Monday, January 9, 2012

The Eternal Erno Lazlo

You might be thinking "what does skin treatment" have to do with living the country lifestyle? My answer, "everything!"  When you spend as much time outdoors as I do, in all kinds of weather, treating your aging skin is vitally important; the elements can wreak havoc.



No one knew this better than Erno Lazlo.  Erno Laszlo products have been the secret of beauty icons from the Golden Age of Hollywood through today. Many famous ladies of the twentieth century, like Jackie Kennedy, Ava Garder, Audrey Hepburn, and Greta Garbo made Erno Laszlo part of their ritual. Hungarian-born Dermatologist Dr. Erno Laszlo developed his first products in 1927. Ahead of his time, he was first to produce sunscreen, skincare programs for teens and men, and pH balanced products.



Erno Laszlo was a medical doctor who, more or less, fell into dermatology after the notoriety he gained for improving the complexion of  Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, who suffered severe emotional distress and even humiliation due to the state of her skin.  Thus, Dr. Laszlo was a "celebrity doctor" long before they were a dime-a-dozen.  His clientele also included the Duchess of Windsor, Gloria Vanderbilt, Doris Duke, Lillian Gish, Paulette Goddard, and Marilyn Monroe, whose Laszlo beauty products were on the bedside table next to her death bed.



In the late 1940s, the Erno Laszlo Institute had over 3,000 clients, not one of whom bought their way in because Laszlo products were not for sale to non-members.  In order to be a member you had to be recommended - by at least two people - and each consultation was $75.00.  This was a lot of money back then.

Lazlo opened an office on Fifth Avenue in NYC in 1939.  As his fame increased, so did his client list which also included (by the 1960's) Truman Capote, Grace Kelly, Yul Brenner, and Hubert de Givenchy among others.  In 1966, Lazlo entered the retail market with partner Chesebrough-Ponds which later bought the company.  The company has changed hands several times since then but in 2011 the RBS Special Opportunities Fund managed by RBS Equity Finance backed Charles Denton in the acquisition of the company.


Lazlo must have been an interesting character.  He asked about his cleints' personal lives and refused to continue treating them if they failed to follow his advice.  He told Jackie Kennedy not to put any more oil or cream on her face and told Ava Gardner (in the above right photo) that she was lying about following his instructions. 

His products are legendary and many a boyfriend has commented about the black Sea Mud Soap in their girlfriends' bathrooms over the years.  There is only one!


This is great stuff and there is nothing else like it on the market today.  They have a very good Facebook page for additional information. You can buy the products on-line at Nordstrom's and other finer stores.  Are you a convert?



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