Interview with Dr. Thomas Förster, Member of the Henkel Sustainability Council for the Cosmetics/Toiletries business sector

In 2010, you set yourself the goal of having all Diadermine care products evaluated by ECARF, the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. Why is this important, and how far have you come?

Dr. Thomas Förster: Studies show that the number of people with sensitive skin or allergies is continuing to rise, especially in industrialized countries. This topic thus plays an increasingly important role in our product development. Since 2009, we have had our Diadermine care products, in particular, extensively tested by dermatologists at the Charité hospital in Berlin. Our formulas and their biomimetic action – that emulates nature – have been shown to be extremely skin- and allergy-friendly. Diadermine skin creams are therefore permitted to bear the ECARF seal of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. In 2010, all of the skin creams in the Dr. Caspari lines of Diadermine products were also certified by ECARF. This was a huge success for us, one that confirmed our dermatological expertise.

And what is the current focus of your researchers?

Dr. Thomas Förster: In general, we are always looking for formulations for our cosmetics products that are more effective and more compatible, but also more efficient. This is because we face the challenge of delivering greater performance while using less raw materials. In 2010, for example, we introduced new basic formulas for our cleansing products, such as shampoos, shower gels, and liquid hand soaps. They show the same high performance as the previous ones, but use approximately 15 percent less surfactants, or washing active substances. Contributions to resource efficiency can also come from products with especially long-lasting effects, such as our newly launched Right Guard deodorant sprays. Their 48-hour effectiveness considerably reduces how much product is used as compared with conventional deodorant sprays.

And how do you ensure the health compatibility of these formulas?

Dr. Thomas Förster: All of our cosmetic products, as well as the ingredients they contain, are submitted to a comprehensive assessment program to verify their compatibility. For our finished cosmetic products, we use only dermatological studies and in vitro tests that do not involve animals. These are tests that are carried out in test tubes using artificial, full thickness skin models. A central goal of our research is, of course, replacing the animal testing that is still legally required for certain ingredients with alternative test methods. We have been working on this intensively since the 1980s and have achieved considerable success, collaborating closely on an international scale with partners from industry, regulatory authorities, and research institutions.

My Report
  • fileadmin/ONNB10/PDF_EN/Henkel_SR10_management_sustainability_council.pdf
  • View Selection (0)