A developer with new ideas
Once the Sigmund’s had established themselves in Sweden, Elisabeth Sigmund finally had the time she needed to work on her skin care products and build up a fixed range. To her, skin care was both a form of therapy and a kind of health care. Each formulation was therefore based on a nurturing plant with ingredients that affect the skin. Her products solely contained natural ingredients. Instead of using isolated active ingredients, Elisabeth Sigmund worked with whole plant parts. She did not develop her products for specific skin types, such as oily or dry skin, but instead assumed that everyone’s skin is able to find its way back to a balanced state using its own strength. She therefore talked about temporary skin conditions that have the potential to change. Her cosmetics were intended to support this change by triggering the skin’s own regenerative powers.
A raw materials importer with high quality standards
It was not so easy to get good quality ingredients such as beeswax, natural plant oils, almonds, natural essential oils, silk or dried plants for the formulations. Elisabeth Sigmund ordered most of these from shops in Germany and Austria where she was sometimes able to purchase organic products. As a result of her interest in Rudolf Steiner, which had taken her in the direction of biodynamic agriculture, this criterion was important to her. She obtained fresh plants, such as moisture-rich liquorice roots, from a Swedish gardener and ordered WALA medicinal ampoules, which she had found out about from her anthroposophic doctor in Stockholm, directly from WALA in Eckwälden.
A cosmetician by calling
Elisabeth Sigmund gave her acquaintances the skin care products she had made to test. When they noticed how well the products worked for them, they offered to pay Elisabeth Sigmund to treat them. Over time, it became too time consuming to visit all of her clients at home. Therefore, in the 1950s, Elisabeth Sigmund opened the Salong för Skönhetsvård (literally meaning ‘beauty salon’) in Stockholm.
A producer with ideas
Elisabeth Sigmund’s first fixed basic range, which she used to provide treatments in her beauty salon, consisted of rose cream following her grandmother’s recipe as well as another face cream, face toner, cleansing cream with ground almonds, face mask, sage bath essence, silk powder, a skin treatment and various facial oils. Karl Sigmund constructed small pieces of production and filling equipment. For example, he attached a mixer with a crank arm to a bowl for stirring creams. He also converted a small bucket into a filling station for face lotion by installing a hose with a tap just above the bottom. The products, which contained no preservatives, could be kept in the refrigerator for about a month. For that reason, Elisabeth Sigmund only produced small quantities.
Elisabeth Sigmund produced small quantities of her own natural skin care products in her Stockholm skin care studio. She noted down her formulations on index cards and used a set of precision scales to accurately weigh out the necessary amounts of natural ingredients.
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