An Honest review of Rodan and Fields reviews
What is Rodan & Fields?
Rodan + Fields was started by two Stanford trained dermatologists, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. The duo had previously created Proactiv, a skincare line designed to target acne prone skin. It was a game changer because it was sold through infomercials, and it worked. The pair licensed Proactiv to Guthy-Renker, a company that sells products directly to consumers via infomercials.
In 2002 they launched Rodan + Fields. The skincare line is aimed at women age 30 and up. Estee Lauder bought the company and sold it in department stores but the line didn’t do well. Rodan and Fields bought their company back and in 2007 started to sell the products through a network of consultants. It was a hit. Social media proved to be a boon for the company as happy customers posted before and after selfies.
Fast forward a few years, and according to EuroMonitor International, Rodan + Fields is the number one skincare brand in North America in 2017 in terms of total sales, and has around 300,000 consultants. The company is valued around $1 billion.
What does Rodan & Fields Sell?
Rodan + Fields sells a comprehensive line of skincare products, which are broken down into four categories: Redefine, Reverse, Unblemish and Soothe. Redefine is designed for aging, Reverse for age spots and uneven skin tone, Unblemish for acne and acne breakouts and Soothe for sensitive, irritated skin conditions, such as rosacea. A line of enhancements supplement the range, including Enhancements Micro-Dermabrasion Paste, a body lotion and Active Hydration Bright Eye Complex. There’s also a small line of Dermacosmetics, which is makeup with skin improving ingredients.
What Are Some of the Most Popular Rodan & Fields Products?
Rodan + Fields sells individual products as well as skincare kits. The Redefine Regimen kit retails for $199 and is meant to improve the appearance of fine lines and pores, and help users get smoother, firmer looking skin. The kit includes a daily cleansing mask; pore minimizing toner; daily moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 30 and a night cream.
Reverse regimens are meant to address skin discoloration by brightening skin and fading dark spots. The starting kit sells for $190 and includes five products: a Deep Exfoliating Wash containing alpha-hydroxy acid to whisk away dead skin cells; an Intensive Brightening Toner that contains a blend of salicylic Acid, kojic acid, licorice and mulberry extract, plus a Dual Active Brightening Complex that is packed with vitamin C and retinol. A broad spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen protects the face from sun damage.
One of the company’s most buzzed about products is the Enhancements Lash Boost, retailing for $150. It looks like a tube of mascara but contains a serum that should be applied to the upper lashes and eyebrows to give the appearance of lush, longer-looking lashes and thicker looking brows.
Do Rodan & Fields Products Work?
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding- or in the sales numbers. Rodan + Fields is the top selling brand in the US which means the company is doing something right. Take a closer look at the ingredients in many of the products and you’ll see a range of beauty all-stars such as retinol, which is the gold-standard for tackling fine lines and wrinkles and encouraging cell turnover. For skin lightening and brightening, the company uses ingredients which are proven winners, such as alpha-hydroxy acid to smooth and soften skin, as well as kojic acid, a natural brightening agent. Rodan + Fields isn’t using obscure ingredients in their products – what they are doing is using ingredients known to have a positive effect on the skin.
How much does Rodan & Fields Cost?
Rodan + Fields products are expensive, and the price point is in line with what you’d expect at department stores and high end cosmetics boutiques. The Redefine Ramp It Up kit is $336. It contains six products (and a dermaroller) designed to visibly firm and smooth skin to combat the visible signs of aging.
Individual products are also pricey. Active Hydration Body Replenish, a body cream, sells for $66. The microdermabrasion paste is $80 while the Unblemish Dual Intensive Acne Treatment sells for $102. The star ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, which is common in many acne fighting products. Customers need to decide for themselves whether these ingredients are worth the cost, or if they could find similar products at a lower price point.
The peer-to-peer selling model also may not appeal to everyone. Some women like the idea of building a relationship with a sales consultant, while others feel uneasy or obligated to buy products from a friend or acquaintance. The blurring of lines between friendship and commerce that isn’t for everyone.
Are There Any Side Effects With Rodan & Fields?
Any product has the potential to cause irritation or inflammation of the skin. Some of the ingredients to look out for are retinols, which can cause excessive drying and peeling, as well as any products containing alcohol.
It’s also important for users to read the usage guide carefully.
For example, with the Enhancements Lash Boost, Rodan + Fields says it is only meant to be applied to the upper lash and eyebrows. The company advises against using it on the lower lashes, as it may cause irritation in the eye area. One ingredient in the Lash Boost that has caused concern is isopropyl cloprostenate, which is a type of medication that was used to treat eye conditions such as glaucoma.
