Working as a nurse in Germany, Luise Peyton tapped plant-based ingredients and herbal remedies to help treat children’s skin problems and embraced biodynamic cosmetics for her own sensitive skin. After moving to the United States, she launched retail and wholesale business Eco-Beauty Organics as a way to bring the high-quality products she had discovered in Germany to the U.S. market.
Now Peyton imports German beauty brand Martina Gebhardt Naturkosmetik, which is certified to Demeter Biodynamic standards, and sells direct to consumers and to small businesses. As Peyton maps out next steps for the small company’s growth and distribution models, she explains why biodynamic cosmetics should stake their claim in the U.S. market.
newhope360: Do you think “organic” cosmetics are important to American consumers?
Luise Peyton: There is an increasing awareness about the value of true organic skin care and cosmetics. More and more consumers embrace a healthier lifestyle and demand products that are free of harmful substances. High quality and truly natural skin care products without harmful substances actually make a lot of sense; it is an important part of sensible skin care strategies and good healthcare.
newhope360: Are organic and Biodynamic certifications more recognized in Europe?
LP: In Germany, organic and biodynamic are widely recognized, and I assume that they are well-recognized in other European countries as well. biodynamic agriculture is actually the oldest organic and sustainable farming system that dates back to 1928. It also has the strictest certification guidelines.
newhope360: Why did you decide to import and distribute Martina Gebhardt?
LP: Natural treatments and herbal salves have a long tradition in my country, and we used natural treatments also in hospital settings. During my career as a nurse I also taught classes in personal care and how to raise a child naturally. So, I have been interested in cosmetic ingredients for many, many years.
Also, during my childhood I suffered from atopic eczema and so did my son. As an adult, I still had very sensitive skin and wasn’t able to use mainstream skin care products as my skin would react to it. I always looked for products that my skin was able to tolerate. I had tried many different natural brands in Germany. I came across Martina Gebhardt products back in 1990, and I remember the first time I applied it to my skin. It felt so good! When I moved to the U.S., I just missed the products and decided to bring this unique product line here.
newhope360: What is its distribution model in Europe and what will it be here?
LP: The products are sold to spas and health food stores. I’m still a very small business here. I’m not sure yet what distribution model I’m going to choose. Currently, we ship directly to consumers and businesses from our location.
newhope360: What is the one thing you tell consumers about “biodynamic” cosmetics?
LP: Our products are now certified biodynamic. This is currently the highest achievable quality in organic skin care products and it is verified. No greenwashed products. But actually, the quality of our products speaks for itself and doesn’t need aggressive promotion. When I talk to consumers, I try to teach a realistic approach to skin care. We don’t sell any miracle products and don’t make any unrealistic promises. Good skin care starts with wholesome nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Martina Gebhardt Biodynamic skin care products are just excellent "helpers" to protect, nurture and support the skin in order to keep it healthy and resilient.