Frequently Asked Questions

Certifications and Ratings

  • Are your products certified organic?

    We have always been committed to using natural, wild crafted and certified organic ingredients. Our complete product line is now certified organic.

    Certification confirms that our products contain a minimum of 70% organic content, with all remaining ingredients meeting the strict criteria required under the USDA and NSF standards. Our Lip Balms are USDA Certified Organic and designated "Organic," meaning 95% organic content or greater. Our Bar Soaps, Body Oils, and Facial Toners are USDA Certified Organic with the "Made with Organic Ingredients" designation, which requires 70% organic content or greater. All other items, Facial Cleansers, Facial Creams, Facial Mask, Facial Scrub, Eye Cream, Balancing Oil, Hand Soaps, Body Washes and Body Lotions are NSF/ANSI 305 Certified Organic with the "Contains Organic Ingredients" designation, which requires 70% organic content or greater. This standard requires the same percentage of organic content as the USDA “Made With" designation, but has broader ingredients allowances specific to personal care.

  • What does "Certified to NSF/ANSI 305 by QAI" mean?

    Unlike organic foods and beverages, the USDA has not created specific organic standards for formulating and labeling personal care products that contain organic ingredients. NSF/ANSI 305, the American National Standard specific to personal care products that contain organic ingredients, has established the materials, processes, production criteria and conditions that must be met in order for a personal care brand to call itself organic. Under this standard, all personal care products making organic claims (other than in ingredient lists) must contain a minimum organic content of 70 percent. Additionally, formulas must contain only ingredients that have gone through rigorous evaluation by a scientific panel and have been approved by NSF.

  • Why do some of our ingredients rate as high as "4" on the environmental working group's cosmetic safety database?

    EWG does the best they can to give the consumer all known information regarding the safety of individual ingredients. We applaud their work! We are a partner with the group, compliant with their Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Compact and are in full support of their endeavors to educate consumers seeking to find the safest products possible. With that said, there are four factors that may give consumers an inconsistent or a confusing presentation of this safety substantiation data:

    The Data Gap: After each ingredient there is a circle with a percentage shown. This is the data gap. This shows that there is X amount of data unknown about said ingredient to substantiate safety. If the data gap is 81%, that means that only 19% of the research actually exists to give the ingredient a safety rating.

    The individual ingredient rating shows only the conventional form of the raw ingredient and does not take into consideration the myriad of sources (and quality levels) an ingredient may come from, such as, organic versus conventional. Many times, potential pesticide residue will raise the individual ingredient's rating (such as our rice bran on EWG). Being that we use mostly organic ingredients, this single conventional rating shows that our organic ingredients may contain pesticide, herbicide or fungicide residue that is not actually present. We have discussed this issue with EWG's lead scientist and have been assured that EWG is seeking to fix these inconsistencies within their own rating system.

    Some essential oils are not meant to be applied "neat", or without dilution. Some essential oils (EOs) and botanical extracts may receive higher rating due to natural potency. All of the EOs used by Pangea are: (1) considered generally safe; (2) never in a concentration of more than 1% of the entire formula; and (3) extracted using steam distillation or carbon dioxide (CO2) methods exclusively.

    In the case of our specially denatured organic lavender alcohol (used as a natural and safe preservative) on the database; there is a data gap of 81% and "limited evidence" of this ingredient being carcinogenic, toxic to organs or toxic to reproductive systems. Much of the research on this ingredient pertains to alcohol's function as a penetration enhancer and consideration of the denaturing agent used. There is a genuine risk when toxic chemicals in a formulation (such as synthetic parfum/fragrances) are being driven deeper into the blood stream by alcohol. Being that Pangea uses no toxic chemicals or synthetics in any formulations, this is a non-issue. We consider the penetration enhancement function of the alcohol as a benefit to the efficacy of our toxin-free, biocompatible skin care products.

Allergies and Lifestyle

  • Are Pangea products gluten-free?

    Yes. All products are gluten-free, with the exception of the Oatmeal Bergamot Bar Soap; due to possible gluten contamination of the oats from nearby wheat fields. This is called "blow-by contamination" for true celiacs. Our Vitamin E is sourced from either soy or sunflower, rather than wheat germ.

  • Are Pangea products hypoallergenic?

    All ingredients are generally safe for all skin types, yet some people may still have individual allergies to certain plant botanicals. (The same holds true for any cosmetic or food ingredient). Those with extremely sensitive skin should conduct a patch test prior to use.

    Pangea Organics offers an open disclosure policy regarding ingredients, so if there is any particular botanical you seek to avoid, you will see it clearly listed in both the Latin and common English names on the ingredient panel.

  • Are Pangea products vegan and cruelty-free?

    Pangea Organics products are vegan with the exception of the following:

    Australian Wild Plum & Willow Facial Cleanser (contains honey)

    Turkish Rose & White Tea Eye Cream (contains beeswax)

    All Lip Balms (contain beeswax)

    All Body Lotions (contain beeswax)

    *Pangea Organics is registered with (run by PETA) as a cruelty-free company (we never test on animals).
    **All Squalane in Pangea products is derived from olive rather than shark.

