Feb 10, 2012

The Honest Company - Review (Updated 9-17-12)

UPDATED 9/17/12
(Updates in bold are from June 2012 update those in red are from September 2012 update)

I've been following a new company, The Honest Company, for a while now.  It's basically an all natural-eco-friendly company started by Jessica Alba and Chris Gavigan.  Their products boast to be the best and after reading about them, we decided to give it a try.

We signed up for Honest Company's subscription on their opening day and have been using their products for almost six nine full months now.  

I was a little disappointed to find that you can't just buy individual products, but since there were several I liked, it wasn't bad.  So... you decide you want to try the products and you go sign up for a $4.95 trial.  The trial includes travel/sample sizes of shampoo, lotion, hand soap, laundry detergent, and healing balm.  You can also sign up for a trial of diapers and they send you 7 - more or less enough for one day.  The company is in California and I'm in VA - I got my package in two days once shipped (so three or four total, very fast considering I ordered the first day they opened).

Honest has added ordering for individual products - yay!  Shipping is a little high, but overall not bad.  

Honest now allows those who have a subscription bundle to add products (up to 3 per month) to their bundle for the individual price.  We are adding a product next month.  Excited for this!

When you order the trial, you provide your credit card.  If you don't cancel within 7 days of receiving the trial, you'll be charged $36.95 each month for the Family Essentials Bundle (the five items, but you get to pick other items once your first bundle is delivered), and $70 for the diaper bundle (you get four packs of diapers, definitely enough for a month if you use disposables).  

I actually caught a great Zulily deal for $52 for both bundles so we did that and ordered before our trial was over.  Before I get started with my thoughts on each item, I want to just share that I've called customer service several times about different things and they are fantastic.  Seriously the best customer services I have, hands down, ever experienced.  I don't know how they did it, but each one of their girls is amazing.  I think I've talked to four different people now.  My favorite was a girl who said, 'Oh I see you're in VA, I went to JMU...'  We started talking and I casually asked if they got to hang out with Jessica Alba and she said yes and talked about how down to earth and nice she is.  So cool, right?!

We received several months bundles and then I realized we were pretty stocked and decided to call Honest and have them push back our next delivery date.  The day I called, our bundle was already processing to ship - I decided to call anyway and they were able to stop it.  Amazing customer service!!  They are so, so nice and the program is actually a lot more flexible than they advertise.  Once you're a customer, you really do get the feeling that you're part of their family.  I've always felt very valued when I call and considering $40/month isn't a lot, it's really nice to feel that way from a company that is growing so quickly.  I love how flexible and down to earth they are.

Now, you can control when your bundles ship.  It used to be that you had only seven days earlier or after about the 30th day in your cycle.  It's been updated so you can adjust it however you like.  We have been getting deliveries about every other month.  It's just what works with our family's consumption.  I love that I don't have to call each time.

So as I mentioned, the first month you get the automatic bundle that includes each full size of the trial items.  I called though to see if they'd shipped our first bundle out because I wanted to see if they'd swap the laundry detergent for the multi-purpose cleaner.  She said they couldn't do that b/c the bundle had shipped but offered to send me two free products.  So, I got the cleaner and another hand soap (it's amazing).  Free.  And it came three days later.  I called again just this week to cancel the diaper bundle because we still have every single pack and the person accidentally canceled both bundles.  She set it back up (but I can't edit it now until after it ships, bummer) and offered to send me two more trial kits (I asked :)) since she goofed.  So sweet.  

Ok... now my thoughts:
-Shampoo: (It's also body wash but I prefer Dove soap.)  I didn't care for the smell initially because it reminded me of the polish that my dentist uses (orange creme), but then I used it a couple times and ohmygosh, my hair was SO soft.  Seriously, so so soft.  After I used it for a few days, I got over the smell and now love it.  The shampoo is my favorite.  My only complaint is that you only get something like 6.5 oz while most comparable shampoos are closer to 10 or 12 oz.

