Leigh Crymble
2 minute read
17 Jul 2014
1:00 pm

The Lo Down: Gems from Germany

Leigh Crymble

With Germany taking the 2014 FIFA World Cup title in the final on Sunday, I’ve decided to pay homage to the tournament champions with a look at some of South Africa’s best-loved beauty brands which originate from Deutschland.

Photo: Essence Cosmetics


This high-end hair range has humble roots dating as far back as 1898 when Hans Schwarzkopf, a chemist in Berlin, opened a small drugstore. At first, the focus was on perfume but this soon changed to hair care because of Schwarzkopf’s frustration with the expensive oils and harsh soaps being used at the time to wash hair. He created ‘powder shampoo’ that dissolved in water which was easy-to-use and cost effective, and later, the first ever liquid shampoo. Fast forward 111 years and the brand is now synonymous with quality salon products in hair colour, treatment, and styling.



A now global skincare brand, Nivea was born in 1882 through pharmacist Carl Paul Beiersdorf who soon after founded the company, Beiersdorf. During the 1930s, Beiersdorf started to produce products including creams, tanning lotions, shampoos, and toners as part of the Nivea range which was later seized during the Second World War. The confiscated trademark ‘Nivea’ was bought back in the early 1980s and the brand quickly spread in popularity around the world.



Founded in 1880 in Darmstadt, Germany, Wella is one of the world’s largest suppliers of haircare products and can be found in 150 countries. The Wella story began in the 19th century when hairdresser Franz Stroher started a company making tulles, a lightweight netting used to make wigs. Moving into the haircare product space 30 years later, Wella produced the first ever balm to nourish and protect the hair but production was halted due to the start of the Second World War. Post-1945, the brand expanded to include hair colourants which were sold exclusively to hairdressing salons. Finally, in 1972, Wella entered the individual retail market and has been popular ever since.


Essence Cosmetics
Launched in 2002, Essence is a proudly modern German brand that expanded almost immediately into global markets. From nail polishes and mascaras to bronzers and eye shadows, the Essence range caters for all makeup needs and is an affordable, animal-friendly beauty brand.

Leigh is a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Follow her on twitter @Le1ghLo or on her blog