Most women ask their husbands to buy them jewellery or shoes as a token of love. Dr Clemens Belter's wife Gertraude received a skincare brand. Dr Belter was such a devoted husband that he created the brand for his wife in 1979, as she ran a beauty school and was tired of the poor quality products available on the market. Being a biochemist, Clemens was able to formulate better products. Thus the German brand — which fuses raw, organic ingredients with top-notch technology — was born.
Today the family-run brand has been passed down to the next generation. Dr Clemens Belter's son Florian runs the business-side of things, and his wife Sonia Belter-Helal, a biologist by training, is active in formulation and product development. Astonishingly, the brand has 11 lines to cater to every skin type from acne-prone skin to ageing complexions. We speak to Sonia, who has been working alongside her father-in-law for over 20 years, to find out more on their latest launches and what sets the brand apart.
What makes Dr Belter different from other brands?
We follow a 'green tec' philosophy. We actually fuse together concepts that are usually opposed to each other — and that is natural, plant-derived, ingredients (that are partly of organic origin) with high-tech, medical, active ingredients that are more typical for cosmeceuticals. Normally these spheres are completely opposed to each other, but we combine highly-effective, patented ingredients with organic ingredients.
The trend in Germany and Europe is conscientious consumption — being green and caring about the planet. At the same time, modern women cannot go without the visible reffects that high-tech ingredients give. It's just like how women in their private life want to play multiple roles: businesswoman, mother and cool chick all at once. We try to combine all these multiple facets in our products.
Is it difficult to formulate your products?
It is actually not difficult: The quality of organic oils and ingredients is no different from others. It's just that we support people in smaller projects and who take an eco-friendly approach to farming. Organic ingredients are not any better or worse in their chemical or physiological effects. It is more costly though, so this is more of a social project.
As a German skincare brand do you hold yourself to high standards?
The seal 'Made in Germany' has such a good reputation. We feel as a German family business we have to strive to really represent this seal. Interestingly, after World War I, the Germans were forced to write 'Made in Germany' on their products so people could choose whether they want to buy their products or not. So initially it was negative branding, but with time and excellence, it became exactly the opposite! Germany is now known for effective, safe and reliable products.
You have 11 different skincare ranges. Why is there a need for such variety?
We are a business-to-business supplier, and it is important that our professional clients can treat anyone who walks into their salon. We have different skincare lines at different price points. We want our clients to make a good choice for their skin, as there are so many different issues and tendencies.
The variety is a quality aspect in itself. The different price points also mean that even young people — for example someone who has acne-prone skin — can do something good for their skin. It also serves women who want high-end products. Dr Belter has a strong problem-skin focus. We have a complete care line for acne skin as well as for hyper-sensitive, rosacea and couperosis-affected skin.
What are your three new or must-have products from the brand?
I love our ampoules because they are very highly-concentrated. Because they are a mono-dose and used up immediately, they don't contain preservatives and emulsifiers. They are very pure and non-greasy on skin.
The Multi-Benefit Colour Balm is a new product. The CB is also a reference to the initials of Dr Clemens Belter. It it is more than a BB cream or a CC cream. This multi-functional product has anti-ageing, moisturisation and sun protection (with an SPF15) benefits and comes in three shades. I just need to use an ampoule and put this on top of it, and my skin is perfect.
Our new sunscreen has a semi-liquid, non-heavy texture and is specially-deisgned for the face. In addition to the normal sun protection factors, like filters and pigments, we have anti-ageing factors that give the skin biological protection. There are ectoin and vitamins that trap free radicals in the formulation. Plus it is non-greasy and has a pleasant smell without containing a perfume.
Dr Belter is available at Annabelle Skin, #02-42 The Adelphi