Ego was founded in 1953 when a young chemist, Gerald Oppenheim, and his wife, Rae, a nurse, saw a need for products to restore and maintain healthy skin. In the laundry of their suburban Melbourne home they developed Ego Pine Tar Bath Solution, later called Pinetarsol, which remains one of Australia’s most widely used inflammation treatments.
Gerald’s father, Dr Erwin Oppenheim, was a successful dermatologist, and ran his own practice in Germany, before emigrating to Australia with his family in 1939, when Gerald was 13 years old.
As a chemist, Gerald was uniquely positioned to formulate innovative products that people needed to treat their skin. Rae, being a nurse, communicated the benefits of the products to dermatologists across Australia. From the beginning they established Ego as innovators in the scientific development of dermatology products.
Watch to learn more about the history of our iconic Australian brand
The name ‘Ego’ is an acronym for Erwin and Gerald Oppenheim.
In 1975 Gerald was asked by Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Hospital to develop a specialist bath oil for their dermatology patients. The result was QV Bath Oil, named in honour of the hospital. Over four decades on, the QV brand remains synonymous with quality, science and sensitive skin.
Gerald Oppenheim passed away in 1995 leaving his legacy, Ego, to the family. His son, Alan Oppenheim is the Managing Director and sits on the Board of Directors. As does Dr Jane Oppenheim, Alan’s wife, who is the Scientific and Operations Director.
Today, Ego produces over 150 different products, from brands including QV Skincare, DermAid and Zatamil steroid creams, Aqium Hand Sanitiser, Resolve antifungals and SunSense Sunscreen.
Ego Pharmaceuticals remains family owned and operated, with all products manufactured in our own world-class plant in Melbourne, Australia.
Ego has grown to become a world leader, producing a comprehensive skin and health care range for sale in Australia and around the world. Ego products are now exported across the globe.