German Christmas gifts: Weleda cosmetics
Know a certain lady (or gent) who would enjoy a bit of pampering? You could treat her (or him) to something from the range of Weleda, one of Germany’s premiere cosmetics companies. The firm produces a range of natural and organic cosmetics and pharmaceuticals designed to accompany one from the cradle (baby diaper cream) to those happy golden years (primrose willow cream). Ages in between can enjoy its luxurious lotions, shampoos, deodorants, lip balms, after-shave balsams and other personal care items.
Weleda began operations in 1921 as a pharmaceutical lab with its own plant garden. One of its founders, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, collaborated with one of the first women physicians in Europe, Dr. Ita Wegman, to create products specially designed to connect the body with its own natural rhythms.
The original company ethos remains in place today. Weleda prides itself on its use of natural ingredients with properties that work in harmony with the body’s own healing mechanisms. The therapeutic qualities of specific plants are chosen to support specific skin types. The products are free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic preservatives and fragrances, and they aren’t tested on animals.
Weleda Skin Food, first launched in 1926, enjoys cult status even today, and many make-up artists swear by the stuff. This elixir of beeswax, chamomile extract, pansy and calendula is said to restore radiance to dry and dull skin. With any luck, it will also elicit a big smile on the receiver’s face. Coming in at 7.35 euros for a 75 ml tube at DM, it’s a little splurge with big possibilities. As this very same cream would cost you about $19 at its suggested retail value in the U.S., you’ll come out of the deal looking very generous.
Travel tip: The “Weleda Erlebniszentrum” or Weleda Experience Center is based in a garden in which over 260 types of plants are cultivated. Here, visitors can learn about the firm’s philosophy and the healing properties of plants in a relaxed environment. The center is only accessible to those who have booked guided tours of the premises. The center is located in Schwäbisch Gmünd.