Dr. Jurgen Klein is not looking for happiness. He’s all about everyday joy.
The biochemist, herbalist and skincare expert grew up eating what they planted in his family’s garden in Germany. Even then, he also played alchemist and inventor, tinkering in the family’s basement. Ultimately, that passion for experimentation and knowledge of plants spurred him to study chemistry and, eventually, landed him in the natural product world.
Always an entrepreneur, he studied almost every facet of wellness and founded several successful companies, including natural beauty giant, Jurlique. Most recently, he relocated to Hawaii and—as much to his surprise as anyone’s—launched another skincare company, this time with the world’s purest, most active and elusive ingredients and highest quality process. Just like that, ultra luxury line JK7 was born.
Since beginning this new chapter, Dr. Klein also created the JK7-Spa Sensator, which—drawing on his interest in meditation, wellness, beauty and metaphysics—offers a unique chakra-balancing, sensory experience designed to soothe the mind, body and spirit and offer a break from the chaos of every day.
Here, Dr. Klein explains why it’s key to harness the life force from within:
Live The Process: How and when did you become fascinated with herbalism, biochemistry and wellness?
Dr. Jurgen Klein: At the age of 3 or 4, I began learning from my ever-active grandfather. He was always surrounding himself by nature, and he taught me how to use herbs from the meadows, forests and house garden for food and herbal medicines. This was just after World War II and, because we were very poor and had nearly nothing to eat, we relied on what our own garden and the forest supplied.
When I was 10, I had my first little lab corner, where I made herbal extractions and, by 14, I had a lab in the cellar of my parent’s home, where I experimented with dangerous chemicals that I should not have had. A little explosion, a fire, and many burns and scars—some of which I still have—ended that. But my passion grew and spurred the desire go to university to become a chemist. With a PhD in Bio-Chemistry and a formal education in natural medicines, I began working in the field of herbal cosmetics. My former Australian company, Jurlique, was extremely successful and known worldwide, and the success continues now with JK7®.
LTP: What led to you launching Jurlique and what set it apart at the time?
JK: Prior to Jurlique, I had a company called LIVOS, which created natural paints for homes. After leaving in 1978, I became the R&D manager for Wala/Dr.Hauschka, a German natural product company making homeopathic remedies. After 4 years with them, I knew that I could do better on my own and develop and make more active, natural products. An opportunity to start a new business became available in South Australia. With fewer government restrictions and red tape and positive public servants supporting new innovative businesses, I knew there was room for growth. Starting Jurlique, I quickly learned about “big business.”
My philosophy was (and still is) to offer products, education and services with the base of purity, integrity and care. I stared the company with just myself as staff and ended up with 600 team members in 2003-2004, spanning several countries.
Eventually, I sold Jurlique to the richest man in Australia (K. Packer and Companies). Since leaving my hands, the company has sold three more times. The last time it was sold for approximately $300 million. That is more than was paid for The Body Shop or Aveda!
LTP: After selling Jurlique, you moved from Australia to Hawaii and opened JK7. What inspired that change?
JK: Hawaii has the best possible climate worldwide (when one does do not like wet and cold weather) and is still a paradise in the midst of civilization. I had studied and admired the old Hawaiian “Huna" philosophies and their magic life-praxis, which is also similar in part to my own inner path of a holistic body, mind, soul, spirit lifestyle.
I was worn out from 20 years of business: endless international traveling, importing and customer education, combined with overseeing retailers and staff. Also, there was beginning to be too much competition. “Natural” skincare brands were popping up everywhere with promises and lies regarding quality of products etc. My “baby,” Jurlique, had grown up, and it was time to go and follow my not yet fulfilled ideas and plans.
I never wished to develop a new cosmetic line but my wife, Karin, a yoga instructor, horse rider and trainer, designer and sales-marketer, convinced me to take the next step. This step was to develop and make a natural cosmetic with proven high performance results in and on the skin. It was Karin telling me, “When you know, you must,” that finally got me to agree. She felt I had a responsibility to make products of this quality available to the world, and I grew to see that, but with one condition: I wanted to only use the most precious, rare and expensive raw materials on the planet. Karin agreed that, once I could make it in this fashion and guarantee the purity and results, she would market and sell it. “It” became JK7® = Jurgen+Karin + 7 for the seven senses (see my book about the JK7 Spa-Senator®).
JK7’s Rejuvenating Serum sells for $1,800 and is one of the world's most coveted anti-aging products. What does it do, and how does it work? What makes it such a magical elixir?
