We all know the benefits of eating organic foods and using organic cleaning products in the home—fewer toxins, environmental responsibility, saving natural resources and more. The same is true for your skincare and makeup. Organic beauty products effectively work in harmony with your skin's natural functions to make you look and feel your absolute best. And they work! Consumers in Europe have bought into organics–Lavera holds 1/5th of all natural skincare sales in Europe—and they are certainly increasing in popularity here in the U.S. as consumers are learning that what you put on your body can be just as harmful as what you put in your body.

Why is it so important to choose natural and organic products that are free of toxins? Well, for starters, your body absorbs up to 60 percent of what is applied to the skin into the bloodstream — which includes those not-so-good for you, unpronounceable ingredients that could be doing your body harm. By going organic, you avoid absorbing ingredients linked to allergies, hormonal changes, cancer and other conditions and diseases.

Since natural and organic products contain a higher concentration of natural actives, they are better able to support the skin's natural processes of cell renewal, hydration, oxygenation and protection. All Lavera products are made from 100 percent natural ingredients and follow the strict BDIH standards in Europe. Wherever possible, these ingredients are sourced from certified organic agriculture. In circumstances where a product is not all-organic, it's because certain organic ingredients don't have year-round availability or the ingredient is not ever available from an organic source.

You may be wondering what qualifies a product as organic or natural and what the differences are. Natural products are made from plants, minerals and/or animal derived ingredients rather than from synthetic materials. However, there is no legal definition or regulation of natural ingredients at this time, and many companies claim products to be "natural" — even if they aren't. However, you can be certain that products labeled with the BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetic stamp, such as those found on Lavera products, are made without synthetic compounds such as parabens, petrochemical derived compounds, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or raw materials from dead animals.

Organic cosmetics, on the other hand, is governed differently. If a product bears an official "certified organic" stamp, you can be confident that the majority of its ingredients (at least 95%) have been grown and processed according to strict, government-controlled, organic agricultural standards, and then verified by a third-party certifying body. Organic agricultural standards do not allow for any use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, sewage sludge or GMO's. However, "certified organic" products do allow up to 5% of "other" ingredients.

When shopping for skincare and makeup products, read the labels! Remember that not everyone is completely truthful when stating their products are "natural". Even ingredient labelling rules allow ingredients to be omitted. It's important to look for products that actually bear certification labels from known certification bodies such as BDIH or USDA. Without those labels and the rigorous standards they stand for, "organic" or "natural" has little meaning.

For more information about this topic, visit our Education section on the Web site. Thanks for reading, and remember that you can always contact Lavera with any skincare or makeup ingredient questions.