Today I’ve made the most exciting trip to Whole Foods, with full intention of quickly buying an eye-cream. I was going to make an ultra-quick choice. But after an hour of agitated discussion with my companion and the sales girl, I was still standing glued to the skin-care isle floor, paralyzed by indecision. (I’m always fussy about eye-creams, as my eyes rebel against almost everything I try. So I don’t particularly cherish the idea of spending fifty dollars for a tiny jar that could make me look like Dracula’s long lost sister.)
Sensing that we were going nowhere, the frustrated sales girl gave both my companion and I samples of reputation-wise deserving eye creams: “Daily Revitalizing Eye Cream” by Dr. Hauschka, and “Herbal Recovery Eye Gel” by Jurlique. Four cute little patches, completely free.
Both my companion and I have agreed to try them out, starting with Jurlique. First thing tomorrow. And I intend to write an extensive review, which hopefully will not include swollen eyes, fallen lashes, or x-ray vision…
But until that time, I figured I’ll do some more homework about Jurlique (since I’ve already tried Dr. Hauschka in the past, I wanted to know more about the alternative).
Here is what I found out:
Jurlique International Pty. Ltd. is an Australian based company that was founded in 1985 by Dr. Jurgen Klein, who has a PhD in Chemistry and a Naturopath Qualification. It manufactures and markets high-end natural-based skin care and aromatherapy products and herbal medicines in 20 countries via 30 or so company-owned concept stores plus a further 5000 retail outlets. (Source: smart company)
Jurlique uses organic and biodynamic ingredients in its formulas. The company owns two farms spanning over 165 acres in South Australia, where they grow over 35 different varieties of plants and flowers. 95% of the herbal ingredients used in their formulations are from these biodynamic farms. The balance of herbs, such as Arnica and Witch Hazel, cannot be grown in South Australia, so they are imported from certified organic farms.
Jurlique uses bio-intrinsic methods to get the plant extracts. When asked what it meant, Dr. Klein explained:
“We are very biodynamic. ‘Bio’ is the organic part, ‘dynamic’ is the energy part” It relies upon potentizing. We use an ancient Spagyric method from the middle ages, written down first in 1715. We call this the “Bio-intrinsic” method. With this method, the plant material is steam distilled to gain the volatile substances, followed by a percolation process to produce the liquid extracts, and the remains are then ashed to produce the vital trace elements. All substances derived from these three separate processes are then reunited to produce an extremely potent plant extract.”
The company’s guiding philosophies include naturopathy, alchemy, anthroposophy, aromatherapy, and herbal medicine. They are focused on preserving the “life force” of the plants they use. This is a quote from Jurlique’s official site:
“Life comes from life. The soil is alive. Plants and flowers are living. Life is ever-present and recurring. That life is in our products. Our products are very much alive, the moment that they touch your skin. Life from life.”
As you may remember from my previous writing this philosophy is close to my heart.
The only issue I’ve found about Jurlique is that it has gotten itself into trouble with the Australian Federal Court, and in February of 2007 it was fined $3.4 million for resale price maintenance. I.e. they “encouraged” the resellers to maintain a certain price level. I don’t think this is a sign of anything with the product. But it does somewhat explain the high prices. And made me really appreciate the “freeness” of the samples.
Lest anyone thinks any different, Jurlique is a successful business. Businesses are there to make money. They are trying to make more money, just like everyone else. They don’t want their products to go down in price, as that would undermine the “premium” image of the brand. The only reason you and I have heard about Jurlique, is because of its premiumness. It’s a marketing strategy. Every business has one. I’m saying this as a business school graduate, which I am. (Which also explains my obsessive research into financial data of companies I discover – and I didn’t find any financials on Jurlique… I did try…)
Were they right about how they went about doing it? I don’t know. I’m just presenting what I found. I don’t demonize people for wanting to make money. But it does serve well to remember that not everything a company “says” on its official page necessarily reflects everything it “does”.
But for now I’m still quite excited about trying out the samples. I haven’t heard anything negative about the products. So I’ll choose to believe that when Dr. Klein wears his “herbal” hat, he is much more focused on making a quality product, then on what price it can be sold at. So stay tuned for the reviews.