Kristy got into Melaleuca a few months ago, and rather than me signing up myself (and thus taking on the responsibility of trying to find 35 points or $75 worth of product myself every month to keep my membership active -- you can apparently buy without a membership, but at a substantially more expensive price), I've been combining orders with her to help her make her quota. I'm always pretty skeptical about signing up for anything that requires a large commitment out of me (except university, for obvious reasons), and it helps her out, too. Thus far, I haven't been disappointed with any of the products, but there have only been a few that have really impressed me. That combined with the high price tags attached to many of their products leads me to believe that it probably won't be a long term thing for either of us.
The thing that really irks me is that I literally cannot find any reviews on how the products actually work before I try them myself. I'm kind of apprehensive about buying any health or cleaning product unless I know someone who has tried it, or have heard what a wonder product it is via blogs or the like, but a search for "Melaleuca Product Reviews" on Google, results in a lot of websites about what a wonderful (or horrible) company Melaleuca is, and nothing on the individual products themselves. Many of the webpages are from someone posting a complaint about the website with a billion comments following from Melaleuca reps defending the company and writing testimonials on how the company and it's products have changed people's lives. Which products though? And why?
So I figured I'd write a few brief reviews on the products I have used thus far in case people are going through the same hesitation I am. Keep in mind, all prices are Canadian, and all opinions are my own. I should also mention that the biggest appeal behind Melaleuca products is that they are diluted with water (in the case of most cleaners listed), so they are meant to be mixed and last longer than their diminutive size would suggest.
The Gold Bar® 127 g Bar
Regular Price: $7.50
Member Price: $4.99
A Better Way to Clean.
Only The Gold Bar combines unparalleled cleansing benefits with Melaleuca Oil and natural skin-softening conditioners to leave skin revitalized, refreshed, and naturally soft. You´ll love its generous lather and light citrus scent. Plus, it is french-milled to last up to three times longer than ordinary soap.
The Gold Bar was one of the few products I did find a review on, and although I hesitated about paying $5 for a bar of soap when a 4 pack of my Jergens costs me around $3, the review was glowing about it's disinfecting and deodorizing properties. Figuring summer is just around the corner, and like any person who walks a lot, and has a penchant for flip flops, my feet could probably use a little more deodorizing. My first impression of the soap is that it smells strongly of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia, which is obviously the inspiration behind the company's name and is quite a distinctive scent) and not at all citrus-y. The ugly yellow of the bar is kind of offputting, and it does leave ugly yellow residue wherever it has been set to rest (in my case, on the roommate's shower caddy -- sorry Shaun!). While it does seem to work wonderfully at deodorizing, it also leaves my skin with a strong tea tree scent, and tends to dry me out, which is contrary to their so called exclusive 3-in-1 moisturizing complex included in the soap. I try using it sparingly on parts of my body that people don't normally cozy up to (like the aforementioned feet), and for that, it does the trick. Elsewhere, I could happily pass. I don't think I would purchase it again. Although I am a little intrigued by the Melaleuca Platinum Bar™ as it's glycerine and apricot scented. If I purchase it, I may write a brief review on that, as well.
Dermatin™ Antifungal Cream 14 g tube
Regular Price: $15.50
Member Price: $10.73
Powerful clotrimazole kills most fungal infections. To be used for athlete's foot, ringworm and jock itch.
I'm probably getting far more personal than I want to, but I think most people suffer from a mild case of athlete's foot, especially in this climate where we bundle our extremities up for 6+ months of the year to stay warm. Feet very rarely get a chance to breath, and consequently by the time summer rolls around, our feet need some TLC. I figured some Antifungal cream would probably be in order to get my tootsies ready for summer, so I ordered a tube of cream for the pre-summer pedis I am starting. The tube is very small. I suppose I probably should have paid greater attention to the size, but suffice it to say I was not expecting to spend $11 for such a tiny tube of cream. Like the Gold Bar it smells strongly of tea tree oil, and I recommend applying it with cotton balls so your hands don't reek like the stuff afterwards. I've mentioned it has a distinctive odor, somewhat similar to lavender, but not entirely different from turpentine, either. If you aren't a big fan of those scents, the smell of this product will be extremely offputting to you, since it smells strongly. It does stop itchy feet though, and I will admit my feet even feel healthier after application. Plus, tea tree oil leaves sort of a tingly sensation, similar to mint, which is pretty refreshing. I'm not 100% sold on it, yet, but by the end of the tube, I will have made up my mind, one way or another.
