Beeswax

Our ingredients

Each and every one of the ingredients in our products contributes to their overall effect. Careful thought goes into the selection and sourcing of our raw materials as well as the way in which the individual ingredients are combined to form complete Dr. Hauschka products. We also adhere to the highest quality standards.

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Why is organic beeswax an ingredient in many Dr. Hauschka products?

A burning beeswax candle reveals a great deal about the special features of beeswax. It emits a warm light and fills the room with a pleasant and comforting fragrance.

Beeswax represents warmth and structure, created from a living being. It is a highly energy-packed construction material that bees produce and, with the aid of heat, use to create their highly regular honeycombs: cells that provide the space and protective shell for new life (breeding cells) and storage (honeycomb cells).

Beeswax transfers these enveloping and warming properties to Dr. Hauschka products. It gives structure to products like the Lipsticks, provides a kind of breathable protection against external influences, retains moisture and enhances the skin’s elasticity. The skin feels protected and cared for.

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Hydrating Hand Cream

Hydrating Hand Cream formulation is supplemented with beeswax. This protectively envelops the hands and potentially gives its vibrantly warm structure. Blackthorn oil extract supports the enveloping effect with extra warmth, while an extract of moisture-regulating bryophyllum is revitalising and almond oil is nourishing.

A rapidly absorbed, highly nourishing hand cream, that doesn’t leave a greasy residue for hands that are silky soft and wonderfully smooth.

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Raw material profile

Beeswax is a miraculous substance. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) feed on large amounts of nectar and pollen and use the nutritional value obtained to do things like create wax – a substance with an extremely high energy content. The bees consolidate the energy in their food and secrete wax scales measuring about 1 millimetre from their abdominal glands. These are then used to construct honeycombs. The wax scales are translucent like mountain crystals and as light as a feather, weighing just 0.0008 g. It takes 125,000 wax scales to produce 100 grams of beeswax.

Newly constructed natural honeycombs are almost snow white in colour. The beeswax only turns the well-known shade of yellow once the bees start to use the honeycomb structure. The wax is dyed by flavonoids from propolis and carotenoids from pollen. Overall, beeswax consists of more than 300 different substances.

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The honeycomb itself is a masterpiece of lightweight construction. It provides maximum interior space with minimal use of construction material. The bees create cylindrical cells from the insalivated wax scales and then use the warmth generated by their muscles to heat the wax to over 40°C. The wax becomes malleable and automatically takes on a hexagonal form with a thickness of just 0.07 millimetres. The heat activates enzymes in the saliva, which solidify the wax through a chemical reaction.

The completed honeycomb is formed from the combination of an ingenious construction material and heat, both of which are produced by the bees through great energy usage. To create a medium-sized beehive with 100,000 cells and some 1.2 kilograms of wax, the bees need the energy contained in 7.5 kilograms of honey.

Incidentally, all of the honeycomb cells made by a bee colony are of almost identical size. Variations are only found from colony to colony. This is an expression of a bee colony’s individual personality.

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Origin and processing

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products are solely made from organic beeswax sourced from ecological beekeeping practices in Germany. The producers are subject to the strict regulations established by Demeter or Bioland, the association for organic farming. Demeter and Bioland specify, among other things, that bees must live in a natural beehive made from wood, straw or clay. Only natural dyes without wood preservatives can be used for weatherproofing purposes and no chemical/synthetic medication can ever be used to treat the bees. Demeter furthermore stipulates that bee colonies can only be multiplied through the natural process of swarming. The associations continually review the compliance with the regulations in cooperation with state-certified inspection bodies.

The beeswax is obtained by being melted out of the honeycomb. WALA/Dr. Hauschka purchases this wax in blocks straight from the beekeepers and has it carefully processed to form pellets, which are easier to use.

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We have a tradition of protecting bees. Bee colonies have been at home in the Dr. Hauschka biodynamic medicinal plant garden since the start of the 1980s. The bees are kept in line with Demeter regulations and allowed to swarm. The 150 medicinal plants as well as bee-friendly plants such as species of phacelia (scorpion weed) provide the bees with great nutritional variety.

