It Works! Review: Is the Company a Pyramid Scheme or MLM Scam?

Is the Company a Pyramid Scheme

In the ever-evolving landscape of direct sales and network marketing, It Works! has emerged as a notable entity, offering a blend of skincare and nutritional products skuch as body wraps to a global audience. It Works! has generated significant discussion and debate regarding its business model, specifically around the question of whether it represents a legitimate multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunity or veers into the controversial territory of pyramid schemes. This analysis aims to dissect the It Works! business model, examining its product offerings, compensation structure, and market positioning, with a focus on differentiating between legitimate MLM practices and pyramid schemes. We’ll answer your question: “Is It Works body wraps a pyramid scheme?”

Founders’ Vision and Entrepreneurial Journey

It Works! was conceived and brought to life by Mark and Cindy Pentecost in 2001, with a vision rooted in the desire to offer innovative skincare and nutritional products while providing an entrepreneurial platform for individuals seeking financial growth and independence. The Pentecosts embarked on their journey with a simple yet compelling idea: to create a direct selling company that stands apart through unique products and a rewarding business model.

Mark Pentecost, prior to founding It Works!, was a high school teacher and coach with an entrepreneurial spirit, seeking opportunities to improve his financial situation and make a lasting impact in the direct sales industry. Cindy, sharing Mark’s entrepreneurial zeal, played a crucial role in the company’s early development, focusing on product selection, brand identity, and the establishment of a supportive community for distributors. Together, they laid the foundation for a company that values innovation, integrity, and community.

Company’s Evolution and Expansion

From its humble beginnings, It Works! rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon, recognized for its flagship product, the Ultimate Body Applicator, and a growing lineup of skincare and nutritional supplements. The initial success of the body wrap, acclaimed for its ability to tighten, tone, and firm the skin, catapulted It Works! into the direct sales spotlight, prompting a period of rapid expansion and diversification.

Cultural and Ethical Foundations

Underpinning It Works!’s operational and strategic decisions are the cultural and ethical foundations instilled by the Pentecosts. The company espouses values of respect, empowerment, and community, aiming to create an environment where distributors, referred to as “It Works! family,” can thrive both personally and professionally. This ethos is reflected in the company’s support systems, training programs, and the emphasis on ethical business practices.

Adapting to Market Challenges and Trends

As the direct sales and MLM landscapes continue to evolve, It Works! has demonstrated an ability to adapt to market challenges and trends. This includes leveraging digital and social media platforms to enhance product visibility, distributor engagement, and customer interaction. The company’s response to regulatory considerations, consumer health and wellness trends, and competitive dynamics speaks to its commitment to sustainability and growth.

In-depth Exploration of It Works! Body Wraps and Other Products

It Works! has strategically positioned itself within the health and wellness industry by offering an extensive array of products that cater to a wide range of consumer needs. The company’s product line is meticulously designed to encompass both inner health and external beauty, aligning with contemporary wellness trends and consumer demands for holistic health solutions. This section delves into the various categories within the It Works! product portfolio, highlighting key offerings and their purported benefits.

  1. Skincare Products
  • Ultimate Body Applicator (Body Wrap): The flagship product of It Works!, this innovative body wrap is designed to tighten, tone, and firm any area of the body where it is applied. Infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula, this wrap provides temporary results that can give the appearance of smoother, more toned skin.
  • Facial Wrap: Similar in concept to the body wrap, the facial wrap targets the delicate skin of the face, aiming to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while firming and improving skin tone.
  • Defining Gel: A complementary product to the body wrap, the Defining Gel is formulated to hydrate and firm the skin, enhancing the wrap’s effects. It’s used on non-wrap days to maintain skin texture and tightness.
  • Stretch Mark Cream: Designed to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and skin imperfections, this cream blends botanicals and other skin-nourishing ingredients to hydrate and restore the skin’s elasticity.
  • Cellulite Cream: Targeting cellulite, this cream aims to smooth and tighten the skin’s appearance, using a blend of botanicals to improve skin texture and firmness.
  1. Nutritional Products
  • Greens: A nutrient-rich powder designed to boost energy and immunity, It Works! Greens blend fruits, vegetables, and superfoods to support overall health and wellness. It’s available in various flavors and formulations to cater to different dietary preferences.
  • Keto Coffee: Catering to the ketogenic diet trend, It Works! Keto Coffee is a powdered mix that aims to boost energy and support weight management by incorporating healthy fats and caffeine for a ketogenic-friendly energy boost.
  • Protein Shakes: High in protein and low in carbohydrates, these shakes are formulated to support muscle growth, energy levels, and weight management goals, making them a suitable addition to a balanced diet and exercise regimen.
  • Vitamins and Supplements: It Works! offers a variety of vitamins and supplements, including multivitamins and targeted solutions like joint health formulas, omega-3 supplements, and energy boosters, designed to support overall health and specific wellness goals.
  1. Lifestyle Products
  • Men’s Grooming Products: Recognizing the growing demand for men’s skincare and grooming solutions, It Works! has introduced products such as men’s body wash, hair gel, and shaving cream, formulated to offer high-quality, botanical-based grooming options.
  1. Signature Collections: It Works! also offers curated collections of products, designed to provide comprehensive solutions for specific wellness goals, such as weight management, skincare, and nutritional support. These collections allow consumers to experience a synergistic approach to wellness by combining products that work together to enhance overall results.

