Not that you would, but it’s not usually a good idea to take a bite out of your lip balm. “Our care products are so natural that you could eat them,” says Clemens Bechter from Egg with a mischievous smile. “But of course you shouldn’t!” Along with his wife Lara, Clemens operates the Phystine natural cosmetics company. “Phystine” combines the Greek word “physis” for nature or body and the English word “pristine” for untouched or pure. The company’s name reflects the desire for a pure body via pristine nature and reflects the couple’s entrepreneurial philosophy: offering high-quality care products to benefit the body as well as the environment and society.
Care born from nature
No skincare product on the market could meet their needs, which is why Lara and Clemens Bechter from Egg founded “Phystine” cosmetics. Their goal is to prove that their natural cosmetic products are just as good as conventional top-of-the-range cosmetics.
In 2019, the pair decided to abandon their careers at their respective international companies and to instead take the plunge into self-employment. A native of Vienna, Lara trained in biomedical sciences and worked as a clinical trial monitor. Her laboratory experience is key to the couple’s natural cosmetics company: She takes responsibility for product development and approval as well as manufacturing and quality assurance. Clemens is a business administration graduate and former senior supply chain manager. He takes responsibility for organisational, economic and sustainability matters.
Their top priority is to create natural face and personal-care products including facial serums, lip care products and deodorants. “Some people believe natural cosmetics are not as effective as conventional cosmetics, though they are perhaps more gentle on the skin. We want to demonstrate that they are just as effective with all the benefits.” Even the packaging is key to ensuring the product’s health benefits and efficacy, which is why Clemens and Lara avoid using synthetic materials, i.e. plastic and aluminum packaging. They instead prefer materials that are easily reusable or recyclable, such as paper, glass, cork or wood. No products are brought to market without a sustainable packaging solution.
When at all possible, distribution is kept as regional as possible as well: Production takes place at a Metzler Naturhautnah laboratory in Egg. Wood for the lids comes from Langenegg. After being crafted by a carpenter in the village, the wooden lids are then sanded and oiled by hand at the AKS social psychiatric services building in Lingenau. The Bechter’s source some of their raw materials from economically underdeveloped regions in order to promote social sustainability. “We know all our dealers personally as well as the conditions at each site. The workers in these areas receive a fair living wage. Whenever possible, however, we source regionally. We only source globally where necessary or where socially appropriate.” Phystine’s natural care products can be purchased directly from Lara and Clemens in Egg, via their online shop at www.phystine.com, and from selected partners such as pharmacies.
Author: Yvonne Waldner
Issue: Bregenzerwald Travel Magazine – Summer 2022