for 30 servings, which equates to a per-serving cost of $0.99, or over 50% cheaper than Monat Sleep Drops.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Sleep at this link.
Is Monat a Pyramid Scheme?
Given that Monat is an MLM business, people considering whether to sign up are often wondering if the company is a pyramid scheme. A YouTube creator called "CC Suarez" published a video on this exact topic and reviewed some fascinating data on the breakdown of Monat's sales to retail customers versus Monat's sales to distributors and VIP customers to explain why she considers the business a pyramid scheme:
Monat has been the subject of a number of lawsuits, the most recent of which claims that their hair products caused "extreme" hair loss and scalp irritation according to ClassAction.org.
Even more damning than the alleged side effects is that the lawsuit alleges that Monat describes these side effects as part of a "detox" period, which essentially encourages consumers to continue using products which may be causing them harm.
We consider this to be a red flag about the brand, and we generally recommend that consumers avoid brands that have been sued multiple times in recent years over product quality issues.