True Stories

Dr Henrike Neuhoff , Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at lavera Naturkosmetik

Photo: Dr Henrike Neuhoff, lavera Naturkosmetik

Dr. Henrike Neuhoff joined the Laverana GmbH & Co KG as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in August 2015 and is responsible for the departments of Research & Development, Quality Assurance, Quality Management, Regulatory Affairs and the Test Centre. She studied Food Science at the University of Hamburg. While attending an additional course on molecular biology, she completed her PhD at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg. After her dissertation, she worked at the Medical Research Council and the Department of Physiology at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom). Dr. Henrike Neuhoff has many years of experience in senior management positions in international companies such as Beiersdorf and Clariant, where she was also responsible for natural cosmetic products and natural raw materials.

The company Laverana and the brand lavera were founded by the managing director Thomas Haase on November 23rd, 1987. The company name Laverana already shows that the brand and company are inextricably connected, as “lavera” stands for “true” and “na” for “natural cosmetics”. In a time when everything revolved around chemicals, Thomas Haase discovered his lifelong dream and dedicated his life to a vision of “organic and natural beauty care for all consumers worldwide”.

NATRUE: How do you think that Laverana contributed to NATRUE’s creation as one of its founding members?
Dr. Henrike Neuhoff: As one of the pioneers and now a leading manufacturer of certified natural cosmetics, it has always been our objective to produce natural cosmetics of a high quality and to clearly distinguish true natural cosmetics from greenwashing and cosmetics inspired by nature. Furthermore, it has been a natural process for us from the outset to use our comprehensive know-how to actively promote NATRUE in the management committee and in all specialist departments within Laverana, and to actively support and shape NATRUE in Brussels.

NATRUE: What is Laverana’s idea of natural and organic cosmetics?
Dr. Henrike Neuhoff: We consider ourselves to be pioneers of development. From the beginning, Thomas Haase, the founder of the brand, had a vision, which was to unlock the secrets of the mechanisms of action, extraction and refinement of the best ingredients from the natural world and to transform them into active substances. We have always believed that true skin and hair care is only found in nature. Laverana develops new and innovative products with the objective to guarantee a greater effectiveness and better sensorial aspects than those offered by conventional cosmetics, while also contributing to reinventing and redefining cosmetics in a sustainable way.

Laverana has a high standard of innovation and we consider ourselves to be trendsetters without disregarding sustainability. The sustainable and careful use of natural resources is crucial to us. Laverana respects nature and is committed to biodiversity and the protection of the environment. Most of our products are vegan and we produce over 300 organic ingredients and more than 300 natural active substances ourselves.

NATRUE: How is Laverana adapting to the new trends and consumer demands in the natural and organic cosmetics sector?
Dr. Henrike Neuhoff: Anti-pollution, climate change, sustainability, biodiversity and animal welfare are topics that are now more important than ever to people, and they are also important reasons that explain why consumers are increasingly choosing natural cosmetics. More and more consumers are consciously searching for products that contain natural ingredients, but they also demand highly effective formulations with modern sensory benefits and sustainable packaging. Consumers also expect from certified natural cosmetics the same product variety and product benefits as those of conventional cosmetics.

This demand is completely in line with the Laverana philosophy. This degree of product innovation is reflected in lavera’s modern product range. For instance, Laverana was the first natural cosmetics manufacturer to develop a natural sunscreen and the first mousse make-up, and it has launched the first certified natural cosmetic sleeping cream on the market. Our new range ‘Beauty Protection’ offers consumers modern anti-pollution skin care products. As a result of this innovation in the development of products, lavera belongs to one of the globally leading pioneering brands and has received the exclusive award Brand of the Century for the product category “Natural Cosmetics”.

NATRUE: How do you perceive the role of NATRUE in the natural and organic cosmetic sector?
Dr. Henrike Neuhoff: NATRUE is one of the strictest standards in the world. The label has established itself on the market and has achieved a market share in terms of sales of more than 80% in Germany. The market and manufacturers for Germany, Austria and Switzerland acknowledge that the NATRUE label is a benchmark for natural and organic cosmetic products, as well as for the certification of raw materials for cosmetic use.

As a result of the dynamic development of the cosmetics market, natural cosmetics are becoming increasingly attractive to large cosmetic corporations. This is why it will become increasingly important to promote the NATRUE label internationally in order to ensure that consumers are provided with a clear and consistent standard that helps them identify truly natural and organic cosmetics.

NATRUE: What would you say to brands that want to join NATRUE? And to consumers that look for truly natural and organic cosmetic products?
Dr. Henrike Neuhoff: The NATRUE Label is an asset to any brand as NATRUE stands for genuine natural cosmetics. The NATRUE Label is the premium natural cosmetics label, so being part of the international NATRUE community is a bonus for all brands and companies active in the cosmetics sector. Furthermore, NATRUE provides information and updates to its members about the latest regulatory developments in the cosmetics sector and offers them assistance in relation to regulatory and scientific questions.

For consumers, the NATRUE seal represents an important point of orientation. A consumer who sees the NATRUE logo on a product will know that they are buying truly natural cosmetics that they can trust.

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