In spring 2018, a federal class-action lawsuit was filed in the US alleging that Rodan + Fields did not disclose potential side effects of the isopropyl cloprostenate. The lawsuit alleges that Lash Boost users have experienced “serious side effects, including change(s) in iris color, eyelid drooping, itchy eyes, eye/lid discoloration, thinning and loss of eyelashes/loss of eyelash hair, eye sensitivity, eye infections, and vision impairment,” according to the filing. Rodan + Fields has denied any wrongdoing.
Another ingredient to watch out for is hydroquinone. It is highly effective at lightening dark spots but is not without its controversies. It is banned in Europe, and some studies indicate it might be a carcinogen. It can also cause irritation. In the US, it is available in over the counter products as well as by prescription in a higher concentration. The Reverse Skin Lightening Treatment as well as the Skin Lightening Toner both contain 2% hydroquinone, the highest concentration of the ingredient available without a prescription.
Where Can I Buy Rodan & Fields?
Rodan + Fields products are sold via its network of consultants, which currently number around 300,000 people. Customers can also buy the products from the Rodan + Fields website as well as on Amazon.
What Is the Rodan & Fields Return Policy?
The company website says its offers a “satisfaction guarantee” and states “We offer a full refund of the purchase price, excluding shipping charges, within 60 days from the date of purchase.”
What Are Alternatives to Rodan & Fields?
While Rodan + Fields is undoubtedly popular, it may not be for everyone – especially at its high end price point. Many of the key ingredients that Rodan + Fields uses in its products are available from other companies, including Formulyst. The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare.
The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. For example, Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum ($39) is powered by gentle but effective alpha hydroxy acid which works to dissolve dead skin cells. Packed with plant based acids, this serum sloughs off dead skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin.
Hydroquinone isn’t the only option for lightening dark spots. Formulyst’s Dark Spot Solutions ($79) is powered by HyWhite, which is derived from alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. It works to minimize the appearance of dark spots while also hydrating the skin thanks to hyaluronic acid.
The star ingredient in Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream ($59) is the gold-standard of wrinkle fighters – retinol. This vitamin A derivative helps tackle fine lines, crow’s feet as well as dark spots. What makes this formula different is that it contains a high dose of retinol as well as ultra-soothing and hydrating safflower seed oil and jojoba, which lock moisture in and help minimize any potential irritation.
If you’d rather not be tasked with creating your own skincare routine, consider Advanced Dermatology. The company sells a complete skin care kit to addresses aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s up to age 60 and beyond. The system includes cleanser, serum, anti-wrinkle treatment, moisturizer, day cream and eye cream- in other words, everything you need for glowing, beautiful, healthy skin.
Why you have a 99% Chance of Failing
I just wanted to talk to you quickly about three things I wish I had known before I joined Rodan and Fields.
So, I joined the company back in December, it’s now March so I’ve been with the business a little over three months and I just wanted to talk to you about some things I’ve noticed and things I wish I had known before I started.
So, first of all as the entrepreneur myself I definitely wish that number one: I had known how much flexibility this business would have to be treated and respected as a real business.
So, obviously, as you can see from my website, I have my own business.
I wish I had realized that starting your own business with Rodan and Fields is not just signing up for something and then hoping for the best; this is a real legitimate business.
If you want to offer promotions – if you want to offer certain incentives for your customers – if you want to build your own brand and have your team have its own feel and name – if you want the people who join your team to be part of certain meetings and incentives and programs or training development that is all on you.
You can do this and build up your team exactly how you want. If you do want to build a Facebook group – if you want to make a Facebook page – if you want to make a Twitter, Instagram however you want to reach your customers and build your team and market your brand and yourself go for it this is your business you are a virtual franchise of Rodan Fields.
In my mind it’s like you opened up a shop on the corner of Main Street where you will see my Rodan and Fields the number one skincare brand in the United States.
This is the own bees are the only places you can buy as from these independent consultants.
The only place that you can start your own Rodan and Fields business is by going through another independent consultant.
So, when I found that out that was eye-opening for me. I have my fabric business prior to this.
I had my own my own business a recruiting firm and then before that I had a vegan bakery in New York City and prior to that I had a talent agency.
So, I’ve had a lot of businesses and obviously, running businesses or the thought of you know how I want to build my business this is something that’s really important to me.
So, when I found out that I would have that flexibility and have that control with Rodan and Fields that was huge for me.
Number two: The team I wish I had known how amazing the team that I was joining us.
