Beiersdorf Headquarter Hamburg

Current Statements

  • What is Beiersdorf’s reaction to the discussion about microplastics in skin care products?

    The important debate about microplastics in the environment has intensified in recent years. At Beiersdorf, we identified the need for action at a very early stage, initiated company-wide measures to avoid microplastics, and are committed to driving forward research into environmentally compatible alternatives. Our clear ambition is to completely eliminate microplastics from all Beiersdorf product formulas and to expand the use of biodegradable polymers – in line with our sustainability agenda. And we are well on our way: Since 2019, all Beiersdorf rinse-off products have been free of microplastics. With NIVEA, we were able to achieve our next major goal at the end of 2021: Since then, NIVEA products no longer contain any microplastics. Eucerin will have achieved this goal by the end of 2023. In addition, we aim to use only biodegradable polymers in our brands’ European product formulas by 2025.

    Detailed information and further goals we have set ourselves on the topic of microplastics can be found here.

  • Does Beiersdorf use aluminum in its products?

    Aluminum is the third most common element and the most common metal in the Earth’s crust. The aluminum salt aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) is a compound that is extracted from raw aluminum and is used as an active ingredient in antiperspirants. Aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) blocks sweat flow in the underarm areas by constricting the upper part of sweat glands. Beiersdorf uses aluminum salts in all antiperspirants that actively reduce sweat production.

    How is aluminum absorbed and is it harmful?

    Aluminum compounds are natural parts of our daily nutrition. They are in water for example, but also in fruit, vegetables, grains and meat. That means they enter our bodies mostly through oral consumption. The amount of aluminum, which enters the body via cosmetics or care products, is much lower. Aluminum chlorohydrate from antiperspirants becomes an insoluble solid (aluminum hydroxide) when brought into contact with sweat, which cannot physically penetrate the skin. Injuries and damaged skin can however aid the absorption of tiny amounts of aluminum into the body when using antiperspirants. Most of the aluminum that people consume is eliminated by healthy functioning kidneys.

    The European Food Safety Authority has derived a tolerable oral consumption quantity of 1 mg aluminum per kilogram of body weight per week. The World Health Organization (WHO) speaks of a tolerable consumption quantity of 2 mg aluminum per kilogram of body weight per week. These quantities can be consumed for an entire lifetime without health risks.

    Based on preliminary scientific studies as well as the chemical properties of the aluminum salt aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) we assume that the absorption of aluminum through antiperspirants is very minor and absolutely safe. According to an existing study on people, the amount is approximately 0.01% of the aluminum used – and that is only the case for very sensitive skin. In order to be able to make a more precise assessment of how much aluminum is absorbed by the skin through antiperspirants a comprehensive study is currently being conducted at the European level.

    What alternatives are there to antiperspirants with aluminum?

    In general, consumers have a choice between deodorants and antiperspirants. For antiperspirants there are no alternatives to aluminum salts: there is currently no other active ingredient that is so reliably effective against the production of sweat. Deodorants function without aluminum salts as an active ingredient and use fragrances to cover undesired body odor. They can also contain the growth of odor-causing bacteria, but they do not have an antiperspirant effect.

    Since deodorants and antiperspirants are two different products, Beiersdorf has always offered both. Thus, consumers can decide for themselves which effect they would prefer. Beiersdorf indicates if a product contains aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH). By looking at the product ingredients on the packaging, the so-called International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), the consumer can verify this. Additional notes on products indicating that do not contain aluminum salts makes it easy for consumers to find the right product.

  • What are parabens and why does Beiersdorf use them?

    Parabens are preservatives that are used in many water-containing cosmetic products in order to prevent the spread of bacteria and mold during use. For about 80 years, parabens have been widely used throughout the cosmetic industry because of their proven effectiveness and their scientifically demonstrated tolerability among users. They are the most researched preservatives. Thus, parabens are used in in approximately 30% NIVEA products as well.

    However, negative publicity has led to consumer concerns regarding this ingredient. It is sometimes claimed that parabens accumulate in the body, disturbing hormone systems and perhaps promoting diseases. This stands in contradiction to the research findings of many independent scientific studies that have been conducted over the course of the last several decades. Both the European Commission and the independent U.S. evaluative commission, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) are in agreement about the safety of parabens. Beiersdorf’s own recognized expertise and research in the area of skin care is also consistent with this opinion. Of course, the use of parabens as ingredients is legally permitted.

