Blog

A partnership in good times and in bad

RAUSCH AG KREUZLINGEN helps those affected by the explosion in Beirut.

On 4 August 2020, a devastating explosion in the port of Beirut destroyed a large part of the city. Over 300,000 people became homeless in the blink of an eye. They lost their homes, all of their possessions, and some of them also lost their loved ones. RAUSCH Export Manager Robert Kahn knows Beirut well. He visited the city for the last time one year ago, on 17/10/2019, just as unrest was beginning to spread. He was there to discuss the marketing strategy for RAUSCH products in Lebanon with local sales partners.

Upon hearing the news of the disaster, Robert immediately contacted the sales partners at the Food & Drug Corporation (FDC) to ask how they were. The company itself had not been impacted, but members of its staff had lost relatives in the event. Deeply affected, Robert offered his support. In consultation with RAUSCH management and FDC, 24,000 bottles of RAUSCH shampoo were sent to Beirut in a shipping container. An aid package was assembled along with the help of other supporters. This was distributed directly and without unnecessary bureaucracy to the people affected.

 

Here at RAUSCH, we do not want to abandon the people of Beirut and are working together to provide vital support.

Surfactants: how to protect your skin.

What are surfactants?

Surfactants are so-called ‘cleansing’ substances and are among the most widely used chemical compounds in homes. They ensure that dirt particles can be removed from laundry, skin, dishes and other surfaces. Surfactants are effective because they are able to bind water-insoluble, lipid-containing (oily) soiling to the water molecules, enabling the soiling to be washed away. To ensure thorough cleansing, surfactants thus play an indispensable role in many cosmetic products such as shampoos, shower gels, creams and make-up products. However, surfactants are effective to varying degrees. It is worth making a conscious decision when selecting cleansing products.

 

Why are surfactants the subject of criticism?

Some surfactants have a particularly high cleansing power, but with the effect that they can also attack the natural protective acid mantle of the skin. The skin becomes more permeable to foreign particles and sometimes reacts in the form of dry and scaly areas. Mucous membranes can also react sensitively; the well-known stinging in the eyes is a typical symptom. With cosmetic products in particular, it is therefore important to use products with mild surfactants to avoid irritating the skin. How do you recognise such products? As a general rule, a product contains more aggressive surfactants if it produces a large amount of foam; sugar and coconut-based surfactants foam less but are also milder on the skin.

 

Which surfactants are used in RAUSCH products?

At RAUSCH, we use selected, particularly mild surfactants made from renewable raw materials. These are ideal for the cleansing and care of the hair and scalp.

 

Panama bark extract

(Quillaja saponaria extract) contains a high level of saponins, oxalic acid, quillaic acid, bitter compounds and starch. It is a natural cleansing substance obtained by RAUSCH's in-house extraction process.

 

Sodium laureth sulphate

A high quality, mild surfactant produced on the basis of Mass Balance* palm kernel oil (Elaeis guineensis L.) and coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.), with a high content of saturated fatty acids such as lauric acid (44%), myristic acid (17%) and palmitic acid (8%). A gentle anionic cleansing substance. Should not be confused with sodium lauryl sulphate, an aggressive surfactant especially unsuitable for sensitive skin.

 

Sugar surfactant

(Lauryl glucoside) is produced on the basis of corn starch (Zea mays L.) and coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.). An especially mild non-ionic cleansing substance.

 

* As a committed member of the ‘Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil’ (RSPO), we use only Mass Balance-certified lauryl ether sulphate (INCI: sodium laureth sulphate). In doing so, we directly support the sustainable cultivation of certified palm and palm kernel oil. Thanks to our strong ties to selected raw material suppliers, maintaining an ongoing dialogue and an insistence on sustainable sources, we have succeeded in achieving a new standard in this respect.

 

 

I’m a fan of the RAUSCH brand

This interview by Thomas Griesser appeared in the St. Galler Tagblatt newspaper on 13 October 2020.

 

You have been Delegate of the Board of Directors of RAUSCH AG KREUZLINGEN for three years. Now you’re taking on the job of interim CEO. Why?

Rolf G. Schmid: I’m a fan of this brand, I like the products. In my three years with the brand, I’ve come to know the Baumann family, which owns the company, quite well. Marco Baumann left the Board of Directors in the spring and, following the departure of CEO Lucas Baumann, the family and the company are now in a position where they need support. And I’m happy to help them.