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We also believe it’s important to support local beekeepers. As a result, it financially and scientifically supports the HOBOSPhere project run by Prof. Jürgen Tautz in Würzburg, which focusses on the development of a new kind of beekeeping. This is based on the honeybee sphere, a beehive that replicates bees’ natural home.

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Humans first began to use products from bees over 9,000 years ago – primarily honey. Beeswax was used for medicinal purposes, in skin care products, as fuel and for sealing containers.

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Bees use muscular tremors to maintain a constant average temperature of 35.5°C in the beehive, they have social skills and the ability to communicate.

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Beeswax is contained in all of the following products…

After Sun, Coverstick 01-03, Daily Hydrating Eye Cream, Defining Mascara 01-03, Eye Balm, Firming Mask, Hydrating Cream Mask, Hydrating Hand Cream, Lip Balm, Lip Care Stick, Lip Gloss 00-06, Lip Line Definer 00, Lip Liner 01-05, Lipstick 01-18, Liquid Eyeliner 01&02, Quince Day Cream, Regenerating Day Cream, Regenerating Eye Cream, Regenerating Neck and Décolleté Cream, Rose Day Cream, Rose Day Cream Light, Rose Nurturing Body Cream, Sheer Lipstick 01-06, Soothing Mask, Tinted Day Cream, Translucent Bronzing Tint and Volume Mascara 01-03.

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Beehives in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Beehives in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Truly natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE standards
  • Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEG
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers

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The Power of Nature – Our Biodynamic Medicinal Herb Garden

When harvesting medicinal plants for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, there is no place we prefer to do than in our medicinal herb garden. This is located directly behind our oldest company building in Eckwälden, an agricultural town in southern Germany at the foot of the Swabian Jura Mountains. The local farmers sold a plot of land with heavy clay soil to our company founder Dr. Rudolf Hauschka back in the 1950s. When he started to use it to create a medicinal herb garden, the farmers shook their heads in disbelief. Some may even have had a quiet chuckle. This made them all the more astounded when they saw the oasis that had grown from the clay after several years of work.

The huge range of species grown in the garden is certainly unique. More than 150 different plant species flourish here, to be used in Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and WALA Medicines products. The 4.5 hectare plot is continuously tended by six gardeners using biodynamic methods. Over time, these have made the soil fertile and crumbly. Compost created in the garden itself improves the soil’s structure and promotes the healthy growth of the plants. Their leaves, petals, fruits and even roots are manually harvested all year round. Even the seeds that develop into seedlings for 25,000 young plants in spring come from the garden. Our medicinal herb garden is as closed a cycle as possible and also provides a habitat for wild plants and animals. It really is a true oasis.

Interview with Bernhard Ehrmann – head of the Dr. Hauschka/WALA medicinal herb garden

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Click play for the video interview with Bernhard Ehrmann, head of Dr. Hauschka/WALA medicinal herb garden.

What does quality mean to you in your everyday work in the Dr. Hauschka/WALA biodynamic medicinal herb garden?

When conducting our gardening work, we believe it is important to consciously monitor the processes and think in cycles. How do the soil, plants, animals and people work together in the garden? Our garden has an array of different habitats: shady, wooded areas and sunny spots, a stream, a pond, windy corners and damp areas. How can we prepare the garden in such a way that plants can become medicinal plants in it?

What turns a plant into a medicinal plant?

If you imagine a plant, your mind creates a picture of a balanced form with roots, a stem, leaves and petals. A medicinal plant differs from this ideal. For example, it may have either extremely long or very short roots. It may flower at an unusual time of year or grow the best in extreme climate conditions. In our garden, we allow medicinal plants to express their natural being as they grow.

WALA medicine; WALA Arzneimittel

That almost sounds like you regard the medicinal plants as equal, highly individual partners.

Yes, you could definitely see it that way. We are each even responsible for looking after particular medicinal plant species and take great care to meet their needs.

 What does this plant care involve?

