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Pangea Adding Synthetic Preservatives to Some Products

pangea-body-lotionPangea has long been one of my favorite skincare lines, and it was one of the first we carried in our online store. Recently, we learned that Pangea is intending to change the formula of some of their products. Notably, they are adding a couple of preservatives to some (but not all) of their products. This is too bad for several reasons–not the least of which is that some of the affected products are among our best sellers! However, our primary commitment is always to customer safety, so we are not going to be carrying the products listed below moving forward. Wah.

The good news? Gimme the Good Stuff is sitting on what may be the last of the pre-preservative Pangea stock…so go ahead and get it while it’s still the Good Stuff! Once it’s gone, we will remove it from our online store, although we will continue to carry other Pangea products that are still clean. So, to be clear: if you can still buy it on our site, it does NOT contain the following preservatives:

  • Potassium sorbate is a preservative that has raised concerns due to mild allergic reactions in some users. While potassium sorbate isn’t natural, it is food-grade and generally considered safe by natural health experts. I feel comfortable using and selling products that contain potassium sorbate and consider it to be of low concern.
  • Sodium benzoate is of much greater concern. While also food-grade, sodium benzoate is suspected to cause damage to mitochondrial DNA, and some researchers see a link with cancer, ADD, and other scary stuff. One thing that really freaks me out about sodium benzoate is that when it is combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and potassium benzoate (another preservative), it creates benzene, a well-known carcinogen (think cigarette smoke and car exhaust.). So if you apply other products with these ingredients, you wind up with a decidedly noxious formula on your hands (literally). Research on sodium benzoate is not yet conclusive and long-term studies are needed, but the concerns are real and we cannot in good faith sell products that contain this preservative.

The Bottom Line on Pangea
Pangea has always been a transparent company with a strong commitment to product safety. They have tried to convince us of the innocuousness of sodium benzoate, and I believe they genuinely don’t think it is present in concentrations that may be harmful. Perhaps they are right, but my job is to err on the side of caution. Until our stock runs out, we will carry carry the creams and cleansers that were manufactured prior to the change (I admit to being tempted to keep them for my own use!).

As always, Gimme the Good Stuff’s goal is to give our customers ultimate peace of mind when shopping. The following products are now being manufactured with the above preservatives.


Affected Pangea Products

Eye Cream

  • Turkish Rose & White Tea

We do not have this eye cream in stock.

Facial Cream

  • Italian Red Mandarin with Rose (for dry/sensitive/mature skin)

As of this writing, we have only 5 bottles of this cream without preservatives.

Facial Cleanser

  • Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange (for normal to dry skin)

Right now, we’ve got just 4 bottles of the preservative-free cleanser.

Body Lotions (all of them will now have sodium benzoate, unfortunately)

  • French Chamomile with Sweet Orange & Lavender
  • Indian Lemongrass with Rosemary
  • Pyrenees Lavender with Caramom

As of now, we have 13 body lotions without preservatives in stock.

Note: Some of the above products also now contain gluconolactone, a chemical about which I have not been able to make a definitive call. In any case, won’t be carrying Pangea products that contain gluconolactone.

Stay sane,






4 responses to “Pangea Adding Synthetic Preservatives to Some Products”

  1. Hi there-
    So sorry for the confusion. What I meant is that because Pangea bundles potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, none of the products we carry will have either preservative, even though I believe potassium sorbate to be safe (and if that was the only one they added, I would continue to carry this line). Does that make sense?

  2. Hi, I just wanted to know if you could provide clarification on your stance on potassium sorbate. In this post you say "So, to be clear: if you can still buy it on our site, it does NOT contain the following preservatives: potassium sorbate… sodium benzoate" but in the section under potassium sorbate you say "I feel comfortable using and selling products that contain potassium sorbate and consider it to be of low concern."

    It seems like it is in everything. I just wanted to know if this was a typo?

  3. I know, Aimee! They aren't giving us a good reason, but I imagine sodium benzoate extends shelf life and helps stabilize the scents. I'm glad to have a little stock of the body lotions left, and will be moving on to Acure's once I run out! It's lucky that we constantly recheck labels, because Pangea didn't make an announcement about the change. I was considering carrying a new product of theirs, and was double checking the ingredients when I noticed the new additions. I wrote them to make sure they weren't going to start putting sodium benzoate in their old standbys, and was then given the info on which products would be affected. Bummer, I know.

  4. I am so so bummed about this. We love Pangea products….did the give a reason for changing the product? It's so great as it is!

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