 

You jumped in once before as interim CEO at textile finishers Cilander in Herisau in Eastern Switzerland, where you are Chairman of the Board.

That was 18 months ago, when Vincenzo Montinaro resigned as CEO. I took over for about six months until his successor Burghard Schneider assumed office, and that worked well.

 

RAUSCH is emphasising your experience in the consumer goods industry gained over 20 years as the former CEO of the Mammut Sports Group, which operates in the mountain sports sector. But outdoor goods have precious little to do with hair care products. How is that going to work?

Well, Mammut sells caps that cover your head and your hair (laughs). But you’re right, they don’t have much in common. Nor am I a product expert. But I don’t need to be. That’s why we have plenty of experienced staff at RAUSCH who’ve been with the company for many years. It’s my job to know the situation, the sales channels and the customers – and I do.

 

Why does RAUSCH need an interim solution, and why is no immediate successor in place for former CEO Lucas Baumann?

It’s not always easy to find the right candidate. Lucas Baumann wants a career change and we aren’t ready just yet. But with me we have an interim solution, and it’s not as if I’m new to the company. As Delegate of the Board of Directors, I’ve also been able to gain a pretty good overview of the company’s business operations.

 

How long do you expect your commitment as interim CEO to last?

We have launched a professional search process. It could take a while, but we may also strike it lucky. I’ll stay for as long as I’m needed. After that, I’ll go back to focusing on my appointment as Delegate of the Board of Directors at RAUSCH.

 

RAUSCH is expecting the manager appointed to deliver further professionalisation. Where exactly?

First, in digitalisation. We want to digitalise processes and make execution faster and more efficient. And we still have plenty of potential when it comes to automating production. We then also need to look at the internet as an additional sales channel. We’re not only thinking about our own online store, but also about our retail partners, who are selling more and more online. To do this, they will need other sorts of information, videos for social media channels, and so on.

 

Where else can RAUSCH improve?

Sustainability. There’s still quite a lot more we can do, for instance with regard to packaging and the manufacturing process, though I wouldn’t talk primarily about improving because our products are already very near-natural. But the needs of our customers are changing, and we need to change with them. Thanks to our development department, we are very well positioned to do just that.

 

What other skills will the new boss have to bring with them?

Leadership experience in an SME, preferably in a family-owned SME, as they have a different mentality than companies with anonymous owners. Ideally, they should have a certain affinity with the cosmetics market or at least the consumer goods industry in general. The new CEO also needs to speak German and have a distinctly Swiss character. They will also need to respect and drive forward RAUSCH’s values and culture, and the way it treats its employees.

 

Revenue has risen in recent years, but margins have remained under pressure. What steps is RAUSCH taking to counter this trend?

The fact that margins are under pressure is an industry-specific phenomenon. Wholesalers are exerting pressure and prices are trending down. That’s why we want to leverage optimised processes and increased automation to become more efficient and produce larger series.

 

And where do you want to sell them?

Increasingly in exports. Exports already account for well over 50%, but we still think there is a lot more potential abroad. We are on the ball when it comes to things like ‘Swissness’ and sustainability, and this can score us plus points.

 

RAUSCH developed a sanitiser in next to no time after the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Why did you stop?

We developed it and brought it to market at a time when sanitisers were a scarce commodity. We already had stocks of alcohol – the raw material needed – and we wanted to play our part in alleviating the shortage. But the situation has calmed down again. We had always planned to do it for a limited time only.

 

How has RAUSCH weathered the coronavirus crisis so far?

Very well. We were lucky that our primary sales channels, such as pharmacies, specialist retailers and Coop, stayed open the entire time. We didn’t record any substantial slowdown, and 2020 is likely to be a normal year, with revenue more or less in line with the previous year.

 

Do you use RAUSCH shampoo yourself?

Of course.

 

And do you still kit up with gear from Mammut for mountain hikes, even though you left them in 2016 due to a dispute with the Board of Directors?

I didn’t leave because of any dispute. We simply had differences of opinion in the Board of Directors about the company’s vision and future strategy. But a good product is still a good product, even if you’re no longer with the company. That’s why I still have Mammut products among my equipment, although not exclusively. I also use outdoor goods from Fjällräven, the Swedish brand with the red fox.

 

Because you’re a member of the Board of Directors of the parent company Fenix Outdoor?

Exactly. And because they’re good products.