-Lotion: Another love.  It says it's fragrance free, but it's not really.  It may not have any additives to make it smell, but it does have a very light scent (think rose oil) that is so fresh and amazing.  I keep this on top of the shower so I can use it while still damp.  I wish the lotion was in a tube rather than a bottle.

-Healing Balm: I have used it on Oliver's bottom once and on very dry skin once.  I really haven't used it enough to say much.  I'm sure it's better than petroleum.  We've used the healing balm for various things and I love it.  Dry skin, diaper area, chapped lips - you name it.  I love that it's petroleum free.

-Laundry Detergent: I really want to like this.  It's super concentrated (70 loads in each bottle) and I used half of it along with half Tide and had to rinse the load twice because of all the suds.  Oops.  I just need my clothes to smell fresh, but this detergent does clean well.  If it had a smell, I would totally switch.  Because it's such a good deal in the bundle, I still order this from time to time.  I like it for random loads that aren't necessarily clothing or towels.  Every now and then I'll use it on towels if I know I plan to use a fabric softener b/c then the softener smells so I still have the 'freshness.'

-Hand Soap: Love this too.  It's lemon scented and delicious.  We have two bottles and keep one in the kitchen and one in our bathroom.

-Multi-Purpose Cleaner: This is good too.  My favorite thing about it is its light grapefruit scent (shocking since I don't like grapefruit as a food) and that it cleans my flat top stove with no streaks whatsoever.  It's a winner.

-Sunscreen: We like Honest sunscreen a lot.  It is very, very thick.  Beware!  Chandler forgot once and looked like a ghost.  :)  It's not as strong as I'd prefer and I feel like I have to stay on top of re-application, but so far none of us have been burned while using it.  Definitely be careful when using near clothing - we have one spot on a dark shirt, but it's light and not too noticeable.  The only other sunscreen we use is Badger brand because it's SPF 30.

-Automatic Dishwasher Liquid Soap: Don't like at all.  The several times we've used it our dishes have not come out clean :(  Not sure if it's just our washer type (Kenmore) or the soap.  We are back to big box brand for the dishwasher.

-Dish Soap: The best comparison for Honest's dish soap is 7th Generation.  I don't really have a lot to say about it... it's good.  It doesn't have a scent.  I think I've made it clear that I'd prefer a scent, but only because it make washing things by hand a little more fun.  We use this and like it as much as you can like dish soap!

-Bug Spray: Really, really liked this!  It was a new product launched late summer.  It's a lot like California Baby.  We used it on all of us and never had a problem with bugs.  I'm hopeful that it will keep until next Spring.

-Hair Conditioning Mist: Think spray detangler for your hair.  I use it on my one-year old's hair in the morning and after naps.  It works the same way Johnson and Johnson's detangler works but smells like Honest's shampoo.  Yum!  

-Diapers/Wipes: We have used only a handful but as far as disposable diapers are concerned, I love them.  They are more absorbent than Earth's Best and 7the Generation.  I think they are most comparable to an overnight diaper, but without the extra padding.  I love the prints they come in - so cute.  We ordered the skull and cross bone print and the anchor print. The wipes come with the bundle.  I'll be honest, they're just okay.  They are similar to other 'natural' wipes in that they are thin.  I prefer Huggies wipes or cloth wipes.  They're just thicker.  We keep these in each bathroom and in the car for miscellaneous use.

We got the diaper bundle in January and because we mainly use cloth, it lasted us 6 months.  I will order again, but am waiting until Oliver is in a solid size 4 because he definitely won't be a size 3 for another 6 months and a 4 is still a little too big right now.  

I would LOVE if you could add a pack of diapers to the family bundle.  

I'm not a huge fan of the wipes, they're a little too thin for my liking - but I do like the concept and I keep a pack on the back of each toilet for adult use.  I also keep a pack in the car for wiping dirty hands and faces.

