#CareForHumanTouch – NIVEA launches global purpose

  • Global NIVEA research reveals: human touch is seen as key to happiness and health. Yet, proven health benefits of physical touch are largely unknown.
  • Every second person stated that the isolation during the pandemic has made them feel lonelier than ever before in their lives.
  • By 2025, NIVEA will have promoted the individual health and well-being of more than 150,000 people through skin-touch projects, supported by a financial commitment of 20 million Euros.

Hamburg, January 28, 2021 – Two consecutive first-of-their-kind global reports on the state of human touch from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were published today by the skincare brand NIVEA. They reveal a concerning level of physical touch deprivation and loneliness, made worse by the ongoing pandemic. Nearly half of people surveyed said that the isolation made them feel lonelier than ever before in their lives. The study has also found a connection between feelings of loneliness and lack of being in touch with others, both physically and emotionally. People around the world expressed a desire to catch up on what they missed for so long, once they can. In response to these findings, the NIVEA skincare brand, which has stood for beautiful, healthy skin and human needs for more than 100 years, has today launched its brand purpose, “Care for human touch to inspire togetherness”. NIVEA commits to pointing out the proven health benefits of physical touch and promoting skin-touch, as soon as circumstances permit. The brand pledges to invest 20 million Euros in local skin-touch projects around the world, reaching 150,000 people, among them babies born preterm, the visually impaired and elderly with dementia.

“NIVEA has always cared for skin and we have always cared for people. This is what defined NIVEA from the start. With our contribution we want to make a difference. And we will use NIVEA’s influence and reach to spread awareness of the positive health effects of human touch,” says Stefan De Loecker, Chief Executive Officer of Beiersdorf AG.

In the comprehensive study, nine out of ten respondents before and during the COVID-19 crisis stated that human touch is key to happy and fulfilled lives. Yet this universal desire stays unsatisfied.

Four out of five people living alone reported that they do not experience human touch on a daily basis. Almost two out of three respondents wish that they would receive more hugs. People living in single households and single parents, as well as teenagers and millennials, are most affected by loneliness. 23 percent of single parents voiced strongly that they feel alone, while 24 percent of teenagers stated the same – versus a global average of 16 percent.

The physical and psychological health benefits of human touch are scientifically proven. But as touch takes a backseat in modern life, the respondents classified its health benefits as “new to them” and at the same time as important.

For seven out of 10 people surveyed, human touch is not top of mind. Busy lifestyles, the rise of technologies, and confusion about the right level of touch get in the way of fulfilling people’s needs for skin-to-skin contact. Better knowledge of the benefits of touch would inspire 86 percent to include more human touch in their daily lives.

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of human touch yet made it more difficult to experience the skin-touch that we need.

Most people across the globe have accepted the need to be socially distant and have adapted their behavior accordingly for now. The survey shows that people around the world have sacrificed physical touch during the pandemic and often endured loneliness as a result. 75 percent of people surveyed said that isolation has made them realize how important physical touch is for health. More than a third of people globally expect inner circle (family, close friends) touch to increase after the crisis, while outer circle touch (colleagues, acquaintances) is expected to decline in the long run as a result of the pandemic.

“Driving awareness of the need for and the health benefits of skin-touch is crucial. We will take on this role and continue to be the custodian of human touch and togetherness. While we are forced to stay socially distanced from each other during the pandemic, we have to maintain and deepen our close relationships as a shield against loneliness. Within our close family, skin-touch is therefore more important than ever,” says Ralph Zimmerer, Vice President Global NIVEA Brand Identity & Brand Capability.

With its new initiative #CareForHumanTouch, NIVEA supports skin-touch projects to promote the quality of life for people at risk of loneliness like babies born preterm, visually impaired individuals and elderly with dementia. The brand also aims to make 100 million people aware of the proven health benefits of skin-touch by 2025.

NIVEA kicks off its purpose launch with a documentary film that showcases the true story of preterm born twins from Hamburg, and how one twin’s life was saved in the incubator by the skin-touch of her sister.

About the Research Methodology:

Volume I was conducted by mindline, an independent research institute, as an online survey to 12,207 people in the following 12 countries (approximately 1,000 respondents per country): Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and US. Survey respondents were between 16-69 years of age, and were a representative sample based on gender, age, region and occupational status. The study was conducted between October 2018 and March 2019 (pre pandemic).

Focus group discussions in 11 countries, conducted by Happy Thinking People, an independent research institute, preceded the quantitative research.

Volume II was also conducted by mindline as an online survey of 11,706 people in the following 9 countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the US. Survey respondents were between 16 – 69 years of age, and were a representative sample based on gender, age, region, and occupational status. The study was conducted between April 2020 and October 2020 (during pandemic).

Press Contact

Anke Schmidt
Vice President Corporate Communications & Government Relations

Beiersdorf AG
Unnastrasse 48
20245 Hamburg, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 40 - 4909 2001

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