 

Rolf G. Schmid (61) was CEO of Swiss-based Mammut Sports Group for 20 years until he left the Board of Directors by mutual agreement in 2016. Schmid has held a range of board positions since then. He chairs the supervisory body of textile finishers Cilander in Herisau and sits on the boards of directors of Mobiliar, Mobility and Fenix, which combines several outdoor brands under its umbrella. He has been Delegate of the Board of Directors of RAUSCH AG KREUZLINGEN since 2017.

Five tips for thicker hair

Fine hair is usually genetic. Never the less there is a lot that can be done to make the most of the situation. But careful: fine hair needs special care because washing, combing, brushing and blow-drying are all stress inducing. Unfortunately many with fine hair use the wrong products. Too much conditioning flattens the hair, too little and it appears fly-away and dry. Fortunately there is a range of effective and helpful possibilities to remedy the situation.

Causes of extremely fine hair

Firstly it is important to analyse the reasons for fine and thinning hair. For example: a lack of vitamins and the body’s trace elements such as zinc and vitamin B (see hair loss and its causes) are often a cause. Also too much care has a negative effect on hair. Too frequent washing, blow-drying, the wrong products, too frequent straightening and colouring, too much volume-giving styling can cause a spiral effect with the hair getting increasingly thinner. The psychological stress on those sufferers is high. Most of them shy away from visiting a pharmacy or doctor, often out of pure resignation, believing there is no hope of improvement. However this hopelessness is unfounded. There is a lot you can do!

Individual analysis of the hair structure

Firstly a detailed analysis of the scalp is necessary. Is it too dry? Too oily? Can the scalp breathe? Is its circulation good? Get help from a specialist! Specialist shops regularly have trained staff carrying out hair analyses. We are happy to help you too - write to us.

Tips for caring for your fine hair:

  • make sure you choose mild and gentle products, which guarantee gentle cleansing.
  • don’t over-do conditioning or styling (even if tempted!). Too much styling and conditioning blocks the pores and weighs hair down unnecessarily.
  • don’t wash hair more than 2-4 times a week. Hair swells from too frequent contact with water and loses its natural hold.
  • if your scalp is oily or your hair gets greasy quickly, choose products which de-grease (e.g. clay and seaweed). Seaweed Often a detox product which detoxifies the scalp and restores its natural balance is helpful.
  • take a commensurate nutritional supplement to strengthen the hair roots and growth, for a specific period of time. If necessary consult your doctor (generally 3 months is sufficient to start with).

How successful is the challenge to care for fine hair properly?

It is fairly common knowledge that in Switzerland a herb grows for every type of hair. For this specific case it is mallow. Mallow extract contains high quality mucilages and vitamins, which immediately give hair volume, body and natural shine, without weighing it down. Here you can discover how, with only three products, you can give your fine, dull hair new vitality:

The  RAUSCH Mallow VOLUME LINE is an unbeatable trio, which will give your hair its desired body without losing elasticity.  strengthens hair from the first wash. Linden flower extract ensures especially mild cleansing, even if used daily. It doesn’t sting the eyes and so is ideally suited for children. The appurtenant  gives fine, limp hair lasting volume and silky shine. Here the valuable extract of the mallow flower is combined with linden buds, millet and golden root. The third partner is light-as-a-feather  Mallow VOLUME SPRAY CONDITIONER . Here too an active combination of Mallow and Millet is at work. Both protect and strengthen the hair structure after washing. Panthenol moisturises the hair and protects it from drier heat. Try it out!

8 things most people don’t know about sage

Sage is a medicinal herb that shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a superfood with strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the benefits of which are harnessed by RAUSCH in the Sage SILVER SHINE LINE. These products are specially designed to meet the needs of blonde or grey hair, which can develop an unattractive yellow hue. The essential oils in sage also give the hair a fresh and natural scent. In this blogpost, we explain what makes sage so special and reveal some other great uses for it.

1. Sage seeds are a superfood

There are over 800 different varieties of sage; most of them come from South America, North America and the Near East. There’s one particular part of the sage plant that everyone’s talking about these days: chia. Chia seeds are actually the seeds of a type of sage called ‘salvia hispanica’. They’re considered a ‘superfood’ because they’re full of antioxidants, as well as calcium, potassium, iron, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

2. Sage gives you fresh breath

Before modern toothpaste was invented, people used to wrap a sage leaf around their index finger and rub it over their teeth and gums. This would kill bacteria, remove plaque, strengthen the gums and freshen the breath. Perfect for when you’ve left your toothpaste at home!

