Pomega5′s Full Ingredient Disclosure

August 23rd, 2010

“What are those harmful sounding elements now appearing at the end of Pomega5 ingredient lists? Did you reformulate your products?”

Dear Concerned Customers,

We know that you read the labels, and we are not trying to fool you! We would like to take this opportunity to address the above concern that has been raised by several of our customers: ingredient disclosure.

You will notice that Pomega5 ingredient labels now incorporate names like eugenol, geraniol and benzyl salicylate. These, however, are not additions that Pomega has recently made to our product line. Rather, they are the natural constituents of essential oils used in our products, and they have always been there.

Here at Pomega, we are committed to offering products made with the purest and highest quality botanical ingredients, and essential oils play a key role in providing a powerful sensory experience. In fact, we use over 25 essential oils in our products, from lemongrass to grapefruit to lavender. Natural components of these essential oils, including eugenol, geraniol and benzyl salicylate, are potential allergens (a substance containing a protein that causes an allergic response).  Almost anything can be an allergen for someone.

Any product that includes essential oils (as opposed to synthetic fragrances and perfumes used to produce the scents in many conventional beauty products) contain these allergens. They are not additives; they are naturally occurring and inherent in lemongrass and other citrus essential oils, in particular.

European Union regulations now mandate that allergens be listed on all cosmetic ingredient labels. This is something that Pomega takes very seriously, and in our effort to be entirely transparent, we have decided to implement this European practice in our own labeling standards. This type of labeling is not even required in the US yet, and we hope that will change in the near future.

We highlight all of these naturally occurring allergens in our ingredient glossary on our website.

It has been suggested that such ingredients are linked with neurological problems, but this is only potentially the case if they are present in very large quantities. Pomega5 formulations incorporate drops of essential oils in, and by definition, essential oils should only be used sparingly anyhow.  Most importantly, the use of essential oils has been around for literally thousands of years for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. They are the purest and cleanest option for sustainable beauty.

You can read more about the regulation of allergen labeling in cosmetics HERE.

The Story of Cosmetics

July 22nd, 2010

Brought to you by the Story of Stuff team and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “The Story of Cosmetics” is a short film revealing the implications for consumers, worker health, and the environment, and outlines ways we can shift the industry paradigm away from hazardous chemicals. Click on the picture below to watch!

A Response to our Customers’ Concerns

July 11th, 2010

We would like to thank Feelgood Style for writing a review of our Lemongrass Clarifying Cleansing Bar. She brings up a point of concern echoed by other consumers in the past – that our products tend to be on the pricey side. We think this is a great opportunity to begin a dialogue with all of you about our products, why they are priced the way they are, and field any additional comments on the topic.

First, we would like to address the misconception that our cleansing bars are soaps. As many of our customers will testify, they go beyond just cleaning the skin of bacteria and are actually facial cleansers containing active ingredients that offer cosmetic benefits – clarifying, balancing and hydrating the skin in a way that a basic soap cannot. Bar soap contains bulk flakes and fillers that often strip the skin of its natural oils and can cause breakouts and premature aging. Our cleansing bars are specially formulated to be used on the face and cleanse skin without damaging it.

Our cleansing bars (and all of our products) contain only premium quality biodynamic and organic ingredients that are extremely precious, and as such, expensive and often difficult to source. The pomegranate seed oil in our products was selected following a test of over 14 different varieties of pomegranate seed oil, which revealed that ours is purest and the most potent. It happens to come from the Mediterranean. (We cannot even begin to tell you how horrified we were to discover what we found in some of the varieties from other parts of the world, including the US!) In addition, our bars are made and cut by hand in an artisanal fashion using fair trade labor, which is time consuming and once again, costly.

Finally, our cleansing bars last for a LONG time – many of our customers say that they have them around for 2 to 3 months!

