The history of today’s Beiersdorf began in a small pharmacy near Hamburg’s famous St. Michael’s church, often referred to as “Michel”. This is where Paul C. Beiersdorf invented the coated pflaster, thus laying the groundwork for company success. In the decades that followed, Beiersdorf developed into a globally successful consumer goods company with brands such as NIVEA, Eucerin, Hansaplast, and Labello.

Click your way through a timeline of milestones covering the company’s history since 1882.

  • 1880


      Born in Brandenburg in 1836, qualified pharmacist Paul C. Beiersdorf founded the company that now bears his name, having settled in Hamburg just two years earlier.



      patent specification numbered 20057 for the “manufacture of coated pflaster”


      The patent specification numbered 20057 for the “manufacture of coated pflaster” is regarded as the company’s founding document, which was presented to Paul C. Beiersdorf on March 28, 1882, by the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin.



      Beiersdorf's first pharmacy in Hamburg


      Based on his patent, Paul C. Beiersdorf manufactured adhesive pflaster in his own lab using the mass of the gutta-percha tree, and thus laid the foundation for modern-day pflaster technology.



    • Beiersdorf's laboratory of dermatotherapeutic preparations


      The gutta-percha adhesive pflaster was so popular that Beiersdorf gave up the pharmacy on Mühlenstraße. He and his family moved from Hamburg to the neighboring Altona, where he founded his laboratory of dermatotherapeutic preparations.




    • Dr. Oscar Troplowitz


      Pharmacist and businessman Dr. Oscar Troplowitz took over Paul C. Beiersdorf’s company based in Hamburg-Altona. Troplowitz modernized the production processes, established the initial international contacts, and significantly expanded the business.

    • topping-out ceremony for the new production facility in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel


      Dr. Oscar Troplowitz celebrating the topping-out ceremony for the new production facility in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel with the architect and employees. The property was gradually expanded over the following decades and is still the location of the company headquarters to this day.

    • cooperation agreement with New York trading company Lehn & Fink


      The catalyst for global success: the first international cooperation agreement with New York trading company Lehn & Fink paved the way for business relationships with the US.

  • 1900

    • patent application for Eucerit


      A patent application was filed for Eucerit (“beautiful wax”), an emulsifying agent that’s extracted from the lanolin of sheep and forms the foundation for Eucerin and later on, NIVEA Creme.

    • office on Idol Lane in London


      Beiersdorf set up his own office on Idol Lane in London which served as a temporary storage facility for deliveries to the UK. Sales continued to grow in the following years.

    • first Labello lip balm


      Labello lip balm was launched onto the market. The lip care stick with innovative sliding case quickly became an international success and a synonym for lip care products.


    • poster with young woman as NIVEA advertisment


      The name of the skin cream was derived from the Latin “nix, nivis” meaning “snow.” NIVEA had been a registered trademark since 1905.



    • list of subsidiaries in 1914


      The company maintained business relationships in 34 countries. Nearly half of all sales were achieved abroad thanks to the global popularity of Beiersdorf products.



      independent branch in Vienna in 1914


      Due to the profitable business in Austria, an independent branch was established as a limited liability company in Vienna on January 23, 1914, though World War I delayed operations until 1923.



    • painting of Dr. Oscar Troplowitz


      Following the death of Dr. Oscar Troplowitz and his brother-in-law and partner Dr. Otto Hanns Mankiewicz, the legal form of Beiersdorf was changed several times. The P. Beiersdorf & Co. AG corporation was finally established on June 1, 1922.


    • certificate of first North American affiliate P. Beiersdorf & Co. Inc. on Hudson Street in New York


      Beiersdorf founded its first North American affiliate on Hudson Street in New York.
      P. Beiersdorf & Co. Inc. had its products manufactured locally by licensed partners.



    • left: certifictae of corporation status; right: Willy Jacobsohn, Chairman of Board


      Beiersdorf becomes a corporation on June 1, 1922. Dr. Willy Jacobsohn (see photo) becomes Chairman of the five-member Board and will leave his stamp on the company over the next 10 years. Dr. Carl Melchior becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board.



      Hansaplast first aid kit in 1922


      Hansaplast was launched onto the market, revolutionizing wound care: as the first adhesive pflaster with a gauze pad, it was also suitable for protecting open wounds. The adhesive pflaster was based on the Leukoplast zinc oxide pflaster, which had been developed by Dr. Oscar Troplowitz in 1901.



    • production facilities in Hamburg in 1924


      The company headquarters in Hamburg employed more than 500 people. This figure would continue to grow over the years and triple by 1933.

