Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023

Research and Development

Research and development is central to an innovation-driven company like Beiersdorf. It is part of our corporate DNA and the key to our success.

Trend-setting technologies and sustainable concepts are important elements of our research efforts. We regularly evaluate our research and development activities and define clear focus areas for each business segment. Our two business segments concentrate on the following:

  • In the Consumer Business Segment, Beiersdorf develops innovative, high-quality skin care products. These incorporate consumers’ wishes, regional characteristics, and sustainable approaches.
  • In the tesa Business Segment, we develop innovative adhesive tapes and self-adhesive solutions for industry, commercial customers, and end consumers. Here, sustainability and energy-saving production processes are at the forefront of our work – always with the aim of improving the workflows, products, and lives of our customers.

As of December 31, 2023, 1,686 people were employed in research and development at Beiersdorf worldwide (previous year: 1,591). Of this total, 1,026 (previous year: 1,007) worked in the Consumer Business Segment and 660 (previous year: 584) in the tesa Business Segment.

As in past years, we increased our spending on research and development once again in the reporting year. At the end of the fiscal year, expenditure in this area amounted to €320 million, up 10.2% on the previous year (€291 million). Beiersdorf invested €241 million (+11.6%) in the Consumer Business Segment and €79 million (+6.2%) in the tesa Business Segment in research and development over the past year.



Outstanding skin care research

Beiersdorf has always excelled through its expertise in skin research. For us, this research acts as a source and major driver of our innovative strength and makes us more competitive. Our laboratories aim to decode the skin’s complex processes, identify effective active ingredients, and find ways to use these in skin care. We use pioneering technologies in all our research fields to develop ever more new innovations and products that are intended to offer added value to our consumers all around the world. In all this work, we have a clear goal: we want to create impactful and sustainable skin care innovations that touch people’s lives.

Our intensive, application-oriented research is continuously expanding our deep understanding of the human skin. Meanwhile, our highly dynamic development work in the field of skin biology is also opening up many opportunities, making it an important focus of our research work. The following research areas were among the most notable in the reporting year:

