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Friday, November 8, 2013
Is Arbonne Gluten-Free?

Over the years, I have been approached by multiple Arbonne saleswomen who want to sell me their products. I've always been skeptical because they were always rather pushy and I tend to not buy from those types of companies. While the saleswomen insisted Arbonne is gluten-free, I could never really get a straight answer. On the Arbonne website, they say:
As part of our ongoing commitment to ingredient excellence, we have been successful in replacing parabens by using other safe and effective preservation systems. We have also put into place an ingredient policy to screen out gluten and ingredients that contain GMO. We will continue to bring to market top-quality products that are carefully reviewed to meet our high standards of purity.
This made me skeptical. Screen out gluten??? Why not produce products with no gluten at all? There is also a list of products formulated without gluten but again they do not call their products "gluten-free". I was getting confused so just like with the BabycakesNYC debacle, I decided to go to the source. 

The response from Arbonne took a while (multiple tweets, emails, and customer service inquiries via their website) but I finally got one. It is lengthy but at least they are transparent and seem to understand PPM which is more than most companies.

Thank you for your email. We appreciate your inquiry regarding Arbonne products and ingredients. I will be more than happy to assist you.
All Arbonne products are formulated without gluten. While there are ingredients in the products that have names that would indicate they contain high amounts of gluten this is not the case. We do understand the confusion as individuals with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, etc. are told to avoid ingredients such as wheat, barley, oats, etc.; however, the ingredients used in our products can go through many different types of processing before they are ready to be used in topical products. The final ingredient, despite the fact of coming from common sources of gluten, does not have a detectable level of gluten.
We have submitted products with ingredients that come from well-known gluten sources for testing, and have confirmed that gluten is not detectable in the products. 
The ingredients from natural gluten sources go through an extraction process to remove the gluten; therefore gluten is undetected at below 0-2 ppm which allows us to label it gluten-free. Our products are tested to ensure that gluten is undetected and our facilities are sterilized before any batch productions are implemented. 
Arbonne is a global company and we develop and manufacture based on a global perspective. When it comes to gluten statements (and others, such as Kosher), there is not a global benchmark across all four countries Arbonne does business in. Arbonne products are formulated without gluten and in the U.S., for example, that means formulated with “less than 20 parts per million.” When determining the ppm for gluten testing, one method we commonly use at Arbonne is the ELISA Test. It is an antibody-antigen test. 
Some Essentials products are made in a facility that processes milk, eggs, tree nuts, soy, and wheat and have that warning label on the packaging. While these Essentials products are required by our manufacturers to have a warning that indicates that the products are manufactured in a facility that also manufactures product containing these ingredients, we would not say that the facilities are, “contaminated”. All of our manufacturers have stringent SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for the cleansing and sanitation of the machinery between productions. Additionally, all of our manufacturers are audited by Arbonne as well as other regulatory agencies like the FDA for compliance. To this day, we are not aware of any issues that have occurred with our customers regarding cross contamination. 
Our labels, like so many products today, include allergy-related statements for the benefit of those with those specific concerns. We are unable to advise whether a product or an ingredient is safe to use with any medical condition. We suggest that anyone with a medical condition (including allergies, pregnancy, or nursing), that is undergoing medical treatment, or using or will be using a prescription medication consult their physician prior to using any Arbonne products in conjunction with them. This would also include anyone with sensitivities to certain ingredients.
I hope that this information was most helpful to you. Thank you for your interest in Arbonne. We appreciate you! 
If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact us by email or phone. We are here to assist you as follows (central time zone): U.S. 1-800-ARBONNE (1-800-272-6663) 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday. Canada 1-888-ARBONNE (1-888-272-6663) 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday (English) and 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday (French). 
We appreciate you! Regards,
Leilany A.
Arbonne Customer Service

So what do you think? Would you use Arbonne after reading this email? I would love to hear your comments below, but PLEASE no Arbonne sales pitches. They will be deleted!

2/10/2014 Update: Due to ambiguous nature of the response from Arbonne and the conflicting statements in the email above, I personally choose not to use Arbonne. This is my personal decision and I would appreciate if all of the Arbonne consultant hate mail would stop immediately! You are definitely not helping to change my decision with your nasty emails. 

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Anonymous Kim Rice said...

I used to be an Arbonne rep. Some of my past clients still use the products. I've had celiac clients use their products with no detectable issues (I do worry about silent inflammation though). The reason why I quit using/selling their products is because their ingredient lists are just too complex. Initially I was only able to tolerate a few of their products (both skin and nutritional) and then over time, I developed issues even with the products I could tolerate. While I love the convenience of a protein shake, I prefer to use simple protein powders - no more than 3-4 ingredients on the label. For me the selling model just did not work. It requires hyper focus on building the business verses healing people. I'm a health coach dedicated to healing lives not padding Arbonne's bottom line. Thanks for this post.

