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Always Evolving

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: June 6, 2008, from the January 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

I have to say that I love my job. I am mentally and professionally challenged on a daily basis, work with a creative and talented team, and I have the pleasure of meeting with some very fascinating people, including industry legends.

I recently had the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with Jutta Kleine-Tebbe, chairwoman of the administrative board of BABOR Cosmetics—a remarkable woman with a fascinating story to tell. I was eager to hear her angle on this industry’s growth, and where she feels it is heading.

Kleine-Tebbe, a licensed esthetician herself, learned much of the business from her father, Leo Vossen, MD, who pioneered the concept for natural, biomedical skin care through his association with Michael Babor, PhD. Vossen then bought the company in 1962. Vossen took his daughter under his wing at the tender age of 18, and for 44 years she has devoted her career to the company, which recently was recognized with A Life of Beauty award, presented to her at Beauty International in Düsseldorf. This award salutes individuals who have devoted their lives to skin care and cosmetics, and are recognized as industry trailblazers.

So, what does this trailblazer think about the industry as it stands today? “In the 1990s, the industry boomed,” she told me, adding that this was the beginning of what has become a leading industry.

She added that this led into a generation of people who are more interested in antioxidants, and what is going on inside the body. “Today’s consumer wants to know about the ingredients in a product. They see skin care as a necessity, not a luxury,” she relayed. “Today’s spa-goer is also more educated. People take better care of themselves and their families—looking, feeling and smelling good—it all fits together. People want to make changes to better themselves.