At Nivea’s Beiersdorf research campus, skin science is serious business

We went behind-the-scenes

If there’s one skincare product that has made it to beauty shelves across generations, it has to be the Nivea creme. The iconic blue tin packaging, a smell so familiar that you’d recognise it in an instant (even when blindfolded), and the thick, white, snow-like cream have remained skincare constants for years.  

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So, when I got the opportunity to visit Nivea’s parent company, Beiersdorf’s research facility in Hamburg, I was curious to know: how did a brand manage to retain its legacy for over a century. The answer was quite simple; if something is not broken, don’t change it. Though Nivea creme’s formula has gone through minor refinements to keep up with the latest scientific findings, its essence—glycerin, citric acid, fragranced with rose and lily-of-the-valley oils—has changed very little over the years. 

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Also, it’s one of the very few brands that has a robust research machinery in the works as was evident from the behind-the-scene peek of its facility. The other thing that has helped Nivea stay relevant, especially in Indian markets, is its ability to create mass products that work. And its latest line of cleansers, Nivea Milk Delights face wash is proof of that. Launched in four variations (saffron for normal skin, gram flour for oily skin, rose for sensitive skin and honey for dry skin), these come in cute, travel-friendly bottles.

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Centred on centuries-old Indian beauty traditions, the face cleansers are not only effective, but are also gentle on the skin. Over three years of research, quality testing and testimonials from over 5,000 women went into perfecting these cleansers. “Indians are big on home remedies. Ingredients such as milk, besan (gram flour), honey are often used as a part of our beauty routines,” says Saurabh Gupta, head of department, formula development at Nivea India. “The pH levels of healthy skin is about 5.5, which is the same as milk, the ingredient that forms the basis of all four variations of the cleanser,” he adds. I picked the honey variation for my dry skin and have been using it for the last three weeks. The biggest proof that the product works: I no longer need to slather my face with moisturiser right after a shower. The launch of the new range seems like the right move, especially now since women are naturally gravitating towards ingredient-driven skincare. 

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