Zap-it!® Pack includes Zap-it!® Facial Wash (177 mL bottle), Zap-it!® Deep Cleaning Astringent (237 mL bottle), Zap-it!® Acne Treatment Cream (30 mL tube) and Zap-it!® Quick Stick (8.9 mL bottle)
Regular Price: $33.50
Member Price: $23.41
All four Zap-it! products in a convenient acne-fighting pack.
This was another product(s) that I found online reviews for, and many people were touting it as a healthier, less invasive alternative to the dreaded Proactiv. Figuring the price was right for 4 products, I bit. All of the products can be purchased individually, as well.
First off I will say the Acne Treatment cream must be applied VERY lightly. It is not a very absorbent cream, and will leave a telltale white residue on your skin, in addition to also smelling very strongly of melaleuca. I am not a fan.
My favorite product in the pack is the Quick Stick which contains salicylic acid in addition to the melaleuca oil. It is the best product that I have found for clearing up painful cystic pimples, and does a number on the little spots, drying them up in the matter of a night. Apply lightly though, and only on pimples -- the drying effect is quite strong.
The facial wash isn't bad. I use it daily in the shower and find it a light, mildly refreshing face wash. I can't say my skin looks more glorious than it did a month ago when I first started using it, but it tends to keep oil at bay. Rinse well, though. I find a cursory rinse is not enough to rid your face of all residue.
Finally, the astringent works well in my opinion. It is strong, though, and I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive skin. Since I have an olive complexion and tend to have oily/combination skin, I find it refreshes and closes up pores nicely. On some of the more sensitive parts of my face (around my lips and eyes), it leaves light redness, so again, apply lightly. It does have a fairly strong drying effect.
I'm not sure I'd purchase the entire pack again. I do like how mild the face wash is, and might purchase that again soon, especially since used daily for a month, it's dwindling rapidly. The astringent goes a long way, and since it's the only astringent I'm using currently, is good for the price. The Quick Stick is a definite repurchase, although like the astringent will last me several months at least. I will pass on the cream. I found it much too drying, the strong smell off-putting and the effects of using it very minimal with the rest of the regime.
MelaBrite® 6x Color-Safe Brightener 946 mL or 2.8 L bottles
Regular Price: $50.50 or $20.00 for 946 mL
Member Price: $35.32 or $13.85
Introducing super concentrated MelaBrite 6x! EcoSense now gives you the power to have a cleaner, safer home, help the environment, save money and make a difference.
Operating much like a color-safe bleach, the idea behind this is that it's a safer, more biodegradable option to regular chlorine bleach.
It has a nice, fresh scent and doesn't wash out or lighten darks (I accidentally dumped a capful into a dark load when I was doing laundry the last time), but that being said I'm still not 100% certain it whitens whites as much as regular Javex does. Melaleuca sells a laundry stain remover that I haven't purchased yet (although Kristy has and says it works like a charm) since I bought a brand new bottle of Shout just before I moved in. Since I'm sort of mix and matching regular name brands with Melaleuca products, I'm on the fence about it's effectiveness until I have the opportunity to use both Melaleuca products at the same time. I already know Shout works great on stains.
The fresh scent is a nice touch with my clothes, although I don't know that the hefty price tag is worth it. Yes, bleach probably breaks down my clothing fibres like there's no tomorrow, but stains are gone and a bottle of Javex costs me less than $3. Wish this were a little more affordable.
No Work® Daily Shower Cleaner 473 mL bottle
Regular Price: $11.50
Member Price: $7.76
A spray a day is all you need to maintain a sparkling clean shower.
