A price conscious line of organic skin, hair and makeup from Germany called Lavera is launching in CVS in California before going nationwide. While it is great that green cosmetics are making it to the drugstore, I thought it would be worthwhile comparing the price/quality equation of Lavera with another keenly priced organic brand, Nurture My Body. So here is a tale of two eye creams: Lavera Basis Organic Wild Rose Eye Gel for Dry & Mature Skin ($38 and currently on sale at CVS for $31.99) and Nurture My Body Organic Eye Cream ($24.99).

The surprising thing about Lavera is that many of its products, including the eye cream, contain organic grain alcohol in large concentrations. It goes to show that just because something is organic doesn't necessarily make it a good thing. Organic or not, this is ethyl alcohol, an ingredient many people try to avoid because it can be irritating and drying. Apart from that, there are only two other ingredients of concern: linalool and tricaprylyn, linked to cancer in tests on rats.

By contrast, Nurture Your Body's eye cream has a virtually flawless all-organic formula. The Environmental Working Group gives this product a rating of 0, which, to the uninitiated, is a perfect score (and very difficult to achieve). Reviewed by Copley when she was doing her finals, this eye cream feigns a good night's sleep. Like it sounds, eyebright calms irritated eyes and reduces puffiness due to its natural astringent properties. Lavender and red clover have anti-inflammatory actions, while comfrey root has the ability to stimulate cell proliferation by virtue of muco-polysaccharides. Much more than a means of sunburn relief, aloe vera gel is an increasingly common anti-aging agent for its power to regenerate damaged tissue by speeding up skin cell reproduction. Then there’s seaweed extract, which interacts with human carotene to help improve the skin’s elasticity and hydration.

Once you get passed Lavera's alcohol, it too is packed with plant extracts. Evening primrose’s high level of antioxidants, which counteract the detrimental effects of oxidation in living tissue, make it a worthy inclusion in skin preparations for smoothing roughness, reducing fine lines, and lightening dark circles around the eyes. Notable amongst the botanicals, is hibiscus sabdariffa. I found a study published in India that concluded after testing on rats, that hibiscus is a good antioxidant, as is rosehip and sambucus nigra (elder).

All in all, Lavera is a welcome new kid on the block, but I don't think that more keenly priced Nurture is going to lose too much sleep over the new competition.

Ingredients in Nurture Your Face

Purified Water, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)***, Vegetable Glycerin, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Infusion**, Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender Flowers) Infusion**, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey Root) Infusion**, Trifolium Pratense (Red Clover) Infusion**/****, Avena Sativa (Oatstraw) Infusion**, Carthamnus Tinctorius (High Oleic Safflower) Oil**, Olive Squalane Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed) Oil**, Chondrus Crispus (Seaweed) Extract**, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel**, Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Hydrosol**, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Alexandrian Laurel) Oil**, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil**, Borago Officinalis (Borage Seed) Oil**, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Oil**, Glycine Soja (Soy Lecithin), Matricaria Recutita (German Chamomile) CO2**, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Essential Oil***, Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender) Essential Oil**, Carota Sativa (Carrot Seed) Essential Oil***, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) CO2**, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) CO2**, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Extract

Ingredients in Lavera

Water (Aqua), Tricaprylin, Alcohol (Certified Organic), Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Certified Organic), Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Certified Organic), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (Certified Organic), Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Lysolecithin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract (Certified Organic), Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract (Certified Organic), Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract (Certified Organic), Rosa Damascena Flower Water (Certified Organic), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (Certified Organic), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic), Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic), Euphrasia Officinalis Extract (Certified Organic), Camelia Oleifera Leaf Extract (Certified Organic), Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Certified Organic), Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Xanthan Gum, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (Parfum) (Natural Essential Oil), Citral (Natural Essential Oil), Geraniol (Natural Essential Oil), Citronellol (Natural Essential Oil), Limonene (Natural Essential Oil), Linalool (Natural Essential Oil)