Overall, I'm really impressed with The Honest Company.  If I could make changes I would make the shampoo and lotion in a tube rather than a bottle and I'd prefer to have different bundle options.  For example, the only options now are monthly and you get a set number of products (5).  It would be nice to have options for that, 3-product bundle, 5-product bundle - and then have an option to add a product to that if you only needed one more.

Right now the only option is to subscribe for two bundles, which is silly.  They are awesome in that you can order one month and then cancel.  Then wait a month and subscribe again... that's annoying though.  They need to set up different options for people and I think they will.  I've been keeping up with them on Facebook and they've had a lot of great feedback like this from other people.  A great example are the number of people who, like us, cloth diaper and only use a handful of disposables at a time.  Having a quarterly diaper bundle would be great for that situation.

See above for my comments on their monthly service, but you don't have to cancel and re-start, just log into your account and adjust the date of your next deliver.  you can simply call them and they'll just not send a bundle during the month(s) you don't need it.  They rock like that :)

We will keep the Family Essentials bundle subscription indefinitely.  Even Chandler likes it. :)

After six nine months of using products from the Honest Company - we are still very pleased and like the product and the company very much.  I would encourage you to try it if you prefer a more natural product.  We check EWG.org for just about everything and Honest has consistently rated very well.  We're impressed!

Honest recently started a referral program.  For every friend you refer you get $10 credit.  Here's my referral link http://honest.com/19383 if you feel led to join right now :)  xo

(Disclaimer: I did not receive any of these items free.  I simply thought it would be helpful to write a review since the company is new and people were probably curious about the products.)


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Janelle said...

Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! I'm glad to hear you've had such a positive experience so far (And, yes, we really lucked out with an amazing customer service team! They're all super sweet, caring, passionate, intelligent, amazing people!)

Many people have asked about offering more flexibility in regards to the subscriptions and even simply being able to just buy individual products. Our development team is working on enabling more functionality and hopefully we'll have those capabilities in the very near future.

Thanks again for the write-up and for being a part of our Honest Family :-)

Have a delightful day,
Janelle Sorensen
Communications Manager
The Honest Company

GinH said...

Thanks Janelle - you girls are all awesome! It makes us feel even better about our choices to use THC products!

Anonymous said...

Hi again Gin!

I was digging around for your email address and couldn't find it, but I I'd love to have you sign-up for our blogger network: http://eepurl.com/jI99X - You clearly share a lot of the same values as us and we'd love to work with you to help educate and inspire your readers to live greener and healthier. We'll also be hosting fun contests, giveaways, and whatever else we can collectively dream up! Hope you'll join us and help build the "Honest Movement" :)

Thanks again and have a great day!
Janelle Sorensen
Communications Manager
The Honest Company

p.s. If the form is glitchy - my apologies! I think it's a browser issue, but highlight your text when you're finished entering it and you'll see it's indeed there. Email me if you need anything!

Christine @ Why We Love Green said...

Thank you for this review! I found it very helpful! I've just gotten their sample pack today and thought I needed to learn more about their products. I'm very intruiged by their sunscreen and insect repellant!! (Also, I love the quote you have at the top of your blog about asking God why He allows poverty--and he asks us the same question. It made me almost cry! I feel silly admitting that, but it's a beautiful quote.)

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for your review. I have been thinking about ordering and wasn't sure if I should spend my money there. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!!! I tried the free trial and apparently its a trial MEMBERSHIP, I did not know that!! if I knew I would have to pay 135$ a month for diapers and wipes I would not have done it and now my bank account is in the negative because of them!! I even got the package re routed back to them and I still got charged a "re stocking fee" what the hell??? I didn't want them in the 1st place!!!! I would neverrrr buy their products or recommend them to anyone else!! plus when I called for customer service it took FOREVER for someone to answer the phone then the girl was ditzy and had an attitude.

GinH said...

That stinks, I'm so sorry! I haven't had to call in a while but yes the trial is the beginning of a membership that you would need to cancel if you don't want it. I'm pretty sure that's clear on their website, but it would be easy to forget.