You could say that the people who tend the plants act as spokespeople for them. For example, our gardener Tine Janssen looks after all the wood sorrel. She monitors it very closely and makes sure that it can grow in the best place in the garden for it. Wood sorrel is a forest plant that we enable to grow under trees. Tine can tell if wood sorrel is not as healthy as it should be and needs some extra special care. As the optimum harvest time approaches, she monitors the wood sorrel daily – together with her colleagues in the plant laboratory who will later process it. Together, they choose the precise day on which to harvest the plants. Marigold petals for medicines can even only be picked by plant laboratory staff as these have very specific requirements with regard to the condition of the flowers: they must have already opened but not yet be in full bloom. Fortunately, the plant laboratory is located right next to our garden. The freshly harvested medicinal plants can therefore be taken straight there for processing.

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The WALA medicinal herb garden uses biodynamic cultivation methods. What makes these special?

Wherever possible, the biodynamic garden represents a closed cycle. We collect the seeds and use them to grow the next generation of plants. We regard the soil as a living organism. Plant waste from the garden and the production processes is put on our compost heaps. You could refer to these as the heart of the garden. Not only do they provide fertiliser for the beds but mature compost also helps to regulate and mediate the processes in the garden.

Plant ingredients with the most vitality, the best for your skin, grow from the very best soil.
Biodynamic gardens: Plant ingredients with the most vitality, the best quality for your skin, grow from the very best soil.

Compost regulates and mediates? What do you mean?

On the one hand quite simply that plant materials from all times of year come together on the compost heap. The diversity offered by the garden is brought together in a single place. This is like taking a long, deep breath in. We then give the compost plenty of time to mature. For two and a half years we leave the plant materials to decompose, to experience the qualities of the different seasons and form something new. This is an intensely harmonious process. After all, harmony means bringing together contrasting elements to form a uniform whole. We could speed up the process by frequently turning the compost. But that is not something we want to do.

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Compost is the unifying heart of the garden. Plant material from all times of the year come together in the compost, decompose and mature.

Why is it so important to allow the compost to mature for so long?

Only with time and our compost management can the decomposition process take place in an orderly, harmonious manner. We support the process through the addition of medicinal herbs and by turning the compost just twice a year. As we turn the compost, we notice its smell, colour and consistency. At some point, we will see that it has fully matured. Mature compost is a joyful thing. It is the earth’s gold.

And this is when the long exhale begins?

Yes, exactly. We spread the compost on the beds at different times. Each plant species is given just the right amount of compost for its needs, under the watchful eye of its designated gardener. Once administered, the compost acts like an invigorating mediator. It transfers the harmony of its decomposition process to the plants. Plant growth becomes more regulated as though the compost teaches the plants to find the right balance. The plants become more resistant to pests and turn into powerful medicinal plants for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and WALA Medicines.

 

Which Day Cream & Toner for your skin condition? click here

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Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Authentic natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE standards
  • Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEGs
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers

Thanks for reading our blog. xx

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Elisabeth Sigmund, Co-Founder Dr. Hauschka

In memory of Elisabeth Sigmund

25th October 1914 – 20th December 2013

 

Elisabeth Sigmund, the co-founder of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, passed away peacefully in her home on the morning of 20 December 2013 at the age of 99.

Elisabeth Sigmund was a key figure in the development of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care in the 1960s. She also developed the Dr. Hauschka Facial Treatment methods that Dr. Hauschka Estheticians are still taught and use in their work today.

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Elisabeth working in the laboratory at WALA/Dr. Hauschka

It was early on in life when Elisabeth Sigmund first took a passionate interest in cosmetics. After completing her school leaving exams and two semesters of a medical degree in Vienna, she trained to become a qualified esthetician.

Throughout her life, Elisabeth Sigmund had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and conducted extensive independent studies into cosmetically active medicinal plants. She consistently used her findings to develop her skin care products.

Elisabeth 1932
Elisabeth 1932

In 1948, she emigrated to Stockholm with her husband and received permission from the Swedish King to open a Cosmetics Institute. There, she began producing skin-normalising cosmetics on a larger scale for the institute itself and continued to develop the formulations for her products. It was during this time that she came up with the idea of oil-free night time skin care after seeing such positive effects on her clients.

Elisabeth around 1927 and 1945
Elisabeth around 1927 and 1945

In 1955, Elisabeth Sigmund had her first visit to WALA/Dr. Hauschka in Eckwälden after her husband had experienced such good results with WALA medicines. Also a Swedish student had spoken of WALA products with such fervour that Elisabeth had the company send her some of their anthroposophical homeopathic medicines, which she used to further develop her skin care products.

