It’s no secret that South Korean beauty brands have been dominating the beauty industry for the past decade. They’ve made cushion compacts and BB creams a staple, 10-step routines a new normal and pre-serums a must-have.
But the past couple of years, German skincare has been discreetly infiltrating our beauty cabinets. And honestly, it’s no surprise to us. Germany is regarded as one of the oldest skincare centres in the world and is home of Nivea and Dr. Hauschka, both well-known brands which have been staples in women’s lives for decades.
Unsurprisingly, G-beauty is extremely similar to most German products. Clean, minimalistic, well made and efficient. Their products are not only backed by scientific research and chock-full of great ingredients, but they are also amazingly fuss-free.
Their approach is the opposite of K-beauty: straight-forward, little to no fragrance and very few steps. Less is more for the Germans and they are perfect for women who are willing to invest in quality products but don’t have the luxury of time.
Leading the charge for G-beauty is definitely Dr. Barbara Sturm. She first made a name for herself as being the doctor behind Kim Kardashian’s infamous vampire facial, but has launched a global brand that is loved by celebs like Victoria Beckham and count Victoria Secret Angels as loyal fans.
While her eponymous beauty line ($37 to $373) has an extensive range of products that includes everything from masks to serums to sun drops and even children’s products, her approach to beauty is decidedly German.
“Women think they have to do a lot in order to achieve a lot. I find women are obsessed with using too many products, and in the end they get skin inflammation due to overuse. I think less is more, and from the less, the very best ingredients,” she tells me.
“An optimal skincare routine is one that takes care of inflammation and is super hydrating. The perfect regime shouldn’t include parabens, fragrances or mineral oils. The products should help cells heal themselves rather than intoxicate them. I would recommend using a cleanser, serum, eye cream and moisturiser twice a day, and a mask twice a week. Four to five products are enough.”
Going one step further is Dr. Augustinus Bader, as his namesake brand only has two versions of the same product: The Cream and The Rich Cream ($318 each). The good doctor asks that you use nothing else – other than cleansing – as the moisturiser will trigger your skin’s stem cells into a healing mode.
The Augustinus Bader creams are a favourite amongst the luxe set and is the worst kept secret to achieving “rich person skin” (you know, healthy, plump and line-free skin that just screams I have millions and not a worry in the world). Everyone from Eva Chen to Bagsnob swears by it – just watch their IGstories if you don’t believe us, they’re constantly posting about it.
Personally, we too are obsessed with G-beauty. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be giving up on our sheet masks and cushions though. After all, there’s enough space in our beauty drawer for everyone.