    At Beiersdorf the tolerability of our products for our consumers is a guiding principle for all actions taken by our company. Our products exclusively contain ingredients that comply with legal regulations and guarantee safety. We want consumers to have complete peace-of-mind when using our products. If we are unsure about an ingredient, we do not use it. Our world-class Research & Development is always searching for new, safe and tolerable preservation solutions and tries to minimize the use of preservatives in general. For example there are no butyl parabens in our NIVEA products. Baby products do not contain parabens at all. For consumers who prefer paraben-free products, NIVEA also offers products without these preservatives (around 70% of our products are paraben-free).

  • Does Beiersdorf use nanopigments in its sun care products?

    Nanopigments like titanium dioxide are minerals that occur in nature that are smaller than 100 nanometers – i.e. a million times smaller than a grain of sand. After they have been technologically enhanced, these naturally occurring substances have unique properties that can also be used for cosmetics.
    Beiersdorf uses the nanopigments titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as highly effective UV filters in a series of sun protection products because they can reflect the harmful UV radiation of sunlight. This is how nanopigments make a vital contribution to providing protection from sunburns, skin cancer and early aging. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are among the ingredients that have been in use since the 1980s and have been particularly well studied. Today, the UV-Filters are officially approved in almost all countries and regions of the world.

    The safety of both UV-Filters has been repeatedly analyzed and assessed by independent scientists and health authorities as well as the scientific advisory panel of the EU Commission (SCCS). Extensive scientific data exists which confirms that their use in cosmetics is absolutely harmless. Most recently, it was determined in 2007 that titanium dioxide should be evaluated once again – to consider the latest findings on the safety of nano-materials. A new statement from the SCCS was published on April 22, 2014 in which the scientists confirmed the safety of nano-sized titanium dioxide.
    Numerous studies likewise confirm that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cannot enter the human body through the skin, even through diseased or damaged parts of the skin.

    It has also often been asked whether nanopigments are an environmental hazard. Recent studies from 2007 and 2008 show that the nanopigments titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are demonstrably non-toxic and consequently do not pose any environmental hazard.

    Beiersdorf places great importance in the tolerability and safety of its products. For this reason company experts also conduct their own extensive safety evaluations for all products and their applications.

  • Does Beiersdorf use palm oil or palm kernel oil?

    Many ingredients, such as emulsifiers and surfactants that are essential to the production of cosmetic products are usually derived from mineral or plant oils. Palm (kernel) oil is one of these. As a cosmetics manufacturer Beiersdorf does not directly procure palm (kernel) oil and neither do we produce any of its derivatives, i.e. materials that are further refined or processed from palm (kernel) oil.

    All our suppliers are contractually required to comply with our Code of Conduct for Suppliers: This defines social and environmental standards and therefore supports responsible sourcing. Furthermore, we are working closely with our suppliers to drive sustainable palm cultivation and a sustainable palm (kernel) oil industry. We see building transparency in the supply chain as a major step forward, and together we aim to make the palm (kernel) oil-based raw materials we use traceable all the way from the source of feedstock to their derivatives. 

    A sustainable palm (kernel) oil industry does not cause the deforestation of ecologically vital rainforests (primary or secondary forests). If they are cultivated sustainably, palm trees are environmentally very efficient oil-bearing plants that require a minimum of land for maximum output. For this reason, we are engaged through the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO) and the “German Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil” (FONAP) for a sustainable palm (kernel) oil industry.

    As a FONAP member we additionally advocate the further development of the existing certification criteria, which include:

    • A ban of palm plantations on peat land and other carbon-rich land
    • A ban on the use of severely hazardous pesticides (as defined under the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, WHO 1a and 1b, including paraquat)
    • The application of strict reduction targets for greenhouse gases
    • A guarantee that when certified palm-oil mills also procure non-certified raw palm materials (fresh fruit bunches), they obtain these exclusively from legal cultivation.

