These substances that Nivea hides from us

In the series of the little secrets of the brands, you could read more closely the lists of ingredients of everyday products

In the series of the little secrets of the brands, you could read more closely the lists of ingredients of everyday products: Febreze, Red Bull, Cillit Bang, Decap’Four… Today, let’s attack a myth: the Nivea cream, a hundred-year-old cosmetic product whose success has not aged a bit.

The mythical blue box of Nivea Is Nivea hiding its game? Everyone knows the famous moisturizing cream with its recognizable scent; few bathrooms have never seen a jar of “snow-white” universal cream (this expression, in Latin niveusThe name of the brand comes from this) on one of the shelves. The timeless moisturizer has almost preserved the same recipe since its invention in Germany in 1911.


Nivea cream: a care for every day? wavebreakmedia

Presented as natural and even ecological, the laboratories Beiersdorf have gone so far as to focus their communication on the green side of their cream: “Paraben-free, preservative-free, 100% Love “. That’s true, but what about that? Is there really only love in the little blue box?

The ingredients of the cream Nivea

The law requires manufacturers to list all ingredients in cosmetic products in a sufficiently visible manner in descending order of concentration. This is the I.N.C.I. list, International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredientswhich must mention the name of the ingredients in English for chemical substances and in Latin for natural products.

So this is what it says on the Nivea Crème(1) box:

List of ingredients

Ingredients – Aqua, Parrafinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Glycerin, Lanolin Alcohol (Eucerit ®), Paraffin, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Parfum.

Inci list of Nivea cream © Séverine Bascot

Oil to pamper your skin

In the first place, we find water, Aqua So far, so good! Water is usually the main ingredient of any cosmetic.

The problem is that it starts to go wrong on the 2nde ingredient (which is therefore the one with the highest concentration after water) : the Parrafinum Liquidum. Kerosene oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons which covers the skin with a thin film that prevents water from evaporating. This is why we find the ingredient Parrafinum Liquidum in many moisturizing products.

Then, in 3e position, we find Cera Microcristallina or the microcrystalline wax which is also a petrochemical derivative.

And in 6e place, oil again: Paraffin. Kerosenes, if they are not ideal for the skin since they will tend to prevent it from breathing, are especially not very soft for the environment, since they are from the petroleum industry.

Many synthetic ingredients

If there is no trace of parabens in a jar of NiveaThe fact that all the other ingredients are natural and/or of vegetable origin does not mean that they are not.


Nivea cream, not so natural! aimpol buranet / Shutterstock

A number of ingredients may indeed be of natural origin (Panthenol for example) but others in the composition of the cream Nivea are well and truly synthetic, with for some of them an allergic potential :

  • Hydroxycitronellal is one of the allergenic components subject to use restrictions
  • Citronellol is an ingredient, sometimes used in insect repellent products or perfumes, which poses a slight problem, as it can potentially cause contact allergies in sensitive individuals
  • Benzyl Benzoate is an odoriferous solvent of vegetable or synthetic origin which enters the composition of perfumes. Benzyl benzoate is also naturally present in essential oils of jasmine and ylang-ylang
  • Cinnamyl Alcohol. Cinnamyl alcohol is also one of the allergenic components subject to use restrictions.


The Aluminum stearate (Aluminum Stearates) also appears in the list of ingredients. It is a white colorant (among other uses) that is not allowed to be used in cosmetics in the United States. Remember that aluminum salts have a strong irritant potential and are suspected of being toxic to the body.

The word of the Nivea cream tester

This cream Nivea is certainly pleasant to use for many people, but beyond the fact that it is effective (the skin is soft and moisturized), what is really surprising is the notable presence of allergens in its composition.

We are very far from an organic cream and it is very surprising (even shocking?) for a cream that prides itself on being ” suitable for sensitive skin “but which can be badly tolerated by some of them!


Nivea cream: not for everyone © sasha2109 / Shutterstock

A cream that is therefore not made for those who demand natural cosmetics, and is in fact not for everyone either.

Make your own universal moisturizer!

What could be better than homemade to make sure you avoid any unwanted ingredients when taking care of yourself?

Ingredients for approximately 100 ml of cream to be stored in a jar or pump bottle:

  • 4 tablespoons apricot kernel oil
  • 1 level tablespoon of olive-based emulsifying wax flakes
  • 6 tablespoons of a hydrolat of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops of lavender or niaouli essential oil
  • 5 drops of essential oil of petit grain bigarade or grapefruit


Apricot kernel vegetable oil

Apricot kernel vegetable oil will give you a healthy glow while protecting your skin! Its light texture does not leave a greasy film on the skin.



In a double boiler or saucepan, melt the apricot kernel oil and olive flakes over very low heat. In another container, also in a double boiler, heat the hydrosol and the aloe vera.

Gradually add the aqueous phase (the 2e mixture) with melted fats (1er mixture), mixing with a small whisk, until the cream becomes thick.

Once the emulsion has set, add the 15 drops of essential oils for preservation and fragrance.

What do you think?

Written by Pimpletube

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