Innovation and Consumer Engagement

It Works! places a strong emphasis on innovation, continually exploring new formulations and product ideas to expand its offerings. The company engages with its consumer base through social media, direct feedback, and distributor insights to understand evolving wellness trends and preferences. This responsive approach allows It Works! to adapt its product line to meet contemporary health and beauty standards, ensuring relevance in a competitive market.

It Works! MLM Business Model: A Comprehensive Analysis

It Works! operates under a multi-level marketing (MLM) model, a business strategy that allows individuals to become independent distributors of the company’s products. This model is characterized by the opportunity for distributors to earn income in two primary ways: through direct sales of products to consumers and by recruiting new distributors, from whose sales they can also earn commissions. This hierarchical structure, where earnings are based on both sales and recruitment, is a hallmark of MLM businesses.

Legitimacy vs. Pyramid Scheme Concerns

A common question surrounding MLM companies is whether they operate as pyramid schemes. It’s crucial to differentiate between legitimate MLM practices and pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes are illegal and focus primarily on earnings from recruitment rather than actual product sales. They often lack a genuine product or service and promise high returns primarily from enlisting new members into the scheme.

It Works!, with its extensive product line ranging from skincare to nutritional supplements, clearly operates with a focus on product sales, distinguishing it from a pyramid scheme. The company offers tangible products with specific benefits, and distributors earn income based on product sales to end consumers as well as bonuses from the sales made by their recruited distributors. This dual-income opportunity within a structured and product-focused business model confirms It Works!’ adherence to legitimate MLM practices rather than pyramid scheme operations.

How Does It Works! Work? The Multi-Level Marketing Business Model Explained

  • Direct Sales: Distributors, often referred to as “Independent Distributors,” purchase It Works! products at a wholesale price and sell them at retail prices. The difference between the wholesale and retail prices serves as the distributor’s profit.
  • Recruitment and Team Building: Distributors are encouraged to recruit new members to join as distributors. This recruitment leads to the creation of a distributor’s “downline.” Earnings from the downline come in the form of commissions, bonuses, and potentially other rewards, depending on the cumulative sales of the downline team.
  • Binary Compensation Plan: It Works! utilizes a binary compensation structure, meaning a distributor’s downline is divided into two legs or teams. The income a distributor earns from their downline is based on the sales performance of these two legs, encouraging balanced team growth and active recruitment.
  • Bonuses and Incentives: Apart from direct sales and downline commissions, It Works! offers various bonuses and incentives designed to motivate distributors to achieve higher sales and recruitment milestones. These can include leadership bonuses, lifestyle rewards, and other performance-based incentives.

Joining It Works! as a Distributor

To become an It Works! distributor, one must follow these steps:

  1. Starter Kit Purchase: Interested individuals must purchase a Starter Kit, which typically includes product samples, marketing materials, and access to training resources. This initial investment is designed to equip new distributors with the tools needed for a successful start.
  2. Registration: The process includes filling out a registration form, agreeing to the company’s terms and conditions, and paying any applicable registration fees. This step formally initiates an individual’s status as an It Works! distributor.
  3. Training and Support: New distributors are provided with training materials and access to support systems. It Works! emphasizes the importance of understanding the products, the compensation plan, and effective sales and marketing strategies.
  4. Sales and Recruitment: Once registered and equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools, distributors can begin selling products and recruiting new members to build their downline.

