Our Story

Celebrating Bold Women & Bright Skin Since 1927

The legacy of Erno Laszlo may be rooted in the groundbreaking skincare discoveries of Dr. Laszlo, but behind his life changing products it’s always been about Her. From Dr. Laszlo’s first breakthrough, finding a cure for a Princess’ acne, to his work with the most famous faces in Hollywood, to our modern beauty rituals adored by fans all over the world, Erno Laszlo has always celebrated bold women, empowering us all to show our true glow.

Take a look through history to discover how we've been keeping it real through the ages.

A Doctor Discovers

Born in Hungary in 1897, Erno Laszlo followed a path of science, studying skin pathology and disease under Professor Max Joseph, the "father of modern dermatology."

Dr. Laszlo pioneered many innovative products and introduced specific formulations to treat various skin conditions, developing products with SPF and an acne-prone skin care line to cure acne. A man of firsts—the doctor introduced the concept of a “ritual” skincare routine with prescriptions for his clients, and was the first to introduce cleansing oils, bars and the double cleanse concept we know today.

After becoming a master of medicine, Dr. Laszlo developed the groundbreaking Phormula 3 line for his private clients. Phormula 3-1 was customized for healing the acute acne of Princess Stephanie of Hungary. Phormula 3-8 was created for Marilyn Monroe to heal the scar on her stomach. Today, reintroduced in the early 2000’s, Phormula 3-9 is used by hundreds of women to repair and protect their skin from inflammation and stress.

The Institute is Born

With this success, Dr. Laszlo opened his first institute in Budapest, complete with a lab for creating personalized formulations and developing bespoke treatments.

In 1938, he and his wife Iren moved to New York and set up the first New York Institute in 1939 at 677 Fifth Avenue. Already popular with women in the know, the wait time for an appointment could be several months, and was a members only club closed to the general public. Some of his early well-known clients included Katherine Hepburn, Otto Preminger and the Archduchess Franz Josef. Greta Garbo paid her first visit in 1940, one year after the Institute was opened.

In 2012, the Institute was re-imagined and opened in the Soho Neighborhood on West Broadway, bringing out the brand’s heritage with a modern twist. For 5 years, women from all over the world would come for treatments and continue to covet the knowledge and vision Dr. Erno Laszlo shared with many clients before them. The Institute closed in the summer of 2017, but the treatments and experience continue to be shared in different pop-up locations globally. The brand continues to innovate products and advance treatments for a world class experience.

Empowering WomenOne Face at a Time

In 1920, Laszlo treated the celebrated Hungarian actress Frida Gombaszogi after she was shot in the face by a rejected suitor. Word spread about the doctor's ability to restore confidence to women through beautiful skin, and he moved to Los Angeles in 1937 to begin his work with some of the most famous faces of the last century.

Shine Bright

Laszlo’s Famous Faces

Through his career, Dr.Laszlo has made headlines treating the skin of Hollywood's elite, as has continued to be the go-to product to the celebrities of today. But no matter how recognizable the face, anyone who wanted Laszlo's coveted products had to make a consultation appointment.

“Erno Laszlo not only heals my skin, but he soothes my soul.”

– Marilyn Monroe

“I owe 50% of my beauty to my mother and the other 50% to Erno Laszlo.”

– Audrey Hepburn
Through the Ages

Laszlo Beauty Then & Now

We all know that the beauty industry has changed dramatically since Dr. Laszlo began his practice. But through all the skin care fads, make up trends, and transitions of what society finds beautiful, the ethos of Erno Laszlo has always been to empower women to feel confident in their own skin. See how beauty has changed over the decades while our mission has stayed the same.


Bespoke beauty is everywhere now, but Dr. Laszlo was one of the first to give women customized beauty routines (and actually listen to what they wanted!) when he opened his institute in 1927.


Washing your face with cold cream was the norm in the 30s, but Dr. Laszlo emphasized the importance of using 2 steps: oil to loosen and remove the grime from the day, and a cleansing bar to stimulate and rejuvenate the face. Later this became The Double Cleanse we all know and love.


In the height of America's love for the silver screen, the world became obsessed with the beauty secrets of the rich and famous (we still are!) and Laszlo treated the best of the best. One of the doctor's most famous clients was Marilyn Monroe who swore by the Phormula 3-8 cream he created especially for her, curing a scar on her stomach and a few years later, the acne scars on President JFK's back.


Wanting to expand his brand and open up services beyond celebrities, Dr. Laszlo started a partnership with the high end department store, Saks. You could buy the products, but you had to have a skin consultation by a certified Erno Laszlo beautician first.


Vogue. WWD. Harper's Bazaar. It was the heyday for fashion publications and everyone was talking about Erno. Even Suzy Parker, the world's "first supermodel," became a devotee.


In 1973, Dr. Laszlo passed away of heart failure, leaving a legacy that continues to thrive, like the hilarious call out to the classic black Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar in Woody Allen's iconic film Annie Hall. When Allen asks, flustered, "What is this? You have black soap?" Diane Keaton simply replies: "It's for my complexion."

1980’s - 90’s

As product innovation continued, the Erno Laszlo brand was more in demand than ever before. To preserve the high level of personal service and customization, products were sold on a membership basis, with consultation only. Membership had to be capped at 25,000 members, every persona in the club receiving a chic, black membership card.


The 00’s was all about bringing luxury into the beauty world, so the Erno brand revamped it's high end customization service from the days of the institute and reimagined, opening an exclusive membership only Institute in Soho on West Broadway.


Ninety years later, we're still bringing the bright. We may have moved away from hand-written skin prescriptions and opened up the membership to everyone, but Dr. Laszlo's legacy still lives, celebrating the real, beautiful you every day.

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