    • blue NIVEA tin in 1925


      NIVEA was given a makeover. The NIVEA brand image was completely overhauled to reflect the social changes of the 1920s. The blue tin was born …



      NIVEA advertisement "NIVEA protects you from sunburn"


      … and the advertising strategy was changed too: NIVEA focused on leisure, sports, and nature from that point on. The advertising was designed to radiate clarity, trust, honesty, and responsibility.



    • excerpt from an newspaper showing the head factory in Hamburg


      The first Beiersdorf stocks were traded on the Hamburg Stock Exchange. The company maintained more than 20 production facilities all over the world at that time, including in New York, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro.


    • employees in the factory courtyard in Hamburg in 1932


      Beiersdorf celebrated its 50th anniversary. All of the Hamburg employees got together in the factory courtyard on March 24. The company had more than 1,400 employees around the world at that time.



    • Members of the Executive Board in 1933


      Jewish members of the Board resign under the pressure of the National Socialists’ arrival in power. Under the leadership of Carl Claussen (seated 2nd from the left) the Beiersdorf Board manages the company through the difficult time of the Nazi regime.



      factory from inside in Argentinia


      The first Beiersdorf affiliate on the South American continent was opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Beiersdorf Sociedad de Responsibilidad Limitada” initially produced adhesive pflaster and Pebeco toothpaste for the Latin American market.



    • starting scene of the "Weiß in blau" ("White in Blue") commercial in 1936


      As a freelancer, Elly Heuss-Knapp, wife of the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, designed key elements of NIVEA advertising primarily for movie theaters and radio. She continued working for Beiersdorf until the end of World War II. This is the 1936 “Weiß in blau” (“White in Blue”) commercial.




    • first tesa logo in 1936


      Introduction of tesa as an umbrella brand for adhesive tapes. The first innovative product was a clear adhesive tape, which later gained world renown under the name tesafilm.





    • destroyed factory in Hamburg after World War II


      The production facilities and administrative building were significantly damaged during the air strikes on Hamburg. While most of the Beiersdorf affiliates in the countries fighting against Germany were expropriated during the war, Beiersdorf also lost the NIVEA trademarks in these countries. After the war, Beiersdorf began repurchasing these trademarks.



    • list of numbers on NIVEA supplies and demands in 1949


      During the year in which the Federal Republic of Germany was established, Beiersdorf achieved sales of 30 million Deutschmark. There were now enough raw materials available to meet the extensive demand for products.





    • Eucerin Ph5 in tins and packages


      Market launch of Eucerin Ph5. This innovative ointment focused on the importance of an intact natural acid mantle for the health of the skin, and formed the foundation of the consumer brand Eucerin.



    • 8x4 products with pink design in 1951


      Beiersdorf introduced the first deodorizing soap that inhibits the growth of the bacteria that break down sweat. Juan Gregorio Clausen who had been Beiersdorf’s Head of Advertising for many years, was responsible for the catchy name 8x4 having found inspiration in the active ingredient B32.




    • NIVEA creme tin in 1959


      Birth of a design icon: the signature “Creme” lettering that exists to this day was applied to the NIVEA tin. With the removal of labeling such as “Zur Hautpflege” (“For the care of the skin”), the brand and product name were able to take center stage on the tin lid.


    • Advertisement for oil-in-water emulsion for full-body care


      NIVEA milk was introduced onto the market. As an oil-in-water emulsion for full-body care, the liquid NIVEA Creme was an international success from the very start. Numerous affiliates and licensees expanded international business throughout the 1960s.




    • employees entering a Beiersdorf subsidiary abroad in 1972


      For the first time, the number of Beiersdorf employees exceeded 10,000 due to international growth: nearly half of all employees were based at international affiliates.



    • New company logo titled "That NIVEA is as good as tesa is as good as Hansaplast is as good as atrix, you can recognize because of this sign."


      Beiersdorf introduced a new company logo. For the first time, the logo, fonts, and brand colors were globally compiled and standardized in a corporate design manual.





    • NIVEA's new product categories


      In an effort to expand the range, NIVEA introduced special face care products onto the market. New product categories such as shower, men, and hair care rounded off the portfolio.



    • nivea creme, tesa roll, Hansaplast kit


      Beiersdorf began implementing a new strategy focus. The primary aim was to concentrate on the core areas of expertise: skin care, wound care, and adhesive technology.




    • La Prairie range in 1991


      Beiersdorf acquired the La Prairie brand which stems from the renowned clinique of the same name in Montreux. The Swiss skin specialists were pioneers in cellular therapy developed to combat skin aging.



    • NIVEa creme tin with world map on cover


      By entering new fields of cosmetics, globally standardizing brand policy and purchasing back the missing trademarks in countries such as the UK, South Africa and Australia, NIVEA was able to become the world’s largest skin care brand.




