Elisabeth Sigmund – Chapter 10

The pharmacist Rudolf Plantener, Elisabeth Sigmund and the chemist Dr Reinhard Schoppmann (from left to right) formed the first development group for the new ‘WALA skin care’ in 1964.
The pharmacist Rudolf Plantener, Elisabeth Sigmund and the chemist Dr Reinhard Schoppmann (from left to right) formed the first development group for the new ‘WALA skin care’ in 1964.

Cooperation with WALA: the development of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care

After returning from India, Elisabeth Sigmund came into personal contact with WALA, the beginning of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care.

Her many experiences of the theatre during her time in Jena and with her own theatre group in Stockholm gave Elisabeth Sigmund a strong affinity for make-up. She therefore completed a course in historical stage make-up. In 1967, she suggested the development of make-up to WALA and worked on the topic with the WALA developer Wolfgang Roth-Bernstein, who focussed on work with durable colour pigments of plant origin. In 1981, the first Dr. Hauschka lip and lid shades came onto the market. In 1999 the complete Dr. Hauschka make-up range was launched, from lipsticks to eye shadows, mascaras to kajal eye pencils. Just like Dr. Hauschka facial care, the make-up contains valuable nurturing plants and natural ingredients.

Cosmetics that fit in with WALA

For some time, Dr Rudolf Hauschka (1891–1969), the founder of WALA in Eckwälden, had been looking for special skin care products that would fit in with WALA. These were to extend the range of WALA medicines that had existed since 1935 in the area of healthcare. He sent letters to anthroposophical doctors and cosmeticians outlining his search. Elisabeth Sigmund had been ordering preparations for her skin care products directly from WALA in Eckwälden since the 1950’s. That possibly explains why she too received a letter in 1962. After receiving her 11-page reply, Rudolf Hauschka immediately invited her to visit him. In summer 1962, she travelled to Eckwälden with her husband at the beginning of their holidays in order to present her skin care concept in person. The entire WALA management team, including the developers and doctors, was so impressed by her presentation that she ended up having to stay for her entire holidays.

Between Sweden and Eckwälden

In 1963 and 1964, Elisabeth Sigmund travelled to Eckwälden on multiple occasions to spend several weeks working with the WALA developers. The rest of the time, she worked from Sweden. The WALA developers regularly sent her test ranges of the manufactured products with varying formulations, which she tested on both her beauty salon customers and herself. She sent letters back to Eckwälden with her observations.

Healing skin care by Elisabeth Sigmund

In June 1967, ‘Dr. Hauschka Healing Skin Care by Elisabeth Sigmund’ was launched. The first range included cleansing cream, face toner, facial oil, nourishing face milk, day cream, rose cream, skin treatment, lip balm, eye compresses and silk powder. In 1972 the new skin care line changed its name for legal reasons to Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Products by Elisabeth Sigmund. In 1978, this then became Dr. Hauschka Skin Care. In July 1967, all expectations had been exceeded, with 5,000 packages of the new skin care products being sold, even to countries such as South Africa and Sweden, where Elisabeth Sigmund provided the local importers with support and training. As newly developed preparations were being sold, WALA developed existing and new products further, for example skin care products for blemished skin.

Relocation to WALA

The Sigmund’s were still living in Sweden but the calls for them to relocate to Eckwälden became increasingly persistent. Only Elisabeth Sigmund was able to answer the growing number of customer letters with questions about the healing cosmetics, but the time taken to get a response from Sweden led to delays. In 1969, after 20 years in Sweden, the Sigmund’s left behind the life they had built there and began again for the third time in Eckwälden. Karl found a permanent position at WALA, while Elisabeth Sigmund took care of customer enquiries, visited trade fairs and held presentations, as well as working on further product developments.

WALA received euphoric feedback from the first users of the healing skin care products. For example, an anthroposophic doctor from Freiburg said: “These preparations are a pure joy to use and I can fully recommend them to my many patients. I have never experienced such good quality in the cosmetic sector.”
WALA received euphoric feedback from the first users of the healing skin care products. For example, an anthroposophic doctor from Freiburg said: “These preparations are a pure joy to use and I can fully recommend them to my many patients. I have never experienced such good quality in the cosmetic sector.”

Click on the Video to play…

Elisabeth Sigmund, co-founder of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, visited WALA in Eckwälden for the first time in 1962. The chemist Rudolf Plantener worked closely with Elisabeth Sigmund to develop Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products. Karl Kossmann, who was then a commercial employee at WALA, later became the managing director and created the WALA Foundation. Here, he is unfolding a sheet of paper containing beeswax with added medicinal plants – a simple method of caring for the lips.
Elisabeth Sigmund, co-founder of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, visited WALA in Eckwälden for the first time in 1962. The chemist Rudolf Plantener worked closely with Elisabeth Sigmund to develop Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products. Karl Kossmann, who was then a commercial employee at WALA, later became the managing director and created the WALA Foundation. Here, he is unfolding a sheet of paper containing beeswax with added medicinal plants – a simple method of caring for the lips.
Elisabeth Sigmund and Max Kaphahn (1894–1975), one of the co-founders of WALA, in front of the WALA building in Eckwälden; probably in 1962.
Elisabeth Sigmund and Max Kaphahn (1894–1975), one of the co-founders of WALA, in front of the WALA building in Eckwälden; probably in 1962.

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