In 1962, Elisabeth Sigmund received a letter from Dr. Rudolf Hauschka asking her for ideas for a ‘very special’ approach to skin care, in line with the WALA principles.

Elisabeth Sigmund in her Cosmetic Studio 1954
Elisabeth Sigmund, Cosmetic Studio in Sweden 1954

Her detailed reply went on for pages and was met with an instant invitation to Eckwälden, the home of WALA/Dr. Hauschka. Dr. Rudolf Hauschka expressed his enthusiasm for Elisabeth Sigmund’s ideas by commenting “I have been in love you ever since receiving your letter…”.

Three weeks of intensive discussions led to a joint decision to develop a very special skin care range based on entirely new concepts. In the years that followed, the formulations for this new range were developed with WALA’s senior doctors and pharmacists.

All developments were firmly based on Elisabeth Sigmund’s ground-breaking guiding principle: the activation of the skin’s own healthy function.

The first natural and organic skin care range was launched in 1967.

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In 1969, Elisabeth Sigmund moved from Sweden to Germany. From then onwards, she shared her extensive knowledge with WALA in person and played a key role in the creation of many products. She remained a valued consultant for all matters relating to Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and Dr. Hauschka treatments until shortly before her death and was always willing to listen to the ideas and concerns presented by the future generations.

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Elisabeth at 90 being interviewed

We are deeply thankful to Elisabeth Sigmund for her decisive contribution to WALA/Dr. Hauschka’s development and commemorate her life’s work with the utmost respect and appreciation. Her curiosity, energy and knowledge will remain an example to us for all time.

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care was launched in 1967
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care was launched in 1967

Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Authentic natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE standards
  • Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEGs
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers

NATRUE

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Calendula (Marigold)

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Our ingredients

Each and every one of the ingredients in our products contributes to their overall effect. Careful thought goes into the selection and sourcing of the raw materials as well as the way in which the individual ingredients are combined to form complete Dr. Hauschka products. We also adhere to the highest quality standards.

This page tells you more about Calendula (Marigold), where it comes from, why we use it and what functions it performs in our products.

Calendula (Marigold) essence processing
Calendula (Marigold) essence processing

Raw material profile

Thought to originate from the Mediterranean, this annual plant germinates extremely reliably and has strong, resinous stems that grow up to 70 centimetres tall and are covered in felty hairs. It delights us with its bright yellow and orange flowers. What we regard as a single marigold flower is actually made up of over a hundred individual petals.

The inner substances of this medicinal plant include flavonoids, triterpene alcohols, essential oils and carotenoids, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and calming, as well as soothing mucilages.

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Why is calendula used as an ingredient in Dr. Hauschka products?

Calendula impress with their unbelievable vitality. As soon as they have formed a bud at the top of the first stem, further stems with buds grow from the leaf axils. More stems then grow from the leaf axils of these secondary stems and so on and so forth. The marigold’s love of repeat flowering is simply unquenchable. Cut off the flower heads and marigolds will respond by producing more buds.

The energy-packed marigold gives its regenerating and structuring powers to rough, cracked, irritated and sensitive skin, as well as skin prone to inflammation. It helps to repair unstable skin barriers, alleviates blemishes and soothes, for example, irritated skin as a result of exposure to the sun.

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Concealer ingredients

Concealer creates an even complexion in two ways. The product base uses avocado oil and shea butter to richly moisturise the skin. Marigold essence is formative and structuring. Carrot extract revitalises the skin. The Concealer with mineral pigments comes in three shades to gently conceal minor blemishes or any signs of tiredness around the eyes.

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The marigold follows the course of the sun: its flowers open at daybreak and close again at sunset. This calendar-like movement in time with the sun led to the scientific name Calendula, from the Latin ‘calendar’ meaning the first of the month.

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Bumblebees love to sleep in marigold flowers. If you take a look at marigolds in the early morning you will find sleepy insects inside.

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Marigolds take control of their area: their roots secrete a substance that drives away tiny worms that feed on roots. Organic gardeners therefore like to plant marigolds as a form of natural pest control.

