08 Apr 2020 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2017 issue 2

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Leisure Management - Babor

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Babor has been a leading pioneer of science-based skincare for six decades. CEO Michael Schummert explains how the company’s expertise in results-driven treatments makes its precision ‘Made in Germany’ products more relevant than ever before

CEO Michael Schummert says family-owned Babor stands for science, precision and quality
HY-ÖL was invented in the 1950s
Babor’s retail area at new elb spa at The Westin Hamburg hotel in Germany
Babor’s retail area at new elb spa at The Westin Hamburg hotel in Germany
Babor’s spa for the residents of the Porsche Design Tower in Miami, Florida
Babor’s spa for the residents of the Porsche Design Tower in Miami, Florida

How did the company come to be founded and what was the world of European skincare like in the 1950s?
Babor was founded by a biochemist, Dr Michael Babor. When he created the first precision formulas, he’d never heard of terms like cosmeceutical, but he was convinced that concentrated active ingredients tailored to your skin’s needs give you the most beautiful skin. Pharmacist Dr Leo Vossen bought the company from Dr Babor early on and continued with his approach – and so scientific research has always been a part of Babor.

Can you tell us more about HY oil and why it underpins all of Babor’s formulations?
In the 1950s, Dr Babor researched ways of combining water and high-quality natural oils. He saw this as the key to beauty because it merged the ancient tradition of using oils to care for the skin with the renowned hydrotherapy techniques developed by Sebastian Kneipp. He created a bi-phase cleanser with hydrophilic (water-loving) oils: HY-ÖL. Its gentle, deep-cleansing action enables the skin to optimally absorb active ingredients. It was revolutionary in the 1950s; today it’s legendary.

What has helped drive Babor forward through six decades?
The reason for Babor’s success has always been our endless curiosity and enthusiasm for beauty. The black rose is the symbol of Babor and it reflects this quest perfectly. Of course there are no black roses in real life, but the fact that something seems impossible has never stopped us from trying to achieve it.

Today we have a deeper understanding of our skin’s needs than ever before, allowing our products to take precise action, and supporting this with high-tech devices. The beauty market has evolved from products that have a mere cover-up effect to products and devices that can really change your skin.

What does ‘Made in Germany’ mean to Babor?
Babor stands for science, precision, results, and the exceptional quality that is ‘Made in Germany.’ We develop and produce all our products at our HQ in Aachen. The attention to detail that comes with being a family company sets us apart from many competitors. We’re proud to be the biggest independent family-owned company in the global spa industry.

What are your key products?
We focus on developing precision formulas. The active ingredients are perfectly coordinated to ensure the best possible results. This is done to the utmost perfection in our ampoules, which have become iconic in the skincare world.

High-dose active ingredients are sealed inside delicate glass ampoules, which are made to milligram precision for a single use on the face, neck and décolleté.

Originally inspired by medicine, every ampoule is tailored to a specific skin need – from intense moisture to liquid lifting. This makes them the perfect add-on in any facial, as clients receive a very customised treat. Two mls of fluid can achieve an instantly visible effect, as it’s more for effective than creams. The ingredients traverse the skin’s barrier faster and stimulate cell activity in the deeper layers of the skin. Ampoules are a masterpiece of skincare, and a great retail product for spas.

Do you have any upcoming launches?
We’ve just launched an exciting cosmeceutical line that understands the anatomy of cosmetic lifting: Doctor Babor Lifting Cellular offers precise formulations that keep your plastic surgeon waiting. We’re very excited about relaunching our cleansing line, with essences that strengthen the skin like a protective shield against environmental stresses.

How can Babor help spa businesses?
Babor is the partner for spas that want outstanding quality for their offer along with a holistic retail philosophy. This starts with our products and continues with merchandising, marketing – and even a store concept. Our partners are among the most profitable spas in the industry.

Babor is now working on a qualification and certification programme which reflects the legal requirements of education, protocol, communication and hygiene. We’re the first brand worldwide to implement such a programme and are convinced that quality makes all the difference. Making our partners strong is a key factor in our philosophy, which goes way beyond creating exceptional products for them.

How about some recent spa projects?
We’re extremely proud to be partner of the elb spa on the sixth floor of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, which is part of The Westin Hamburg hotel. We offer our premium products and services and a Babor shop.

Another exciting project is the Porsche Design Tower near Miami, Florida, which hosts the ‘Porsche among the spas’. The residential tower has 132 sky-homes, each equipped with an elevator for owners’ cars, and there’s a beautiful spa for residents. It seemed natural for two luxury German brands to team up to offer something special to this clientele.

What trends do you see in today’s market?
Near-medical, high-tech, device-driven beauty procedures will continue to be a major driver. We’ll see European hotel spas increasingly offer “I-want-immediate-results” treatments using all types of cutting-edge beauty technology and result-driven skincare, as is reflected in our Doctor Babor cosmeceutical range.

The target group of the future is millennials. They really love technology, so we in the beauty and spa industries should be using this to our advantage.

Respecting the individuality of a person and their skin is also one of the biggest topics in the spa industry. From a Babor point of view, this trend isn’t new at all, because we’ve been doing this for decades, but it’s exciting to now see this evolve into an overall focus for the industry.

Originally published in Spa Business 2017 issue 2

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