    In recent years, we have made continual progress in our transition to sustainable palm (kernel) oil. By 2020, we plan to switch all our palm (kernel) oil-based product and formula ingredients to physical certified sustainable palm (kernel) oil. Our objective is the full transition to segregated – at a minimum, mass-balanced – palm (kernel) oil and its derivatives. Until then we will continue to balance our remaining requirement by purchasing Book and Claim certificates on the RSPO trading platform. Thanks to this, since 2014 we have covered 100% of the palm (kernel) oil-based raw materials we use with certificates, either through directly procuring certified raw materials or through Book and Claim certificates.

    Our Palm Sustainability Roadmap supports us in steering and coordinating our company’s progress towards raw material procurement from certified sustainable sources – worldwide. In 2016, we reached a major milestone by achieving official RSPO Supply Chain Certification: In the audit we demonstrated our thorough alignment with a sustainable palm (kernel) oil industry and proved that we fulfill all corresponding RSPO criteria. We were consequently awarded the RSPO Multi-Site SCCS certificate. The first shipments of certified sustainable palm (kernel) oil-based materials already reached our production plants in 2015. By the end of 2016, we had achieved a 30% conversion to mass-balanced palm (kernel) oil-based raw materials. Until we reach our objective of full transition by 2020 we will continue to offset the remaining share of our uptake with certificates.

    Here you can learn more about the selection and the handling of raw materials at Beiersdorf.

  • Does Beiersdorf conduct animal testing?

    At Beiersdorf, we are committed to making animal testing obsolete worldwide. We are convinced that animal testing is not necessary to prove the skin tolerability and effectiveness of our cosmetic products. This is why we do not conduct any animal testing for our cosmetic products and their ingredients, and do not have any animal testing done on our behalf – unless, in the very rare case, this is specifically required by law.

    For us, consumer safety always comes first. As one of the leading researching companies, we have been at the forefront of developing and promoting alternative test methods for 35 years. We have been – and still are – intensively involved in the successful development and validation of key methodologies that are now internationally accepted by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and are already approved by key regulatory agencies. We invest significant resources for this, and have worked in joint collaboration with more than 50 partners and stakeholders on this effort worldwide to date.

    In the EU, animal testing has been completely banned for cosmetic products since 2004, and for all the ingredients of these products since 2013. Beiersdorf, of course, is in compliance with these legal requirements and, for a long time before, already actively forewent animal testing worldwide whenever legally possible. It is our stated goal to advance research to the point when animal testing can be completely abandoned worldwide.

    Our commitment includes:

    Intensive research of alternative test methods for 35 years

    Beiersdorf is one of the pioneers and global leaders in the field of alternative test methods. For 35 years, our research and development has been actively promoting the topic – through the own development of suitable methods as well as active participation in validation studies and research projects.

    Development of one of the world’s first officially approved test without animal testing

    In 1992, our researchers at Beiersdorf developed the basic method of the so-called 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test, thereby setting an important milestone: Following a formal ring study for validation, the test was the first officially accepted alternative method to animal testing (in 2000 in the EU and in 2004 within the OECD). Today, the method for testing the tolerability of new ingredients under the influence of UV lights is the worldwide standard and the first in vitro test to also be accepted in China for instance.

    International collaboration with renowned partners

    We are actively promoting the development of innovative alternative methods and the international acceptance of existing ones through joint collaboration with more than 50 stakeholders and partners to date. We are intensively involved in various working groups that fall under the European umbrella organization of the cosmetics industry (Cosmetics Europe), cooperate with the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (EURL ECVAM), and support the OECD through the provision of scientific insights. We are an active member of the European Society of Toxicology in Vitro (ESTIV) and, since 2006, a founding member of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA), a cooperative organization of the European Commission and seven industry sectors. In addition, Beiersdorf has cooperated on innovative, cutting-edge research, such as studies on organ-on-a-chip technologies, which simulate the interplay of several organs.

    Continuing to advance and support research in the future

    Even though great progress has already been made, at the present time, there are still not officially accepted and established alternative test methods for all safety-related questions. Above all, this has an impact on the development of innovations and the approval of new ingredients for cosmetic products. Therefore, we will also continue to advocate intensively for the development and successful use of alternatives to animal testing.

  • Does Beiersdorf also produce goods for other retail brands?

    We have never manufactured for other brands and therefore for no retail brands whatsoever. Only products with Beiersdorf on the label contain the trusted Beiersdorf quality and care.