1947-1979

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Learn about Stiefel through the years.  

1947: Centennial Expansion®

In 1947, 100 years after the company was founded, August C. Stiefel and his two sons, Werner and Herbert, started truly focusing on the Stiefel legacy. They borrowed money to purchase an old dairy creamery, which eventually would become a manufacturing facility in Oak Hill, New York. The product line was pared down to eliminate obsolete products and expanded to include more well-known soaps, such as Oilatum® Cleansing Bar and Acne-Aid® Cleansing Bar.

1948: Oilatum®

In 1948, the Stiefel Medicinal Soap Company worked with leading dermatologists to develop the Oilatum® brand as a family of products. For more than half a century, Oilatum® has offered non-drying, gentle therapy for people suffering from the discomfort of dry skin and atopic dermatitis.

1959: Zeasorb®

A unique, super-absorbent powder formulation patented in 1959, Zeasorb® has the ability to absorb six times its weight in moisture. Zeasorb-AF® has the same moisture-absorbing ability, but also contains an anti-fungal ingredient to target and treat athlete's foot and jock itch. Stiefel developed Zeasorb® with dermatologists, who identified the need for such a powder.

1960: Polytar®

Introduced in 1960, Polytar® first featured the combination of tars in a shampoo that provided effective treatment for the most prevalent of scalp conditions, including psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, and itching.

1963 – 1966: Benzoyl Peroxide Innovators

Having a long history of assisting pioneering dermatologists, Stiefel supported the early clinical research of Canadian dermatologist Dr. William Pace. In 1963, Dr. Pace recognised that benzoyl peroxide, at that time the active ingredient in an ointment used for folliculitis, also was effective in treating acne. In 1966, Stiefel introduced the first benzoyl peroxide product for acne—Sulfoxyl® Lotion (5% benzoyl peroxide, 2% sulfur). The treatment was introduced to Canadian dermatologists as BenOxyl® Lotion. Dr. Pace’s research revolutionised the treatment of acne. Today, often considered first line treatment for mild to moderate acne, benzoyl peroxide is found in scores of acne medications, both over-the-counter and prescription.

1960 - 1979: Stiefel Laboratories, Inc.

As the Stiefel Medicinal Soap Company’s product line grew and diversified beyond medicinal soaps, the company name was changed to Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. At that time, all production was done at the Oak Hill, NY, facility. Eventually its network of distributors, subsidiaries, and manufacturing facilities in other countries allowed the company to manufacture, and distribute products around the globe. During the 1960s, sales and manufacturing operations expanded to include Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Ireland and other locations. By 1969, non-U.S. international sales had reached $200,000. In the 1970s, the company expanded into South and Central America, the Caribbean, and France. The distributorship in Canada became a subsidiary of the company, and manufacturing operations began in Sligo, Ireland. Between 1970 and 1979, the company averaged 50 percent growth every year and sales grew to $10.4 million. In 1975, Stiefel introduced Duofilm® wart remover, the first prescription treatment for warts.