3. Sage eases cold symptoms

Got a cold? The anti-inflammatory properties of sage can help! We recommend brewing a simple sage tea with honey and lemon juice. The honey coats the oesophagus, therefore protecting the irritated areas, while the vitamin C in the lemon boosts the immune system. You can either drink the tea or gurgle it. It’s a very soothing remedy for coughs and sore throats, as well as inflammation of the gums, tonsils, pharynx or larynx and any other cold symptoms.

4. Sage eases symptoms of menstruation and menopause

Struggling with menstrual cramps, hot flushes or weaning problems? Many women have found that a cup of sage tea can provide some relief from these issues. This is because sage naturally reduces cramps and perspiration.

5. Sage can help with weight loss

Sage contains key tannins and bitter compounds. These help to regulate digestion, boost the metabolism and shift excess weight.

6. Sage is pleasantly cooling

You can also apply sage externally. A refreshing foot bath with sage leaves can cool you down and prevent excessive sweating – perfect for summertime!

7. Sage soothes insect bites and stings

There’s a simple home remedy to treat irritating bites from mosquitoes and horseflies or stings from bees and wasps. Simply rub a sage leaf between your fingers and apply the juice to the bite or sting. Alternatively, you can also place whole fresh leaves on the bite or sting and then cover it with a cloth. After about two hours, the itchiness should be gone.

8. Sage helps with cold sores

First aid for cold sores and skin blemishes! Take advantage of sage’s antibacterial properties by dabbing a little sage tincture onto the affected areas. This will get rid of the irritating symptoms quickly and gently.

Perfecting the power of sage

RAUSCH extracts the natural active ingredients from hand-picked herbs, creating products that give hair additional moisture, vitality and resilience. Swiss sage oil, sage extract and aloe vera result in radiantly beautiful blonde or grey hair. Give it a try!

How do near-natural cosmetics differ from natural cosmetics?

If there’s anyone who can answer this question, it’s Dr Katharina Alder, Head of Research & Development at RAUSCH. She knows what is meant by near-natural cosmetics and how they differ from natural cosmetics.


What are near-natural cosmetics and how do they differ from natural cosmetics?
Here at RAUSCH we would like to give our consumers more information on this subject and have interviewed our Head of Research & Development.

What does the term "natural cosmetics" mean today?
The term "natural cosmetics" means that only natural substances are used in products, there are no synthetic ingredients. The choice of available raw materials is therefore limited.

What is meant by the term "greenwashing" in relation to conventional cosmetic products?
"Greenwashing" refers to conventional cosmetic products with no significant proportion of plant-based ingredients being given a "green sheen". This can be done through packaging or advertising. The consumer gets the feeling that they are dealing with a product with natural ingredients, even though it may actually only contain a few milligrams.

In the area of non-certified cosmetics, are there differences in terms of the proportion of natural ingredients?

Absolutely. There are very major differences. There are lots of these "greenwashed" products that have no significant natural content. Here marketing plays a massive role.
And there are near-natural products that do in fact have a significant proportion of natural substances. It is very important to these manufacturers to use substances from nature, but for a variety of reasons, such as tolerability, not 100%. They cannot therefore be counted as certified natural cosmetics. RAUSCH is one of these manufacturers.

What are the factors in RAUSCH's success in the area of hair care?
RAUSCH focuses primarily on ensuring the tolerability and effectiveness of its products. The trust our customers have shown in us for more than 125 years is confirmation of this. Sometimes natural substances such as essential oils cause severe allergies, which is why in such cases we have decided in favour of synthetic compositions that are significantly better tolerated by the skin. However, we like to use the "good" substances from nature as much as possible – our customers notice this after just a short while using our skin care lines.
 

Why is RAUSCH not seeking certification?
We cannot achieve the quality our customers expect from our products with exclusively natural ingredients! For the reasons I mentioned earlier, such as tolerability and effectiveness, we still want to be able to use proven and traditional ingredients, which may not come 100% from nature or which may be of natural origin but are then processed synthetically. 
But it is precisely this difference that is our competitive advantage! A 100% natural surfactant does not clean as thoroughly as the surfactants we use at RAUSCH.

What can a RAUSCH shampoo do that no other shampoo can?
A RAUSCH shampoo combines optimal skin tolerability, mild plant-based ingredients and outstanding effectiveness. You have a scalp that stays healthy as well as beautiful, full and shining hair.