Do you remember the days of “parties” at a friends house where a rep or friend came along and tried to sell you things?
It may have been Tupperware, Avon or another product.
In turn you were encouraged to have a”party” for more of your friends. Hence the circle of available buyers escalated, and you could even be recruited to be a rep yourself.
With the event of the internet and the popularity of social media, this type of multi level marketing (MLM) has now expanded many fold.
I don’t know about you, but I’m noticing an increase of people posting on Facebook with “Like my page” or “try this product” than ever before.
MLM has been taken to a whole new level.
One company that sells their products in this way is Rodan & Fields, who produce a range of skincare products. They apparently have over 150,000 consultants.
Some people are skeptical of this way of selling.
Let’s take a look at who this company are and what they offer us?
What Is Rodan & Fields?
Rodan & Fields is the brainchild of two Stamford University educated dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields.
They are known for founding a three step acne treatment called Proactiv. After selling this product to Estee Lauder they moved on to create a full skin care range.
According to Forbes, they now apparently own a billion dollar brand.
Their products were sold in high end department stores.
They are now only available through independent consultants as part of MLM direct selling, or online. It does not appear that these consultants receive any formal training.
The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has 121 closed complaints and 72 reviews listed with them.
The company appears to have a good pedigree but are these products worth the high end price and do they deliver?
If I were to give you a full product list for this company, and then look at the ingredients and what they can do, I would be writing a short book!
Let’s have a look at the ranges they offer and then examine a couple of their more popular products in detail.
A range of products designed to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging give you firmer, smoother,skin and reduce wrinkles.
A range of products aimed at dealing with visibly dull, uneven skin tone and areas of dark pigmentation1 . The company states that you must use all the products in this range in sequence. They say:
Skipping any step could hinder achieving maximum results.
Described by the company as “a complete solution that tackles the acne process—from clogged pores to excess oil, and to preventing new blemishes from surfacing” .
This range comes with a warning for Canadian customers.
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Titanium Dioxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer.
A range of products targeting people with sensitive and/or irritated skin. It can apparently help relieve your skin of dryness and visible redness. It also includes a shaving range for men.
A range of everyday skin care including lip balm, sunscreen, moisturizer and Vitamin D supplement
Products designed to compliment the other ranges. They include an eyelash boost, hydration serum and micro-dermabrasion paste.
Dr. Rodan & Dr Fields, in company with others have published a number of clinical trials.
None of them mention a particular product by name.
For example, this one deals with a three step skincare regime for acne, and this one for a shaving regimen for men.
Rodan and Fields Ingredients
From the many products offered, two of the more popular ones appear to be the Lash Boost from the Enhancements range and the Lip Shield Broad Spectrum (SPF25) from the Essentials range.
The Lash Boost promises to:
Get the appearance of lush, longer-looking lashes in as little as four weeks.
Examining the ingredients of this product ( and there are quite a lot), I looked to see if there were any that would back up this claim.
- Keratin – this is a protein that is found naturally in our hair, it can help strengthen eyelashes.
- Biotin – supports keratin production and can promote hair growth2.
What does concern me is this product contains Isopropyl Cloprostenate, which is classed as a drug by the FDA. They in fact issued a warning letter regarding other eyelash enhancing products in 2011 in respect of this.
The Lash Boost Also contains Almond Oil, so may not be suitable for those with nut allergies. The company do warn of this.
The Lip Shield promises to:
Defend your lips daily against the aging effects of the sun while conditioning them with moisturizing lipid molecules and peptides to help visibly smooth lip texture.
This product again has a lot of ingredients.There are four active ingredients,and a large number of inactive ones. The active ones are:
- Avobenzone 5% – is a sunscreen3 .
- Homosalate 8% – also a sunscreen.
- Octisalate 5% – another sunscreen.
- Octocrylene 2% – yes, another sunscreen, but be aware this one may cause allergic reactions.
Of the inactive ingredients:
- Tea Tree Leaf Oil – may prevent infections and reduce allergic reactions4.
- Beeswax and a combination of a number of oils and Shea Butter – allow the product to be applied easily and absorbed to provide moisture5.
There is another warning posted on the company website in respect of this product:
For California customers: this product can expose you to chemicals including Benzophenone6, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
It would appear that both these products may work as they are designed to, however some people have reported that the Lash Boost can cause irritation and redness.
