Beauty & Personal Care

Our contribution to beauty and well-being

Hygiene and beauty are fundamental human needs and are important for a sense of personal well-being. Our cosmetics and toiletries, which are used daily by millions of people worldwide, make a valuable contribution to this.

The success of our cosmetics and toiletries owes much to our insistence on offering consumer relevant products with high levels of efficacy and compatibility. The safety and performance of our products are always demonstrated on the basis of scientific findings. We are always looking for new and better solutions. At the heart of our innovation processes is an ever better understanding of the needs of our consumers in different regions. By linking innovative ideas with contributions to our focal areas, we also support the trend toward environmentally aware and health conscious lifestyles.

Photo Tina Müller, Member of the Henkel Sustainability Council for the Cosmetics/Toiletries.

“Beauty, personal well-being and hygiene are basic human needs in all parts of the world. Our products help to fulfill these needs individually and by doing so make an important contribution to society. The aim of our product development and our brand engagement is to support the trend towards environmentally aware and health conscious lifestyles.”

Tina Müller
Member of the Henkel Sustainability Council for the Cosmetics/Toiletries.

Read the complete interview with Tina Müller

Top priority: Product and consumer safety

Only cosmetic products that are well tolerated and safe to use can win the long-term trust of our consumers. This is why the highest priority is attached to health compatibility during product development. This includes consideration of the needs of people with allergies or sensitive skin. In 2009, we worked closely with the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) and other external partners, including dermatologists of the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, to further improve this aspect of our products.

All cosmetic products and their individual ingredients are subjected to an extensive program of assessment and evaluation in order to ensure their compatibility. We employ non-animal in-vitro test methods (tests carried out in a test tube) and dermatological studies to assess the skin compatibility of our finished cosmetic products. Since the early 1980s, we have been working intensively to develop alternative test methods to make it possible to replace the animal tests that are still legally prescribed for some ingredients.

Responsible use of natural and renewable raw materials

We contribute to the conservation of finite resources by using renewable raw materials in our formulations. For example, we replace ingredients based on mineral oil by starch-based alternatives, provided this is possible and appropriate in the context of the overall development of the formulation. More than two-thirds of the ingredients of the product formulations of our soaps, shampoos and shower gels are now based on renewable raw materials. We are also committed to considering ecological and social aspects when we purchase renewable raw materials. Wherever possible, we pay close attention to their origin and production conditions, and strive to use ingredients from controlled organic crops to a greater extent. Furthermore, when we purchase raw materials, we seek opportunities of cooperating with suppliers and local stakeholders who support fair trade with the countries of origin. This is also reflected in our involvement in the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

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

“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. Contributions to resource efficiency can also come from products with especially long-lasting effects, such as our newly launched Right Guard deodorant sprays.”

Dr. Thomas Förster
Member of the Sustainability Council for the Cosmetics/Toiletries business sector.

Read the complete interview with Dr. Thomas Förster

Photo Gliss Kur

In addition, we strive to use ingredients from controlled organic crops to a greater extent. Furthermore, when we purchase raw materials, we seek opportunities of cooperating with suppliers and local stakeholders who support fair trade with the countries of origin. For the first time, Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive offers a combination of seven oils in an innovative hair care range. The formulations, containing argan oil, marula oil, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, and almond oil, ensure 85 percent fewer split ends, as they very gently penetrate deep into the hair to repair its structure. By using marula oil for Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive, we are supporting our supplier’s marula project. The oil comes from a fair trade cooperative and conforms to the Ecocert ecological standards.

Overall improvement in eco performance

Over a period of many years, we have formulated our products that pass into wastewater after use for optimal biodegradability. Our aim, to increase the proportion of readily biodegradable ingredients in our soaps, shampoos and shower gels to 80 percent by 2012, has already been achieved. In the case of washing active substances – surfactants – the amount of readily biodegradable substances even exceeds 90 percent. The average amount of readily biodegradable substances in our products is 82 percent. In 2010, we reformulated our products to make them even more biodegradable. The new formulations are already being used for about 70 percent of our marketed shampoos, shower gels, liquid soaps, and bar soaps, as in our Schauma hair care brand, for example. In view of the progress already achieved, in the coming years we will align our specifications toward the consistent extension of our strategy.

