Korean beauty, AKA K-Beauty, got us hooked on lush jelly cleansers and silky BB creams. Japanese beauty, or J-Beauty, gave us healthy SPF formulas, sake-based serums and sheet masks for days. Now, the biggest trend in skincare may just be German beauty – naturally, also known as G-Beauty.
What exactly is G-Beauty, then? It’s renowned for being efficient, made to target specific skin concerns, backed by scientific evidence and largely full of natural ingredients. German products are clean and straightforward. They’re no-nonsense, no frills, no fuss. Fittingly, they tend to appear in minimalistic packaging too, with a sleek, sensible aesthetic. Think of those classic packs of Nivea body cream: bold, simple, straightforward (You may not have even realised, but Nivea is actually a German brand and has been an absolute staple in the beauty aisles for decades, the perfect example of simple German goodness).
Generally, a “Made In Germany” sticker is a sign that a product is clean, natural and low in toxins. Beauty editors know to go German when they want something classic, functional and powerful. German beauty brands have a global reputation for being organic and sustainable, with the industry over there heavily into farm-based manufacturing. They’re also massive fans of new science when it comes to skincare, often using cutting-edge tricks and techniques to get the most out of natural ingredients. A good example of that is the brand Royal Fern, which includes patented, dermatologist-endorsed fern extract. The dermatologist behind that brand, Timm Golueke, told The New York Times that his product is the perfect example of “marrying wellness with German engineering.” That’s precisely what Germany does so well – and why we’re starting to hear more about their beauty ranges.
So, what products should we be on the lookout for and what could kickstart our G-Beauty obsession? You could go for an absolute classic: Skin Food Moisturiser from Swiss-German company Waleda, which has a cult following, allegedly including Julia Roberts, Victoria Beckham and Rihanna. They’ve been around since 1921, but they’ve only recently become a global bestseller. You could try something by Barbor, like their famous “beauty amboules”, which are tiny glass canisters of hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
You might like to try a little something by Dusseldorf-based aesthetic medical doctor, Dr Barbara Sturm. She’s famous for creating custom-made skin creams using people’s actual blood. If that’s not quite your style, you could start with her much-worshipped Brightening Serum. In typical German style, it has cress sprouts extract and shimmer particles to really get a proper glow going on the skin. If you want to fill your bathroom cabinet with more German goodies, check out brands like Art Deco, A4, Zoeva and Und Gretel.
Basically, G-Beauty is all about cleanliness, simplicity and efficiency. They tend to push new science, simple packaging and a less-is-more philosophy. Keep an eye out for it – it’s going to be huge.