Natural skin care has come a long way. Once notable mainly for its cult status, natural has since slipped out of the closet and straight into the limelight.
But long before ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘green’ became part of everyday parlance, Dr Jurgen Klein and his wife Ulrike were already plant and environment purists in their German homeland. They soon became pioneers in their field and, eventually, founders of premier natural skin care range Jurlique.
Science and Nature
Jurgen Klein a biochemist and naturopath, and Ulrike a horticulturalist and botanist, were well qualified to develop their passionate, science based approach to natural remedies. They began marketing their first range of products in the early 1970s, long before aromatherapy and natural medicine were fashionable.
However, disillusionment with life in Europe started to set in. They felt stifled by bureaucratic red tape and overwhelmed by pollution. Afterall, the quality and purity of Nature’s primary elements - earth, water, air and sunshine - were fundamental to their personal health and wellbeing and to the development of a what was to become known as the ‘purest skin care on earth’. Then, spurred on by the legacy of the Chernobyl disaster, they emigrated from Germany in search of the perfect place to fulfil their dream.
The dream was to develop a total skin and health care system designed to improve the health and radiance of both body and skin; a herbal beauty therapy that would awaken the mind/body connection, combining aromatherapy principles and homoeopathic formulae with ingredients of natural purity. All this using state-of-the-art 21st century technology and research.
The Kleins knew there was a gap in the world market for skin care products that could claim, with complete honesty, to be 100% natural and pure. They also knew they were capable of producing such products.
After a worldwide search for “the cleanest, most unpolluted environment to grow herbs and flowers, and a place to pursue the ancient practices of alchemy, herbal medicine and homoeopathy, using modern technology” the couple settled on Mount Barker, nestling in the pristine hills surrounding Adelaide, South Australia in 1983.
They soon established an organic and biodynamic herb farm and, in 1985, Jurlique International was born. Gradually a network of Jurlique retail outlets and, eventually, Wellness Spas followed. As demand increased both at home and abroad, a second herb farm was established.
Both farms are accredited by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia Ltd., and under the direction of Ulrike, they produce 95% of the herbs needed by the company. Cultivation is highly labour intensive and involves tending everything lovingly by hand, in tune with the natural rhythms of the earth and moon.
In this idyllic, pollution free environment, herbs and flowers such as lavender, calendula, rose, chamomile, violet, daisy, and eyebright flourish under the strong South Australian sun. They gain strength and power naturally, without any input from chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. Even the bees play they part by producing the organic honey included in many of the products.
Once harvested and dried, herbs are then processed using the unique Bio Intrinsic? extraction method. Based on a method favoured by ancient alchemists, this separates, purifies and then re-unites the herbal substances. The process actually strengthens the ingredients, making them more potent than their original form, whilst protecting and preserving their naturallife force.
Dr. Klein explains the life force as “the presence of real biochemical properties - active enzymes, potent nutrients etc., which actually have life.” Warming to his theme, he points to the difference in vitality between a salad made from fresh picked edible plants, and a can of overcooked vegetables. “This live activity is one of the major benefits of Jurlique products; one which enables them to produce noticeable results.”
During the last few decades science has begun to appreciate the importance of plant chemicals to human health. Most of us are now familiar with the word ‘antioxidants’, substances which provide protection against cell damage and help slow the appearance of ageing lines and wrinkles. Plants produce such ‘phyto’ chemicals to protect themselves against damage, just as they produce others to defend against different enemies or to help them survive in difficult conditions.
Dr. Klein’s holistic expertise ensured that even the earliest Jurlique products were rich in Nature’s antioxidants. In fact Jurlique is believed to have been the first skin care company ever to include OPCs (Oligo-proanthocyanadins) from grape seeds, turmeric and green tea, in its products. Now, thanks to scientific recognition of their outstanding value, most leading skin care companies have started to follow suit.
