An exclusive interview for CPP-LUXURY.COM with Michael Schummert, CEO BABOR Cosmetics
How did you come up with the idea of setting up your own cosmetics business? What were your goals when you established your company?
Dr. Michael Babor was an innovative researcher who was the first to use hydrophilic oils in cosmetic skin care products. He revolutionized the cosmetic business by using the natural cleansing properties of oil and water, which were unknown until that date. The so called HY-OIL became a huge success. Dr. Michael Babor was convinced of the medical effectiveness of natural active ingredients. To continue his research he founded the company in 1956. Since then BABOR Cosmetics is dedicated to his philosophy and is still refining his ideas today.
Since your start up days, how has your business plan changed? What is the profile of your most loyal consumer?
To invent highly effective cosmetic products on the basis of natural active ingredients was one of the self-proclaimed goals of Dr. Michael Babor. Still today BABOR Cosmetics understands beauty as an integral concept: skin care, well-being and beauty melt together. BABOR customer’s are looking for precise beauty formulations, effective yet pampering treatments and expect the best quality in professional beauty expertise.
Your product line baborganic focuses on beauty products based on natural ingredients. How is your line different from other organic beauty products available on the international market?
baborganic is designed for LOHAS, who do not wish to resign luxury, but also want to live in harmony with nature. Accordingly, environmental awareness and luxury can go hand in hand and are no longer mutually exclusive. Baborganic is a glamorous Alpine skincare line. You will find “white” ingredients – ingredients that are especially pure and free from contamination – growing in this massive mountain region. Of course baborganic benefits from BABOR’s decades of expertise in developing highly effective skincare products.
What is your view on the fact that many experts claim pure organic products are not as efficient as the cosmetology ones? Most frequently mentioned are: sun protection, deodorants, hair loss etc
Today beauty products either have to be green and sustainable products or performance products with instantly visible effects. I am convinced that in the near future they have to be both at the same time. We have just extended the baborganic line with an effective anti-aging cream a few months ago. Anti-aging and natural skincare have been on opposite sides of skincare ranges for the longest time. Now they are becoming natural allies.
What are the main organic ingredients you are using in your products and where do you source them?
The unique baborganic active ingredient complex consists of glacial meltwater, Edelweiss, Cardamine pratensis and Oxygen Energy. Glacial meltwater from Mount Cervin in Switzerland gives you vitality; using melted water, we leave the glacier intact. Fossil water gives you intensive moisturisation, and has high concentrations of minerals and trace elements. Edelweiss calms the skin, while preventing degradation in the skin’s elastic tissues and protecting the skin against the effects of free radicals. BABOR Cosmetics only uses edelweiss from the Wallis region in Switzerland, where the ingredient is grown under biological conditions. Cardamine pratensis oil – also cultivated under biological conditions – improves skin thickness and surface structure, repairs the lipid film on the skin, and provides intensive moisturisation. Oxygen Energy extracted from white lentils promotes cell reproduction and tissue regeneration.
How would you define the luxury SPA concept of the future? Which luxury SPA are you present internationally? , including future openings
SPAing is becoming more and more part of our everyday life as a means of health prevention. I am convinced that Medical Tourism and Medical Spas will be the center of the spa business. Soon medi spa centers will become an important topic in tourism as they will combine medical spa and destination spa aspects. Why not combine your medical treatment with your holiday in one of the most beautiful spots on earth? BABOR is already partner of many plastic surgery clinics and works with “Healing Hotels of the World” for example. You can find BABOR at the St. Regis Bali, the Plaza Athenee New York, the Hotel Union in Norway, the Al Maha in Dubai, the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons in Florida. And we are just about to open a beautiful Day-Spa in the heart of Vienna.
Which are, in your view, the main purposes of SPA nowadays?
Spa concepts are becoming more and more holistic uniting services by specially trained aestheticians with the professional expertise of dermatologist, plastic surgeons, nutrition experts and personal trainers. Spas are becoming more than a luxurious holiday extra. In big cities you can even see Day-Spas popping up that offer express services, e.g. a short lunch break escape that takes you back to the office rejuvenated.
The importance of internet is undeniable. How do you communicate with your consumers? What are your future plans?
We have established our E-shop in 2004 and since then sales are constantly rising. But as BABOR primarily is the partner of aestheticians and spas those online shops always are linked to a day- or hotel-spa. The customer selects “his” spa, buys online at www.babor.de for example and the spa profits form this. For the customer it is like buying at any E-Shop, but for BABOR this extra click strengthens the partnership with our distribution partners. Right now we are looking into New Media channels including Social Media and Web 2.0.
Anti-aging is one of the most important need of consumers. What is your approach on anti-aging and what are your development plans?
The 50+ generation, the “best agers”, is one of the most important spa target groups. Women want to keep their beauty for longer and men want to retain their vitality. BABOR’s approach is to keep the skin healthy and looking young. To achieve this BABOR offers precise formulations and treatment techniques to suit your specific skin damands.
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