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A selection of Dr. Hauschka products that contain precious organic marigold

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Origin, cultivation and processing

The organic marigolds used in Dr. Hauschka products are grown only a kilometre from WALA/Dr. Hauschka on the Sonnenhof Farm, our own Demeter farm. At summer harvest time, WALA employees meet Sonnenhof staff in the field at sunrise. They carefully pick every single flower head by hand in order to obtain a high-quality harvested product. The heads have to be twisted off the furry stems in such a way that no stem residue remains on their underside. No automated harvester could work with this level of precision.

The freshly harvested flower heads are then processed in three ways. Firstly, some of them are sent directly to Bad Waldsee and the WALA subsidiary SaluVet, some 100 kilometres away. There, the employees use a special rhythmic WALA procedure to obtain an essence from them. The extract is obtained using a cool mixture of water and alcohol. Secondly, some of the flower heads remain at the Sonnenhof and are carefully dried using warmed external air at temperatures constantly below 40°C. A rhythmic WALA procedure is also used to obtain an oil extract from the dried marigolds. This is mixed with warm oil at a temperature of 37°C (human body temperature). For the third production process, the Sonnenhof employees harvest the entire blossoming plants, including both the stems and the flower heads. WALA employees then create pressed juice from these. Unlike the plant extracts, the freshly pressed juice contains the full, undiluted character of the energy-packed plant. All substances found in the highly complex medicinal plant are contained in the substantial juice. This gives it its extraordinary effectiveness.

The different ways of processing marigold highlight its diverse properties. The aqueous and cooling essences give shape and structure. The cool, concentrated pressed juice provides assistance if the skin needs acute support. The oil extract supports the skin in its regenerative activities. All three extracts are used in different Dr. Hauschka Skin Care formulations.

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Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Authentic natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE and/or BDIH standards
  • Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEGs
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers

NATRUE BDIH

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NEW Formulation Tinted Day Cream

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For a naturally beautiful complexion
Creamy texture
Pleasant subtle aroma
Delicately blends with your natural skin tone

For normal to dry/dehydrated skin, sensitive skin, skin prone to redness, dilated capillaries (couperose) or mature skin

Our much loved Tinted Day Cream formulation has now been improved. The slight changes have improved the consistency, application and spreading properties, with a small change in the aroma to a sense soothing light floral. We have preserved the essential care properties of the Tinted Day Cream. The colour that magically suits everyone’s skin tone has remained the same as has the price. Really it’s the same great product, just better!

  • Enjoy a naturally beautiful evened complexion with Dr. Hauschka’s original BB Cream, Tinted Day Cream.
  • The new optimised formula offers skin nourishing care while also giving your skin a natural, sun-kissed glow.
  • Blends harmoniously with individual skin tones to add a delicate bronzing effect.
  • Richly moisturising, combining nourishing Avocado and Almond oils with protective Rose Wax, Beeswax and Quince Seed extract.
  • Helps prevent dryness and dehydration by balancing the skin’s oil and moisture levels and supporting its natural moisturising functions.
  • Rose, Quince and St. John’s wort tone the skin and support elasticity
    Rose Water and extracts of Anthyllis have a balancing, harmonising effect.
  • As we age often our skin becomes a little pallid, it’s uplifting to add warm tones back into your skin for a youthful effect.

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TIPS

1) For a particularly dry, dehydrated or mature skin, we also recommend Revitalising Day Cream or Rose Day Cream under Tinted Day Cream. For added coverage, use our Foundation, which may be used over Tinted Day Cream.

2) To reduce shine, we recommend applying Translucent Face Powder after moisturiser. May also be applied over Tinted Day Cream as well.

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What our Customers are saying…

Used it before they reformulated it and I loved it then. I love it even more now! Much lighter, you barely need a pea size amount for your face. Gives you that perfect even toned glow. No makeup necessary!
Monet M | My skin condition is: Dry | Age: 25-39

Want to look younger? I have been using Toned (now Tinted) Day Cream for 13 years. I love the glow and the fact that there is nothing fake about how it looks. No caking, or make-up line. Most people will not know you have this product on your face and yet it reduces the look of fine lines and moisturises at the same time. It’s my go to.
Karen S | My skin condition is: Combination | Age: 50-65

Love it! It leaves my face moisturised all day and now that winter is around the corner, it really does give you a sun kiss glow. Highly recommend it!
Priscilla V | My skin condition is: Normal | Age: 25-39

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Other options for warm tones…

Translucent Bronzing Tint is for any skin condition, however we also recommend for a normal, combination, oily skin.