Other key factors in improving the eco performance of our products are carbon dioxide emissions and packaging material. We plan to determine the carbon footprint of representative products for all relevant product categories by 2012. In 2010, we calculated the carbon footprint for another two product categories: toothpastes and deodorants/antiperspirants. These calculations will, above all, increase the transparency of our processes and reveal starting points for achieving reductions in emissions. To improve the eco performance of our products even further, we also work closely with our customers. In the USA, for example, Henkel and a number of competitors support our retail partner Walmart and scientists at the Global Institute of Sustainability of Arizona State University in the development of a sustainability index.

To reduce consumers’ packaging waste, we strive continuously to decrease the amount of material used in our product packaging as far as possible without compromising the quality and stability of the packaging. We also continue to seek suitable biodegradable alternatives that satisfy our high demands on packaging materials.

Safe to use thanks to professional advice

Comprehensive advice for consumers goes hand in hand with product safety. An advice hotline has therefore been set up in every country in which our products are sold, so that consumers can be provided competently and quickly with reliable information about product properties or ingredients, by telephone, mail or email. In Europe, for example, this results in about 130,000 customer contacts each year. Most queries are about the effects our products achieve and how to use them.

Comprehensive consumer advice also includes the obligation to advertise responsibly. We ensure that our advertising claims are based on proven properties of the products and scientific data on product performance, and that the information we make available is readily understandable for consumers. We also support our professional hairdressing customers with training courses and information on the proper use of our products. Through the international Schwarzkopf Academy (ASK), we offer an advanced vocational training program on cutting techniques, fashion advice, and management topics for hairdressers in 38 countries. In 2010, we provided support to 460,000 hairdressers worldwide through our Schwarzkopf Academies.

Shaping Futures – Sharing knowledge and developing skills

Logo Schwarzkopf Shaping Futures

In November 2010, together with the charity SOS Children’s Villages, Schwarzkopf Professional launched the Shaping Futures initiative in India and Peru. The aim of this worldwide initiative is to teach the basic techniques of professional hairdressing to young people in SOS children’s villages. In the long term, this should enable these young people to earn their own living. Hairdressers from Schwarzkopf Professional and volunteer Schwarzkopf hairdressing customers train young people for four weeks in SOS children’s villages. Each participant is given a start-up case with hairdressing equipment, such as scissors, comb, hair clips and cape, and receives a certificate after successful completion of the course. Furthermore, Schwarzkopf then offers the participants a chance to gain some practical experience at hairdressing salons. In the first series of courses, 16 trainers introduced more than 60 young people to the craft of hairdressing. This initiative by Schwarzkopf Professional shows in an exemplary manner how Henkel employees use their professional know-how, in collaboration with their customers, to offer a better future to young people in need of help. Our employees thus live Henkel’s values and contribute to the sustainable development of communities by promoting entrepreneurship through training. Schwarzkopf – Shaping Futures

Aok Pur Balance – Looking good

Pimples and blackheads are not only a problem for adolescents, but also for many men and women over twenty. The cause is often an imbalance in the skin flora. Henkel has therefore developed a care range based on the prebiotic principle – Aok Pur Balance. An innovative formula containing tea and ginseng extract encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms and simultaneously inhibits the harmful ones. The skin flora is stabilized and can again perform its natural protective function. The skin becomes clearer and healthier. In contrast to conventional products whose broad-spectrum antibacterial effect helps to treat blemished skin, prebiotic substances are better tolerated by the skin and act more selectively against undesirable microorganisms. Pimples and blackheads are cleared up quickly, lastingly and gently, the skin is provided with sufficient moisture, and its protective function is reinforced.


In 2009, the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) awarded Diadermine skin creams the ECARF Quality Seal. This attests that the Diadermine formulations satisfy the highest demands in regard to skin compatibility and use by persons with sensitive skin or allergies. This was also demonstrated by the complaint-free use, under dermatological supervision, of Diadermine by volunteers suffering from neurodermatitis.

