Chances are, when you think of personal care brands, you don’t think of Czechia. But this country is home to some astounding cosmetics brands that are bringing the farm-to-table ethos of haute cuisine to the world of luxury personal care.
Secrets of Czech Skin Care
Despite having a population of just over 10 million people, the Czech Republic is home to a surprising array of local beauty and skin care brands. Known for harsh winters that can be drying and damaging to skin, along with warm and humid tropical summers, the climate of the country demands specialty skin care products.
While Czech consumers are generally conservative and price-sensitive, the same is not true of cosmetics products. Czech consumers, especially younger demographics, are willing to pay more for the best cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, and hair care products. Recent years have seen a global trend toward a more natural look and a preference for natural and organic products, and Czech brands are stepping in to meet this increasing demand. In fact, these products are growing in popularity around the world, with an export market that has topped 1B USD in recent years. Here are some of the Czech beauty companies making a global impact:
Botanicus is a unique beauty brand with a handful of retail outlets in Europe and Asia. Botanicus is a “closed cycle” manufacturer, growing, making, and selling their own products. At their gardens in Ostra, the company grows plants, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and then uses them to produce extracts and oils used in their products. Their beauty products include shampoos, fragrances, soaps, and bath and body care, along with essential oils.
Botanicus’ organic gardens are open to the public, with traditional gardens, herb production, a lavender field, an arboretum, orchards, and more. They also host a replica village with demonstrations and workshops in ancient crafts from basketry to blacksmithing. The village was built from local and recycled materials, and reflects the brand’s commitment to harmony, nature, and craftsmanship.
At the company’s flagship store in Prague, visitors are immersed in the natural fragrances, colors, and sensations of being in a garden, and their emphasis on pure, natural, organic, self-made products has built a cult following around the world.
Ryor was founded in 1991 in the home of single mother Eva Štěpánková. After 17 years as a chemical engineer, Eva left her career for a home-based business that would keep her closer to her family. The Ryor line was originally developed for professional cosmeticians and salons, but interest and demand soon led to a retail division. Ryor now exports to more than 20 countries around the world, but remains a family owned business, with Eva still overseeing development, production, and testing. Ryor balances cutting edge technologies and natural ingredients, with an emphasis on affordability. Backed by great reviews and a modern marketing strategy that collaborates with influencers, Ryor cosmetics are a favorite among people with sensitive or difficult skin.
Dermacol is a legend among Czech beauty brands, producing legendary cosmetics since the 1960s. In 1966, cosmeticians at Czech film studio Barrandov teamed up with the Medical Cosmetics Institute in Prague to create a new, full coverage makeup for the film industry. In 1969, the foundation was licenced to film studios in Hollywood California, and a legend was born. Over the years, the company continued to expand its product line for film and television, before becoming independent in 1991. Today you can find Dermacol products in more than 60 countries around the world, and their famous Dermacol Make-up Cover sells more than 3 million units every year.
While Dermacol cosmetics are most famous for their ability to cover skin imperfections, the brand now offers a wide range of foundations and primers with a lighter, more natural look that suits contemporary styles. It remains a family owned business, and many products are still made according to the original formula.
Manufaktura is another Czech beauty brand rooted in nature and local ingredients. Their cosmetics and fragrances are made by hand from local flowers, lavender, minerals, and even Czech beers and wines. Manufaktura was founded in 1991, when Prague was newly open to visitors from the West, and there were new opportunities to showcase local products, ingredients, crafts, and culture. Over the years, Manufaktura was able to grow by taking advantage of a changing economy: the company expanded into soaps and personal care products by purchasing an old soap factory in Libeň. A sugar beet factory outside of Prague became the site of the perfumery. The ancient traditions of Czech spas and thermal salt baths inspired a line of home spa products. A former Dominican convent laundry was converted into the brand’s flagship store.
Manufaktura is determined to showcase, feature, and support Czech traditions. The company collaborates with the Ministry of Culture, and works with more than 250 small-scale, traditional craftspeople to create authentic products that are more than just souvenirs and trinkets. Their cosmetics and personal care products are organic, cruelty-free, and focus on plant-based ingredients. Most Manufaktura products are suitable for vegans, since the only animal-derived ingredients they use are local beeswax and lanolin, that are extracted according to animal welfare principles.
Manufaktura has dozens of retail locations throughout Czechia, and their products are also available online for delivery around the world.
Czech beauty brands are so popular because the Czech tradition of natural, organic, local beauty products that are made with care has become so important to modern consumers. People are demanding sourceability, sustainability, and responsibility from beauty and personal care products, and these Czech brands have it in their DNA.
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