How does one man’s dream to create an institute centered on educating large corporations about sustainable, environmentally and socially conscious business practices relate to skin care? When you’re Joshua Onysko, the visionary behind Pangea Organics, it all makes perfect sense.
Onysko’s desire to create global change by changing the ways of big companies inspired the idea for such an institute, and his way of funding the project was by making thoughtfully crafted skin care products. The handmade soaps he created in his garage became so popular that it lead to a fully fledged business. His company, Pangea Organics, is a multi award winning brand, now encompassing a full line of products that are natural, organic, fair trade when possible, cruelty free and free of parabens, GMOs, petroleum, sulfates or detergents, synthetic preservatives or artificial colors or fragrances. As well as committed to its promise to “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.” And while part of the proceeds go to help build Onysko’s Pangea Institute, they also help fund Women for Women International, a non-profit organization dedicated to regaining support and an improved life for women affected by war and conflict throughout the world.
I tested two Pangea products, one which has made a dramatic difference in my skin. First up, the Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Bar Soap($8). Made with essential oils and cold-pressed organic oils, the bar soap is light, gentle and contains whole seeds, providing a natural way to exfoliate. My skin felt smooth and moisturized without any residue. The lavender soothes, heals and relieves tension while the cardamom acts as an antiseptic, cleanses and invigorates. I adore lavender so I found the scent refreshing and calming, yet not overpowering.
While I loved the soap, my favorite part was actually the packaging…
All Pangea products are printed on recycled post-consumer paper with soy based inks, list every ingredient used and are covered with interesting information, inside and out. But this Pangea Bar Soap is by far the most brilliant packaging I’ve seen. Using zero-waste molded fiber boxes, the outer strip of paper can be recycled while the actual box, embedded with seeds, can be planted! How often can you say product packaging leaves you with something beneficial instead of just waste?
I also tested the Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate Balancing Oil ($50). Inside this demure brown bottle, promising a natural elixir to rejuvenate and nourish every skin type, is one of THE most amazing skin care products I have ever used. I was extremely doubtful that rubbing oil on my face would actually help. In fact that seems like the one thing you should not do to your skin. But after just the first week of use, with a mere 1-2 drops every day, my skin literally transformed!
As someone who is transitioning out of her twenties into her thirties, I’ve noticed significant changes in the condition and appearance of my skin. The balancing oil’s fatty acids, vitamins and the key ingredient; pomegranate seed oil which is rich in antioxidants that repair and encourage collagen growth, left my skin feeling soft, moisturized and supple. I was shocked at how the oil evened out my skin tone, got rid of redness and gave my skin an unbelievable youthful glow. It’s quick absorbing, won’t leave you feeling greasy and has a light, earthy smell thanks to the geranium. While $50 for 1 fl. oz. bottle may seem a tad pricey, you only need a small amount. It’s been over two weeks and I’ve not made a dent in the bottle. Plus it works. It works really, really well. My skin has not looked this healthy in years! If anyone asked me what is one product they must have in their skin care regime, Pangea’s Balancing Oil is definitely it.
I can’t wait to see if my fellow reviewers fared as well with their Pangea products. Make sure you check the comments where they be leaving their reviews on the French Chamomile (with Sweet Orange and Lavender) Lotion ($18) meant to soothe dry skin and help circulation; and the Canadian Pine with White Sage Foaming Hand Soap ($14) made with organic coconut, olive, hemp and jojoba oils to cleanse and moisturize without detergents, dyes or perfumes.
Pangea Organics has a whole line of skin care products besides the ones we tested, so I encourage everyone to give them a try, not only for your skin, but for the efforts this company is making to improve the world. Reader and testers – has green beauty blossomed in your life with the help of Pangea Organics? Share your favorites in the comments.[ratings]
Kari is a Minneapolis based artist who drinks too much coffee and enjoys taking pictures of the strange foods she eats. She’s always running 10 minutes behind despite her clock being an hour fast. You can find her musings on art, music and food at her blog, Tuna Fish Casserole.
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