2010, we worked closely with the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) and other external partners, and had additional products evaluated by ECARF. In the meanwhile, all Diadermine care products have been certified by ECARF.

Dial Eco Smart – Smart refill packaging

The Eco-Smart pouch refills for our Dial liquid soaps in the U.S. market contain about 67 percent less plastic than conventional refill bottles. This not only reduces consumers’ packaging waste, but also significantly decreases the amount of energy needed to produce them. The production process for the refill pouches is much more energy-efficient than the bottle production process. Moreover, the empty refill pouches can be transported much more compactly, so that 85 percent less fuel is required to deliver them to the production site.

Essensity – Combining performance and naturalness

Our Essensity brand is setting new standards in the professional hairdressing sector through its deliberate combination of performance and naturalness. In all products, we have consistently replaced synthetic ingredients with natural ones wherever this was possible without compromising on product performance. The formulations contain no artificial fragrances, silicones, paraffin oils, mineral oils or parabens. The biodegradability of the ingredients has also been enhanced.

Fa Hygiene & Frische and Dial Complete

The antibacterial formulations of the Fa Hygiene & Frische liquid soap and Dial Complete foaming antibacterial hand wash thoroughly clean hands and eliminate up to 99 percent of bacteria without causing dryness. They thus help to prevent the spread of germs and are gentle to the skin. In the USA, the Dial antibacterial liquid soaps are now the number 1 doctor-recommended hand soap.

Fa Yogurt

Yogurt is well known as a healthy food product which promotes positive bacterial flora. It contains proteins, vitamins and minerals, and can also be applied to the skin as an anti-inflammatory. A feel good innovation in cosmetics is the Fa Yoghurt shower gel range. The formulations, containing a concentrate of natural yogurt, help the skin to maintain its natural balance. Fa Yoghurt’s light, creamy formula cares for the skin and keeps it from becoming dry.

Fa Soft Foam Soap

Care and skin compatibility are a high priority in soaps. Formulations with the same pH as the skin, which do not dry out the hands, are favored. Gentle cleansing is provided by the new care formulation and innovative dispensing method of Fa Soft Foam Soaps. A pump, especially designed for Henkel, generates a mild, creamy foam at the moment the soap leaves the bottle. This pre-foaming has a number of benefits. It reduces the amount of water and product needed to wash the hands, as no water is required to generate the foam. Moreover, the microfine foam achieves the same cleaning performance as conventional liquid soaps, but with a lower proportion of washing active substances (surfactants). This makes Fa Soft Foam especially mild and skin-compatible. The low-surfactant formulation is also especially sound from an ecological standpoint.

Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive

For the first time, Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive offers a combination of seven oils in an innovative hair care range. The formulations, containing argan oil, marula oil, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, and almond oil, ensure 85 percent fewer split ends, as they very gently penetrate deep into the hair to repair its structure. By using marula oil for Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive, we are supporting our supplier’s marula project. The oil comes from a fair trade cooperative and conforms to the Ecocert ecological standards.

Le Chat Liquid Soap – Excellent tradition

In France, our liquid soaps Le Chat Bio Apricot and Le Chat Bio Fig also carry the ECOCERT logo. Le Chat, a traditional soap brand which has been marketed since 1853, launched these two products in response to growing consumer demand for natural, independently certified products. Both of them satisfy extremely strict ecological criteria throughout the value chain and contain, in accordance with the ECOCERT criteria, 99 percent natural-based ingredients. They make no use of synthetic colorants or fragrances.

Pure & Natural

An increasing numbers of consumers value products with natural ingredients. To satisfy this consumer demand, we completely reworked our U.S. range of Pure & Natural personal care products. The new soap and shower gel formulations contain up to 98 percent natural ingredients. Great care was taken to select only plant-based care and fragrance extracts that are suitable for sensitive skin. The ingredients used are also readily biodegradable. And the cardboard pack in which the soap is sold is made from 100 percent recycled paper and therefore compostable.