So, I’m part of Team True and Team True has been nothing but super responsive super respectful super motivated ambitious, driven, competitive, willing to help, beyond willing to help, they are eager to help, they are driven for their own success and anyone who joins the team success.
So, when I found that out really you know people can tell you this a million times I’m sure my sponsor Danielle who brought me on I’m positive she mentioned how great the team was but you never really know what the team is like until you join and I can tell you that it was like a lightbulb moment.
When I joined day one people were welcoming me offering me tips, getting me into training videos, getting me going like that does not happen when you start your own business.
When I opened this fabric store no other fabric stores called me and offered me tips – offered me pricing incentives none of that was there for me.
When I started my bakery definitely no other bakery owners were coming at me telling me how they run their business or how they’ve been successful how they achieved you know Alexis earning status any of that like that.
All I knew we were all on our own islands out there hoping for the best but this that is not what happens with Rodan and Fields.
With Rodan and Fields especially with my team like I was telling you about you are not alone like I can message any of them.
In fact, I have text messages with the team leader I have Facebook conversations daily with a few at least four or five girls on the team and boys- men and women are both doing this business.
Then I also have training events I’d actually earned a call with a very successful leader in our business Jim Larson which was organized by Emily are the team true leader.
So, just these incentives that really helped me build my business actually on my third month I qualified for a program that Rodan and Fields offers called “Spark” which is a fairly new program just rolled it out at the end of last year’s one of the first enrollment months that they offered it, but essentially lets you earn $1,000 bonus in your first three months.
I just earn that, super pumped about it and I can guarantee I wouldn’t have gotten that without the guidance and help of my team.
So, if you’re looking for a team that’s definitely motivated by success driven and going to push you to be the best you can be and make this business really work like work this business as like as a real business just like it is then this is where you want to go.
Number three: I wish I had realized what a blip or what an insignificant drop in the bucket my investment was going to be in this business.
First of all, there are four different options to join ranging from $45 all the way up to $995 I joined somewhere in the middle and my kit cost me $695 to join.
First of all the 695 is not just towards your business you’re getting 5 regimens which retail from anywhere from about 170 each, you’re getting the amp roller 220, you’re getting lash boost 150, you’re getting both eye creams together that’s about another 100 you’re getting the active hydration 108. You’re getting a crazy number of products even if you just use it for yourself that’s amazing that’s an amazing deal all on its own.
The 695 for these products is crazy, but get this you are then qualified to run for the thousand dollar Spark bonus which like I said I just achieved oh it feels awesome is a great accomplishment but really it’s not that difficult like especially when you’re on this team with this kind of support we are here to make sure you hit those numbers you hit your goals.
We want you to hit the $1000 bonus if you hit that thousand dollar bonus you know what your business is set up for success.
You’re three months in and your business is already off running. So, of course we want that for you want that like who doesn’t want that let’s run for it together.
Not only that so 695 like I even without the thousand-dollar bonus in my first three months I had already earned more than that on commissions alone.
So, the Spark bonus is great because it’s a thousand dollar bonus on top of commissions.
So take the Spark bonus out of the picture which it wasn’t even in the picture too, not too long ago and guess what I would already be back to broken even I have all these products already at home plus I get to continue earning continue building my business and have this residual income coming in from building up my Rodan and Fields business.
Obviously, I am passionate about the products because of the results you know my friends buy the products literally two days later their messaging me saying, “Oh my gosh what did you get me into? I’m addicted – I’m hooked – I love these products.”
That’s how this works these are the number one products in the United States and Canada.
We’re only in the US, Canada and Australia and we just launched Australia in September. So, guys imagine how big this is going to be like when we start expanding globally?
Guess what, this is a global business it’s not international. So, what does that mean? That means that if I find somebody in Australia who wants to buy products from me or somebody in Canada who wants to join my team, they can do that they can join my team they can buy products for me I am a global business.
I don’t have to refer them to their corporate headquarters in Canada or their corporate headquarters in Australia and you know what we’re going to age’ we’re going to Europe.
This is like the tip of the iceberg guys you can get in and be at the very top of what is about to happen like this is about to explode so I don’t want you to miss out.
I really feel like I’m going to be driving off in my Lexus and you guys are going to be going on “Why didn’t you tell me about this?”
The investment of $695 is such a blip compared to where you’re at now.
Like you’re earning that in a day or whatever you know I obviously have really big goals and dreams for myself, but I don’t want anyone to feel like I didn’t tell you about this opportunity like these are three things I wish I had known.
They definitely would have made me say yes sooner.
