One of the worst things about living outside your home country is that you can’t always easily find the brands and products that you are used to and enjoy. The best thing about living outside your home country is that you can’t always easily find the brands and products you are used to and enjoy. And so begins the fun of finding local alternatives to old friends or new products to build into your favourites. These are a few of my finds.

All of the products featured are ranges I have found or rediscovered since relocating to Germany.

Dresdner Essenz

Things Helen Loves, Dresdner Essenz bathbomb with succulent plant

No secret that I love this brand of bath and body products, I wrote a Product Review when I first discovered the bath bomb (sprudelbad) range in my local supermarket. One of Germany’s most successful traditional brands, the ethos is that our daily routines should be a form of self-care and an opportunity to take a few moments to breathe deeply and unwind. In a busy world, driven by technology , where we are bombarded daily with distressing news and images , I think we all need a bit of that.

The thing I like about this range, and the bath bombs in particular, is that the scent pay off is amazing. Combine that  with the fact that no products are tested on animals, a range of Vegan products, a strong brand heritage and the fact products start at just €0.99 and its easy to see why this brand has become a fixture in my bathroom. Oh, and I also love the floral imagery they use on the website and IG feed. This has no bearing on the products, but being a visual creature it does make me happy.

Hildegard Braukmann

Things Helen Loves, Hildegard Braukmann cream with sprig of Lavender

Solid German skincare  with a solid German name! This is a drugstore range but also used in selected salons. The products are based on harnessing the power of plants and herbs to clean and soothe the skin. I have temperamental skin. I have to work hard to keep my skin under control. All of that to say, despite my skin being hard to deal with, I have found several products in this range that work really well for me. If you shop at Boots, Id say this is similar to the Boots Botanics range. Most of the products come in at under €15. The other thing I love about this range? The info on the packaging is in German on one side…and English on the other. Goodbye guesswork, goodbye lurking in the aisles trying to google translate something.


Things Helen Loves, Range of Isana shower gels in pretty washbag

Most of the products in this post were purchased from the German drugstore, Rossman. This place is a treasure trove and I rarely venture in without finding something I didn’t even know I needed. One of the lines I regularly buy is the in- house budget range, Isana. The products are surprisingly good given the price point and the range is very comprehensive with everything you need for face, body and haircare. The shower gels are just lovely, with a great choice of scents and some really nice seasonal limited editions. Like Dresdner Essenz, Isana also offers up some Vegan products, including the Lime & Basil shower gel as shown here. As with most budget ranges there is a degree of trial and error, but if in Germany and pass a Rossman store (they are everywhere, look for the bold red and white signage) consider popping in and picking up a few products to try. With shower gels from under a euro and most products coming in at under €10, why ever not?


Things Helen Loves, selection of Nivea products on pink back ground

Last but not least, good old Nivea. With its distinctive scent and iconic branding ,this is not a brand that is hard to find outside Germany, but it is one that I had overlooked  until we moved back here. When in Berlin, I visited Nivea Haus and really reconnected with the brand. Several products have been in my bathroom ever since. Nivea is a company with a lot of heritage ( I love that, heritage over hype) but is also producing  quality, innovative products . Although I’d say some of the ranges are towards the higher end of the budget price scale, these are still sound, affordable products. For him, for her, for the family. The latest  innovation or the original little blue tin. Nivea is the well known, much loved German brand with something for everyone.

As always I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Helen x






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