Hungarian dermatologist Erno Laszlo is one of the best-known and most respected visionaries in the skin care industry. In addition to creating the first dermatological skin care line in the world, he also invented skin care practices and rules that ladies still follow today, such as maintaining a daily skin care ritual.
While in medical school, Erno Laszlo specialized in the pathology and care of skin diseases, and he took a particular interest in facial disfigurements that resulted from war injuries. Laszlo’s big break came when he treated Belgium’s Princess Stéphanie, who believed she was the ultimate eyesore. After trying Erno Laszlo’s prescribed treatment, she experienced a noticeable transformation in the look and feel of her skin.
Laszlo opened his first skin care institute in Budapest but moved to the U.S. in 1939, at the onset of World War II. He opened a new Erno Laszlo Institute in a building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and continued to create skin care formulas that beautified and healed.
Laszlo didn’t accept new clients; he only accepted recommendations. His client list included those at the top of the rich-and-famous A-list, including Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Gloria Vanderbilt, Grace Kelley and mobster Truman Capote. Erno Laszlo’s assistants dressed in black and reported that the doctor was not above throwing a client out of his office if she didn’t follow (or lied about following) his prescribed daily regimen. While the doctor was strict and used harsh, blunt words, his clients always came back for more because they knew he was always ultimately right.
In 1966, Erno Laszlo made the wishes of everyday housewives come true when he entered the retail market. Today, the Erno Laszlo company continues to carry on the tradition of creating and introducing cutting-edge products consumers can incorporate into their own personal skin care rituals.