The final product is more than the sum of all the parts involved. Just as a 5-star gourmet meal is created by a 5-star Chef in a 5-star environment, all JK7® skincare is crafted with the purity, integrity and care. Take into account other luxury items such as watches, cars, handbags, jets etc. Everything that goes into these items is well thought out, researched, tested and crafted, until you have an end product that delivers a result to the consumer unlike any other.
The high-quality herbal based materials we are using at JK7® have been researched and are solely owned by JK7®, costing us $15,000-$45,000 per kg. These ingredients are not only natural, but are able to perform and deliver results. Our serum texture is unique and absolutely everything within the product contributes to the overall performance—even the preservative system, which, though strong, is 100% natural. The process of making a Spagyric Herbal Extract is expensive, time-consuming and requires precision and delicacy, requiring that almost everything be done by hand. The results are amazing: glowing skin, wrinkle and protein degradation reduction, short- and long-term hydration and support of the skin’s vital functions.
“offer products, education and services with the base of purity, integrity and care.”
LTP: In 2009, you launched the JK7 Spa-Sensator®. What is its intention?
JK: I always tell people that we are not in the “hope/belief” business, and we felt that for too long spas have had difficulty effecting real results. The JK7 Spa-Sensator® was designed to deliver on a need—the need to help people cultivate presence. In today’s world, we are bombarded with external stimuli and often unable to hold our focus on one thing for very long. This constant bouncing from one thing to the next is very bad for our nervous systems. The JK7 Spa-Sensator is a combination of aroma, color and music therapy that allows the user to solely focus on their seven senses. For 45 minutes, you float in body temperature salt water, equal to the salinity of the Dead Sea. The buoyancy helps to relax all the muscles and joints. As you float, the room fills with a fine mist and the mist brings organic essential oils into the space to help you on your journey. The mist is colored using a lighting system and, at the same time, music fills the space.
The program follows a sequence of seven colors. These are the colors of the human chakras and the rainbow. The colors, sounds and smells are married to create harmony. For example, the first chakra, the root chakra, should be a source of energy. So, it is paired with the energetic color red, a corresponding fragrance, rosemary, and equally energetic music. In the Spa-Sensator, you focus on what you see, smell, taste, touch and hear, as well as your equilibrium and, finally, a synergized effect that comes from having all your senses working in harmony.
It’s quite innovative and perhaps not something the extremely conservative hotel and spa world is yet able to accept, similar to the motor/oil industries aversion to the electric car (the only car that makes real sense). It’s sensational though, and we have hundreds of testimonials from our clients in the US, Europe and Asia who come to use it repeatedly.
LTP: What are your own current wellness rituals?
JK: We have a “7 Step Life-Praxis” behind our JK7® Philosophy. We teach this hands on and, more importantly, live this:
Healthy Food (vegetarian and vegan fresh food)
Healthy Mind (Vinyasa yoga with Baron Baptist as our teacher & meditation)
Healthy Body (daily sporty movement, but not high impact, preferably outside)
Rejuvenation (spa & wellness treatments)
Stress-dissolving routines (e.g. JK7 Spa-Sensator®)
Healing with Herbs and Nature (no drugs)
Skincare (no “skin-scare” anymore; just JK7® skincare)
LTP: What does happiness mean to you?
JK: For myself, my long experience and perception, happiness is mostly temporary, triggered impulses from outside. It is often followed by a low unhappy state with distress, stress, disappointment, sorrow, pain etc. A continuous up and down.
I’ve learned to be more joyful from the inside and grateful for what I am, what I have and the time I am permitted to live in, no matter whether I may be “up or a down.” Am I not privileged to live without local wars, have no famine, no killing around me, a good environment, good people and joyful relations, stunning still clean nature, good health and some wealth?
Joy can be continuous, but the practice has to be observed daily, with attention, and perhaps for your whole life. It’s a special conscious work; no daily holidays or “wait and see” periods.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more every day?
JK: To consciously live everyday life (our usual self-chosen Groundhog Day) and special rare opportunities with life-force energy from within. Yes, one can learn it; it’s never too late. One has only to be willing and open-minded. It takes some courage to beat the passive, negative, lazy animal in us: our subconscious, our ego, as the old Hawaiian Hunas named it. A teacher once taught me: “See it, observe it, accept it, it is you! Catch it and tame it; make it your friend and helper,” and live the 7 Step JK7 process—better more than less.