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Placecol, a much-loved and trusted South African skin care brand turns 40 in 2020!

To celebrate this wonderful milestone, Placecol is taking the time to reflect back by honouring and celebrating the momentous journey started by their founder Elma Mckenzie, as well as looking forward by celebrating their customers, employees and partners who are part of this beautiful journey.

Looking Back

It all started in 1980 when Elma Mckenzie, a qualified radiographer and beauty therapist) and her husband (a pharmacist and homeopath) began their dream of manufacturing their own cosmetic skin care range.  As Elma herself explained, in those days there were no cell-phones or email communication and she had to rely on long waits through the post and travel long distances to get the ingredients she needed and learn about new skin care technology that could be used in conjunction with her products.  In addition, she had to physically go on roadshows to get her product known to the market, all this while raising her 3 children. 

When Esna Colyn became CEO of Imbalie Beauty in 2010, she was passionate about taking the Placecol brand forward to even greater heights.  Her continued drive has led to Placecol’s ‘7 day Promise’ and commitment to creating award winning skin care products and high quality treatments, which incorporate safe and effective technology to deliver visible results for Placecol customers. “This is our way of making a positive change in the world through improvement and empowerment as well as increasing the esteem of all” says Esna Colyn.

Life begins at 40 – Looking Forward

As a company that truly cares about all people and their well-being, Placecol decided to celebrate beauty, confidence, love and the essence of life with their hero theme for the year of ‘40 Ways To Celebrate You’.

“We don’t always take as much care of ourselves as we deserve, so for our 40th year, this theme gives us the opportunity to continue empowering all and reminds us that we are all unique and that each of us is writing a beautiful life story” says Placecol group CEO, Esna Colyn.

The theme has been divided into 8 key categories: Self, Health, Spirit, Relationships, Family, Joy, Work and Purpose, which are the very essence of a well-balanced life, with 40 specific aspects to embrace and enjoy. These will be communicated during the year as part of a social media campaign and within Placecol skin care clinics nationwide.  In addition, there will be a birthday celebration within the Placecol skin care clinics during the year.

Innovation in the 40th year

With innovation being an ongoing focus, just as last year saw the launch of Placecol’s revolutionary Excellence range, this year Placecol will be launching two limited edition products as well as introducing an exciting new ‘solutions driven’ treatment which will be only revealed once the entire group has received training.  “The education of our employees remains the most important cornerstone of the Placecol’s ethos” says Lisa Leibov, the group’s Head of Education.

“Our team is extremely honoured to follow in the footsteps of Elma and our predecessors and to continue building on the legacy started from Elma’s humble beginnings and her dream in Ermelo.“ says Esna Colyn.

The Placecol Promise is to transform skin with visible results in just seven days. Placecol products are not tested on animals, are allergen and paraben free and can be purchased at any of our Placecol clinics nationwide, online at or in selected Edgars outlets and pharmacies.

Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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