Jurlique’s flagship Herbal Recovery Gel, a worldwide best seller and favourite of many celebrities including Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer, is one of the most famous in its range. As a powerful anti ageing moisturiser, it is rich in extracts from grape seeds, green tea and turmeric as well vitamins C and E. But, like other products in the range it also contains an array of caring and rejuvenating extracts from a rose, chamomile, calendula, licorice, black elder, daisy, viola, marshmallow, quince and pure oils from roses, rosehips, evening primrose, carrot, macadamia nut and jojoba.
“Using natural skin care is as logical as eating good, natural food, which most of us do without a second thought.” explains Dr. Klein “Skin care products are essentially food and nourishment for the skin, so why not treat the skin, our largest organ, with the same care as we do the inside of our bodies? ”
Over the years Jurlique has moved rapidly from its ‘cult’ beginning into the mainstream market. Sold through its own dedicated Concept Stores and Wellness Spas and via other selected outlets, the range is available in more than 20 countries. Yearly retail sales now gross approximately A$80 million (£26.5 million approx) worldwide. In fact Jurlique sales grew more than 10 times (1,000%) between 1992 and 1996 and a further 1000% between 1996 and 2001.
Jurlique in the UK
Jurlique became available in the UK during 1996 when the Naturopathic Health & Beauty Company Ltd., was appointed as the company’s sole UK distributor. NHBC Ltd., is owned by Nick and Sue Pierce, a couple whose holistic philosophy is similar in many respects to that of the Kleins. Nick and Sue have extensive experience in marketing natural health and beauty products, but their personal dedication and commitment to holistic care was spurred on by Sue’s own serious illness. Orthodox medicine could only offer her the prospect of life in a wheelchair, but treatment by a skilled complementary practitioner soon had her on the road to recovery.
As Jurlique sales in the UK began to take off, the couple’s dedication to natural health encouraged them to set up the Apotheke 20-20 Health & Wellness Centre in Chiswick, W4 in November 1998. This small, but highly successful, centre of excellence for complementary health, also became the first outlet in the UK to offer holistic skin care treatments using Jurlique.
UKs first Jurlique Day Spa and Sanctuary
“Suddenly product sales rocketed and we realised treatments were one of Jurlique’s most effective marketing tools” enthuses MD Nick… “when coupled with the success of Apotheke 20-20, expansion soon became imperative.”
In November 2000, they opened their own spacious Jurlique Day Spa and Sanctuary. A real ‘oasis of calm and tranquillity’, the Day Spa reflects Jurlique’s very holistic philosophy. Particularly peaceful despite its busy high street location, the atmosphere is geared to offering the kind of very special personal attention, exceptional holistic skin care and TLC which clients adore. Add in the skill of the Jurlique trained therapists, the special treatment techniques and the fragrant natural, skin caring products, and its not hard to see why both male and female clients regularly come back for more!
Frequently featured in both consumer and national press and especially in beauty editors’ top day spa choices, Apotheke’s Jurlique Day Spa & Sanctuary also provides an excellent pr and sales tool for Jurlique as a whole, whilst creating an ever increasing number of loyal customers in the UK. In addition it has become the perfect, prestigious location for training would-be Jurlique therapists and sales personnel in this country.
Jurlique sales in the UK have gone from strength to strength. NHBCs Managing Director, Sue Pierce explains “The last few years have seen increasing public interest in all things natural and its become fashionable to choose chemical free skin care, but I think Jurlique’s success can be attributed to much more than merely the latest trend. Whilst sales are obviously helped by press coverage of the range and its celebrity fans, at the end of the day, customers will only continue to buy those products they enjoy using and which really enhance their skin. “
“Another factor is our exclusivity. Jurlique is a top quality natural brand, and we limit availability to stockists, spas and salons who are able to fully reflect this positioning. We feel this exclusivity benefits the individual stockist, and further increases Jurlique’s attraction as one of the most sought after ranges.”
“But the mutually beneficial relationship between Jurlique and its stockists, spas and salons doesnt end there. We’ve found that Jurlique treatments definitely help convert customers to the range. Once converted, customers almost always remain loyal and this in turn contributes to repeat sales of both products and treatments - not just to the customer concerned, but to her friends and relations too!”