  • The development and acceptance of modern, non-animal-based methods to assess safety have been an important part of our research work for around four decades. Our efforts here are aimed at proving the safety of our ingredients and products and paving the way for new industry standards. We achieved important successes with alternative testing methods in the reporting year. As a member from day one, we worked to help establish the new International Collaboration on Cosmetics Safety (ICCS) and further stepped up our involvement by taking on leadership positions. The aim of this joint initiative with other companies, associations, and NGOs is to promote global regulatory recognition, expertise, and the comprehensive use of animal-free safety science for cosmetic and skin care products and their ingredients. Through research, education, targeted training, and regulatory engagement, ICCS wants to improve global awareness and trust in alternative scientific methods to animal testing and thereby drive next-generation risk assessment (NGRA). In our view, Beiersdorf scientists are playing a key role in this ambition due to their expertise. In the reporting year, for example, Beiersdorf attended the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, chairing the topic of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and giving a presentation on an important new alternative approach. Organized with multiple partners from industry and government authorities, the presentation’s aim was to promote the acceptance of alternative risk assessment methods, for example for UV filters. Working with the Fraunhofer Institute, we also developed an in vitro 3D skin sensitization test for lipophilic substances and presented it at the EUROTOX Congress 2023. The project won AstraZeneca’s Early Career Award for Innovation 2023. We achieved another important milestone with an article on the use of alternative methods for identifying potential endocrine disruptors, which was published in the medical journal Archives of Toxicology. With new methods urgently required in this specific field, the findings are highly significant. Together with renowned experts from various industries and universities, our researchers also made progress in the use of predictive toxicology, highlighting and publicizing the cross-sectoral applicability of a new strategy, which can be used to help make decisions in safety assessment without the use of animal testing.
  • Our scientists also continued their in-depth research on the coenzyme Q10 during the reporting year. Twenty-five years after first bringing the innovative anti-aging ingredient to the market, our researchers discovered more new findings on this coenzyme, which occurs naturally in the body, and its important role in the skin aging process. An important focus of the research work is on mitochondria, in which the coenzyme is active in the respiratory chain. As part of a research collaboration with the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, we were able to further decipher the changes in the mitochondria during the skin aging process. This data was published in the journal Experimental Dermatology during the reporting year. The research team’s central finding: Aging is associated with a decline in markers of mitochondrial metabolism in the human epidermis. In addition to this, we launched a research program with the University of Ancona to harness the latest findings of mitochondrial medicine for cosmetic applications. The coenzyme Q10 remains one of the most important anti-aging ingredients to this day, and we continue to optimize it based on the latest research results. This success story of 25 years and counting shows the vast potential for innovation that still remains in Beiersdorf’s discovery.
  • Protecting the skin from sun-related damage has long been another central research focus at Beiersdorf. Our skin scientists research the sun’s impact on the skin and use the findings to develop safe and effective product solutions for sun-related skin indications. In this context, we continued our work with the ALT-SPF consortium in the reporting year. The consortium aims to develop less invasive, more reliable, and more precise sun protection tests. Along with other partners, we not only provided selected samples to develop new testing methods but were also involved in conducting the round-robin studies. The test results obtained from this collaboration in the reporting year are now in the international validation process (DIS – Draft of International Standard) under ISO/DIS 23698 and ISO/DIS 23675. If the underlying test procedure is approved, this will bring the first real change in determining the sun protection factor, as these test methods do not rely on inducing an erythema. Based on HDRS technology (hybrid diffuse reflectance spectroscopy), reflectance measurements on the skin combined with in vitro transmission measurements enable direct measurement of SPF, UVA PF, or critical wavelength.
  • We also continued research in the 2023 fiscal year on our patented active ingredient against hyperpigmentation, Thiamidol / W630. The ingredient has been well received by the scientific community, and an increasing number of dermatologists around the world are confirming the high effectiveness of products containing Thiamidol in numerous scientific publications. Symposiums at internationally renowned scientific conferences are particularly important settings for demonstrating our research expertise in this context. Our brand teams share first-hand information on the active ingredients with the scientific community.
  • Since 2008, Beiersdorf has been researching epigenetics in relation to the skin. This area of biology looks at the extent to which environmental factors sporadically affect the activity of genes and the development of cells. We see the epigenetic mechanism as offering important approaches to more precisely deciphering the skin’s aging process. Research results show that even identical twins with identical genetic make-ups can age in very different ways. This difference is down to external factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress, or UV radiation, which have an influence on our epigenetic pattern and affect our biological age and skin’s appearance. Our epigenetic research is focused on reactivating biological processes in cells to support skin rejuvenation. Based on this ambition, we launched a communication campaign about epigenetics in the reporting year. The campaign sought to raise awareness and interest in this area as well as to inform consumers and opinion leaders, give them an insight into our research, and position us as one of the leading companies in the field of epigenetics. Many people are unaware that one of our research teams was the first to identify the extensive epigenetic changes during skin aging. The team published an article on the topic in the scientific journal Plos Genetics back in 2010. With our patented skin-specific age-clock technology, we also offer a very special unique feature. The algorithm behind it is a true milestone in anti-aging research. By reading the epigenetic pattern in the skin, it can determine the skin’s biological age with great precision. It also helps our researchers identify active ingredients that can positively modulate the skin’s epigenetic pattern. The aim of our research work in the field of epigenetics is not only to slow aging processes but to turn back the skin’s biological clock and thus improve the skin cells’ functioning. With this progress, we want to contribute to the “healthy aging” of our consumers.

We use global patents to protect the results of our intensive applied research and our intellectual property. At the end of the 2023 fiscal year, our worldwide patent portfolio included some 1,500 active patents (previous year: approximately 1,500). We filed around 60 new patent applications globally in the reporting year (previous year: around 50). As of December 31, 2023, approximately 600 patents were in the ongoing grant procedure (previous year: approximately 600).

Sustainability as a source of innovation and growth

Sustainability is a central component of our research and development strategy. With the environmental and climate-friendliness of our products becoming immensely more important, we are optimizing our formulas and product packaging through intensive research work, including together with our strategic partners and suppliers.

We follow the four principles for sustainable packaging: “avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle.” That means, for example, using more sustainable, biodegradable, and/or renewable raw materials, taking advantage of recycled materials, reducing material use, and using alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. The vision of a circular economy unites all our efforts.

In 2021, we defined our R&D sustainability pledge, which is based on our overarching Sustainability Agenda CARE BEYOND SKIN. With CARE BEYOND SKIN, our aim is to minimize our environmental footprint and maximize our positive contribution to society. The agenda includes a “plastic pledge,” for example, under which our target is to raise the share of recycled plastic to 30% by 2025 and cut the consumption of new petroleum-based plastic by 50%. In addition, we want to make 100% of our packaging refillable, reusable, or recyclable. We see promoting a circular economy as a top priority and are working on it intensively – not only in terms of packaging but also where our raw materials are concerned. We are therefore continuously updating our raw materials strategy to ensure that our products are climate-friendly and recyclable. This is based on the latest innovations in technology, procurement, and processing.

