Ilona Molnar, lovingly known as Aunt Ilcsi, was the founder of Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs and a true beauty trailblazer. Decades before the mainstream beauty community recognised the power of natural, organic ingredients, Ilona knew they had the answer to a multitude of skin problems. Sixty years later, her vision is proved, and resonates with generations of beauty lovers around the world.
Aunt Ilcsi’s Roots
Aunt Ilcsi was captivated by nature. She grew up in picturesque rural Hungary, surrounded by forests and valleys amongst the hills of Buda. As a young woman, she began collecting flowers and herbs from the area around her grandparents’ village.
Her natural skincare philosophy has its roots in her early years: Aunt Ilcsi’s great grandmother was a herbalist, so she grew up with a thorough education and faith in the powerful beautifying benefits of natural ingredients.
Aunt Ilcsi's philosophy that nature give us beautiful skin was decades ahead of its time. In the 1970s and 80s, when she was creating and using her signature natural skincare solutions, the industry was still all about synthetic ingredients.
“In those days when I was doing this for the first time, people told me I was a fool for applying paprika to the skin. But, it promotes the circulation and this rejuvenates the skin beautifully.”
Aunt Ilcsi, founder of Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs
She knew that skin problems could be solved using the power of herbs, fruits and plants, when they are formulated by an expert.
An In-Demand Beautician
As a fully-trained cosmetician, Aunt Ilcsi had a very hands-on education, including learning how to formulate products in a lab. In the 1950s there was a shortage of beauty products, so Aunt Ilcsi used her beloved herbs and plants to create a solution from nature.
Going back to her roots, she researched natural remedies, and gained a vast amount of knowledge from her herbalist grandmother and the older generation of women in her village. Aunt Ilcsi created her first natural beauty remedies, reinventing age-old recipes to give her the results she wanted. These recipes laid the foundations for the Ilcsi natural skincare remedies you enjoy today.
A Recipe for Success
By the 1950s, Aunt Ilcsi was experimenting and creating tailored natural beauty recipes for her clients. She used the herbs, fruit and vegetables she gathered herself from the fields of rural Hungary, and blended them until she found the perfect combinations.
Once she had perfected her formulas, Aunt Ilcsi used them on her clients at the beauty salon, and word soon spread to other beauticians. Demand was so high for her truly natural products that she began making her natural beauty formulas for other beauticians.
As a pioneering businesswoman, Aunt Ilcsi has always been committed to training the next generation of beauticians, recognising the value they bring to the economy and to the physical and emotional wellbeing of customers. She showed them how to get the best results for their clients, supporting them in their businesses.
Ahead of Her Time
At a time when environmental issues were not even on the radar, Aunt Ilcsi was a true beauty pioneer. She believed natural, organic ingredients give beautiful skin – a philosophy that was truly ahead of the times back in the 1970 and 80s, when artificial chemicals were all the rage.
Long before international research proved the benefits of fruit and vegetables, rich in nutrients, vitamins and essential fatty acids, Ilcsi were using them to make our customers’ skin happy and healthy.
Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs is Created
In 1984, after years of research and with a host of unique formulas in production, Aunt Ilcsi and her son Ferenc Molnar founded Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs.
Ferenc remembers this busy period fondly: “She told me to cancel my plans for the weekend and take her to the Bakony Mountains and Lake Balaton to collect herbs. All members of the family worked together, preparing Ilcsi products.”
Aunt Ilcsi lived close to nature all her life and was a passionate advocate for using natural products. She was generous in passing on her knowledge and wisdom, and remained actively involved with her company until her death in 2013. The company is still owned and managed by her son, and the Molnar family take an active part in the daily development and production of our natural cosmetics.