I am a huge advocate of daily shower cleaners since I HATE scrubbing bathtubs and showers with disgusting soap scum (but unfortunately also hate dirty showers and bathtubs). This product already seems to be an excellent value, since you dilute it with water, and each 473 mL bottle turns into three 24-ounce bottles. The biggest drawback is that you either have to have a spare spray bottle or buy theirs for $1.99 (which gives you no points towards your 25 point quota) in order to mix it. Since I'm thrifty (or cheap, whatever) I hung onto my Tilex bottle once it was done, cleaned it well and mixed the No Work in that. It has a nice, fresh scent and seems to be keeping the soap scum and mineral stains at bay. You can also buy this product in a "Pantry Pack" (sort of like buying in bulk) of 2 for a bit more in the way of savings. That was actually the route I took, figuring I use shower cleaner at least once a day and will probably easily use up both bottles in the next few months. So far, I'm impressed.
MelaGel® 14 g gel tube OR 12 g balm disc
Regular Price: $15.00
Member Price: $10.19
Topical gel/balm with melaleuca oil that helps heal cuts, scrapes and insect bites.
This was another product that I had found online reviews for. Figuring this would likely be a good substitute for Polysporin (which I try to always keep on hand, but was oddly out of), I bought the gel tube. I've already had 2 occasions to use it -- once for a badly stubbed toe, and once for a cat scratch (my cat abhors being brushed), and both times it worked pretty well at healing the wound nicely, without leaving a scar. It's supposed to work well on burns, as well, so I'll be packing it in my first aid kit to take camping on May Long weekend, since I historically always get burned making campfires. For now, I'm happy, although again, the price could be a touch lower.
Fresh Mint Tooth Polish 108 g tube
Regular Price: $7.00
Member Price: $4.67
Gently brighten with the power of pure papain enzymes— minus the harsh abrasives of other formulas.
I'm pretty sold on my regular brand of toothpaste -- Sensodyne-F Brilliant Whitening. I have pretty big problems with tooth sensitivity, as well as stains from my daily tea and nicotine habits. That being said, I was open to the idea of trying something new, and we were a few bucks short on our order last month.
The Melaleuca brand doesn't promise to help sensitive teeth, but since they're always touting melaleuca oil as the miracle cure to everything, I thought I'd give it a shot.
They say the papain enzymes (extracted from papayas) in this tooth polish help naturally break down and eliminate stains on your teeth, as opposed to just bleaching them. No word yet on whether my teeth are actually whiter, but they aren't sore yet. I may come back and do a re-edit after another few weeks of using this.
So in conclusion, the definite re-purchases from Melaleuca are the Zap-it!® Quick Stick, MelaGel® and the No Work® Daily Shower Cleaner. The rest I'm either too uncertain about yet to give a definite yes to, or wouldn't purchase again. I'm sure I'll encounter more products that I love, hate and feel indifferent about, and I'll attempt to do my best to post a few more reviews. Also, I feel I should mention that Kristy has tried several products not mentioned here and been satisfied with several. The above are only the products I have personally tried, thus far.
My biggest wish is that Melaleuca would rethink their Sun Valley™ Home & Linen Mist packaging. They state that most home fragrances come in aerosols containing CFCs, but a glance at the back of my bottle of Febreze Air Effects (the limited edition Moroccan Bazaar scent, which I HIGHLY recommend if you like spicy amber-like scents) confirms what most people already knew... CFCs are illegal to import into Canada, and thus NO home fragrances contain CFCs. The easy to use plastic spray nozzle on the Air Effects is a lot easier to use than the pump spray bottle on the Home & Linen Mist. That kind of irks me since it seems like they're capitalizing on a consumer's ignorance in order to make cheaper packaging in the name of being more 'green'. That being said, I'd still like to try the Cucumber and Green Tea scented Home & Linen Mist, because I'm a sucker for those light, refreshing sort of scents, but I think their choice of packaging just sort of sucks.