Alongside its luxury watches and divine chocolate, another of Switzerland’s greatest exports, the luxury skincare industry, is thriving, as Lucinda Turner discovers
Switzerland is famous for its fresh mountain air and crystal-clear lakes, so it may come as no surprise to learn that its residents are renowned for their perfect skin. There is a little more to these complexions than the natural benefits of the countryside, however, and luckily enough the secrets can be brought home in travel-sized bottles.
La Prairie is probably the most internationally recognised brand on the Swiss skincare scene. Founded in 1931, La Prairie’s foundations lie in cellular science and the research of scientist Dr Paul Niehans. By the 1950s many notable figures, including the Pope, had travelled from all over the world to visit Niehans’ clinic, on the shores of Lake Geneva, for rejuvenating treatments.
The world-renowned skincare line followed shortly after and science joined forces with pure luxury in 1987 with the introduction of La Prairie’s famous Skin Caviar – a nourishing facial serum enriched with real caviar. In the 2000s the brand began experimenting with other luxury ingredients, with launches such as the Radiance Collection, containing 24-carat gold, and the Platinum Rare Cellular Cream, made with real platinum.
These luxury ingredients come with a luxury price tag to match, but La Prairie users lend to be lifelong converts, forsaking all other brands in the pursuit of youthful skin. La Prairie’s latest offering, White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire, features the brand’s signature caviar, along with a newly developed molecule which harnesses the power of light to provide the most luminous skin imaginable.
When it comes to youth-enhancing skincare on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Prairie is most certainly not the only brand in town. Launched in 2005, L Raphael’s Temple of Beauty has become a pioneering destination in the world of skincare, well-being and rejuvenation. Rather than looking to the world of luxury ingredients to create its anti-ageing products, L Raphael’s scientific research focuses on the use of oxygen and ultrasound treatments.
Its patented LEC-40 formula is used in all of its products and features an array of proteins and vitamins, allowing any other active ingredients to penetrate the skin more deeply. Treatments at the Temple of Beauty, as well as L Raphael’s range of products, focus not only on the face, but also on the full body to offer a more youthful and firmer appearance, from head to toe.
As well as championing its innovative products, L Raphael also promotes what it refers to as the 7 Foundations of Beauty – an idea that, as well as through aesthetic treatments, true beauty comes from within. The seven pillars are stress management, age management, nutrition, aesthetic treatments, medical treatments, physical activity and taking time for leisure, all of which can be experienced at the original wellness clinic in Geneva and at L Raphael’s Temple of Beauty in New York, as well as its spas in Cannes, Beverly Hills and Verbier.
If you don’t have time to book in for a full treatment, a quick yet indulgent skincare treat to take home is available in the form of the brand’s new Royal C Power Cure masks. Featuring stress-preventing Swiss Alpine extracts and an extra dose of vitamin C, these daily masks promise luminous skin, even when you aren’t close to Lake Geneva’s shores.
Taking advantage of the natural wonders of the Swiss landscape has become part and parcel of skincare offerings from the country’s leading brands. Valmont Cosmetics was launched by the prestigious Clinique Valmont in the 1980s and in the mid 1990s the brand introduced one of its star ingredients, Eau des Glaciers – mineral-rich glacial spring water. To this day, the Swiss countryside continues to inspire Valmont’s products.
One of the brand’s bestsellers is the Elixir des Glaciers Votre Visage, bringing the restorative properties of natural springs directly to your skin. Further ingredients are grown in the company’s specially designed Phyto-Alpine garden in the Swiss Alps to ensure absolutely purity of the plants.
It’s not just nature that gives Valmont’s skin brightening formulas their edge. There is considerable science behind the brand and its exclusive Triple DNA molecule runs throughout the collections, offering unparalleled moisture.
Valmont’s latest launch, the Eye Care Expert Kit, is the ideal travelling companion, combining natural Swiss ingredients with a healthy helping of cell-stimulating science to rejuvenate and refresh tired eyes.
Whether you’re searching for eternal youth, spectacular science or simply the appearance of having had a good night’s sleep, the Swiss skincare industry is a essential world to discover. Book yourself in for a pampering treatment or simply select the ideal souvenir to take home to unlock the secrets to splendid skin.