Every parent knows it is important to start the school year with their children feeling confident and healthy. We participate yearly in the "Back to School" shopping rituals — buying pencils, computers, clothing and other supplies, but this year Lavera wanted to promote the idea of sending children to school feeling good about their skin and hair — and most importantly, feeling healthy.

Studies have shown that up to 60% of what you put on your skin (face, body and hair) goes DIRECTLY INTO YOUR BLOODSTREAM in just a matter of seconds. What goes into YOUR bloodstream can accumulate in the body and affect organ function, hormonal activity, etc. It is paramount to know what you are putting on your skin!

When you order lunch, you don't say, "I'd like a side of formaldehyde with that please". If you won't ingest it, why would you want to put chemicals on your skin? Topically applied parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic sunscreen ingredients artificial colors and man-made fragrances can be absorbed and build up to levels that impact the health of your children. They irritate the skin, cause breakouts and many are known or suspected to be carcinogenic.

Toxins accumulate in the body over time with repeated use. In time this "pollution" can manifest itself in our children in the form of apathy, depression, poor grades and concentration problems (link for this?). In the worst cases, they may lead to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (blog link) asthma and even cancer. Parabens, for example, may influence breast cancer and is known to affect the development of fetuses. The growing correlations between our health and the toxins in the food and skin/hair care we use is impossible to ignore.

So why, as parents, would we buy our children the $3.99 chemical lipgloss from the local drugstore and a pop-tart for breakfast? As consumers we know to read the labels. We know to eat organic. We know better than to buy products made with toxins. So what to do?

Start them off right!

We now know the benefits of eating organic foods and using organic cleaning products. Even the slow moving, cost-conscious school systems have taken a leaning toward organic food, natural cleaning products and to introducing less toxins into student environments. The natural extension of this is to replace our children's skin and hair care products with more natural and effective alternatives.

Self-confidence comes from feeling and looking your best. This is an especially powerful force in the lives of teenagers. Acne, eczema, dry and chemically damaged hair contribute to poor self-esteem — which directly correlates with poor grades and social participation in teenagers.

Many of these skin conditions are caused or made worse by undiagnosed reactions to various chemical additives in skin and hair care products. Lavera's founder and owner, Thomas Haase originally developed the Lavera brand to treat his own severe childhood dermatitis. He often had terrible reactions to various pharmaceutical products and synthetic ingredients. These irritations plagued him throughout his school years and inspired him to create a better choice made from natural ingredients for sensitive skin.

Healthy habits, healthy choices

Lavera (which means "the truth") was founded in 1987, and represents a philosophy and commitment to the purest organic ingredients and the absence of synthetic preservatives, additives, petroleum-based ingredients, emulsifiers, colors and fragrances. In order to assure skin tolerance, human volunteers test the products with dermatologist supervision — no animal testing is performed.

Lavera's 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 is 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.