    • building of Polish company Pollena-Lechia in Poznań – now called NIVEA Polska


      The global repurchase of all NIVEA brand trademarks was finally completed with the acquisition of a majority share in the Polish company Pollena-Lechia in Poznań – now called NIVEA Polska.

  • 2000

    • tesa flag


      The original tesa division of the Beiersdorf Group took an important step towards independence and became tesa AG. The new affiliate was thus able to respond more flexibly to consumer and industry requirements. 

    • Florena creme tin


      Based in Waldheim, Saxony, cosmetics company Florena became a wholly owned affiliate of Beiersdorf. The two companies had already worked together under a production agreement before the Wall came down in 1989, and intensified their ties following the reunification of Germany.

    • NIVEA creme tins in box full of coffee bans from Tchibo


      A prolonged struggle for the Allianz share in Beiersdorf came to a favorable end in October. Tchibo Holding AG increased its share from 30.3% to an initial 49.9%, becoming Beiersdorf’s largest shareholder. A new functional structure replaced the previous divisional structure.

    • new skin research center in 2004


      The new skin research center opened in Hamburg – with more than 450 scientists, it is one of the largest and most advanced research centers in Germany and one of the most important around the world.

    • CEO Thomas B. Quaas and Hamburg's First Mayor Ole von Beust in front of NIVEA Haus entrance


      Beiersdorf CEO Thomas B. Quaas and Hamburg’s First Mayor Ole v. Beust at the grand opening of NIVEA Haus at Jungfernstieg in the heart of Hamburg.

    • NIVEA tin on newspaper with DAX results


      Beiersdorf joined DAX. On December 22, 2008, the corporation was accepted into the most important German stock index as one of the 30 largest and most successful companies.


    • Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE


      Beiersdorf introduced Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE onto the market. The moisturizer is based on the discovery of aquaporins, for which two researchers were presented with the Nobel Prize. The new technology was gradually integrated into NIVEA products.

    • NIVEAs 100th anniversary campaign poster


      Happy birthday, NIVEA! With festivities all over the world and a special anniversary campaign, NIVEA Creme celebrated its 100th anniversary. The campaign was a resounding success that impressed NIVEA fans around the world.



      NIVEA Invisible for Black & White range


      Following intensive research, Beiersdorf developed a deodorant that significantly reduces stains: NIVEA Invisible for Black & White was the most successful deodorant launch in company history.



    • new NIVEA logo on tin and bottle


      NIVEA was given a global makeover. The both minimalist and high-quality design of the classic Creme tin served as the source of inspiration. The new logo standardized the appearance of the NIVEA range.

    • production and innovation center in Silao, Mexico


      Beiersdorf opened a production and innovation center in Silao, Mexico, in July, which is certified in accordance with the most stringent Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

    • production facility in India (Beiersdorf Manufacturing Gujarat)


      A new production facility opened in India (Beiersdorf Manufacturing Gujarat). In addition to the production facility, the site is also home to its own research department which develops new products specifically for Indian consumers.

    • tesa headquarters in Norderstedt


      The Beiersdorf subsidiary tesa officially opens its new corporate headquarters in Norderstedt (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) in the presence of around 1,000 employees, numerous guests of honor, and press representatives.

    • New corporate headquarters and research center


      Beiersdorf announces that a new corporate headquarters and research center will be built at its home base in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, Germany, for €230 million. Completion is scheduled for 2023.

    • Eucerin Anti-Pigment products


      With the anti-pigment series, Eucerin is launching the first products with Thiamidol® on the market. The active ingredient, which is patented by Beiersdorf, alleviates pigment spots when used regularly and prevents them from reappearing.

    • C.A.R.E.+ strategy and Coppertone logos


      The new C.A.R.E.+ strategy program for the Consumer business segment marks the launch of a multiyear investment offensive. In line with this, Beiersdorf announces the acquisition of the American brand icon Coppertone in May.



      The natural cosmetics label STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! has been part of Beiersdorf’s global brand network since February. Together, the Hamburg-based partners want to expand the scope of sustainable skin care and drive forward their commitment to climate and resource protection.



      new production facility mock-up


      Beiersdorf decides to build a new production facility in Leipzig-Seehausen, Germany, thereby expanding its production capacities in Europe. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in 2022.



      a truck


      At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March, the executive board decides to produce 1 million liters of disinfectant in its own plants and donate it. Employees in 13 plants on five continents ensure that this goal was already achieved at the beginning of June.




      Vincent Warnery takes over as CEO from his predecessor Stefan De Loecker, who had headed the company as CEO since 2019.