Blogger Margie said...

Well, they did give a thorough answer; which I am glad. I have written/email/facebook many food sites to ask about ingredients if they are from corn or wheat + so far no answers. These are big companies. Without reading all the ingredients I could not say if I would be comfortable with the products. My strick concern is not to do animal testing with any company or parent company. I must see leaping bunny logos or statements of proof that they are compassionate about testing. If they met this requirement + other ingredients were cancer free I would consider this brand with Celiac Disease issues.

Blogger Unknown said...

I started as a consumer then became an independent consultant way before I was aware of my auto immunes diseases. The healthy living program has been essential in removing over 80 lbs due to my Hashimotos. Being that I am soy, gluten, dairy & corn free Arbonne has not only opened doors to my health and wellness but many of my clients as well. As with any company there are those who are there to help & those that are there to push. I am sorry to hear that the author has had bad experiences with other consultants but please remember that while you appreciate not being labeled by broad terms we also appreciate not being labeled by broad terms.

On another note since the gf label means 20 ppms or less we will not lower our standards to that. There is NO detectable gluten so therefore truly gf. You cannot say that of most brands on the market. Also were vegan, PETA mall, paraben free & so much more. If you don't give our products a chance you're missing out. They have been a lifesaver to myself & so many others living with allergies & auto immunes. Congrats Arbonne for winning #1 cosmetics on gfreek!!!

Anonymous Nancy said...

Arbonne does not test on animals and the products contain no animal products or by-products. I use the products because they really work. I trust the company that only products meeting its strict specifications are sold. I know of many cases where products were pulled if they did not meet the specs. The company's emphasis is on health and wellness as well as anti-aging. I'm sorry Kim had a negative experience.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arbonne's comments are confusing.

First they say "All Arbonne products are formulated without gluten."

Then they say "The ingredients from natural gluten sources go through an extraction process to remove the gluten"

Which is it? Do they use products that are naturally gluten-free or do they use products that naturally contain gluten.

They are contradicting their own statements and I will continue to NOT use Arbonne products.

Anonymous Tammy Jagels said...

I feel Arbonne products are huge for the gluten-free community and beyond! I don’t know who at Arbonne answered your questions about gluten, when or why it was as lengthy and confusing, but Arbonne’s Ingredients Policy states clearly that our products are formulated without gluten. No gluten enters our products, they are always tested and formulated without gluten. Arbonne is better than the FDA requirements by not allowing ANY gluten into our products instead of the allowable 20ppm to be certified gluten-free. Arbonne has been in business for 34 years, I absolutely trust them. This company has been a blessing to our Celiac son and family of four who all use their products every day in every category. And we are only talking about gluten, not all the other reasons Arbonne is an awesome company!
As for our representatives, everyone I work with has a genuine concern for people and though we sell products to earn a living, we are encouraged to just care for the person and sales will come. For most of us that comes naturally.
Arbonne is Vegan Certified, no animal testing, products or by-products. We have a strong commitment to the environment. The list goes on and on. Check out our website.
If you want quality, gluten-free products, you have found them with Arbonne!

Blogger Unknown said...

Like gluten-free oats, I choose not to use Arbonne. This is my personal choice.

Read my oats comments here:

Blogger Unknown said...

Arbonne is certified vegan and cruelty free. You find the happy bunny mark on all the packaging :)

Blogger Unknown said...

The products themselves are formulated without gluten. The ingredients put together to create the product have been through a series of processes to remove gluten and optimize their benefit in the product. Those ingredients may be from a gluten source, but by the time they are added to a product they have less than 2ppm of detectable gluten (versus the industry gf claim level of 20ppm.) They do not make the claim to use naturally gluten free ingredients, rather they formulate without gluten. They source has gluten, the finished product does not.

Blogger Unknown said...

My daughter his extremely intolerant to gluten she can not even have cross contaminated at all! She has been gluten free for over 2 years and Arbonne products have truly been a life saver to her! There was a time she ran out of her make up and thought she would just try to use something different, that was the biggest mistake of her life! She will never stop using Arbonne they are the only co. She can use

Blogger Unknown said...

Please note that vegan and cruelty-free, DO NOT EQUAL gluten-free. While I think it is nice that you use animal products, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with being gluten-free.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tammy Jagel - you are right - Arbonne is better than the FDA requirements by not allowing ANY gluten into our products instead of the allowable 20ppm to be certified gluten-free. In my research I've found their mantra of pure, safe, beneficial is a true one. Their products are yummy and the skin care lines are worth every dime!

Anonymous Tammy Jagels said...

Arbonne is now Certified Gluten-Free!!! I have not found out why they decided to do it with our much higher standards of 0ppm (NO Gluten). But I am happy for all the consumers and consultants alike that will not have to question or explain it anymore!

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