Nivea – A Creme with a History

Nivea Creme History

There aren’t many cosmetic products more iconic than Nivea Creme.


It is probably one of the oldest formulations on the market at the moment. It was first launched before the first world war in Germany by the company that was later to become Beiersdorf. The name is the latin for snow white. It was the first water in oil emulsion to be marketed. Water in oil emulsions are very effective barrier creams and are a great treatment for dry skin. With modern materials formulators can produce water in oil emulsions relatively easily, but back when Nivea was first developed the only option was to use lanolin. Nivea uses a particular lanolin derivative and this is still used today.

The distinctive blue jar was launched in 1925. To me, the design still has a sort of twenties Bauhaus form follows function look to it. I don’t think it is too dated even though it is probably the oldest packaging format on the shelf.

On top of this, as far as I know Nivea is the only brand that has ever been a part of a war booty. At the end of WWII the rights to distribute Nivea somehow ended up in British hands. For many years it was made in Hull. While it was made in Britain the look and feel of the product wasn’t changed, but there were some major innovations in the way it was manufactured.

At the end of the Eighties the original company bought it back again and moved manufacture to Germany. It had returned home.

I think that this product owes its longevity to basically doing the job for which it is intended. I think if you have particularly dry skin then Nivea will definitely help it. This product will be a hundred years old soon – I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t go on for another hundred after that.

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Find out the latest on Nivea on their UK website.

2 thoughts on “Nivea – A Creme with a History”

  1. I don’t know if you are still reading this Kelly, but the innovation was to make it by a continuous rather than a batch process. I don’t know how successful it was, but they were very pleased with it at the time.

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