Take a glance at other natural brands’ facial cleansers, and you will find that price points hover in the $15-$25 range, and sometimes far above. Our bars really are the equivalent of a liquid facial cleanser and given the quality of the ingredients, efficacy, and knowledge that what you are using was obtained in a manner that is both sustainable and respectful to the planet and its inhabitants – we believe it’s a pretty good deal.

That being said, we truly wish that we could lower the price of all of our products and make them available to any and everyone. However, our operations at this time are still small scale, and we need to be able to stay in business! We are consistently looking for ways to lower our prices and hope to do so in the future. In the meantime, we appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to continuing to provide you with the highest quality biodynamic products out there!

DETOX BASICS: The Right Way to Do a Cleanse

June 15th, 2010

As the seasons change and the warm summer sun descends upon us, many of us feel the urge to detoxify our bodies.  Perhaps the motive is to lose some weight, eliminate the remnants of a party, or relieve a head cold. One great way to detoxify the body is by doing a cleanse. Lately, we have hearing from a lot of women about the Master Cleanse – a drink combination of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper – that can last up to 10 days and isn’t a very fun process.

While she’s a big proponent of regular cleanses, Tzeira, who has been practicing healing through food for many decades, explains that this is not the right way to detoxify the body. “It is important to not just drink during a cleanse, but also to eat solid foods. If you don’t chew your food, you are more likely to retain fluid and hold in waste, as opposed to excreting it”

What’s more, sugary glucose (found in the maple syrup) does not belong in a cleanse. A good cleanse should keep glucose levels low because insulin levels are sensitive to change during a time of detox. It’s better to have an apple in your salad for a bit of sweetness than to bring simple sugars into the system.

The Basics:

An effective cleanse should only take 2-3 days to rid the body of toxins and brighten up your mood (and complexion) once more. You can detox easily and effectively while you continue to eat as long as you are cutting out substances that interfere with the detoxification process. You can eat as much as you like, it’s just what you put in your body that’s important.

  1. No meat, fish, chicken or animal protein of any sort
  2. No dairy
  3. No alcohol or caffeine
  4. No soy products
  5. Little to no grains
  6. Drink A LOT of water – always keep hydrated
  7. Do deep breathing and gentle yoga
  8. The skin gets rid of many toxins so try to sweat a little bit through gentle exercise
  9. Make sure you eat whole organic foods, which have the best chance of containing all the nutrients needed for liver and general detoxification.

Start every morning with a glass of room temperature water with the juice from 1 Meyer lemon.  It’s a great way to prep your digestive system for the day and ensures easy elimination of waste from the body.

Recipe Ideas:

Green Drink – Juice 1 cucumber, 1 bunch of kale or chard (or mixed), half a bunch of parsley, squeeze of lemon, slice of ginger (a strong anti-oxidant), pinch of cayenne pepper (helpful for the liver as a natural disinfectant).

Steamed greens – Steam greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chard, etc. Simply steam until tender. Tzeira recommends drinking the steaming water as well like a broth.  Just like the process of distillation brings out certain properties of a medicinal plant, the distillation of the greens will create a mineral rich broth.

Green Soup – Simmer asparagus (great for cleansing kidneys), chard, ½ onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bunch parsley, 1 medium sized peeled red potato in 1 cup water on low flame for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are fairly tender. Put in blender or food processor. Sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and drink slowly.

Green Salad – Combine a mix of greens (romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, kale, collard greens, mildly steamed asparagus) plus half a tomato, cucumber, and basil. Add half an avocado (if you don’t have a nut allergy) and sliced apple with 5-6 walnuts. Add ½ tsp of olive oil on top.

Once a day, snack on a hard-boiled egg and 5-6 almonds or walnuts.

Sole (pronounced so-lay) – This is a salt-water mixture that neutralizes the alkaline/acidity balance in the body and eliminate impurities and built up toxins.  Simply fill a small bowl ¾ of the way full with lukewarm water. Add in 1-2 tbsp pure Himalayan pink salt and mix with a non-metal spoon. Place in refrigerator and add to drinks, soups, and juices.

