Union Swiss is a privately owned, multi-national skincare company based in Cape Town, South Africa. It researches, develops and manufactures oil-based skincare products, which it licenses for distribution around the world.
Union Swiss is established to act as the South African distributor of a Swiss skincare brand, Vitamol, one of the first skincare brands to include significant levels of vitamins in its formulations.
Under new ownership Union Swiss moves from being a distributor to researching and developing its own products. By 2000 the company has 10 skincare brands, sold exclusively in southern Africa.
After more than a decade in development, Bio‑Oil, conceived as a "skin tonic", is launched in South Africa. Despite initial difficulties with retailers - unsure where to merchandise a multi-use oil-based product on their shelves - Bio‑Oil quickly becomes the company’s top selling product.
Union Swiss once again changes hands. The new owners halt new product development and divest the company of all but its star product, Bio‑Oil. Union Swiss is restructured with the view to it becoming a global head office.
Bio‑Oil begins an international roll-out. Since this time it has launched in 80 countries and become the number one selling scar and stretch mark product in 17 of these countries.
Following the success of Bio‑Oil, Union Swiss begins work, with a hand-picked team of international scientists, to better understand the merits of oil-based skincare.
Construction of a new laboratory, dedicated exclusively to oil-based skincare research, is completed.
Bio‑Oil (alternatively known as Bioil and Bi‑Oil) is a specialist skincare oil that helps improve
the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. It is also effective for ageing and dehydrated
skin. Bio‑Oil is currently available in 80 countries
with 19 new country launches planned for the next 12
Six new oil-based skincare formulations are in varying stages of development. These are scheduled to launch in 2014.