How to Make Money as an It Works! Distributor: A Detailed Examination

The economic viability of becoming an It Works! distributor varies widely and depends on several factors, including individual effort, sales skills, network size, and commitment to the business model. Understanding the financial aspects and potential challenges is crucial for anyone considering joining It Works! as a distributor. This exploration will delve into the income potential, expenses, challenges, and strategies for success within the It Works! MLM framework.

Income Potential

  • Direct Sales Profits: Distributors earn by purchasing products at a wholesale price and selling them at a retail price. The margin between these prices constitutes the direct sales profit. This aspect of income is directly proportional to the distributor’s ability to sell products.
  • Commissions from Downline: A significant part of the earning potential in MLM models, including It Works!, comes from commissions earned on sales made by the distributor’s downline. The structure of these commissions is defined by the It Works! compensation plan, which rewards distributors for the sales activity and recruitment success of their teams.
  • Bonuses and Incentives: It Works! offers various bonuses for achieving specific milestones, such as recruitment targets or sales volumes. These bonuses can significantly enhance a distributor’s earnings, especially for those who excel in building and motivating their teams.


  • Starter Kit and Initial Investment: The initial cost of joining It Works! includes purchasing a starter kit. This upfront investment is necessary to begin as a distributor and can vary in price.
  • Monthly Qualifications: To remain active and qualify for commissions, It Works! distributors are often required to meet specific monthly sales quotas or purchase minimum product volumes. These requirements can represent a recurring expense that distributors need to manage effectively.
  • Marketing and Business Expenses: Additional expenses can include marketing materials, product samples, travel for events or meetings, and possibly fees for online sales platforms or business tools. Effective budget management is essential to minimize expenses and maximize profitability.


  • Market Saturation: Depending on the geographic area and social network, distributors may find varying degrees of market saturation. Entering a saturated market can make it more challenging to find new customers or recruits.
  • Sales and Recruitment: Success in the MLM model heavily relies on an individual’s ability to sell products and recruit new members. Those with limited sales experience or a small network may find these aspects particularly challenging.
  • Income Variability: Income from MLM businesses, including It Works!, can be highly variable. Some months may see higher sales and recruitment success, while others may be slower, impacting overall earnings.

Strategies for Success It Works! MLM Success

  • Leverage Social Media and Online Marketing: Successful distributors often utilize social media platforms and online marketing strategies to reach a broader audience. Creating engaging content and leveraging digital tools can help in attracting customers and recruits.
  • Continuous Training and Personal Development: Engaging in ongoing training opportunities provided by It Works! and seeking external resources on sales techniques, network marketing, and personal development can enhance a distributor’s skills and effectiveness.
  • Building and Nurturing a Downline: Active support and mentorship of downline members can foster a motivated and successful team, contributing to a distributor’s income through commissions on team sales.
  • Effective Time and Financial Management: Balancing the time and financial investment in the business is crucial. Setting realistic goals, managing expenses, and dedicating time efficiently can help in achieving a sustainable and profitable business model.

The economic viability of being an It Works! distributor is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. It requires a combination of hard work, strategic planning, and effective sales and marketing efforts. While there is potential for financial reward, it’s important for prospective distributors to approach this opportunity with a realistic perspective, acknowledging the challenges and the need for dedication and resilience. Success in the MLM model, including with It Works!, is achievable for those who are committed to the business, willing to learn and adapt, and able to effectively manage the financial aspects of their operations.

It Works! Market Position

It Works! has carved out a distinctive niche within the competitive landscape of the multi-level marketing (MLM) and direct sales industry, particularly in the health and wellness sector. The company’s market position is bolstered by its unique product offerings, such as the Ultimate Body Applicator (body wrap) and a diverse range of nutritional and skincare products. These offerings, combined with a compelling business opportunity for distributors, have enabled It Works! to cultivate a strong brand presence and a dedicated customer base.

The health and wellness industry has seen exponential growth, driven by increasing consumer interest in natural and holistic health solutions. It Works! taps into this trend by emphasizing products that align with wellness, beauty, and personal care, appealing to a broad demographic seeking to improve their health and physical appearance.

However, It Works!’s market position is not without its challenges. The MLM model, while offering opportunities for individual entrepreneurship, often faces skepticism regarding its operational structure and the viability of distributor success. Additionally, the crowded marketplace of wellness products means It Works! must continually innovate and differentiate its offerings to maintain and grow its market share.

