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Bye-bye microbeads – Hello progress!

Microbeads have been used in cosmetic products, including NIVEA, for their gentle cleansing effect. These tiny plastic particles, made of polyethylene (PE) have proved to be very popular in products such as exfoliants, body scrubs and shower gels as they are light, stable in the formula and, above all, very gentle on the skin.

However, in January 2015 the German Environmental Agency (UBA) warned about the “risks to the environment and water caused by the use of plastic particles in skin creams, scrubs, shower gels and shampoos”, citing threats to marine life in oceans, lakes and rivers.

Although they only make up a small percentage of plastic waste, we made the preventative decision to no longer use any PE scrubs, agreeing to phase all affected NIVEA products for the international market by the end of 2015.

We are delighted to say that we have now achieved this target thanks to our diligent experts in Research and Development who have found alternative substances that are just as soft, gentle and skin-friendly as microbeads.

"We have succeeded in replacing all our polyethylene-based scrub particles, that have been the source of so much discussion, with environmentally friendly alternatives", says Horst Argembeaux from Research and Development at Beiersdorf.

These include Microcellulose, Silica and Hydrogenated Castor Oil.