Celebrating 30 Years Of Bio-Oil | People Magazine

Celebrating 30 Years Of Bio-Oil

Celebrating 30 Years Of Bio-Oil

Proudly South African brand, Bio-Oil, is one of the world’s fastest growing skincare products, and is now available in over 125 countries across five continents. Bio-Oil has won 349 skincare awards and has become the No.1 selling scar and stretch mark product in 24 countries, including South Africa, since its global launch in 2002. In celebration of Bio-Oil’s 30th birthday, the iconic brand shares its road to success and reveals its new packaging design.

From 1987 to 2017

After many years of researching and developing a specialist skincare product to help relieve his persistent dry skin condition, Dieter Beier, a German chemist living in South Africa, was finally ready to launch his oil-based skincare solution. The year was 1987 and the product was Bio-Oil. Beier’s concept for the Bio‑Oil formulation was to take vitamins and plant extracts, and suspend them in an oil base. Oil creates an oxygen-free environment for its active ingredients. Vitamins and other natural extracts can be suspended in oil for an indefinite period, their potency intact, without the complications of added preservatives.

Beier’s challenge was to create an oil that was light and non-greasy so that it could be easily absorbed into the skin. The breakthrough came with the inclusion of PurCellin Oil™. This unique ingredient changed the formulation’s overall consistency, reducing the thickness of Bio-Oil and ensuring optimal absorption of its key ingredients: Vitamins A and E, and Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile oils.

Despite Beier’s breakthrough, Bio-Oil sat quietly on the shelves of South African retailers for 13 years. The followers it had were loyal, but most consumers hadn’t heard of it. That changed when Beier retired and sold Union Swiss to brothers Justin and David Letchert in 2000. The brothers sold all of the products in the Union Swiss group bar the one they believed had potential – Bio-Oil.

Perhaps because it is a single product, and not a range, Bio-Oil has always felt like a little brand; a brand people feel they can talk to, ‘share’ with. And on handing over the reins to Justin and David, Beier also handed them a shoebox of treasured letters he received from satisfied Bio-Oil customers.

On reading these testimonials, the brothers discovered that Bio-Oil was not just a dry skin product, in fact most of the users were describing the success they were having in treating their scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone.

While the Letschert brothers retained Bio-Oil’s original formulation, they did two things: they updated the packaging to state the conditions for which Bio-Oil was being used to better suit its problem-solution positioning, and they changed Bio-Oil’s communication strategy. From that day, the lifeblood of the Bio-Oil advertising would be the testimonials of its users.

And Bio-Oil took off. From sales of a couple of thousand units a month, sales jumped to ten thousand, then twenty thousand. Within five years Bio-Oil was the No.1 selling scar and stretch mark product in South Africa. Knowing they had a winning product, the Letschert brothers rolled the brand out globally. Bio-Oil was launched in the U.K. in 2002, in Australia the following year, then New Zealand, Japan, Canada, the U.S.A and the Netherlands. And gradually, in each country, with a little persistence, Bio-Oil caught on.

In the 17 years since its packaging was last updated, Bio-Oil has grown from a product sold in one country to a product available in 125 countries, recommended by doctors the world over and loved and respected by millions of repeat users. Bio-Oil has moved from simply being a product to being a brand that to many people stands for integrity, professionalism, and researched efficacy.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Bio-Oil

And so it is with great excitement as Bio-Oil celebrates its 30th birthday that the new packaging design is revealed.



I am Beauty Editor at People Magazine and a make-up artist. I have worked with many celebrities, including, Phumeza Mdaba, Boity, Zuraida Jardine and Rolene Strauss. I always knew I would work in magazines, as I grew up in publishing (my parents are publishers). When I’m not writing beauty or following my passion for make-up, I can be found reading and spending time with family and friends. I am also a tea-lover

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