Pick a country to develop a skincare range and Switzerland will rank high on the list; known for its nature, innovation and luxury, these same elements are at the core of the skincare brand, Dr Burgener Switzerland. Founded in Lausanne in 1955 by Dr Marc Burgener, a leading visionary in skincare and plastic surgery, his daughter-in-law, Dr Pauline Burgener, took over the brand 20 years ago. She tells Spa Business magazine why the brand is unique and leading the way in skincare customisation.
Originally from Lebanon, Dr Pauline Burgener joined the company on completion of a PhD in biology and postdoctoral research work on understanding the mechanisms of the skin. A firm believer that beauty comes from within, Dr Pauline Burgener says: “It’s good to know how the application of products onto the skin will move into the cells. If you understand the transport of these into the skin you can create a full treatment and line of products that will be really efficient.”
Dr Burgener Switzerland’s range consists of around 100 products for facial and body treatments for women and men – all free from parabens, artificial colours and perfumes. Dr Pauline Burgener says: “We are a scientific skincare brand based on treatments for the skin, using natural ingredients and mixing these with high-technology products and treatments.”
One line that was recently launched contains green caviar, which is extracted from beads that grow on algae on Okinawa island, Japan. Dr Pauline Burgener recognised that the people on the island have a high longevity which is down to lifestyle, but is also based on the products they eat, including green caviar.
Extra ingredients like hyaluronic acid, made by biotechnology, collagen, peptides and stem cells are combined with the natural products to improve the quality of the skin and to deliver exceptional anti-ageing results. Facial treatments are designed specifically to work with the products to deliver instant results. She says: “If you use the green caviar with the ultrasound machine – it works deeply into the skin to regenerate it. Other products and techniques include collagen, royal jelly, fruit acids, as well as peptides, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, among others.”
Luxury spa partnerships
The biggest success for the Dr Burgener Switzerland brand this year has been its introduction into luxury hotels and spas outside of its Skin Clinic in Lausanne.
Now receiving a lot of international recognition as a luxury and cutting-edge skincare brand, the newest partnership was recently formed with The Four Seasons Hotel in Moscow – following on from partnerships with other Four Seasons Hotels in St Petersburg and Dubai.
In addition to this, there are several Relais & Chateaux hotels in Switzerland, as well as the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand, which have partnered with the brand.
Dr Pauline Burgener believes in the philosophy of personal partnerships with the hotels and spas the skincare company works with.
Training is a key part of this. Therapists receive full training with the Dr Burgener experts coming from Switzerland.
The unique part of the skincare brand is the personal presence of Dr Pauline Burgener to support the training of the therapists and to share with journalists and guests the values of the brand.
Dr Pauline Burgener says: “If we support the hotel and the spa manager and if we can really support them with the training of the staff, we can have an excellent service with the best results.”
Signature products for each spa
The hotels that are working with the brand receive an exclusively adapted signature line of Dr Burgener Switzerland specifically for their spa, which includes an element of the heritage of the country in which they are located.
Earlier this year a full range of products based on the Dubai Pearl was created by the skincare brand for The Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai.
The treatment includes precious pearl serum beads (including ingredients extracted from pearls) enriched with hyaluronic acid as well as a natural extract of lily flower.
“The future of skincare is around customisation. Each place has different needs and I think this is a very important part of our brand – how to customise to the spa,” explains Dr Pauline Burgener.
Looking ahead to the rest of this year and to 2016, Dr Pauline Burgener is planning the launch of the Haute Couture line – a made to measure treatment for the skin. Following a full analysis of the client’s skin – measuring hydration, lipids and elasticity – a customised luxury therapy bag is prescribed which includes a full line of products to fight against skin ageing.
Dr Pauline Burgener has been working on this concept with top notch researchers and dermatologists for the past three years, and she lights up when talking about the range.
She says: “The main purpose for 2016 is to find the right partners and locations to launch the Haute Couture line with, because it is the future.”
Thinking about this future, Dr Pauline Burgener is passionate about protecting the environment and has adapted the packaging of her products to reduce waste. She explains: “I worked a lot to find a way to produce a product that does not need a cardboard box. I created a bag similar to those used on luxury jewellery and watches in Switzerland, which you can reuse.” Instructions on using the product are also printed on recycled sugar cane and eucalyptus paper.
So would Dr Marc Burgener be proud of the brand today? Dr Pauline Burgener smiles. “I think so. He created a line to prepare the skin for surgery and for treatment against anti-ageing.
“I did things another way with high-end products and techniques, but we are coming back with the Haute Couture line which pushes the limits of age by offering a top luxury personalised product for each individual,” she says. This revolutionary concept is scheduled for a new opening in the Grand Hotel du Lac, Relais & Chateaux in Vevey, Switzerland on the border of Lake Geneva, in February 2016.
Dr Pauline Burgener adds: “We offer a treatment that is customised for each individual to complement the use of aesthetic medicine. This complementarity makes all the difference.”