  • A unique concentrated liquid minerals product that may be mixed with any Dr. Hauschka Moisturiser or Clarifying Day Oil.
  • You control the colour, intensity depends on the amount of tint added.
  • Witch Hazel, Olive Oil, Beeswax and Minerals protect and nurture while evening out skin tone.

Bronzing Powder is our world wide top selling make-up product for any skin condition.

  • Make-up artists and customers tell us they love its matte look.
  • An ultra-fine bronzer for a sun-kissed glow.
  • Silk, anthyllis, witch hazel and sage contour and smooth the complexion.
  • Apply where the sun would kiss for warm tones and a healthy look.
Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Truly natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE and/or BDIH standards
  • Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEG
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers

NATRUE BDIH

Thanks for reading our blog. xx

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Estheticians

The WALA/Dr. Hauschka Biodynamic Medicinal Plant Garden

Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

A medicinal herb garden on the heavy clay soils of the Swabian Mountains?

The local farmers looked very sceptical when WALA started searching for a plot of land for their new project in the 1950’s. Rudolf Hauschka purchased a boggy meadow at the foot of the mountain directly behind the construction site for the new company building, which WALA gardeners have been cultivating ever since using biodynamic methods. After many years the soil became crumbly, rich and easy to work. Today our Gardeners grow more than 150 different medicinal plants for the crafting of WALA preparations and Dr. Hauschka Skin Care on an area of more than 4.5 hectares. Dragonflies, toads and fire salamanders have made their home amid the water lily pond. There’s also a stream, our beehives, meadows and woods.

The healthiest soil grows medicinal plants of the highest vitality, it's that vitality we're passing onto your skin!
The soil is no longer clay after biodynamic gardening. The healthiest soil grows medicinal plants of the highest vitality, it’s that vitality we’re transforming for your skin!

What is biodynamic agriculture?

This method, developed by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1924, regards the garden as a more or less closed system. Most of the seeds, compost and potting compost are self-produced. The gardeners use various plant preparations which help the compost to decompose better and strengthen the resistance of the plants to pests and disease.

Biodynamic formulas for the earth
Biodynamic formulas for the earth

Working by hand is essential when dealing with plants. When sowing and harvesting the WALA gardeners work with the rhythms of Nature. Strong, healthy plants with the highest vitality are the result. The right basis for our products.

WALA medicine; WALA Arzneimittel

Potting soils
At the beginning of February we start with the first greenhouse plantings. The selection of suitable potting soils is an important prerequisite for successful plant rearing. As the most important organ, they are responsible for the growth and health of the plants. For our potting soils we therefore use selected and best composts from our own production. These have usually been turned twice a year by hand. They are also treated with the biodynamic compost preparations prepared in the WALA garden from the medicinal plants valerian, stinging nettle, oak, chamomile, dandelion and yarrow. The addition of these preparations lastingly enhances the vital forces and processes in soil and plant. In addition they increase the vitality of the plants and the soil and their resistance against disease and pests.

Black Cohosh in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Black Cohosh in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Seed baths
The seed baths also have a positive influence on the vitality and growth of the plants. They are prepared with some of the biodynamic compost preparations already mentioned above with the addition of other herbs. Valerian, for example, stimulates the germination phase and the warmth processes of the plants. The oak bark preparation and chamomile prevent fungal infections while the horn manure preparation stimulates the growth of the roots. The seeds are placed in the hand-warm seed bath for 10-15 minutes in cloth bags. When they have been dried, they are ready for sowing. The only exception are the fine seeds of the light-dependent germinators such as marjoram, tobacco or wormwood. These are planted directly into the seed boxes, pressed down gently and then sprayed finely with the seed bath fluid.

