By  on April 9, 2010

Take an American diplomat with acne, a posting in Eastern Europe and a Hungarian husband, and what do you get? Omorovicza, a beauty line which is expanding its distribution and product range in the U.S.

Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza — who founded the line in 2006 with her husband, Stephen — noted the idea for the line came about after she and Stephen visited Budapest’s thermal baths. “I’d always had bad acne, but I was amazed at how quickly it began clearing up after I started visiting the baths,” she said. “I thought there had to be something to that.”

Turns out there was: The Earth’s crust is thinner near the Budapest baths than in other areas of the globe, and as a result the waters absorb the beneficial minerals more effectively, said de Heinrich de Omorovicza. “We then consulted with the Nobel Prize-winning Hungarian laboratory of Dermatology and Allergology at Albert St. George University, and discovered the ability of minerals to treat many conditions,” she said. “We also found that the minerals in Hungarian thermal waters met — and in some cases, surpassed — the criteria of the most advanced antiaging skin care products on the market.”

Next, the duo developed their proprietary Mineral Cosmetology, a delivery system said to facilitate the absorption of minerals into the deepest layers of the skin. “This boosts the skin’s collagen and elastin production, and also results in a tighter lipid matrix which in turn locks in vital moisture,” she said. “Minerals are absorbed by the body best in compound form, so our products are formulated with bio-available mineral compounds which ensure optimal absorption. Phospholipids liposomes carry the bio-available compounds deep into the dermis.”

Three new products, all including the Mineral Cosmetology, will join the lineup in June. Sunkiss SPF15, priced at $90, is a tan booster, intended to enhance an existing tan as well as even skin tone, conceal imperfections and give skin a sheer bronzed finish. Ingredients include light-reflective soft focus mica, gold particles and titanium dioxide. Complexion Brightener, $120, is intended to even and correct skin tone, minimize redness and help reduce age spots. It contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for UVA/UVB protection, and Vitamin B3 and extract of Watercress combine to brighten skin. Body Cream, $65, includes omega 6 ceramides, virgin Ente Plum oil, Vitamin C and rice germ oil, among other ingredients.

Plans are to add about four new products each year. “We’re always looking to improve our offering and make sure it is robust, but at this point we feel we have a good solid offering,” she said.

In the U.S., the brand is available in about 10 doors, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and several destination spas, and online at omorovicza.com. Expansion plans include at least 10 additional Neiman Marcus doors later this year, as well as additional spas. “Our retail distribution plan is to remain as diversified as possible,” said de Heinrich de Omorovicza. The brand also has a robust global presence.

While de Heinrich de Omorovicza declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated the new products together would generate about $1.5 million at retail globally in their first year on counter.

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