Jeff Olson founded Nerium International LLC in 2011 at Addison, Texas, U.S.A. At this time their products are distributed through a multi-level marketing system of people to the countries of U.S.A. Canada and Mexico and they have achieved a record $100 million in revenues during the first year of operations alone.
The company and its CMO Amber Olson Rourke have been awarded 4 Gold Awards for their consumer products, in addition to awards for Company of the Year and Women Helping Women Achievements. It has also won Silver Award as the Second Fastest Growing Company of the year and Bronze Awards for the Achievements in Female Entrepreneur of the year and Woman of the Year in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations. Their collection of entries has also been awarded the Grand Stevie Award.
However, there has been some debate and controversy as to whether the active ingredient used in their products is actually as effective as described. Further reviewing is also required to address the number of complaints that exist in the way they are doing business. Since it has such a high demand we figured it would be wise to include Nerium reviews in our full product analysis database.
The main ingredient
The entire company and all their products have derived their name from the extract of Nerium oleander. The originating plant also known as simply oleander and it is a highly toxic one that can be found in the countries of the Mediterranean Sea and Asia. The relevant clinical trials have indicated that the extract has a beneficial effect on the appearance of damaged skin in the case of fine lines, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles among others.
The extract has received the name NAE-8 and ST&T Laboratories have conducted the safety tests instead of the Nerium Biotechnology ones. These tests have determined that oleandrine, which is the problematic toxic substance known to produce heart problems, is not detectable in the blood streams of the product users and therefore they are safe for use.
The skepticism to other scientists regarding Nerium oleander and its effectiveness has resulted from the following scientific facts:
- Pure Nerium Oleander contains 4 parts per thousand of oleandrine.
- 1 ml of the company’s products has been found to contain 0.000008 grams of oleandrine
- The quantity required for oleandrine to become lethal is 1 gram.
These 3 facts seem to indicate that while the products contain oleandrine that is well within the safety parameters and human tolerances, it is doubtful whether this level is enough to produce any beneficial results.
Since this is the ingredient that makes the difference according to Nerium International (all the rest are more or less the same as the ones used in all other cosmetic products out on the market) the question of effectiveness must be answered by the users themselves.
The answer is just a little above average in reference to the beneficial results, rather good as far as the ease of use is concerned and just above average in reference to the issue of the overall customer satisfaction. The reasons for these results are:
- The products do not address all skin types. They seem to work adequately only on normal to dry skins.
- Too many users must receive medical advice before using Nerium products. Special cautions have been issued to warn people with sensitive skin and people working in jobs that demand many hours of exposure to the sun and the natural elements and in conditions that produce constant sweating. Especially for the last ones there have been recorded cases of symptoms of peanut allergy.
- The prices for the products are too high for what they offer. This issue will be addressed in further detail separately.
- There are no serious complaints about the after sales customer support which is one of the positives to mention for Nerium International.
Nerium operations. The problem and the debate.
A retail price of $110 for just 30 ml of product is too much according to the initial general public opinion. The opinion mitigated after the details of how Nerium does business became known. It became an acceptable concept to pay more if it allows for more people to make money instead of maintaining the traditional way of doing business through the department stores and therefore keep the profit in the hands of big corporations.
The multi-level marketing system implemented by Nerium says that 15 to 25% of the $110 goes to the distributor that sold the product. Another 5% is added to this commission if the said distributor convinces other people to become distributors themselves. The major complaints on this system do not come from the clients but from the distributors.
The first such complaint is that the initial capital to be invested is rather too high. A new distributor may have to invest $1,100 at the beginning so that he or she can have a chance of receiving some profit out of the sales. The second one goes to the misconception that the job is neither a working at home one, nor one that the distributor is allowed to make their own hours. It is a full outdoors business with the clients actually being the ones that set the working hours. All attempts to load the products on internet sites and conduct online operations have proven ineffective.
On the other hand, it is a satisfactory arrangement for the distributors not to implement a standard sales policy dictated by the company. Each one is allowed to put to work his or her own ideas and if they are successful the distributors get to make money faster. This way each distributor can have serious control over how much money they make which is definitely more than what they would be receiving through a standard salary.
It seems that it’s the debates themselves that have resulted in Nerium International’s success. It is common knowledge that whenever the traditional ways of doing business turn against a product, the majority of the general public believes that this product is good because it steps on the toes of the business tycoons. Most people tend to believe that the products commercially sold are overpriced anyway, so if by paying more they can help more people earn more than a regular salary, they do so without too much annoyance.
However, all the debates and the controversies help a product remain within the notice of the public without the actual quality of the product being of consequence. The little above average rating of the effectiveness, should be drastically improved. Eventually the debates and the controversies will end and the only factor remaining to rate the products will be their quality.
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