Our story

An enduring passion for skin care

We’ve been passionate about skin health since Stiefel began in 1847 in Europe, launching a range of medicated soaps. We were the first specialist dermatology company to export its products all over the world. Over 165 years later, Stiefel provides an integrated portfolio of effective prescription and daily skin care products to help millions of people treat and relieve skin conditions.


Knowledge of bacteria and skin health increased rapidly in the nineteenth century, an age of exciting scientific discovery. Our founder John David Stiefel worked with dermatologists Ferdinand von Hebra and Paul Unna in this new, specialist medical field. Stiefel's experts established our tradition of scientific and medical innovation, launching the unique, patented powder ZeaSORB in 1956 and producing the first benzoyl peroxide product for acne in 1966. Our ground-breaking skin health products continue to lead in treatment and skincare, with our relentless quest for effective new delivery technologies and formulations.

undefinedIn 1948, the Stiefel Medicinal Soap Company worked with leading dermatologists to develop the Oilatum® family of products. We continue to develop this brand today, offering therapy for people suffering from the discomfort of dry skin and atopic dermatitis.

In the year 1996, Stiefel Laboratories introduced Physiogel®—a range of skin care that was the first family of products based on natural lipid, emulsifier-free repair technology.

We work with leading skin health professionals all over the world to advance our research and understanding. We learn more every day about people’s experiences of skin health. Our unique approach is underpinned by our long-standing, trusted relationship with consumers and dermatology experts.

As part of GSK, we have global reach and unrivalled access to leading research and development capabilities. Our products are distributed in over 130 countries. We seek the best ideas, new thinking and discovery by collaborating with our wide network of academic and industry partners. They provide invaluable new perspectives and specialist expertise.