It Works! Alternatives

Given the diverse landscape of the MLM and direct sales industry, several companies offer alternative or complementary products and business opportunities. These alternatives cater to various facets of the health, wellness, and beauty markets, providing potential distributors and customers with a range of options.

  1. Herbalife Nutrition: A global nutrition company that offers dietary supplements, weight management products, and personal care products through an MLM model. Herbalife is known for its meal replacement shakes and nutritional supplements, making it a direct competitor in the nutritional segment.
  2. Mary Kay: Specializing in cosmetics and personal care products, Mary Kay is one of the largest direct sales companies in the world. While it focuses more on beauty and skincare, its business model offers similar opportunities for individual entrepreneurship.
  3. Rodan + Fields: This company offers a range of skincare products designed to combat various skin issues, such as aging, blemishes, and sensitivity. Operating under an MLM structure, Rodan + Fields provides an alternative for those specifically interested in the skincare market.
  4. Beachbody: Known for its fitness programs and nutritional supplements, Beachbody offers a comprehensive approach to health and wellness. Its MLM model, known as Team Beachbody, allows coaches to earn income through product sales and team building, appealing to fitness enthusiasts.
  5. doTERRA and Young Living: Both companies specialize in essential oils and wellness products sold via an MLM model. They cater to consumers interested in natural health solutions and alternative therapies, representing alternatives in the wellness and holistic health segment.

Choosing Between It Works! and Alternatives

When considering It Works! in comparison to these alternatives, potential distributors and customers should evaluate several factors:

  • Product Interest and Alignment: Aligning with products you are passionate about and believe in can significantly impact your success and satisfaction, whether as a distributor or a customer.
  • Business Model and Compensation Structure: Understanding the nuances of each company’s compensation plan, including commission rates, bonuses, and advancement opportunities, is crucial for potential distributors.
  • Market Saturation and Competition: Assessing the level of market saturation and competitive dynamics in your area or within your network can help in choosing a company with the best potential for growth.
  • Training and Support: The quality and availability of training and support provided by the company can greatly affect a distributor’s ability to succeed.
Is It Works! a legitimate company

Thorough Research is Essential Before Selling

Thorough research before joining any money-making online opportunity is essential for several reasons, spanning from ensuring the legitimacy of the program to aligning with one’s financial goals and capabilities. The internet, while offering vast opportunities for income generation, also harbors numerous schemes that range from being outright scams to legally ambiguous or financially unviable models. Be sure to check out our thorough and unbiased reviews on I Buy I review. Here’s a closer look at why in-depth investigation is crucial:

  1. Identifying Scams and Avoiding Fraud: The online world is rife with scams that promise quick riches with minimal effort. These scams can lead to significant financial losses and, in some cases, legal troubles. Researching allows individuals to identify red flags, such as promises of guaranteed returns, requirements for upfront payments without clear justification, and lack of transparency about the business model.
  2. Understanding the Business Model: Different online money-making opportunities operate under various business models, such as affiliate marketing, MLM (multi-level marketing), freelancing platforms, content creation, and more. Each model has its intricacies, including how income is generated, the effort required, and the sustainability of the business. Comprehensive research helps individuals understand these models, ensuring they choose an opportunity that aligns with their skills, preferences, and investment capabilities.
  3. Evaluating Legitimacy and Compliance: Some online opportunities, particularly those resembling MLM schemes or those offering investment returns, may operate in a legal gray area. It’s important to ensure that the program complies with local laws and regulations to avoid legal consequences. Researching a company’s legal standing, regulatory compliance, and industry reputation is essential.
  4. Assessing Financial Viability: Not all legitimate online opportunities are financially viable for every individual. Factors such as the initial investment required, ongoing costs, realistic earning potential, and the time frame for seeing returns vary widely. A thorough investigation helps potential participants assess whether the financial model of an opportunity is realistic and achievable based on their financial situation.
  5. Reviewing Company Reputation and Reviews: A company’s reputation, as seen through reviews and testimonials from current and former participants, can provide invaluable insights into what one might realistically expect. While some negative reviews are to be expected for any company, consistent patterns of complaints about certain issues (e.g., payouts, support, product quality) can be a significant warning sign.
  6. Aligning with Personal Goals and Values: An opportunity might be legitimate and profitable but still not the right fit for every individual. Personal values, ethical considerations, work-life balance preferences, and long-term goals should align with the nature of the work and the company’s practices. Research helps ensure that the opportunity fits not only financial goals but also personal and ethical standards.
  7. Preparing for Commitment and Effort Required: Understanding the level of commitment and effort required is crucial. Some opportunities may require significant time investment, learning new skills, or even altering personal schedules. Knowing these details beforehand allows individuals to realistically assess whether they can commit to the requirements of the program.