Remember to KEEP HYDRATED throughout the day and you will have a successful, painless cleansing detox experience that will radiate through your healthy skin!

Pomega5 is now a member of the Green America Green Business Network™!

June 9th, 2010

We are pleased to announce that after undergoing several months of screening by Green America™ Pomega5 has been added as a member of their Green Business Network™.

Green America™ is a not-for-profit membership organization, originally founded as “Co-op America” in 1982. Its mission is to harness economic power – the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace – to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Their Green Business Network™ is the oldest and largest network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses in America. Members have made commitments to fair treatment of their employees and workers in their supply chain, promoting healthy communities where they do business, preserving the environment, and delivering quality products to their customers.

Pomega5 products and Pomega as a company are true reflections of the Green America mission, with the values of sustainability and integrity extending to all areas of the organization, from ingredient sourcing to education. Below are a few achievements in which we take great pride:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • We’ve received the highest marks (meaning the lowest hazard ratings) from Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database
  • We are currently applying for NaTrue – Europe’s most comprehensive grading system for cosmetic products
  • We rely on fair trade and sustainable sources for product ingredients: for example, our Omega 5 oil is from pomegranates grown in the same Mediterranean region for hundreds of years

Manufacturing & Packaging

  • We develop and manufacture our products in a Certified Green Lab that is overlooked by the French Ministry of Health, operating under the most stringent quality standards
  • Our product packaging is 100% recyclable, even the plastic bottles, which have been certified by the European organic certification, ECOCERT.
  • Our marketing materials are printed using recycled paper stocks and non-VOC inks (though we aim to provide as much information as possible in digital format)
  • Our products are shipped using biodegradable packing peanuts

Education & Community

  • We support and partner with other green and socially-driven organizations, including Friends of the Earth and Teens Turning Green, with whom we co-developed a product line in an effort to educate teens about greener alternatives to conventional beauty products.
  • We are currently developing a complementary curriculum on healthy lifestyle and nutrition – Stay Tuned!

Pomega5 is proud to be a part of the Green Business Network™, joining the ranks of today’s most vibrant and influential social entrepreneurs. Together, we are working to transform and redefine what it means to do business in America.

Ingredient Spotlight: Pomegranate Seed Oil and its Omega 5 Properties

April 19th, 2010

We’re kicking off our Ingredient Spotlight Series with what is by far the most important ingredient in our products: Pomegranate Seed Oil!

While you may have been made aware of the beneficial properties of the juice and pulp of this magnificent fruit, it is the oil from within the seed that contains a powerful antioxidant that is even more potent than the juice or extract.

A little bit of history…

The pomegranate (punica granatum) is native to Persia (modern day Iran), where it has its roots in ancient medical practices. The oil is extracted by cold pressing the seeds of pomegranates in a method similar to extracting olive oil from olives, and because only a very limited amount of oil is available within each seed, pomegranate seed oil is not a cheap commodity.

Ever since Pomega5 founder Tzeira Sofer discovered the ability of pomegranate seed oil to heal her own skin conditions, she has worked closely with scientists and beauty experts to incorporate the precious ingredient into her skin care. Today, there are a number of doctors in the US who prescribe Pomega5 products to patients as alternative therapies for various issues. One such doctor is John Mathias, a world-class neuro-gastroenterologist who operates a clinic in Houston, TX. By giving Pomega5 oil and products to women with severe gastrointestinal disorders and moderate-to-severe endometriosis, he has witnessed with positive results over the years.

Why is pomegranate seed oil so critical for skin?

Pomegranate seed oil is the only known plant-based source of Omega 5 essential fatty acid. While fish oil (an Omega 3) has been widely touted over the last few years – and is even commonly prescribed now as the essential fatty acid that protects the body from a myriad of diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes – it should really only be taken orally due to the fact that it is a large molecule that is not readily absorbed by the skin. Omega 5, on the other hand, is highly compatible with the dermis due to its small molecular size, meaning it is absorbed almost instantaneously and even becomes a delivery system for nutrients to cells.

