My shipment of beautiful bottles arrived with care. Gone are the days of the old “natural” product image. These sleek glass bottles were extremely well designed for clean at home use (neat pump design) and travel. Unfortunately, they may have been too well designed. I eagerly took the cleanser on a trip, not noting that it was slightly above the 3oz “liquids and gels” limit for flying. Luckily, my bottle was almost finished with they confiscated it. But I digress … functional and attractive, I actually kept the bottles out on my counter not only for ease of use but also for some modern décor!
Organic and vegan (free from all animal products) I was given the thumbs up that Pangea is also dairy-free. Even when it comes to food, skincare should always be evaluated for allergens. I do get skin reactions to food allergens, so it is a step that I never forget.
To preface this review, I am a challenging tester for any skincare line, but I was very impressed with the “sensitivity” of the Pangea line. Born with the wonderful autoimmunity that can accompany food allergies, I have mild rosacea, adult acne, and chronic hives (that leave dry patches) of unknown cause to date. Oh, and did I mention that I live in the southwest, desert country? While I never expect miracles from any product line, and certainly do not expect a product that will cure any of the above, I do look for items that do not further exacerbate any of these conditions. Pangea was successful in this respect. While my acne did not lessen, my hives persisted, and my face continued with bouts of ruddiness, none of the conditions worsened while using Pangea. Really, this says a lot for a product, as most have further irritated my skin in one respect or another.
Cleanser: Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange
I pumped the tiniest bit of cleanser into my palm and was greeted with the most amazing citrus scent. Tempered, sweet, but not the least bit artificial, this cleanser we a true joy to spread across my skin. Though just a few drops were all that was required, a little seemed to go a long ways.
However, I was skeptical that a natural cleanser filled with essential oils could actually clean my face. I have tried a few brands only to have what little make-up I might wear remain untouched and an oily film left to irritate my skin for hours. Amazingly, this cleanser did actually eliminate residues without drying my skin out (no tight feeling), yet my face felt clean. I cannot verify how it might work on standard make-up, as I use a tinted moisturizer primarily, but the arsenal of ingredients did look as though they could get the job done.
Billed as soothing and balancing for all skin types, this seemed to be the only cleanser in the Pangea line at present, but it did seem versatile, neither drying, nor oily. While I may still pursue a cleanser that will battle the acne and rosacea, this is definitely a “safe” cleanser that I will consider purchasing in the future.
Toner: French Rosemary with Sweet Orange
While I have unsuccessfully trialed one drying astringent, toners had never been a part of my routine. Yet the claims on the bottle of “helps acne” and “uplifting” caught my eye. Spritzing a bit on each morning after the cleanser, I was also pleased with the more potent scent; lightly sweet, but bolder with that energizing punch. The toner did seem to refresh, adding a hint of moisture, but no weight. It didn’t help my acne at all, but it didn’t make it worse. While I failed to notice any difference in my skin, this is an enjoyable product to use. It actually added the right amount of moisture to my skin without clogging pores, and it the rosemary scent was very uplifting, true to claim. I think this was my favorite thus far in the Pangea skin care line. They have two other types of toners as well.
Cream / Lotion: Malagasy Ylang Ylang & Linden Flowers
Having tried several natural & organic lotions, I was convinced that natural and greasy were one in the same. However, never one to give up on anything organic, I was willing give Pangea a chance in this category as well. Once again, going beyond my expectations, not a speck of grease, oil, or residue remained once I rubbed in this very light lotion (I would hesitate to call it a facial “cream”). Of course, it too smelled wonderful, a light orange fragrance with a touch of floral, but not over the top. While all signs were a go for this non-irritating lotion it was alas, not “for all skin types” as stated. To my own surprise, it was actually a bit drying. While my skin felt perfectly balanced after applying the toner, it was a bit tight, dry, and flaky after I applied the lotion. It also didn’t seem to positively benefit my acne. Darn, perhaps I would have better luck with the Italian Red Mandarin lotion, for thirsty skin. Since there are fiver Pangea lotions/creams, and it far exceeded my natural lotion expectations, I may have to experiment a bit with the rest of the line.
Mask: Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry
Touted as the “Do Everything” mask, Pangea lets this version own their mask category. Really, the title made me think it was a new beverage rather than a thick mud to slather on my face. Nonetheless, I was eager to trial this miracle product. I delicately spread it on my face, as it was a very gritty mask, more like a heavy-duty scrub really. I made the mistake of putting it all over my face, including between my nose and lip. Unlike the other products trialed, the mask has a very potent and less than graceful scent. Getting an overpowering whiff nearly dropped me to the floor. Needless to say, after the ten minutes had passed, I was eager to wash it off. It took a bit of doing to remove, offering a very thorough scrub along the way. My face felt good after using it, though I did experience a mild breakout the following day after each use. Nothing horrible, though it did seem to cause a bit of trauma to my overly sensitive skin. After two uses, I was hesitant to trial it again, but, I will likely give it another go, as it did leave my skin feeling clean, soft, and refreshed.
Bar Soap: Tunisian Olive Oil & Coconut
My savior! I use soap mildly on my overall skin, as recommended by the dermatologist, so I have never really been wowed by any soaps. However, when my Pangea cleanser was taken by the security gods at the airport, I was left without a facial cleanser. Since this soap was touted as their most sensitive bar, with no added scents, herbs, or flowers, it seemed like it might do the trick. Though a touch more drying on my face than the facial cleanser, it really wasn't bad at all. My face was clean and refreshed, and slightly moisturized from the oils in the soap. If I didn't know any better, I would say that my acne went down a bit the next day. I will have to try it for a couple of weeks on my face before I could confirm though. Nonetheless, it is a nice mild soap, perfect for those with too many sensitivities to count. For those who want a little more excitement in their soap, Pangea has eight other bar soaps offering a variety of emotions, from inspiring to grounding. The one with cinnamon and cloves certainly has my attention!
Oh yes, and lest I forget one of the most important features of this wonderful company, they are insanely eco-friendly. All of their skincare products are packaged in boxes, which are made with 100% post-consumer paper and seeds … yes I said seeds. Basil or amaranth (mine were all basil), just plant and grow. With our dry, hot desert summer, I haven’t planted mine as of yet, but I do plan on giving my nonexistent green thumb a whirl.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- According to their website, Pangea Organics is the fastest growing organic skincare line in the world. I am not surprised, they are definitely a level up from the brands I have trialed thus far.
- The products I received seemed to be free of most major food allergens, but you should always double-check the labels for your allergens or any plant cross-allergens.
- Pangea produces a fairly extensive line of skincare and bodycare. There seems to be something for everyone, though like most product lines, a little trial and error may be in order to find the perfect line-up.
- Organic, environmental, all natural, and socially conscious does come with a price tag. However, when it comes to skincare, Pangea really does fall in the middle of the pack price-wise, and is actually a good value when compared to many high-end brands.