They've changed their bundle frequency options now and you can choose every 4, 6 or 8 week deliveries. We tend to choose the 8 week deliveries lately. So sorry you had a bad experience.

Mom of 8 said...

Their baby wipes are made in China with China’s local water as one of the only ingredients. The co-founder of the company called me himself and said that simply filtering the polluted local water, which they found 6,000 dead pigs in this week, was all that was required prior to using that polluted water to make the wipes. I refuse to trust any product from this company while they continue to make their wipes with polluted water in China. The website says their diapers are 100% plan based, but Chris says they are only 80% plant based. The diapers still carry the SAP toxin as its absorbent core. Not to mention, disposable diapers are no where near are safe, natural, and easy on the environment as cloth diapers. It saved us a lot of money and ensured a safer, better for the environment solution when we purchased the All-In-One cloth diapers with the inserts and one size fits all snaps. They hardly ever leak, so can be used even when leaving the house! We also now make our own wipes, even reusable ones, using 100% natural, food grade ingredients that are 100% safe for our baby's skin!

honest company reviews said...

I really love everything about the honest company reviews, who has delivered me the great products for my baby, I highly recommend this company to every parents!

Anonymous said...

We looked for safer wipes online for our son to avoid all the bad Parabens and Phenoxyethanol. We discovered this company and were actually seduced by their products and mission statement.

We ordered the Honest "FREE" sample package for $5.95 shipping to get a better idea of what to order in their entire catalogue.

Not only the diapers did not work better than the brand we were using before but they even created a terrible rash on our 16-month old son (or are these their wipes?).
The wipes are dry and stick to each other which must be pretty annoying on the long run.

So we decided not to go that route and look for another brand that would satisfy us and our son better.

Now the worst part begins !!!! What they call a "free trial" ends up being a monthly service where they stuff you for over $160 worth of products before you can even react and cancel it.
There is no actual way to cancel and manage your orders/subscriptions on their website, they force you to call their Customer Service(even an e-mail is not accepted).

We had to stay for 25 minutes on the line before talking to an operator who ended up offering a 15% discount on the bundles !!!
Seriously ??!!!?? You shoveled those products we never ordered down our throats and you don't accept them back ?

Those $5.95 did cost us over $160 because we did not go and read the fine prints at the very bottom of the page and we are now sitting with all those products that are not suitable for our son.


We even discovered after the fact that their wipes (maybe some other products as well, to be verified) were manufactured in CHINA!!!... How green is that?!?

And they call themselves the HONEST company... that's ironic !

Anonymous said...

Yea almost 6$ to try it to see if you like it no!!!! Try 160$! No thank you cancelled noww!!!

Anonymous said...

Be carefull of "free" samples it turns out I paid 200$...

Hello Folks,
I order free samples from that compagny, I had to pay a 6$ for shipping fees. The month after they charged me appr. 200$ because they subscribe me on a bundle and send me the samples. I liked the product but because of that I would never deal with them again! Be carefull don't buy from there website! And to finish, I give birth earlier so by the time I was out of the hospital it was to late to cancelled the bundle... Screuw them! I'm a student and I'm tight in money, I hate scam like that... The aren't honest at all!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just called and cancelled my subscription. Although I like some of their products, their dishwasher packs are REALLY bad! The leave a white powder film over everything! All of my dishes and pots and pans are covered in it, and it is not easy to get off! I have had 3 shipment problems where one of the products has leaked, and the last 3 emails I sent them about it have gone unanswered! Great customer service, yeah right! And if you want to try any of the products and don't like it, they claim 100% satisfaction, but then charge you 6.95 restocking fee, so it's not even advantageous to return it! I didn't like their natural deodorant either, but am stuck with it. Their hand soap is outrageously priced! I was also one of the people that got burnt using their sunscreen, so now am a little distrustful of how organic, natural, and safe their products are...and ofcourse because of my dealings with them, found out how "honest" they actually are:/

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub