By Didi Gluck
September 08, 2016
Credit: Illustration by Matt Chase

These two countries are at the forefront of skin care and medi-spa technology, blending homeopathy with traditional science.

After learning that fern extract can protect cell DNA from the harmful effects of UV exposure, Timm Golueke, a Munichbased dermatologist, developed Royal Fern, the world’s only skin-care line based around the plant. His hydrating serums and creams both stimulate collagen production and inhibit the loss of elastin. Barbara Sturm, who has clinics in Düsseldorf and Munich, has similarly earned raves for her cream MC1, which A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow pay for in blood—literally.

Sturm extracts proteins from her clients’ own plasma and then whips them into a bespoke facial cream, which acts as an inflammation-reducing cure-all. For an immersive experience, Lanserhof Tegernsee (seven nights for two people from $3,996), a two-yearold medical spa in the Bavarian countryside, offers genetic testing, a “pill cam” (you swallow it, allowing a physician to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders), and interval hypoxic-hyperoxic oxygen therapy designed to boost your cells’ metabolism.

At Austria’s intimate Hotel Post Bezau (doubles from $187), Susanne Kaufmann sources ingredients from the nearby Bregenz Forest and her own herb garden for her products and services, ranging from a detoxifying alkaline liver wrap to an hour-long hand treatment that minimizes age spots.