Arbonne, also called Arbonne International, is a wellness brand that sells a wide variety of products, from supplements to food to skincare. The company's website describes the brand as "A Global Force In Sustainable Healthy Living."
But do Arbonne's most popular products contain research-backed ingredients, or is this just a marketing claim? Do they contain any questionable additives? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Arbonne products? And why did the company receive a warning letter from the FTC?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in two of Arbonne's most popular products (Fizz Sticks and Protein Powder) based on research studies to give our take on whether or not they're likely to be effective.
We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, explain why Arbonne received a warning letter from the FTC, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Arbonne for the best price.
We'll also explain why Arbonne was sued in 2017.
Fizz Sticks Ingredient Analysis
Arbonne Fizz Sticks is an energy supplement, and its ingredients are shown above. This product comes in powder packs that can be mixed into water or any other liquid.
Panax ginseng extract is an effective ingredient for supporting energy levels.
A 2018 medical review found Panax ginseng to be a promising treatment for physical fatigue after analyzing data from 10 clinical trials.
Caffeine is another effective ingredient for an energy drink, although the 55 milligram (mg) dose is relatively low (around half the dose in one cup of coffee).
We cannot locate any medical studies suggesting any other active ingredients in this formulation support energy levels, nor does the brand cite any on their product page at the time of updating this article.
While Arbonne Fizz Sticks contains two ingredients that we consider effective, they also contain a large number of ingredients that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective, listed below.
Green tea extract may cause liver injury in a small subset of consumers according to Health Canada.
Cane sugar may contribute to obesity and diabetes when consumed in excess according to a meta-study published in 2019. Many Americans already consume too much added sugar, and we recommend avoiding all supplements containing refined sugar.
Citric acid is clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our article on does Roundhouse Morning Kick cause side effects, which analyzed ingredients in another popular supplement containing citric acid.
Vitamin B6 and chromium are part of a blend of vitamins and minerals added to this supplement.
In early 2022, a supplement company was forced to recall several products from the market due to the vitamin additives causing toxicity to customers. It seems illogical in our opinion to take supplemental vitamins and minerals without a documented deficiency.
While we do believe Arbonne Fizz Sticks have the potential to increase energy due to the Panax ginseng extract and caffeine, overall we do not recommend this product due to all of the additive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.
We already established that panax ginseng has research backing for energy, and Illuminate Labs manufactures a Panax Ginseng Extract Supplement that's potent (standardized to minimum 8% ginsenosides) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy. It is free of questionable inactive ingredients like refined sugar and citric acid.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the official product page on our website.
But is Arbonne's protein powder better-formulated? We'll analyze its ingredients after featuring a real user review of Fizz Sticks.
Real User Tries Arbonne Fizz Sticks
One of the most popular YouTube reviews of Arbonne Fizz Sticks comes from a YouTube creator named Savannah Marie and has over 29,000 views:
Protein Powder Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in the Chocolate flavor of Arbonne Protein Powder are shown above.
We don't understand how this is branded as a meal replacement product, because it only provides 200 calories per serving.
Protein Matrix Blend contains five types of vegan protein that provide 24 grams (g) of protein combined. We have no issues with the protein types or dose.
Like the Fizz Sticks, there are several ingredients in this protein powder that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective.
Cane sugar is included at a dose of 6 g.
Beta carotene is a compound that's converted into vitamin A by the body, and a 2022 medical review concluded the following:
"The [US Preventative Services Task Force] concludes with moderate certainty that the harms of beta carotene supplementation outweigh the benefits for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer."
Overall, Arbonne protein powder provides an effective protein dose for muscle-building, but we don't think it's a good meal replacement option due to the relatively low calorie count, and we don't recommend it due to the ingredients highlighted above.
Bulletproof Collagen Protein is our top protein powder because it only contains one single ingredient: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed animals. Bulletproof's protein currently costs $43.95 while Arbonne's protein currently costs $99.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Protein at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.
Below is a real user review of Arbonne Protein Powder that appears unsponsored:
Arbonne’s False COVID Claims
In April of 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning letter to Arbonne in regard to false claims made by one of the brand’s representatives, who suggested that Arbonne products could prevent or treat COVID-19.
While Arbonne itself doesn’t appear to have made the claims, this example illustrates why we consider multi-level-marketing (MLM) businesses to have a questionable business model from an ethical perspective.
MLM businesses like Arbonne incentivize representatives to make health claims about their products, because increased sales leads to increased revenue for the representatives.
But many representatives of MLM products have no scientific or medical credentials, so they are not a reliable or accurate source of health advice in our opinion.
We recommend that consumers be extremely wary of health claims made by distributors or representatives of MLM companies.
"30 Days to Healthy Living" Review
Arbone sells a program called "30 Days to Healthy Living" that recommends a variety of their products. We do not consider the Arbonne supplements we reviewed healthy due to the additive ingredients, so we disagree with the title of this program from the outset.
There are a number of products included in this 30-day program with questionable health claims. One of the "customizable options" is an Arbonne product called "Cleantox Gentle Cleanse" which the brand claims is "a cleanse that helps promote the elimination of toxins."
As we explained at length in our review of Squeezed Juice Cleanse, we consider all health claims in regard to "cleansing" and "toxin elimination" to be unscientific, because we haven't seen any convincing medical evidence that detoxification support from supplements is beneficial or effective beyond the detoxification that the liver and kidneys already provide.
A YouTube creator named Jacqueline Lopez published a review of the 30-day eating program that shows what some of the meals look like:
Where to Buy Arbonne for the Best Price
Arbonne supplements are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown at the time of updating this article:
Amazon: $79.95 (link to Amazon listing)
Brand website: $65 (link)
EveryMarket: $179.83 (link)
Amazon: $117.95 (link to Amazon listing)
Brand website: $99.00 (link)
Prices for Arbonne supplements vary wildly across different retailers, but the brand's website currently has the best prices even for non-members.
Why Was Arbonne Sued?
In 2017, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Arbonne. The plaintiffs alleged that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and an illegal conspiracy, according to the Top Class Actions lawsuit summary linked above.
We cannot locate any information on whether the lawsuit is ongoing or if Arbonne settled, but this just provides more context for our opinion about why MLMs may not be an ethical business model.
Unless Arbonne can provide proof that the average MLM partner makes a livable wage, we recommend that entrepreneurs be wary of joining Arbonne to promote their products.
Pros and Cons of Arbonne
Here are the pros and cons of Arbonne in our opinion:
- Fizz Sticks contain some energy-promoting ingredients
- Protein powder contains effective protein dose for workouts
- Both products reviewed contain refined sugar
- Fizz Sticks contain citric acid
- Fizz Sticks contain green tea extract
- Protein powder contains beta carotene
- Products contain added vitamins and minerals
- Company received FTC Warning Letter about COVID-19 claims
- Company is MLM
- Products don't appear to be clinically tested