Love pomegranates so much you want to wear them on you skin? Pomega5
lets you do just that -- with a beauty product line infused with pomegranate seed oil.
If you spend any time online, you've likely come upon a bunch of web ads for this greener beauty company's product lately. Those ads, some of which claim organic and biodynamic creds, piqued my curiosity -- enough so that I checked how Pomega5 products scored on Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database
. Lo and behold -- all Pomega5 products scored in the safe 1-2 range! So when Pomega5 offered samples, I had to give them a try.
Pomega5's claim to fame is its use of pomegranate seed oil -- which contains a fatty acid called omega 5, a.k.a. Punicic acid. Is this omega 5 the skin rejuvenating antioxidant ingredient that Pomega5 claims it to be? Well, Samuel S. Epstein writes in "Healthy Beauty
" that natural botanicals -- including those from pomegranates -- have been found to be safe and effective for their anti-aging properties. And Pomega5 products certainly contain not just pomegranate seed extract, but also other natural botanicals ranging from green tea to bilberry fruit.
What I like most about the Pomega5 line? The Green Tea Balancing Cleansing Bar
. This olive oil-based soap's infused with pomegranate seed oil and green tea leaf extract among other botanicals. Using it left my face feeling spiffy clean without drying the skin. Best of all, this 4.2-ounce bar's going to last me a long, long time -- a feature I love about facial bars -- making the $22 price tag well worth the plunge.
Post-cleanse, I smoothed on the Daily Revitalizing Concentrate
($48 for 30 ampules) -- an oil serum that comes in ampule form. These ampules are Pomega5's signature product, with 60 percent of each dollop made with pomegranate seed oil. Other essential oils make up the remaining 40 percent, making for a super rich serum. The oiliness was a bit much for me, so I ended up using just half an ampule each time, preceded with a toner spritz to help the serum absorb without greasiness. And after the serum, I moisturized with the Bois de Rose Velvet Hydrating Cream
($75 for 1.7 fl. oz), a light lotion that absorbed easily -- though would be a bit too light without the serum for my skin.
I also tried the Bulgarian Rose Moisturizing Beauty Bar -- recommended for "mature, dry and sensitive skin" -- which also did a nice cleansing job but was far too rosily fragrant for my sensitive nose. I also didn't notice any additional moisturizing effect compared to the Green Tea bar, so if you're hoping for a really moisturizing cleanser, I would look into other options.
Overall, I like how Pomega5 products work for my skin -- keeping it cleansed, moisturized, and generally calm -- though it's far too early to see if any anti-aging, skin-rejuvenating action's happening for my face.
That said, I find Pomega5's eco-marketing approach a bit deceptive and opaque. Although Pomega5's website boasts about organic and biodynamic ingredients
-- going so far as to say "We source nearly 100% of our ingredients from biodynamic and organically farmed land, with 90% to 98% coming from biodynamic soil" -- none of the products are actually organic certified. According to the company, this is because organic certification costs too much -- yet companies ranging from Aubrey Organics to Intelligent Nutrients proudly put organic certification logos on their certifiable products, and at the very least, specify which products and ingredients are certified organic and which are not -- which Pomega5 doesn't do. In fact, Pomega5 conveniently sidesteps all the controversy about organic labeling for beauty products by not mentioning the word organic on its product packaging at all -- saving all those attractive eco claims for their ads and website.
And Pomega5's claims about its eco-friendly packaging also doesn't quite translate into reality. The website
claims that "All Pomega5 product packaging is 100% recyclable" -- a claim that's a flat out lie. When I asked about how the foil stock-and-plastic combo used to wrap the soaps could be recycled, I was told that they actually could not be recycled. The explanation for the unrecyclable choice? The foil stock apparently keeps the olive oil in the bars from bleeding through the label -- a problem many soap companies seem to have managed to get around without resorting to landfill-bound materials. I'm also not sure how exactly I would recycle Pomega5's spent ampules for the Daily Revitalizing Concentrate -- a one-use packaging choice that seems inherently wasteful.
So I feel a bit torn about Pomega5. On the one hand, the company uses safe and effective natural botanicals to make greener beauty products, shunning all parabens, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances -- and has earned fantastic Skin Deep ratings for that valiant effort. On the other hand, the company makes organic claims that aren't backed up and promises recyclability for packaging that's clearly either impossible or difficult to recycle. Right now, my instinct says I may be better off sticking to more transparent green beauty companies like Tata Harper or Odacite that bring up fewer controversies for me -- though considering how long Pomega5's Green Tea Balancing Cleansing Bar will last me, I have a while to decide.
What beauty product brand do you like?