Rodan and Fields Side Effects
Of the two products looked at in depth, there may be some side effects from the Lash Boost:
- Irritation as it is applied so close to your eye.
- tingling or redness.
- Darkening of the lashes.
I would also be concerned about the inclusion of possible carcinogens in some products.
Rodan & Fields Reviews & Complaints
As this company sells direct to the consumer from their website or through their consultants , independent reviews are not easy to find. There are some out there though.
There are a lot of positive reviews about this company.
One customer, G Lewis, uses a few of the ranges and posts:
I have an amazing experience with RF products. I use REVERSE, REDEFINE and occasionally UNBLEMISH. I have the best skin of my life and plan on keeping that going for me for many more decades to come!
There are many similar reviews on all the other ranges.
There appear to be a lot of complaints about the customer service and refunds.
Lu Ann B writes:
I used Rodan and Fields product for almost 60 days for my neck. I didn’t really notice any difference. I sent the unused portion back to them. I have made several phone calls and have been waiting over 3 months for my refund. Every time I call, I get the check is going to be sent out. It is amazing how fast they take your money, but when it is time to refund. THEY sit on your money……Buyer beware……Customer service lacks a lot!!!!
In addition there appears to be posts around fraudulent transactions being placed with this company using hacked credit cards. This may well not be the company’s fault but is something that I would want to be aware of.
Kathleen C writes:
$743.65 was charged to my account. How did they get my account information? I have never dealt with this company. My bank is on it. Another reviewer had a very similar experience and said her funds were credited back. But again I ask, how did they get my information, and her information? This looks real bad.
It does appear that the company is quite happy to refund the charges when this has happened.
Then there are those people that are not necessarily dissatisfied with the product but don’t like the manner of selling or the high price.
Mixed feelings — no miraculous results, but the moisturizers are good. I usually have to apply several layers of moisturizer for my dry skin, but with R+F, one application will do. I don’t like their used-car sales approach. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Goes without saying, this exorbitantly expensive, but they have to throw parties for their consultants and buy them Lexuses.
There are also comments that some of the products cause irritation or allergic reactions.
It is advisable to check with your doctor or patch test when you use a new product.
Rodan and Fields: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy
The full range of products can be bought from the Rodan & Fields website or from one of their consultants. There are too many products to list prices individually.
Prices range from $18 to $421.
The company offers a full refund of the purchase price, excluding shipping charges, within 60 days from the date of purchase.
They also have a preferred customer scheme which offers, for a one of fee of $19.95.
- Convenient, automatic delivery of subscription orders every 60 days.
- Free shipping on all orders over $80.
- 10% savings on all products.
- Early access to new products and exclusive promotions.
- Priority customer service.
- No commitment – cancel at anytime.
See below how the official site looks like.
Pros & Cons
Rodan and Fields Review: Final Words
The bottom line here is how much do you want to pay for your skincare regime?
The products appear to work and are certainly very popular. The company has a credible background. But the price range is at the higher end of the market.
Maybe the hard sell of Multi Level Marketing would put you off. I know I am fed up with “friends” trying to sell me things through virtual parties and via Facebook.
It may be there there are cheaper alternatives on the market that would give you the same results.
We laid out the facts, will you buy Rodan and Fields? Comment below and tell us what you think!
- Smit, Nico, Jana Vicanova, and Stan Pavel. “The hunt for natural skin whitening agents.” International journal of molecular sciences 10.12 (2009): 5326-5349. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/12/5326
- Trüeb, Ralph M. “Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss.” International journal of trichology 8.2 (2016): 73. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/
- Afonso, S., et al. “Photodegradation of avobenzone: stabilization effect of antioxidants.” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 140 (2014): 36-40. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S101113441400222X
- Koh, K. J., et al. “Tea tree oil reduces histamine‐induced skin inflammation.” British Journal of Dermatology 147.6 (2002): 1212-1217. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.05034.x
- Bogdanov, Stefan. “Beeswax: uses and trade.” Bee Product Science (2009): 1-11. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.545.8239&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Kerdivel, Gwenneg, et al. “Estrogenic potency of benzophenone UV filters in breast cancer cells: proliferative and transcriptional activity substantiated by docking analysis.” PLoS One 8.4 (2013): e60567. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0060567