  • Do Pangea products contain GMO ingredients?

    No. Pangea products are made using non-GMO ingredients.

  • Are Pangea products safe for children and pregnant women?

    Yes. All products are formulated with the intention of being "always beneficial", although a patch-test may be useful when food or botanical allergies are suspected in any individual.

    Pregnancy: Although some essential oils are contraindicated for pregnancy, we never use concentrations over 1% of the total formula. We stand behind our essential oil and extract aromas being generally safe and exponentially safer than the common potentially toxic ingredients found in many conventional and even some "natural" products.

    Examples are: synthetic fragrances, paraben preservatives, synthetic surfactants and detergents (sodium lauryl sulfate & cocomidolpropyl betaine), PEGs (polypropylene glycol: a petrochemical), propylene glycol and butylene glycol.

    Infants & Children: Pangea's product line is extremely pure, free of common irritating synthetics and made with organic ingredients. Our line is generally safe for children, yet we suggest that soap use on infants be avoided until the umbilical cord falls off and circumcision has had adequate time to heal completely.

  • Are Pangea products suitable for rosacea and are there any specifically for rosacea?

    At this time we do not offer any special rosacea-specific products. However the organic antioxidants in our facial line offer many anti-inflammatory benefits that calm irritated skin and protect from further damage. The fact that we use zero chemicals and organic raw materials also offers heightened benefits for renewal and prevention of irritation.

    One of the main contributing factors to the redness commonly seen with rosacea is sun exposure. We suggest that women with the condition immediately switch to mineral cosmetics. There are a few benefits of doing so:

    Minerals are chemical-free. The omittance of chemicals from the face on a daily basis may allow the skin to be more in balance and less inflammatory immediately.

    Mineral cosmetics get their light defracting (coverage) aesthetic qualities from titanium and zinc (thus the name, mineral cosmetics). Zinc is calming and healing to skin (documented as medical fact). In fact, it is the active "healing" ingredient in most baby-bum rash creams!

    Mineral cosmetics provide natural, "physical" sun protection. The average sun protection factor for mineral cosmetics is 15-20, depending on how heavy the foundation is applied.


  • Why is lavender alcohol in Pangea products?

    Our Lavender Alcohol (SDA 38 B Organic Lavender) is a natural and stable preservative, absorption aid, carrier for aroma, and a skin toner/astringent. Please do not confuse our Organic Non-GMO Corn Grain Alcohol with the lesser-quality, drying forms of alcohol, such as isopropyl which is wood grain alcohol denatured with petroleum. Isopropyl alcohol is known to be potentially toxic and drying.

    "Denaturing" alcohol is required for use in personal care formulation. It deems the alcohol un-drinkable. We denature our organic alcohol with steam-distilled organic lavender essential oil. We stand behind our Organic Lavender Alcohol as non-drying and beneficial, as it increases the efficacy of our individual ingredients by facilitating the absorption of active natural ingredients.

  • What is saponification or saponified oils?

    Soap is formed when an alkali is mixed with fats (in our case, four organic vegetable oils: extra virgin olive, hempseed, coconut and soybean), heated and kept under pressure. Oils are saponified by mixing them with an alkaline ingredient. This creates a chemical reaction that changes the oils and the alkali into soap. At Pangea, we use the traditional method of using lye as our alkaline. There is no other raw material that can be used to make soap. Although lye may sound frightening at first, it is sodium hydroxide (NAOH), which is created when electrical current is run through salt water. Our vegetable fats are mixed with the lye alkaline, some heat is applied, and the saponification dance begins. The alkali we use is a completely natural substance and used in its entirety when making soap, i.e. none is left in the final product. The end result is fantastic soap!

  • How do saponified oils clean dirt?

    Saponified oil soap molecules have two ends: water-loving (hydrophilic) and water-repelling (hydrophobic). The water-repelling ends of several soap molecules attach to oil & dirt in a cluster. The water-loving ends stick out, attach to water and allow the trapped soils to be washed away.

  • What is glyceryl stearate, sucrose stearate and saccharide isomerate?

    Glyceryl stearate is a mixture of glycerine and stearic acid. Sucrose stearate is a mixture of sucrose (sugar) and stearic acid.

    STEARIC ACID is a white, waxy, natural fatty acid widely used in hand creams and lotions. It is the major ingredient used in making bar soap and lubricants, and is an emollient, emulsifier and thickener.

    SUCROSE is sugar; a preservative, antioxidant, demulcent and substitute for glycerin. It is a monosaccharide and as such offers water-binding properties. These Sugars are derived from natural sources such as, sugar cane or beets without the use of chemicals.

    GLYCERINE is a sweet-tasting, colorless thick liquid that is the natural by-product of soap saponification. It is extremely humectant or "hygroscopic", which means that it absorbs water from the air making it extremely moisturizing.

    Saccharide isomerate is a complex carbohydrate (sugar chain) that simulates the carbohydrate fraction naturally occurring in the skin. It is a highly effective, plant derived "water magnet" that regulates and retains moisture in the skin. It provides superior, long-lasting moisture binding properties even under low humidity conditions.