Right Guard – enhanced benefit with reduced footprint

We optimize the ecological footprint of our products, thus supporting the trend toward health conscious and environmentally aware lifestyles. The example of the Right Guard deodorant spray, a 48-hour active antiperspirant, shows how a product’s consumer benefit can be increased while reducing its ecological footprint at the same time. The newly developed formulation with antibacterial silver molecules provides 48 hours of protection against body odor, creating the foundation for greater self-confidence, greater self-esteem and a well-groomed appearance. The improved spray valve reduces the common spray losses by 20 percent. In combination with an efficient formulation, continuously improved production, and an intermodal logistics chain, the result is an even smaller carbon footprint.

The new formulation of our Schauma contains 15% less surfactants – with equally high performance. As part of the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) project in Germany, a Schauma shampoo was also chosen to represent the shampoo product category, and its product carbon footprint was calculated. The results show that most of the carbon dioxide emissions occur during the use phase, when water is heated for washing the hair. All the other phases together account for only about ten percent. Nevertheless, we aim to reduce this proportion still further. For example, we transport all cosmetics products by rail from our production site in Wassertrüdingen in Bavaria to our central cosmetics warehouse in Monheim near Düsseldorf. This represents annual savings of about 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Schauma Yoghurt – Intensive hair care

Henkel has used renewable ingredients in its products for many years. Natural care substances in hair products, for example, help to regulate the moisture content of the hair. In two new lines of hair care products, Schauma has succeeded in incorporating, for the first time, an active ingredient that was previously used primarily for skin care: The new Schauma Yoghurt & Aloe Vera line of care products uses natural ingredients to protect the hair from becoming too dry. Even if this is not visible to the naked eye, healthy hair contains about 30 percent water. Yogurt and aloe vera are well known for their moisturizing properties. In addition, restorative vitamins regenerate and strengthen the hair. The Schauma Repair formulations with shea butter and coconut extract also use nature’s active ingredients. Shea butter’s high content of caregiving fats and vitamins makes it an eminently suitable ingredient for hair cosmetics. The effective combination of shea butter and coconut extracts repairs damaged hair from the inside and simultaneously smoothes the hair surface, making the hair easier to comb.

Silhouette Compact Hairspray – Small can, great impact  

An innovation in hair styling: Silhouette Compact Hairspray. Although the size of the hairspray can has been reduced from 750 to 400 milliliters, its contents go further than the 750-milliliter can. Silhouette Compact provides the accustomed perfect hold and is more flexible and convenient in its new small format. The 50-milliliter version is ideal when traveling and at work. This was made possible by a combination of a newly developed concentrated hairspray formulation and a new microspray application system. The nozzle and the valve were optimized so that the usual styling results can be obtained with a very much smaller amount of product. Silhouette Compact contains almost 50 percent less propellant gas than conventional 750-milliliter hairspray cans. Moreover, less metal and plastic are needed for the packaging. This saves resources in packaging and production and, with about half the weight, in shipping.


The Syoss hair care products, developed with the help of professional hairdressers, provide salon quality at affordable prices. The salon-size 500 ml packaging is also beneficial for the environment. In comparison with the usual 250 ml retail pack size, the Syoss packaging to content ratio is clearly superior, resulting in a cut of more than 40 percent in the amount of packaging material per application.

Taft Sensitive – Styling for a sensitive scalp

Many people have a sensitive scalp. To avoid additional irritation, a lot of them do not use hair styling products. Taft has therefore developed a new styling line: Taft Sensitive. The dermatologically tested and approved formulation is aligned exactly to the needs of a sensitive scalp. The hair spray and mousse are perfume-free and odor-neutral. The formulations offer 100 percent hold and are at the same time especially gentle on the scalp. This makes Taft Sensitive ideal for anyone with a sensitive scalp who does not want to do without styling.

Vademecum Bio – Natural effectiveness

Vademecum Bio toothpaste ensures naturally healthy teeth and gums. It consists to 99 percent of natural-based ingredients, which our researchers selected in accordance with the criteria of the independent certification organization ECOCERT. These include green tea from controlled organic cultivation. What makes the Vademecum Bio formulation special is that – in contrast to traditional toothpastes – it contains no synthetic flavors or sweeteners. In 2008, Vademecum Bio was given the ECOCERT label. It tells consumers that the ingredients have been specially selected and are obtained from crops that are cultivated in an environmentally compatible manner.