Pomegranate seed oil is also a potent source of punicic and ellagic acids. In vitro, it demonstrates anticancer activity against prostate cancer cells. The oil also contains phytoestrogens, which are similar to the estrogen that is naturally produced by the human body. Traditionally used to treat both internal and external ailments, including hypertension, gastric inflammation, menopausal symptoms, and skin diseases, pomegranate seed oil is currently being investigated in clinical trials around the world to determine the extent of its healing potential, particularly in cases of various forms of cancer.

The oil also supports and maintains immune, reproductive, circulatory, digestive, metabolic, and skin health. It has the ability to soothe, protect, and moisturize dry, cracked, and irritated skin, as well as to improve skin elasticity and promote cellular rejuvenation.  So, when we say our product contains highly efficacious and potent ingredients that have the ability to transform your skin, we know it to be true!

Please feel free to visit our testimonials page on our website, where you can read and hear people talk about the positive effects of the pomegranate seed oil in our products on their skin.

Pure Ingredients Thanks to Biodynamic Farming

March 1st, 2010

Pomega5 uses only the finest ingredients in our products, derived from biodynamic plants and botanicals from France and the Mediterranean. Do you ever wonder what boidynamic means? Well, you’re not the only one – it can be pretty confusing. Here’s our take on it:

Biodynamic Agriculture and its History

In contrast to conventional practices, the biodynamic method of farming views the farm as a living organism and emphasizes the interrelationship of the soil, animals, and plants in a closed, self-nourishing system – providing nutritionally dense and medicinal crop.

Interest in biodynamic farming began 1924, when a group of European farmers began noticing rapid decline in seed fertility, crop, and animal health. With the help of Dr. Rudolf Steiner (20th century philosopher, architect, and social thinker) the biodynamic agricultural philosophy was born.

Sickness Equals Imbalance

Biodynamic goes beyond organic farming in that it does not allow any sort of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides to be sprayed on the farm. But it also sees sickness as a sign of imbalance – a loss of connection with the system that provides life and health. The more the farm is treated with chemicals, the more it becomes an environment for side effects or new diseases. Nature creates viruses whose duty it is to destroy plants that are lacking life forces and recycle them back into the system.

Healthy Soil is Vital

Traditional farming depletes soil of the vital nutrients that support healthy plant-life. The biodynamic method focuses on the maintenance of soil life to protect it from erosion and preserve it for generations. The application of organic manure and compost, proper crop rotations, cover crop, and crop diversification all aid in feeding the soil with the proper nutrients and bacteria to promote balance.

There are specific biodynamic compost preparations made of medicinal herbs that have undergone long processes of fermentation in order to enrich them in growth-stimulating substances, reacting like yeast in dough within the soil.

Biodynamic farming also follows a planting calendar that takes astronomical influences into consideration (including moon phases and seasonality) that is most appropriate for planting, cultivating, and harvest various types of crops.

To find out more information about biodynamic agriculture, check these out!

Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association

The Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics

Benziger Winery

Ceago Vinegarden

Marian Farms

Become our fan on facebook

Follow us on Twitter!

Meet the Founder!

February 12th, 2010

Meet TzeirTzeira Sofera Sofer: nutritionist, designer, entrepreneur, and – oh yes – mother of three. She may be a visionary founder, but upon moving to California seven years ago, Tzeira never dreamed she would develop – much less be running – her own cosmeceutical business. Traditionally a practitioner in nutrition and women’s wellness, she spent her days counseling others about their diets, allergies and ailments. Although this continues to be her true passion, she asserts that Pomega5 is not far removed from her ultimate dream of one day building a wellness center for women. In between formulating new products and orchestrating multiple business meetings, Tzeira still finds time to indulge her love for fashion design (like many innovators, she has a highly eccentric taste), cooking and outings with her husband, children and faithful pup, Lizzie.

Read more about Tzeira in her 2007 interview with Marin Magazine.