Thank God I said yes when I did but imagine if I had never said yes like what would I be doing?
I mean of course I love my fabric business but retail is difficult it’s a dying industry.
I mean I see places like Toys R Us you know they’ve been around forever and they’re going out of business and you know it’s a scary time especially when you’re in retail.
Rodan and fields pyramid scheme
Rodan and fields reverse
Rodan and fields redefine
Rodan and fields consultant
She’s the friendliest neighbor on the block, the chicest mom at school, the Spin-class regular with glowing skin. The Rodan + Fields consultant has something she wants to sell you—and it’s not just a face cream.
You can’t miss the row of matching white Lexus sedans and SUVs parked in the soft shadows outside the Terrace, a banquet hall in Paramus, New Jersey. The sun is setting behind the dozen or so vehicles, which have been arranged side by side, facing out, gleaming and glamorous in the twilight. In front of them, about the same number of women—many blonde, most in short dresses—pose with their arms around each other. It’s like every wealth-building tableau you’ve ever seen in which some self-made mogul shows off his toys.
Except that in this version, there’s no man at the center. The women are the success stories here. They have gathered on this warm evening for a business dinner in their chic little dresses, YSL handbags, and Louboutin stilettos and driving their luxury cars. They make their living as saleswomen for Rodan + Fields, the San Francisco–based skin-care company whose 100,000 independent consultants, including this super-high-performing group, sell products from home on commission to their friends and acquaintances. Including, possibly, you.
A Rodan + Fields consultant is the highly educated, digitally savvy update of the cosmetics saleslady who used to ring your mom’s doorbell bearing frosted lip gloss and soap-on-a-rope. Like many of her predecessors from Avon or Mary Kay, the Rodan + Fields consultant is probably a mother in her 30s or 40s who needs a flexible job. But the resemblance ends there. Instead of making sales calls in person, the Rodan + Fields consultant is more likely to use Facebook and Instagram, posting before-and-after skin selfies and offers for free products. She doesn’t fulfill your order out of the back of her station wagon but refers you to her personal Rodan + Fields website, where you choose what you want so the company can ship it to you. She doesn’t generally throw house parties, either. But if you belong to a certain tony suburban demographic, she might sidle up to you at barre class or at elementary-school drop-off. She’ll start chitchatting about nothing in particular, segue nimbly into a sales pitch, and before you realize what’s happening, you’ve agreed to buy $500 worth of cleansers, toners, exfoliators, and serums you didn’t even know you needed.
But the Rodan + Fields consultant’s goal isn’t only to hook you up with products. She also wants you to join her team, selling skin care to everyone you know, making fistfuls of cash, and perhaps even scoring the most coveted bonus incentive reserved for the brand’s top salespeople: that shiny new Lexus. You can choose any model you’d like, as long as it’s white.
Cardella is the unofficial hostess of this evening’s event at the Terrace, which includes a private dinner for the highest earners of the sales team to which she belongs and what Rodan + Fields consultants refer to as a Biz Opp—a public presentation about the company designed to share product information and recruit new salespeople. But Cardella’s day began much earlier. After settling her toddler with her parents and dropping her older two at school, she pitched camp at a Starbucks to catch up with orders and train a new team member. Then it was on to a party at her middle child’s preschool, a wardrobe change, and this meeting, which will last past 10. “I work my tush off,” she says.
Every consultant is encouraged to hone the narrative of her own Rodan + Fields story. Here is Cardella’s: In 2011, she was a pharmaceutical saleswoman turned stay-at-home mother with an entrepreneurial longing she had decided would remain unfulfilled because she didn’t want to sacrifice her family life. “My dad had his own business and it came at a cost—he worked around the clock,” she explained earlier at Starbucks, between tippity-tapping customer orders into her iPad. “He was never home.”
Then fate intervened. Cardella’s second pregnancy left her with a hormone-related patch of darkened skin known as melasma on her upper lip that had an unfortunate resemblance to facial hair. A girlfriend who had just started selling Rodan + Fields invited Cardella to get into the business and recommended some products formulated to fade discoloration. Cardella promptly joined her friend’s team, started using the products, and her melasma vanished. Now Cardella makes a six-figure income. She and her husband are building their dream house on the street where her parents live, and she regularly enjoys company-sponsored trips to Hawaii and Thailand—all with plenty of time left for her children. “I thought I’d get rid of my mustache and make preschool money,” she says. It turns out she is living every working woman’s fantasy.