Hand harvested Echinacea in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Hand harvested Echinacea in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Care of seedlings
When the seedlings have fully developed their plumule leaves they are transplanted singly or in groups from the seed box into plant boxes or frames. Here they have the necessary leaf and root space to develop into strong, healthy young plants. After a further phase of development they are potted and, when the roots are well developed, later planted out.

Hand harvesting Ribwort and Marsh Mallow
Hand harvesting Ribwort and Marsh Mallow

Seed quality
The quality of the seeds is an important factor. We harvest most of our seeds from the WALA garden. This is done from early summer to autumn. It is important to find the optimum harvesting time to ensure good germinating capacity of the seed the following year. After harvesting, the seeds are stored in a dry place to mature further. During the winter months they are cleaned and stored in a cool place in suitable, carefully labeled containers until they are used for the next planting.

Butterfly on Echinacea
Butterfly on Echinacea

Documentation
All planting information such as sowing dates, beginning of germination, source, varieties, transplanting and potting, seed harvesting etc., are carefully documented in the “Cultivation Files – Medicinal Plants”.

Hand harvested Borage
Hand harvested Borage

Harvesting in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

Harvesting of medicinal plants takes place throughout the year in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Garden. Winter and spring are the seasons for harvesting roots, e.g. valerian (Valeriana officinalis), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) and lovage (Levisticum officinale), but also barks such as birch (Betula pendula), oak (Quercus robur) and horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). However, the main harvesting season is in the summer months of June and July. During this time almost every day begins with a harvest. Towards the end of the season, in the autumn, the fruits are harvested, including hawthorn in September and quince at the beginning of October.

Composting in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Composting in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Composting in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

The earth is the most important element for the growth and health of the medicinal plants. The regular addition of compost and other procedures such as the application of biodynamic preparations increase the fertility of the soil and enhance the vital processes in the earth.

A quiet place to reflect in our gardens, near the bee's home.
A quiet place to reflect in our gardens, near the bee’s home.

Producing good compost involves a great deal of preparatory work

The WALA gardens have about 25 composts. Most of these are mixed composts, meaning they contain all the plant residues found in the garden, e.g. grass clippings, prunings etc. In addition, while preparing the compost heap, layers of cow manure from the nearby ‘Sonnenhof’ Demeter farm are added. When the compost heap has reached a certain height it is covered with straw. In addition to these mixed composts, leaf and wood chipping composts are also prepared in late autumn.

Willow fence in our gardens
Willow fence in our gardens

In the following spring or autumn the compost is then turned for the first time

During this process, all the layers are mixed and loosened, allowing us to look inside the compost heap. We can see how richly the compost is permeated with worms and other creatures, can observe its colour, feel its moisture and perceive its smell. The turning allows us to use our own bodies to experience the heaviness or lightness of the earth in the compost heap.

After turning, the compost preparations are added. These contain yarrow, dandelion and chamomile flowers, oak bark, green stinging nettle shoots and the juice of valerian flowers. Each of the preparations has a different task and a separate effect on the compost heap. The production of its own biodynamic preparations is one of the highlights of the year in the WALA garden.

Spring planting in our gardens
Spring planting in our gardens

Use of the compost

Once the breakdown processes in the compost are largely complete (after two to four years), the compost can be applied to the beds. Depending on the quality of the soil and the use of the beds, different amounts of compost are dug in with a spade or sometimes with a cultivator (four-pronged gardening tool) or a hoe. The tillage of the soil in autumn and the subsequent action (soil-modifying effect) of the frost in the winter have a very positive effect on the soil structure.

This regular addition of compost enhances the soil’s long-term fertility and promotes nature’s vital processes and forces. This gives the plants increased resistance against pests and disease.

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Drying medicinal plants in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

Dried plants or plant parts are required for production of the Dr.Hauschka body oils and the medicinal oils.

The plants are dried in the drug house by the so-called condensation process. In this process the warm, moisture-laden drying air is cooled to below dew point. This leads to condensation of the moisture which can then be removed in liquid form. Some of the energy generated during this process can be returned to the air current. The average room temperature during the process is 25-35°C. The condensation process allows us to dry the plants as quickly as possible. This is very important for a high product quality.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.36.24 amThanks for reading our Blog. x

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