As a sign of our commitment, we were the first cosmetics company in Europe to receive the “My Green Lab” certification, the global standard for laboratory sustainability. Four of our labs have received platinum and green certificates in the last two years (green is the highest certification). By regularly achieving this certification, we are helping to reduce the environmental footprint of our scientific laboratories and bring about meaningful change.

We know that the ingredients and materials we use to manufacture our skin care products are the most important lever in reducing our environmental footprint and offering our consumers more sustainable routines. We therefore very closely analyze the trends and needs of our consumers around sustainability and work hard to bring continuous improvements so as to make our products better for the environment and climate.

The newly introduced Labello / NIVEA lip care products are a good example of this. In 2019, we began to reformulate them away from mineral oil. In 2022 and in the reporting year, we increased the share of natural origin ingredients (to up to 100%) and developed more sustainable packaging. The whole range now comes in mono-material primary packaging designed to be fully recyclable. Since the relaunch, the primary packaging has been plastic-free and is made from FSC-certified and recycled cardboard. The example shows how our teams are gradually achieving a comprehensive sustainability transformation without compromising consumers’ product experience. Our aim is always to ensure at least the same high level of quality.

We achieved further progress on implementing our sustainability ambition in the reporting year with our newly opened, climate-neutral production center in Leipzig. This meant using climate-friendlier packaging for the aerosol deodorant cans filled there. Moreover, introducing the first revised formulations with a higher share of natural materials has also enabled us to reduce the CO2e footprint. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, we are also able to process exceptionally lightweight aerosol cans. These not only cut emissions through significant material savings but also address a second sustainability dimension by using at least 50% recycled aluminum.

To utilize further potential for sustainable innovations and the circular economy, Beiersdorf continued its strategic partnership with the Emerald Technology Ventures and Revent venture capital funds. These partnerships connect us with founders and innovative start-ups that are developing environmentally friendly technologies and sustainable business models. The entrepreneurs can then sound out and test the potential to scale these up through Beiersdorf.

We are convinced that these and many other measures, new products and innovations, collaborations, and partnerships will continue to make an important contribution toward achieving our ambitious sustainability goals.

Collaboration strengthens innovation

For Beiersdorf, collaboration with external partners is an important part of research and development work. We are convinced that by combining our complementary expertise and our strengths, we can increase our joint capacity for innovation and also optimize and accelerate the development of tomorrow’s skin care. A large number of research institutes, universities, start-ups, independent scientists, and suppliers belonged to our global network of collaboration partners in the reporting year.

In addition to these cooperation agreements, we advocate the principle of open innovation. We involve various external partners in many of our development projects and in raw material scouting. Since 2016, we have gathered our open innovation activities under the name “Pearlfinders – We Open Innovation.” Interested parties all around the world can access our confidential scientific research topics via the associated “Trusted Network” online platform. The network is based on mutual trust, fairness, and partnership and allows them to contribute their own ideas and problem-solving approaches.

We entered into an important new strategic alliance with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) on July 1, 2023. This is Beiersdorf’s first institutionalized partnership with an academic research center. Running over a four-year period, the collaboration has a joint research budget of €4.8 million. With a new, external laboratory known as the Joint Innovation Lab, we want to boost our capacity for innovation in the important field of aging research. The guiding aim is to rejuvenate skin. The research team are investigating the skin cells’ age clock with the goal of turning back time and reducing the skin’s biological age.

We also began a new partnership in the reporting year with the Swiss start-up DePoly SA through an investment via our OSCAR&PAUL venture capital fund. Founded in 2020, the company has developed an energy-efficient and selective chemical recycling technology for plastic and polyester waste streams. This technology has the potential to fundamentally change the life cycle of PET plastics. Through our partnership, we plan to jointly develop forward-looking, safe, and sustainable packaging materials for the cosmetics industry. With this approach, we aim to bridge a crucial gap in circular PET usage while maintaining the same quality standards.

The reporting year also saw us continue our intensive dialogue with the research center Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY (German Electron Synchrotron or DESY for short) in Hamburg. The modern imaging methods at DESY and our shared scientific expertise give us an additional comprehensive and detailed view of the skin. Scientific dialogue offers us new insights into the interplay between skin and ingredients and creates a framework to boost our innovative capacity and implement product innovations more quickly and effectively.