If you’ve watched TV in the last 20 years, you’ve likely heard of dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields and their anti-acne regimen, Proactiv, which is notable for two things: It’s sold through infomercials, and despite this fact, it works. The doctors met in the 1980s during their Stanford University Medical Center residencies and set up separate practices in the Bay Area, which they maintain to this day. They came together to develop Proactiv after realizing how many of their patients had acne and how deeply they suffered. “Acne cuts to your soul,” Fields says, and then echoes an oft-repeated company slogan: “We want to change skin, and we want to touch lives.”
The doctors scraped together about $30,000 and developed a cleanser, toner, and treatment cream meant to be used together. They offered the
to a mass-market skin-care company but were turned down: It was relatively costly and hard to explain—not ideal for a drugstore product. Then, in 1995, the doctors decided to do a long-form infomercial to pitch Proactiv directly to consumers. It was a flash of entrepreneurial genius. In a medium of low-rent production values and hilariously cheesy merchandise, Proactiv stands out, thanks to compelling before-and-after photos, endorsements from celebrities including Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Julianne Hough, and generally positive reviews from users. Proactiv could have turned out to be a punch line, like the Bumpit. Instead, it is an $850-million-a-year business.
In 2002, the doctors established Rodan + Fields, a more upscale brand for aging skin with four distinct product lines. The Redefine regimen includes a cleanser, a daily sunscreen, and two other products that tackle fine lines and wrinkles. The exfoliating cleanser and brightening creams in Reverse—the line Cardella used—fight hyperpigmentation. Unblemish is for adult acne; Soothe handles sensitive skin. The products are expensive—a starter kit of any of these lines is about $175, and that’s before you start adding on other items, like the $220 anti-wrinkle patches.
The regimens are also, by most accounts, effective. “It’s a very high-quality line,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. He commends several of the products for their skillful formulation and use of novel ingredients, such as the Reverse Skin Lightening Toner, which has components that help its active ingredient, hydroquinone, penetrate the skin better. But he also notes that some of the offerings, such as the Essentials Daily Body Moisturizer and Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan, have less expensive equivalents. “Not to say that they aren’t good products,” Hammer says, “but they’re not unlike similar products that can be found at the drugstore.”
Early in Rodan + Fields’s history, Estée Lauder bought the brand and sold it in department stores. But it didn’t exactly fly off of the backlit shelves. As with Proactiv, Rodan + Fields regimens require some explanation and must be used for a while before they yield results. Customers who bought Rodan + Fields often did so not because they’d been convinced at the beauty counter but because they’d heard about it from friends. The doctors thought, Why not skip the department store and just pay the friends?
In 2007, Rodan and Fields took the unusual step of buying back their company and switched to their current business model, yet again making exactly the right move at exactly the right time. The economy was tanking, “people were losing their jobs like crazy,” says Fields, and everyone needed a new way to make money. At the same time, social media was taking off. The doctors couldn’t possibly have known how profoundly this would change the sales landscape, let alone their skin-care business. In 2008, smartphones—and their selfie-ready cameras—were still relatively new, as were Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram didn’t exist. Rodan + Fields grew right along with all of these new technologies, which let would-be consultants sell not just to a few ladies in their neighborhoods but to hundreds, even thousands, of virtual friends and acquaintances.
This explains the appeal of a Rodan + Fields sales job to women who already have relatively high profiles. There are some very successful celebrity consultants, including Lynne Spears—mother of Britney—a skin-care connoisseur recruited by a friend a few years ago, and Rachel Cannon, an actress with a recurring role on the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. Cannon talks up her side venture to fellow castmates and crew members, and to her social-media followers. The money she makes in sales helps her feel more secure in her acting career.
Cannon’s social-media posts are pretty typical of the kind of hashtag-heavy pitches likely to pop up in your feed if you know a Rodan + Fields consultant (or two, or two dozen). On a vacation earlier this year, Cannon posted an Instagram tableau of products against an ocean backdrop and wrote, “All I’ve been wearing in Hawaii!! #naked4Summer #RFpaid4Hawaii.” On Facebook, she has posted, among other things, a Rodan + Fields video ad she made with jazzy music and the title “Wanna be your own boss??”
But there’s a fine line between inspiring and annoying, and not all Rodan + Fields consultants tread it well. In fact, if you sell Rodan + Fields and think your friends might be dodging you, they probably are. “This is the suburban scourge,” says Rachael Pavlik, a Houston mother and the blogger behind rachriot.com, who says she goes out of her way to avoid anyone trying to sell her anything. “At first I would buy all of their stuff because I was kind of guilted into it….What is that? That’s not friendship.”