Not only can shopping abroad save you lots of money, but many times you can purchase things that you simply can’t buy outside of that country. One of the first things I look for is beauty products, especially in Germany. The biggest buzz in the beauty world is K-Beauty, Korean beauty products, but did you know the product that started the whole phenomenon- the BB cream, is originally a German invention? A German dermatologist, Dr. Christine Schrammek, created this multi-purpose miracle cream to protect the skin of her patients after chemical peels and surgery while also giving them some color coverage. This is the foundation of why Korean cosmetics are so popular, all the products have multiple functions and benefits, but few know that German cosmetics have been touting these features for a long time, as well.
Another reason why I love to buy beauty products abroad is that the FDA equivalent in Europe & Asia is MUCH more strict than in the US. This affects the quality of food and of beauty products. The same exact product that is marketed in the US and in Asia or Europe, can have different ingredients- the quality being higher in Asia/Europe.
When it comes to natural & organic beauty products, there’s no country that does it better than Germany. I always look for Dr Hauschka products in Germany and save at least 30% off the USD prices. The brand has a huge celebrity following (Kate Upton, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, etc), but it’s pretty hard to find in the US (I’ve found it at Barney’s New York & some Whole Foods). I love their Rose Day Cream, Clarifying Intense Treatment (I use it as a toner) and Cleansing Cream which combines calendula, chamomile & St. John’s wort with sweet almond meal to remove dirt & impurities.
Below are my favorite German beauty products that you can’t find in the US:
Beyer & Söhne
This is my absolute favorite brand that I just discovered. Beyer & Söhne was started by a German Pharmacist and his two sons- a family committed to creating the most natural & effective skincare products. The products are inexpensive, but some of the best I’ve tried. It’s virtually impossible to buy outside of Germany. They produce their products in small batches and only sell online- so you receive the products as fresh as possible. All their products are free of mineral oils, silicones, parabens, color, perfumes and are 100% vegan.
The must get items are:
Hautcreme+, a vitamin infused anti-aging cream. This soft cream features pure, effective ingredients such as resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects against UV rays and hyaluron which stores moisture, counteracts wrinkles & inhibits inflammation. I am a Creme de La Mer devotee, but have been obsessed with this creme since I first tried it. I now alternate between the two.
Squalan, a moisture-binding serum. Squalane is a natural component of the skin’s own lipid film and protects the skin against moisture loss. I use this serum after cleansing and before my moisturizer, and it gives me the most perfect, non-greasy glow.
Microfibre, a hypoallergenic & machine-washable cleansing cloth. It’s seems old fashioned, but there is nothing that cleans & exfoliates my skin with zero side-effects, as well as, a cloth with a cleanser in a hot shower. Way better than my La Mer facial scrub, Foreo or a Clarisonic brush (I’ve tried them all). And this one is so, super soft!
🗝 Tip for buying Beyer & Söhne: since you can only order it online, use google translate to navigate the site and place an order before your trip and have it delivered to wherever you’re staying in Germany.
Bebe Rose Lip Balm
You’ll see German lip balm brands everywhere- Labello, Nivea, etc, but one of my favs is Bebe. It’s incredibly cheap, paraben-free and works great. I love the rose version.
Primavera Chamomile Eye Contour Cream
This organic brand focuses on fair-trade, medicinal plant ingredients in all of their products. I love their chamomile eye cream. It’s great for sensitive skin. It’s cool & soothing to the touch and is incredibly moisturizing.
Sante Nail Polish in #200 Unterlack
This formaldehyde-free polish delivers a hint of sheer, pinky-nude color that lasts forever. The formula is technically a base coat, but I love layering a couple coats for a gorgeous neutral nail.
*All three of the above can be found at most drug stores/pharmacies.