A Legitimate MLM Company or It Works! Body Wraps Pyramid Scheme?

It Works! operates as a legitimate MLM company, distinguishing itself from pyramid schemes through its focus on product sales and a structured compensation plan that rewards both sales and recruitment efforts. While the company’s products and business model may not align with everyone’s preferences or expectations, It Works! offers a potential avenue for entrepreneurial individuals interested in the direct sales sector. Prospective distributors are encouraged to thoroughly research and consider the nuances of MLM participation, including product viability, market competition, and personal business goals, to make an informed decision regarding their involvement with It Works! or any similar MLM opportunity.

In the realm of MLM and network marketing, It Works! stands as a testament to the complexity and diversity of modern direct sales strategies. Whether viewed as a promising opportunity or approached with caution, It Works! embodies the dynamic interplay between innovation, entrepreneurship, and the perennial quest for financial independence within the direct sales industry.

Frequently Asked Questions About It Works!

Is It Works! a multi-level marketing (MLM) company? Yes, It Works! operates under a multi-level marketing (MLM) business model. This means that It Works! distributors, often referred to as “Independent Distributors,” earn income through direct sales of products to customers and by recruiting new members to become distributors. These new members form what is known as the distributor’s “downline,” and the original distributor can earn commissions from sales made by their downline. This structure allows for earnings through both product sales and team building.

What happened to the company It Works!? It Works! has maintained a significant presence in the health and wellness industry since its inception in 2001. Over the years, it has experienced growth and expansion, both in terms of product offerings and geographical reach. The company continues to operate, offering a wide range of skincare and nutritional products through its network of independent distributors. It Works! has navigated the challenges typical of the MLM industry, including market competition and the need for continual innovation, to maintain its position in the market.

How much does it cost to be an It Works! distributor? To become an It Works! distributor, there is an initial investment required for purchasing a Starter Kit. The cost of this Starter Kit can vary, providing new distributors with product samples, marketing materials, and access to training resources. Additionally, distributors are often required to meet certain monthly sales quotas or purchase minimum product volumes to remain active and qualify for commissions. These requirements ensure that distributors are actively participating in the business and contributing to the overall sales volume.

Is selling The Body Shop products a pyramid scheme? The Body Shop operates a direct sales program, which is distinct from It Works! and should not be confused with a pyramid scheme. The Body Shop’s direct sales model allows individuals to sell its products, often through parties or online platforms, earning a commission on their sales. Unlike pyramid schemes, which primarily generate income through the recruitment of new members rather than actual product sales, legitimate direct sales programs like The Body Shop focus on selling products to end consumers. It’s important to differentiate between MLM/direct sales models and pyramid schemes by assessing whether the emphasis is on product sales or on recruitment.

Can you make money with It Works!? Yes, it is possible to make money with It Works! through direct sales of products and earning commissions from the sales of distributors in your downline. However, success in the MLM model depends on various factors, including individual effort, sales skills, and the ability to recruit and train new distributors. Income can vary widely among distributors based on these and other factors.

Are It Works! products FDA approved? It Works! products, like many dietary supplements and cosmetic products, are not approved by the FDA. The FDA does not approve dietary supplements or cosmetic products before they go to market, but it does regulate these products to ensure they are safe and labeled according to federal standards. It Works! complies with these regulations, but it’s always a good idea for consumers to consult with healthcare providers before starting any new supplement or skincare regimen.

What is the return policy for It Works! products? It Works! typically offers a return policy for its products, allowing customers to return products within a specified time frame if they are not satisfied. The details of the return policy, including the time frame for returns and any conditions that must be met, can be found on the It Works! website or by contacting their customer service. It’s important for customers and distributors to be familiar with the return policy to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding product returns.

How can I cancel my It Works! distributorship? If you decide to cancel your It Works! distributorship, you should contact It Works! customer service for guidance on the cancellation process. This process may involve submitting a written notice of cancellation and fulfilling any final obligations, such as settling outstanding balances. The specific steps and requirements for cancellation can vary, so it’s important to refer to your distributor agreement and the company’s policies.