Dr. Hauschka: A blend of tradition and modernity
Photo: Prof. Dr. Florian Stintzing and Annette Greco working in WALA Heilmittel’s lab in Bad Boll, Germany.
Prof. Dr Florian Stintzing, Head of Science at WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Prof. Dr Florian Stintzing studied food technology at Hohenheim University, where he teaches as an adjunct professor since 2010. He has been working at WALA Heilmittel GmbH since 2007. In 2012 he became Head of Science.
Annette Greco, Head of Galenic Formulation at WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Annette Greco studied pharmacy at the Free University of Berlin. She is Head of Galenic Formulation at WALA Heilmittel GmbH, which she joined in 2005.
Dr. Hauschka is a natural cosmetics brand of foundation-owned WALA Heilmittel GmbH, which has manufactured 100% natural cosmetics for more than 50 years. “We naturally felt like rebels when we developed these unconventional cosmetics”, commented Elisabeth Sigmund, one of the co-founders, speaking about the early days of Dr. Hauschka in 1967. Natural cosmetics are not a passing trend for Dr. Hauschka; they constitute a firm tradition that has existed for decades. Today, Dr. Hauschka products are exported to 50 countries worldwide.
NATRUE: How does NATRUE help to promote authentic natural and organic cosmetics?
Annette Greco: As pioneers of natural cosmetics, we have a number of far-reaching concerns, ranging from the use of raw materials through to social aspects. As a member and co-founder of NATRUE, we can also make a difference with many partners beyond our products. Not only on the cosmetic level, but also in agriculture, where we promote organic farming. Together we set standards that we are continually refining.
Florian Stintzing: The socio-political side of things is a very important aspect. As is independent certification at NATRUE: the NATRUE standard is constantly being further developed and monitored by external bodies, thus ensuring financial independence between specification and certification.
NATRUE: How do you think WALA has contributed to the formation of NATRUE?
Florian Stintzing: We wanted to create a reliable natural cosmetic standard. One to be acquired by companies that have learnt about natural cosmetics from the bottom up. As different as the founding companies may be, they all have natural cosmetics in their DNA. This standard is not unalterable; it is dynamic and changing constantly. This is because we are always looking to see what is possible thanks to technological progress at any given time — innovations that all of us knew nothing about a couple of years ago. We want to play our part in this development. The further development of the standard is organised in such a way that experts from companies and associations that do not belong to the founding companies and do not necessarily carry natural cosmetics in their product range also participate. In this way, the standard retains its liveliness, as we are constantly dealing with it anew.
Annette Greco: Alongside our common ground — a reliable standard for natural cosmetics — it was a matter of preserving our individuality. We have created a framework in which the NATRUE members and label users evolve independently, where they can continue to develop their individual companies and brand identities.
NATRUE: What are the values of WALA as one of the most experienced companies in the natural and organic cosmetics sector?
Florian Stintzing: When new ideas and tradition come together, something new can be created. The power for the preparations arises from these polarities. The story behind WALA began in 1935 when the company founder, Rudolf Hauschka, started producing natural medicines using medicinal plants and pharmaceutical knowledge. We used our expertise as medicine manufacturers to bring Dr. Hauschka Skin Care onto the market in 1967. At a time when the concept of “natural cosmetics” didn’t exist, we were already making them because to us it was clear that they were necessary both for humankind and for nature. And because back then, just like today, we relied on two things: our traditional roots and our openness to new ideas.
Annette Greco: The development of each product in the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range starts in the fields. Our products are infused with the lively diversity that we find there. Diversity is vitality and this way of thinking is our rationale right through to our recipes. A new recipe is developed specifically for each preparation — each ingredient plays its part and not a single one is interchangeable. This results in diversity and individuality at the same time — just like in real life. For each product, I really appreciate having the freedom to be able to look again and see what people really need and what potential I can find in nature to meet those needs.
NATRUE: How does Dr. Hauschka adjust to trends and new challenges in natural and organic cosmetics?
Annette Greco: Trends are always short-lived. Many of our most popular products are classics and have been in the range since Dr. Hauschka Skin Care was founded, such as our Facial Toner, Rose Day Cream and Cleansing Cream. For over 50 years, people all over the world have been touched and enthused by them. Our products seem to have an impact on people, regardless of the era or their nationality.
Florian Stintzing: But we also keep an eye on how society and people’s needs are changing. For example, at the time of market launch, there were no night care products from Dr. Hauschka. However, we have noticed that, due to the strong stimulus load in the world, everyday life increasingly exhausts people. Therefore, we have developed our Night Serum, which supports the skin’s nightly renewal processes.
NATRUE: What is Dr. Hauschka’s product development approach?
Annette Greco: First we look at people and their needs: what does a person who tends to have excessively dry or blemished skin need? We want to stimulate processes that help the skin to restore its own individual balance. In order to do this, we find inspiration in the natural world: in plants, as well as in minerals, and in the animal kingdom.
Florian Stintzing: Each Dr. Hauschka product has a tailored recipe aimed specifically at individual requirements. This is why, whenever possible, we take the manufacturing process, the product’s biography, into our own hands — from cultivation to development to production. We also insist on variety in our manufacturing processes: monotonous processes that are always the same become mind-numbing, and so we focus on different processes that vary slightly from time to time. In this way, the products are given our full attention at every stage of the manufacturing process.
NATRUE: What is your favourite medicinal plant among the ones used in the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range?
Annette Greco: For me, Anthyllis is a signature plant. We’ve been using it in Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products since the very beginning. It has qualities that can serve as a role model for the skin. What’s more, it has charisma and is fully of vitality. You couldn’t ask for anything better for your skin.
Florian Stintzing: Anthyllis is one of the key plants used in the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range and is found in numerous facial care preparations and decorative cosmetics. Scientific analysis in the laboratory has confirmed the natural actions of the plant: in the case of Anthyllis, its outer appearance and inner qualities work in perfect harmony. Typical of Anthyllis are its saponins which promote cell growth and thus skin renewal. It also contains antioxidant flavonoids that protect against UV radiation and premature skin ageing.
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