In 1890, Oskar Troplowitz bought Beiersdorf from company founder Paul C. Beiersdorf. He was already successfully producing medical plasters and the first elastic adhesive bandages (the forerunners of Hansaplast) as well as technical adhesive tape (the forerunner of tesa). Troplowitz’ scientific advisor, Professor Paul Gerson Unna, brought to his attention a discovery made by Dr. Isaac Lifschütz: the emulsifying agent "Eucerit", the first water-in-oil emulsifier able to produce a long-lasting ointment base.
Eucerit, a discovery originally destined for medical applications, was now used in an innovative cosmetic cream – the world’s first long-lasting moisturizer: NIVEA cream. Thanks to its consistency, the cream was pure white and the name NIVEA is actually derived from the Latin term nix/nivis, meaning snow. The formula has proven itself for over 90 years, remaining unique and unparalleled in both performance and consumer acceptance to this day.
The product range originally comprised NIVEA cream, powder and soap. Cosmetic products that, in contrast to today’s range, only a small, elite group of society could afford at the time. This is clearly reflected in the advertising of the day, which like the yellow packaging with an art nouveau design, was in line with the refined taste of the era. The moisturizing and protective properties of NIVEA cream were much lauded by men and women alike.
The product range was expanded between 1928 and 1930 to include hair care and shaving products, among other things, and the products were sold outside Germany for the first time. Today, NIVEA is the world’s largest skin and body care brand with its success rooted in continuity and innovation. This can be seen in the many internationally successful NIVEA subbrands: Body, Visage, Beauté, Sun, For Men, Hair Care, and Baby, each of which can be traced back to the beginnings of NIVEA cream.