Rich in History: Discover Omorovicza with Co-Founder Margaret de Heinrich
5th August 2019
By Erin Fox
Set to simulate the transformative mineral properties of Hungary’s thermal baths, skincare stalwart Omorovicza recreates the experience with its patented Healing Concentrate. We sit down with Co-Founder, Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza to discuss the brand’s rich history and how intrinsic it is to the brand’s DNA.
Skincare is a very personal thing – from the daily ritual of applying it, to the science of pinpointing how to treat your concerns, it truly varies from person to person. Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza experiences just that. Since the age of 13, she’s suffered from acne and extreme sensitivity, and her skincare concerns have continued to follow her into adulthood. And, with a list of new concerns, “Wrinkles are a sign of a life well lived but I don’t want many,” she notes, looking to the restorative properties of the mineral-rich Hungarian thermal baths has been saviour for her skin, from her late-20s to now.
Margaret and husband, Stephen, founded skincare stalwart [Omorovicza](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/omorovicza) in 2006, opening their first shop in Budapest. The pair met in the Hungarian capital when Margaret was working as a US Diplomat, and both became besotted by the healing powers of the thermal baths. And, with Stephen’s family connection to Hungary’s beauty culture and Margaret’s passion for skincare, it seemed only fitting to open a brand centred around the thermal baths. We sat down with co-founder, Margaret, to discuss the history, story-telling and inspiration for the luxury skincare brand (and its products). And, as she describes it, “Luxury at its best is when it has a point of view, and it’s not going to be for everyone. Luxury is really through innovation… we offer the best in modern luxury.” And we couldn’t agree more after talking to Margaret and testing the products ourselves.
EF: “What inspired you to create products centred around the spa capital of the world, Hungary?”
MDH: “Stephen and I met in Budapest, and I had never been to the thermal baths before I met him. When we first stated to date, he was really keen on showing me all the things that he really loved most about Budapest – it was his town. The waters were on the top of his list, and long story short, we would go to the baths, and Stephen was riveted by his family’s connection and by his personal experience – and I was equally besotted for the affect it had on my skin. I had horrible skin since I was about 13, and I noticed a real change to my skin and an overall sense of vitality that the baths gave us. It wasn’t so much like, ‘oh, let’s start a skincare company,’ we just started going back often.
And in parallel that is when my eyes started to open to the local beauty culture, which was diametrically opposed to what I had grown up around. When I was 13, I was marched off to a dermatologist for all of my skin problems, and I had my first facial at 19\. I started working at 15 and saved my money – it was a treat for me [the facial]. I loved it! And so, when I was in Budapest and I wasn’t in the thermal baths first thing before work started, I’d be finding out more about the beauty culture, and it was because of the facials. They are really part of the local community – they really aren’t expensive. But the people who are giving the facials are incredibility well educated, with at least three years of training. The facials they gave were amazing, but really what they passed to me was how you take care of your skin. This is where I learned about double cleansing; that oils are actually good for people with oily skin; how to detoxify your skin; and the effects of diet and weather on the skin. It wasn’t only these mineral rich baths that affected my skin, but it was exposure to the beauty culture that made a huge impact on me.
Stephen and I felt like we had something really special, namely that Budapest is a geological curiosity – it has the most thermal water sites than anywhere else in the world. But soon after formulating the idea of starting a skincare company using the baths Stephen’s family owns, we almost had to throw it all out of the window because our team said we could not simulate the same effect of the minerals in topical skincare because of the composition of the minerals. Then we developed and patented a way to make these minerals bioavailable, and that is what we put into every one of our products – known as our Healing Concentrate. And when we had that, we knew we could build our lives around this, and this is when we started going ahead with our brand.”
##### EF: “How are the thermal baths really intrinsic to the DNA of the brand?”
MDH: “It really is the discovery of the healing powers of these minerals that we were introduced to. The unique benefits have been delivered over centuries and how we experience them. It was really that excitement that we can share this with other people, once we figured out how to do it. It really was the heart of the project.”
