Insider's Guide to Spas


Beyond Beauty with Charlene & Kerstin Florian

Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Kerstin Florian’s inspiration for her brand came after she opened her skin-care salon at the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach in the late 1970s. “I couldn’t find a skin-care line that had everything I wanted,” she explains. “Most products in the ’70s were beauty products. I wanted to put vitamins and natural elements on my skin. I experimented with honey, almond, and mint to exfoliate the skin. I mashed fresh raspberries and used it as a mask. I found it worked, and that was the beginning of Kerstin Florian Skin Care.” Offering natural beauty treatments and creating a spa environment that is also an educational center has been her passion.

Continuing the Legacy

Charlene grew up with the Kerstin Florian philosophy. “She worked with me from the time she was ten years old, filling product, handwriting labels, and doing laundry. She started from the bottom, and has since then become a very educated woman on health and beauty,” states Kerstin. “She truly practices and lives a natural lifestyle. It’s very exciting for me to see the Kerstin Florian philosophy evolve. It is natural and has happened in an organic way that Charlene has become the spokesperson for Kerstin Florian. We have officially been working together for 22 years.”

Charlene’s leadership has allowed Kerstin to take more time off in recent days to enjoy her family and house in Sweden, and now she spends six months in Europe and six months in California. “I am still involved in the big picture direction for the company, doing research and development, and reviewing new products before they are launched, as well as some PR,” she says.

“Kerstin has always been a visionary,” shares Charlene. “She inspires me every day with her zest for life and looking at things in new and unexpected ways. My passion is the creative side of the business, education, formula development, details, and researching new longevity trends that help to promote wellness. We have always worked well together because we complement each other.”

The mother-daughter team says there are no challenges working together, and the biggest downfall is that they don’t get to see each other enough. “We have the same goals and are drawn to the same design style—modern and simple—same love and respect for nature and for technology,” says Kerstin. Being together, inspiring each other, and feeling great about helping others to discover their own wellness and beauty, they say, is what they are all about.

Evoking Passion

Kerstin’s passions are harmony, creating environments, and helping and motivating people; while Charlene’s passions are wellness, understanding how lifestyle choices influence well-being, nutrition, exercise, meditation, peace of mind, positive frame of mind, trends in water and energy, and caring for the body using the finest ingredients and natural resources. Blended together, their mission is to provide products that are effective for both the face and body.

Both agree that their personal philosophies align, as well: “Be the best person I can be, be of service to the world and others and enjoy every moment as the gift that it is.”

Kerstin states that the legacy continues and it works organically, little by little. “I am very happy to give the torch to Charlene and watch the evolution over time,” says Kerstin, adding, “Our future vision is to continue to inspire people to discover beauty from within.”

Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Melinda Taschetta-Millane is an award-winning writer and editor, and has specialized in the professional skin-care industry for the past 18 years. Formerly editor in chief of Skin Inc. magazine and conference program director for Face & Body, Melinda now works as a freelance contributor to the spa industry, and is based in Chicago.