How Weleda Became the Celebrities’ Favourite Affordable Skincare Brand
Main image – @haileybieber/Instagram
Question: What do you get when you mix a viral skincare brand, a huge celebrity following and products that don’t cost the earth? Answer: Weleda Skincare.
With an impressively long list of celebrity fans under its belt, what makes Weleda tick? How did the brand start? And why are products like Skin Food so sought after by the A-listers and TikTokers alike?
I sat down with Weleda Skincare expert Elizabeth King to find out why she thinks this affordable brand keeps going viral.
Founded in Switzerland in 1921 and established in London in 1925, British Weleda Company went from importing most of its range from Switzerland to making its own products in the UK, thanks to wartime restrictions.
“When London was bombed in the blitz, Weleda evacuated to the countryside, and established organic gardens to grow its own ingredients,” King explains. “Eventually Weleda UK moved to Derbyshire where it continues to thrive today, both manufacturing and also growing herbal ingredients in its Demeter-certified organic herb gardens.”
Very few people remember what they were doing 100 years ago, but thanks to the brand’s legacy, the Weleda team are proud to have celebrated their 100-year anniversary in 2021.
“Not many beauty brands reach 100 years, and fewer still with products from their original range still on the market today,” King says.
“From the beginning, Weleda committed to ‘unfolding health and beauty in harmony with nature and the human being’, our company purpose.
The celebrity fans
Weleda boasts supporters like Hailey Bieber, Victoria Beckham, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Brooke Shields, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, Kerry Washington, Winona Ryder, Priyanka Chopra, Sharon Stone, Emma Watson, Drew Barrymore and Jane Fonda. (I could go on…)
skin prep before getting my glam done! ??
But why do celebrities love Weleda so much? “It’s probably because the range offers a variety of multi-tasking products and provides much needed skin rescue and repair,” King explains.
“Makeup artists know they can rely on our products to prep skin gently but effectively, so their client’s makeup looks really fabulous on the red carpet.”
The cult products
If you’ve heard of, or even used Skin Food Original, you might agree that it’s one of life’s little skin blessings. “It has inspired a whole range of Skin Food products, including a Skin Food Light, Lip Balm, Body Lotion and Body Butter,” says King.
But what you may not have realised is that, despite its recent fame thanks to the likes of Hailey Bieber, it’s actually almost 100 years old.
“Weleda Skin Food Original launched in 1926. Over the generations [it’s] developed a huge following and is today a celebrity favourite and top seller with one sold every 10 seconds.”
Victoria Beckham even revealed she “always” keeps one in her handbag and admited to being “obssessed” with the product in a video for British Vogue.
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For anyone who’s never tried this multiuse product, allow King to share the different ways in which she uses hers. “As an overnight recovery mask [or] I like to apply a little to the ends of my hair, to tame my frizzy and unruly curly hair,” she says.
“I keep a travel-sized tube in my make-up bag, and use it to highlight cheekbones and if collar bones exposed, I like to highlight these too with a little Skin Food glow. I [also] keep a tube by my bedside to combat skin roughness around elbows and heels.” Well, if it’s good enough for the Weleda Skincare expert…
Another top seller is the Revitalising Hair Tonic with Rosemary. “It was part of the original Weleda range from 1921, the year that Weleda was founded,” King continues.
“Since it went viral on TikTok, this product is consistently amongst our top 10 bestsellers in our range of over 200 products, with a bottle selling every 60 seconds.” It’s another multi-tasker too and King keeps it well and truly in the family;
“It provides daily support for my husband’s sensitive scalp and thinning hair,” she adds. “My daughter loves how it gives her hair bounce and leaves a glorious healthy sheen.
[And] with my curly hair and tendency to a dry scalp, the daily spritz and scalp massage with the tonic not only helps groom and tidy the curls, but also leaves my scalp feeling fresh, comfortable and healthy.”
So, what does a member of the Weleda team take to a desert island? “Skin Food Cleansing Balm for sure,” she says.
“The oil content in the formulation easily dissolves impurities, but once water is added it turns into a milk, making removal of the balm really efficient. And the additional bonus is that it can also be left on as a 15-minute nourishing mask.”
It’s not just the brand’s affordable price tags and cult fame that’s appealing to Weleda’s fan though, it’s what’s inside the products that counts too, according to King.
“Our range has excellent credentials, for example our natural and organic cosmetics are all NATRUE-certified, and consumers often comment on how they feel confident that Weleda is the safe choice for their skin.”
The brand is also conscious of its carbon footprint, with glass and aluminium used in packaging wherever possible and 40% of packaging currently made with recycled materials.
Given that Gen Z is possibly the most environmentally conscious generations so far, the brand’s green credentials may explain some of its more recent success.
The rules of skincare
Ok, but what advice do the people with 100 years of skincare experience have for me on my own routine?
“I am a great believer in the less is more principle,” King says.
“Both product and routines should be simple but purposeful. Only purchase what you need, and application methods should be mindfully done.” Sound advice, unless mindful application means it’ll take longer. It shouldn’t, says King.
“Rather, the same amount of time you might have spent rubbing and scrubbing, pulling and tugging, you use relaxed fingers and beginning movements at the forehead instead, working down the face for example.”
And remember to apply your skincare in the right direction, she explains. “Movements, whether cleansing circles or sweeping application, should also always be in an outward direction,” she adds.
Let’s face it, what we all want in life is world peace and a healthy looking glow. King’s advice? “Apply a little oil or serum to your skin followed with a press and release action using your hands along your forehead, cheeks and jawline,” she says.
“The suction created effectively activates the skin’s microcirculation and lymphatic flow. I also recommend adding one or two facial yoga exercises to your daily skincare routine to support the eye area, a crinkly forehead or jowls.”
Who can argue with a brand that’s existed, and quite frankly nailed it, for over 100 years? The proof is in the sales as well as its huge following.
King says their core principles are as follows. “Acting holistically, taking responsibility, and gaining trust through transparency and integrity.” Who doesn’t want skincare that represents that?