What do Madonna, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Lopez have in common? All of these gorgeous, age-defying beauty icons are devoted fans of German organic skin care brand Dr. Hauschka. The German green beauty pioneer went from a somewhat niche existence— sold mostly in German and Austrian pharmacies—to a global cult brand that is now much more at home in stylish department stores, sold right next to high-end luxury brands such as La Prairie and La Mer.
You would think that the brand would utilize its “star power” and prominently boast about those enthusiastic celebrity endorsements in their advertising. But Dr. Hauschka is truly all sorts of different and consciously that little bit extra, at least when compared to your average beauty brand. You will be hard-pressed to find them resorting to name-dropping or celebrity shout-outs of any kind—not even when Stella McCartney dropped by Dr. Hauschka HQ to check out their famous organic gardens for herself. Because for Dr. Hauschka, sustainability was a thing long before it was, you know, a thing. So, instead of working with celebrity ambassadors, the brand has always preferred to use everyday people in their advertising, stressing their mission to be a universally approachable brand that prefers to focus on steadfastly reliable quality versus fleeting trendiness.
For Dr. Hauschka, sustainability was a thing long before it was, you know, a thing. The brand prefers to focus on steadfastly reliable quality versus fleeting trendiness.
Founded in 1935 by Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, a German chemist, and then promptly shut down by the Nazi Party, the Dr. Hauschka parent company WALA Heilmittel (German for “remedy”) definitely had a rough start, with Hauschka himself being imprisoned by the Gestapo and later placed under police observation. After World War II, Hauschka managed to re-establish WALA and settled in the tiny, rural village of Eckwälden in the southwest of Germany, a good hour’s drive away from the nearest large city, Stuttgart. As someone with family living in that area, I cannot stress enough how very rural and, well, wholesome this particular part of Germany is—all green fields, magical forests, and charming villages scattered throughout.
WALA started out as a pharmaceutical company, producing so-called anthroposophical remedies based on the philosophies of Waldorf School founder Rudolf Steiner. But Hauschka had also long been interested in developing skin care products based on Steiner’s principles. When he met German esthetician Elisabeth Sigmund, who had been fascinated with mixing her own nature-based skin care products for a while, it was a match made in heaven. The two combined their knowledge of cosmetics, medicinal plants, and chemical processes to develop one of the first organic skin care ranges ever, working mostly with self-grown plant extracts and a special natural preservative system that uses the rhythms of nature to give products an astonishingly long shelf life.
The Skin Care Philosophy
The first Dr. Hauschka products were launched in 1967, among them the famous Rose Day Cream, which is still the brand’s number one bestseller today. In 1999, Dr. Hauschka also developed a fully certified organic makeup range, which was used on the set of Erin Brockovich at the expressed wish of its star, Julia Roberts. Many of the ingredients for Dr. Hauschka products are sourced right in front of the company’s doorstep, from their own organic herb and flower gardens.
The holistically minded Dr. Hauschka approach is not based on skin types but skin “states,” stressing the temporary nature of troubles such as oiliness or dryness.
The holistically minded Dr. Hauschka skin care approach is not based on skin types but rather skin conditions or “states,” stressing the temporary nature of skin care troubles such as oiliness or dryness. Elisabeth Sigmund developed the original Dr. Hauschka products with the idea of bringing skin back to its natural, healthy state as a tool to support the skin’s self-healing abilities, rather than aggressively fighting skin concerns such as acne with harsh ingredients.
Another unusual approach to skin care was Sigmund’s steadfastly held belief that skin should “breathe” overnight and left to heal without being weighed down by heavy nighttime moisturizers or serums. Given the current “skip-care” trend, she truly was decades ahead of the curve.
Must-Tries From Dr. Hauschka
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream
An absolute classic, the Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream is apparently one of Madonna’s personal beauty secrets. This is a luxuriously rich moisturizer especially great for dry and mature skin. The milky, non-sticky cream smells delicious, like fresh-cut roses, and makes skin feel like velvet. Normal and combo skin types might prefer the Rose Day Cream Light, which is one of my personal favorites for combo skin in rougher fall and winter weather.
Dr. Hauschka Renewing Night Conditioner
This is such a unique product, I don’t think anything like this exists from any other beauty brand I know. The Renewing Night Conditioner is a set of ampoules meant to be used as a special nighttime skin treatment. Remember, Dr. Hauschka doesn’t believe in heavy moisturizers for your PM routine, so this water-like elixir is extremely lightweight, reminiscent of Asian first treatment essences. The Renewing Night Conditioner ampoules contain a number of plant-based anti-aging, soothing ingredients such as Madonna lily, rose extracts, and marshmallow, which support the skin’s detoxing and renewing abilities overnight. This is best used during times of change, such as seasonal transitions or hormonal changes, to give skin extra support.
Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick
Rumor has it that this is another celebrity fave, which doesn’t surprise me one bit as a longtime fan. The Lip Care Stick is a richly smoothing, buttery lip balm that uses natural oils and butters to heal even the most flaky, dried-out lips. Castor oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax nourish deeply and without that strange “sealed off” feeling mineral oil-based lip products sometimes create. The Lip Care Stick remains one of the best lip products I know, rich without being sticky, great both overnight as well as for touch-ups during the day.