  • Why are glyceryl stearate, sucrose isomerate and sucrose stearate in Pangea products?

    Because an ingredient sounds of unnatural origin does not necessarily mean it is. Take glycerol and sucrose stearate for example; these are emulsifiers that we use to assure that our formulations stay together at the molecular level. Emulsifiers keep oils and water blended in an emulsion (in products like lotions). Without emulsifiers, oil and water would separate into layers. Emulsifiers surround oil particles, allowing them to remain evenly distributed throughout the water. They can also act as thickening agents giving cosmetics their distinctive feel and form.

  • What is the shelf life of Pangea products?

    All Pangea Organics products have a minimum two year shelf-life un-opened and 12 months once opened.

    On the bottle: On the back of every product container in the body care and cosmetics industry, one will find an open container symbol with a number of months inside. This is the international "Product After Opening" (PAO) symbol depicting the minimum number of months a product remains stable after it has been opened.

  • Pangea claims to be petroleum-free. What do other companies use petroleum for in soap and skin care?

    In general Pangea uses NO synthetics what-so-ever. We have a serious commitment to using organic ingredients that are biosynergistic with the skin, for efficacy and safety.

    Petroleum makes its way into soaps and body care a variety of ways:

    Common surfactants used in bar soaps and liquid cleansing products.

    Many "natural" and "organic" companies on the market are using cocomidolpropyl betaine as a surfactant, aka sudsing agent. It is derived from coconut oil so many people consider it a "natural" ingredient. The unfortunate reality is that this surfactant has been refined with petrochemical. Pangea does not use ingredients refined with petrochemical and our cleansing products use the artesian, truly-natural soap saponification methods to achieve suds and cleansing ability, rather than harsh detergents and surfactants mixed with synthetic conditioning agents. Please see Pangea's "what is soap saponification" document for more info.

    Phalates: Fragrance and Fillers

    Phalates are plasticizers very commonly found in body care via fragrances, fillers and surfactants. Extensive research is finding that exposure to phthalates is connected to a variety of very serious health concerns, most notably interference with the endocrine system. This is very important for us to acknowledge this evidence because the endocrine system controls mood, hormones, metabolism, adrenaline production and tissue development. Yowza!!

    The actual amount of phalates we are exposed to in our environment is extremely high due to "cumulative" effect exposure methods. Phalates are found in every soft plastic (unless labeled phalate-free), fragrances, many personal care products, pharmaceuticals/supplements and building materials. There is currently no legislation is in place to prevent the use of phalates in body care in the U.S., with the exception of California. Luckily, some manufacturers of baby and children's goods have committed to making toys, clothes and bedding that is phalate-free.

    "EWG product testing found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of 72 name-brand products, though none of them listed phthalates as ingredients (EWG/HCWH/WVE 2002)". Source:

    "As of 2004, manufacturers produced about 363 thousand tonnes (800 million pounds or 400 000 short tons) of phthalates each year. They contribute 10-60% of plastic products by weight.[1]" Source: Rudel R, Perovich L (January 2008). "Endocrine disrupting chemicals in indoor and outdoor air". Atmospheric Environment 43 (1): 170.81. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.09.025. PMID 20047015.

    To sum that up, petroleum = surfactants, fragrances and fillers.

Other Common Questions

  • Why don't Pangea products include sun protection?

    We do not formulate our products to include SPF because the minerals that allow us to do so in an entirely chemical-free/synthetic-free way would lend an undesirable consistency and weight to our products.

    At this time, we intend to further develop our facial care products to include sunscreen, although the research and development time frame on these products could be a couple of years out due to Pangea's high standards of product purity and quality.

    The Difference Between Mineral Sun Protection and Chemical Sun Protection:

    Minerals "physically" block the sun's UBA and UVB rays. They are light reflective/refractive. They sit on the surface of the skin and bounce the rays back off. Minerals are naturally hydro-phobic (repel water), so they last a very long time and typically much longer than chemical blocks that lose potency throughout the day and sometimes after even just 15 minutes of wear. Mineral blocks can commonly be found at most natural health retailers.

    Most sun blocks are "chemical" in nature, rather than "physical". Chemical sun blocks absorb and scatter the UVA and UVB rays within the skin. The sun protection factor is "how long the product blocks the sun after applied". So, 30 SPF would block the sun for 30 minutes after applied. Chemical sun blocks lose potency after a short time while loading the skin with chemicals. For those with sensitive skin, sun protection is a must. Yet, these chemicals may cause adverse reactions in the short and long-term.

  • Is Pangea going to make shampoo and conditioner?

    Pangea does intend to launch a line of Always Beneficial, Never Artificial hair care, yet our purity standards require lengthy Research & Development. We must bridge the realms of efficacy and purity.

    Most "clean" shampoos use surfactants for sudsing; such as cocomidolpropyl betaine. This highly-processed ingredient is considered acceptable by most companies in the natural cosmetics industry, yet Pangea does not consider it acceptable for use in our products due to its petrochemical refinement process. We remain on the cutting edge of natural and organic product formulation and look forward to achieving revolutionary hair care.

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