If you’ve written about skincare for as long as I have, or you’re a beauty junkie who has to try the treatment du jour, chances are there are few surprises left on the facial front. But trust me when I say the Green Peel Herbal Peeling Treatment by Düsseldorf-based spa brand Dr. med Schrammek is unlike anything out there.
So what exactly is the Green Peel, and why is it so unique? It’s all about the mid- and post-treatment crunchy “sparkle” it delivers, which feels a bit like ground fiberglass. Sound scary? It isn’t—especially when you see the results, which I’ll get to in a bit.
But First, A Bit About the Schrammek Brand
The Green Peel, created by Essen, Germany-based skin savant Christine Schrammek in 1958, spawned an entire brand. In the 1940s, when Schrammek was forced to abandon her medical studies because of the war, she quickly discovered a new passion: esthetics. From that signature peel, crafted from a mix of eight herbs powered by enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that are massaged into the skin, the brand’s growth was fast.
By 1964, Schrammek had founded the first institute for holistic cosmetics. Just three years later, an expanded version of that institute—The Professional School for Holistic Cosmetics—opened in Essen, as well as the International Training Centre for Beauticians.
By 1964, Schrammek had founded the first institute for holistic cosmetics.
Also in 1967, Schrammek unveiled a tinted treatment product called Special Beauty Care Cream for Blemished Skin, widely considered the world’s first BB cream.
Schrammek’s dermatologist daughter, Christine Schrammek-Drusio, joined her mother in business in 1988. Within a decade, Schrammek-Drusio launched her namesake “derma cosmetics” brand, Dr. med Schrammek, now made up of ten categories, including Hydrating, Sensitive, Mela White, and Regulating.
Today, the Schrammek brand, which relocated to Düsseldorf in 1999, is led by the original founder’s grandson, Alexander Drusio, who serves as CEO. Additionally, Alexander’s sister, Christina Drusio, a medical specialist in dermatology, is heavily involved with product development, education, and training.
And Now Back to that Pine-Hued Peel . . .
Ranging in intensity, the Green Peel is available in three strengths: Classic, a medium-depth peel promising nothing short of skin renewal; Energy, which delivers “regeneration” sans peeling; and Fresh Up, a “refreshment” that also doesn’t generate the peeling effect. When I met with uber-esthetician Victoria Waked, Schrammek’s head of training for the US, she was leaning toward Energy or Fresh Up for me, for good reason.
The Classic Green Peel will only deliver optimal results if you follow a strict post-treatment protocol that involves steering completely clear of sun and not allowing water to touch your face for five days. I live in Florida, and I play entirely too much tennis; I’m a lousy candidate for the Classic.
But I insisted on the Classic, and I’m glad I did. Although that ground-fiberglass effect I mentioned earlier feels very, very weird, and my face was seriously pink for several hours after the treatment, my skin looked incredible within a few days. And not just soft and de-flaked. I’m talking a noticeable lightening of sun-induced pigmentation. I asked Alexander Drusio, who has been tasked with launching Schrammek in the US, about the unique crunchy sensation the peel imparts.
“The texture comes from compounding the herbs into a finely milled powder, allowing the skin to effectively absorb the nutrients, minerals, and enzymes during the massage,” he says. “After receiving the Green Peel treatment, there is a distinct ‘sparkling’ sensation when touching the skin. This is a good sign the herbs are working to increase cellular turnover.”
Just don’t expect to find a less-intense, DIY version of the Green Peel at a Sephora near you anytime soon. “We believe in our professionals—who are experts in skincare—for a reason,” says Drusio. “The safety and effectiveness of the original Green Peel cannot be replicated through self-use at home. What is vitally important for home use, though, is the correct skincare routine with products that support and amplify the treatment results. That’s the secret hook for thorough, lasting results.”
On the Move in America
While New York City or LA would seem the likeliest US cities for a European spa skincare brand to establish an American headquarters, Drusio opted for Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas is a prestige destination for world-class spas with an international clientele, which perfectly fits the philosophy of Dr. med Schrammek,” he explains. “We find talented staff with both upscale beauty and hospitality backgrounds here. This adds a very professional and signature family-oriented approach to our service, to differentiate Schrammek from many US brands.” Even more unusually, Drusio and his team are camped-out in a WeWork rather than fancy corporate digs.
“As we’re growing fast, flexibility is a huge asset,” he says. “Having our offices within WeWork allows us to scale and adapt quickly. We can focus on the business and our customers while everything else is taken care of. That’s a lean setup that really reduced our time-to-market.”
An Early Win Stateside: The Spa at Casa Cipriani
Evidently, Drusio’s plan is already working; Schrammek recently rolled-out the Green Peel carpet to American journalists at The Spa at Casa Cipriani. “We were seeking a premier luxury spa in New York City to co-host our brand introduction and Green Peel experience among US media,” says Drusio. “The Spa at Casa Cipriani was our first, and only, consideration. Certainly, it aligns with our luxury positioning and offers a very beautiful, landmark setting.”
And then there’s the Spa at Casa Cipriani’s world-class team, starting with Spa Director Miriam Liberman-Alicea, Head Esthetician Samantha Susca, and Master Therapist Kelly Dunning. “We trained them on protocol and products,” says Drusio, “and they’ve been offering [the Green Peel] to their clientele ever since.”
As for what’s next, Drusio is keeping mum. “We’re talking to other potential partners, but unable to name them at this stage,” he says. “Our objective is to amass a select group of partners associated with luxury resort destinations. Casa Cipriani is a perfect example. The Four Seasons would be a dream partner as well.”
Until then, Drusio is letting Schrammek’s legacy open the doors. “We have sixty years of proven efficacy in seventy countries,” he says. “There are not many brands, in the US—or the world, for that matter—that can claim such a distinction. Our job now is to ensure the American consumer knows this, and that she can readily experience our treatments and buy our products.”