##### EF: “What is it like working with a brand that has such a rich history?”
MDH: “The name of Omorovicza comes from the name of a town that was given to Stephen’s family a long time ago for various contributions to the country. In addition to being business people, they were philanthropists. And they so believed in the healing powers of these waters back in the day; they worked with the most famous architects closely to create, build and then donate the most amazing spa in Hungary. They were believers, definitely.”
##### EF: “How has this enabled you to have such great story telling for your brand?”
MDH: “It just is what it is. I always say to anyone, ‘If you had all of this around you, you’d create it too.’ It’s just a beautiful thing – you can’t make it up. This is just a beautiful discovery for us.”
##### EF: “Do you take inspiration from any other beauty cultures in the world – like the Russian Banyas or the Turkish Hammams?”
MDH: “One of the core values for Omorovicza is curiosity, and I think that, whether it be beautiful products, cultures or innovations – there is so much happening in our world that is exciting. Stephen and I both travel a lot, so what we see in Japan is exciting, as well as in Scandinavian, Russia and North Africa. For instance, when we came up with our BB Cream ages ago, Stephen was walking around one of our partner stores in South Korea, and the manager asked where our BB cream was. Stephen was trying to play it cool, and said it was coming soon, and asked to see his BB creams. Well, he shared that 60% of all sales come through BB creams. And when he came back, we started to develop our version, and when it launched, it was the first in the world to exclude silicone and won a lot of amazing awards. You have to travel to know what is happening in the market.”
##### EF: “How long does it take from initial thought to conception of a product?”
MDH: “It really depends – typically it takes 30 tries at a formula to get it right. There has been only one instance where we got it right on the first time, and it was with our [Night Cream](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/moisturisers/night-creams/rejuvenating-night-cream/2530010888681.html). But overall, it takes about two years to create a product.”
##### EF: “Can you tell me more about the Healing Concentrate? What is it composed of and what are its benefits?”
MDH: “It is effectively the result of transforming minerals, so that it can be used in topical skincare. Minerals are large compounds and are too large to be absorbed into the skin. When you are in these thermal waters, because of the heat, and the amount of time your skin is exposed to it, the benefits are absorbed. How does one recreate, if not enhance, the trip to the baths? What we did was develop and patent a process to take these minerals from these mineral rich waters, put it through a process of biofermentation – it is the only natural way to achieve cellular transformation. So that takes care of the surface and epidermis, then we wrap those minerals around a unique liposome, which serves as a vector that draws the minerals into the deeper layers of the skin. It recreates and enhances a trip to one of the baths and is in every one of our products.”
##### EF: “What is your skincare regime?”
MDH: “It changes all the time, usually dependent on the weather. I double cleanse always – I’m using a combination of the [Thermal Cleansing Balm](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/cleansers-and-toners/make-up-removers/thermal-cleansing-balm-50-ml/2530010967447.html) and the [Moor Cream Cleanser](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/cleansers-and-toners/cleansers/moor-cream-cleanser/2530010967409.html). I follow with the [Omoressence](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/treatments/specialist-treatments/omoressence/2530010888810.html), [Blue Diamond Concentrate](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/serum-and-treatments/blue-diamond-concentrate/2530010888520.html) and Blue Diamond Eye Cream. At the moment, I’m using the [Illuminating Moisturiser](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/moisturisers/day-creams/illuminating-moisturiser/2530010967232.html), and I mix it with the [Miracle Facial Oil](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/serums-and-oils/oils-and-gels/miracle-facial-oil/2530010967430.html). At night time, I like to use the [Midnight Radiance Mask](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/treatments/masks/midnight-radiance-mask/2530010967195.html) – I’ll sleep in it at least once a week. And I’m obsessed with the [Rejuvenating Night Cream](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/moisturisers/night-creams/rejuvenating-night-cream/2530010888681.html).”
#### **Discover Margaret's favourites**