European Beauty Musings: German Apotheke OTC Review, Part 1

IMG_4465.JPGI live in the land of brauts, schnitzels, and Weißbier. I didn’t know what they were until I moved here.  In the beginning, all I wanted to do was drive on the autobahn and try their delicious beers. Well their beers and autobahn have lived up to my expectations. ( I don’t eat pork so I don’t know much about their brats, or schnitzels)..

This is a country run by efficiency, recycling and over-engineering, so it shouldn’t surprise you their skincare is backed by research, innovation, and testing. I have to admit, because their apotheke (pharmacy) OTC brands are so good, I’m not too familiar with higher-priced point brands other than Babor (which I will talk about at a future date.) I love their lower price point brands such as Balea, (DM house brand owned by Alverde)  Lavera, Welda, Eucerin (not the same quality as the one in USA), L’oreal (again, German quality is different than USA) and I also am in love with their baby skincare line and will write a post on this. They are amazing for everyday use, especially their powder, and lotions.

This post will have couple parts to it because, there is so much to share.I understand these products might not be readily available in your country, If you are interested in any of these products after my review and I can see how we can get the products to you if you cannot find it in your country. Email here.

  1. Lavera is an organic skin care line sold in drugstores and organic supermarkets. They do not sell it in the apotheke.For over 25 years, Lavera have manufactured all natural skincare and cosmetics to the highest quality standards. Using herbal ingredients, certified organic whenever possible, Lavera products are all formulated without synthetic preservatives, colors or fragrances, developed to be effective yet gentle for sensitive skin, and safe for you, your family and the environment. Lavera Natural Cosmetics is the leading natural and organic skincare brand certified organic by NaTru and the are against animal testing. I love everything about this line. I find their products nourishing, hydrating and it also smells wonderful. I don’t mind slathering on the night cream, balm or hand cream because it’s a great price point. I think their body wash, lotions, shampoo are also good for the price point and because I know the ingredients are natural without fillers, I don’t ever hesitate to buy it. The only one thing I don’t like is their conditioners! Germans have a thing about when a product lathers too much it must not be natural.. so a lot of their products have a lower sud level/lather level. However when I first used their conditioner, I thought I made a mistake and bought their body lotion (again I can’t read Germany really well!) only to find out I was indeed using their hair conditioner. It feels like body lotion and goes on like a body lotion and you wonder after you rinse it off it it really indeed can work as a body lotion instead of conditioner! 🙂

2.   Eucerin: My family use Eucerin for daily body lotion. I like the one that is from Germany.  Currently we are finishing up the Ph 5 Lotion. This is for extremely dry skin and also sensitive skin. and at the time of this writing, I do not believe they import this to USA. It contains pH5 Enzyme Protection, which has been clinically proven to activate skin’s own enzymes. We love this one because my kids have eczema. The smell is mild, and it is easy to apply.  It isn’t so thick like other Eucerin creams where you have to be rubbing for hours (okay exaggeration here) in order to blend it into your skin. The only con I have about this product is the bottle, you can’t unscrew the top off in order to finish off every bit of the lotion, so we end up leaving it upside down when we are in the final drops..


Now this is the best part of the Ph5.. and this is where German engineering comes in: It has also been shown to prevent 90% of pollen penetration through skin, and is therefore suitable for use on allergy stressed skin. Thanks to Dexpanthenol the formula has wound healing properties. This is great news for pollen sufferers  who have dry skin, but my daughter has dry skin due to her milk allergies and not pollen! 

There is one that Eucerin sells in the USA and it is similar to the Ph5 and it is the Eucerin Urea is a substance that is found naturally in the skin, which by its nature is very attracted to water.  There is a 5% and 10% formulation. 10% is for extremely dry versus the 5%. I have tried the 5% one and my daughter prefers the Ph5 over Urea.

It is used to help rehydrate dry, scaly skin. I have tried this one, and prefer the Ph5 over Urea because occasionally it stings initially on her skin when she applies the Urea 5%.  

Here is a tip: By smoothing and softening the skin moisturisers can increase the absorption of other medicines that are applied to the skin. This can be useful in conditions such as eczema because it improves the ability of other medicines, such as corticosteroid creams, to penetrate the skin and reduce inflammation. However, if they are applied at the same time, moisturisers can also dilute the active ingredient of other medicines applied to the skin, so you should try to avoid applying them within about half an hour of medicated creams, ointments and lotions.

I’ve been writing for couple hours now, so I’m ready to take a break and drink some water!  Stay tune for Part 2!

xoxo, Grace

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