The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills Commend the Life of the Late Horst Rechelbacher, 'Father of Safe Cosmetics'

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The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills commends the life of Horst Rechelbacher, known as the ‘Father of Safe Cosmetics,’ who was the founder of Aveda Corp., a game-changer in the world of beauty products, who brought earth-friendly production practices and products to market on a worldwide scale.

The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills

The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills

We are sadden by the passing of Mr. Rechelbacher. He was a true pioneer, said Marc Belanger, CEO of The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills

At The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills we are saddened to hear of the passing of Horst Rechelbacher, a man recognized the world-over for pioneering the use of safe cosmetics,
Born in Klagenfurt, Austria, Horst Martin Rechelbacher learned about the plant world from his mother, an herbalist and apothecary, whose work inspired Rechelbacher’s passion for natural, earth-friendly products.

“He saw himself as an environmentalist, and increasingly more so over time,” said his wife, Kiran Stordalen. “He saw the plight of the planet and the ongoing damage we’re incurring. He felt that very intensely, and saw that the way he contributed to improving that was thinking about choices people were making from the consumer point of view – their purchasing power.”

Rechelbacher claimed to be a poor student who never made it past fourth grade. But since he was hardworking and good with his hands, he became an apprentice barber at the age of 14. In what can be considered a rags-to-riches story, those skills took him across Europe and America in the 1960’s, where he taught seminars and competed in hairstyling competitions organized by trade groups.

He was attending a competition in Minneapolis in 1965 when he was seriously injured in a car accident. After a six-month recovery with hefty medical bills to pay, Rechelbacher stayed in the Twin Cities to work them off.

Rechelbacher opened his salon, Horst & Friends, in Minneapolis in 1965. Soon he was formulating shampoos in his kitchen sink, mixing organically grown foods and plants. Then in 1978, he launched Aveda Corp. with a staff of two and the goal of building a bridge between beauty and medicine.

By 1997, when he sold the company to Estée Lauder for a reported $300 million, Rechelbacher had “put natural cosmetics on the map in the United States,” said Geoffrey G. Jones, a Harvard Business School professor and author of “Beauty Imagined,” a 2010 history of the beauty industry.

He did not originate the idea of organic cosmetics; they had been manufactured since the late 1950s by niche firms such as Yves Rocher. But with a few other “really good entrepreneurs,” including Anita Roddick with whom he founded the Body Shop in Britain in 1976, Mr. Rechelbacher helped make “natural” health and beauty products “totally cool, fashionable, and expensive” as well as the fastest-growing sector of the industry.

Rechelbacher’s signature pitch was, “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.” At sales conventions and videotaped interviews, he often demonstrated that principle by drinking hair spray and other products made by his company.

“Absolutely delicious,” he would declare after a swallow of hair spray mixed with water in one taped demonstration. “This hair spray could be sold as a nutritional drink.”

Hairspray made by some major manufacturers can contain solvents, glues, polymers, and propellants, said Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund, one of a dozen nonprofit environmental and health groups that joined forces in 2004 to start the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which Rechelbacher helped finance.

“Horst was in many ways the father of safe cosmetics,” Ms. Nudelman Said. “He took action to address the problem long before most of us knew there was anything to even worry about.”

Horst Rechelbacher died February 15, 2014 at his home in Osceola, WI of pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills commends the life of Horst Rechelbacher and his contribution to the industry of cosmetics. Horst Rechelbacher is survived by his wife, Kiran Stordalen; two children from a previous marriage, Nicole Thomas and Peter Rechelbacher; and four grandchildren.

The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills offers exclusive web marketing platforms and a variety of affordable marketing services that can help grow your medical practice and customize your online presence to meet you unique needs, preferences, and goals. We help practices from the U.S. and Canada, and offer affordable solutions at different levels of service; from a base website to elite services that encompass effective and comprehensive strategies that can give a medical practice the edge over competition.

Doctors that are interested in growing their practices and attracting new patients should contact The Medical Marketing Group of Beverly Hills directly by going to or by calling 1-844-GET-TMMG (1-844-438-8664)


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Marc Belanger
The Medical Marketing Group
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