In September 2023, staff from the R&D start-up scouting team held the second Joint Beiersdorf – Evonik Start-up Day on Sustainability together with our long-standing partner for raw materials technology development, the specialty chemicals company Evonik. The aim was to step up dialogue with interested start-ups and to find partners with innovative and sustainable raw material and packaging solutions. Twelve start-ups from different countries were chosen to present their technologies and business models at the event on the new Beiersdorf Campus and to evaluate the possibility of a partnership together with Beiersdorf and Evonik. As in the previous year, the chosen start-ups work mainly in sustainable raw materials, biotechnology, supply chain transparency and traceability, and digital solutions.

Strong research network

We firmly believe that the global presence of our research and development is a major contributor to our business success. This strong research network allows us to pursue different research focuses in different places around the world and to learn through close dialogue with each other.

The largest site in our global research and development network is our skin research center in Hamburg, Germany, where we employed a total of 757 (previous year: 738) people as of December 31, 2023. At this location we mainly conduct important application-oriented research. This helps us to better understand the (metabolic) processes of the skin and, based on the findings and using new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), to develop new and innovative products targeted at consumers’ needs. The Early Innovation department we created in 2021 is pooling our innovative strength and aims to boost public recognition of Beiersdorf as a leading innovator in skin care. The about 23-member department (previous year: 19 employees) aims to drive a cross-brand, cross-category innovation roadmap with strong innovation stories. The department acts as a catalyst between all the specialist disciplines that are involved in the innovation process. As a particular highlight in 2023, the team initiated an Innovation Fair for the second year in a row. The internal fair held at the new Beiersdorf Campus allowed all employees to experience the innovations of tomorrow. This year’s event not only offered plenty of space for inspiration, dialogue, and discussion; it also showcased Beiersdorf’s strength in innovation and the extent to which our innovation work is guided by the “jobs-to-be-done method” (JTBD). With this consumer-centric thinking, we go beyond just understanding the needs of our consumers. We also want to know what “jobs” our consumers want our products to do for them when it comes to their skin. We use this information to develop tailor-made solutions following the FEWER, BIGGER, BETTER approach. The Early Innovation team presented various JTBD topic areas, including skin rejuvenation, skin tone, and skin protection at the fair. The team considers not only functional needs, but social and emotional aspects, too.

The Beiersdorf Study Center (formerly known as the Test Center) is a central part of our skin research center in Hamburg and began working in a new environment in mid–2023. It now has more than 30 study rooms spread across 1,800m2 and two floors. The rooms offer optimal and standardized climatic conditions. State-of-the-art measurements and examinations can be performed on the skin in multi-purpose rooms, which can be configured to each study, as well as in specialist rooms permanently containing certain high-tech equipment. The latter include our “black room” for detecting ultra-weak photon emissions. The unique air-conditioning technology was developed in collaboration with TU Berlin. It enables constant temperature and humidity to be precisely maintained even when using devices that emit large amounts of heat (e.g. solar simulators). The design of the new Study Center is the product of 18 years of experience at our Hamburg Test Center. In our view, the new rooms will help us to run our studies within Beiersdorf more efficiently and achieve even better results. Complementing tests performed externally, Beiersdorf’s own Study Center is playing a central role in intensively testing and ensuring the quality, safety, and tolerability of newly developed products prior to their market launch. In the reporting period, in Hamburg alone, we carried out some 300 studies with around 8,500 participants (previous year: some 350 studies with around 8,000 participants). Externally, in 2023, we conducted approximately another 700 studies with around 20,000 participants (previous year: 1,320 studies with around 32,000 participants).

In addition to our large, globally important skin research center in Hamburg, our global research and development network includes two large innovation centers in China (Shanghai) and the USA (New Jersey) as well as development laboratories in Brazil, India, and Japan. These different locations enable us to better address local cultural, aesthetic, and climatic conditions and develop products that correspond to individual local needs and preferences. Through this network we can also participate in global innovation and have access to local talent, providing valuable ideas and insights for our research and development work.

Our innovation center in Shanghai, China, covers an area of 7,500m2, making it our second largest, and was opened in July 2020. It focused in the reporting year on three main topics: pioneering work to develop AI tools for optimizing formulations (e.g., in relation to the benefits of different active ingredients), developing sustainable formulations and packaging as well as gathering new insights into Chinese consumers in relation to anti-aging and sensitive or oily skin. We achieved an important milestone in the reporting year with the opening of the first digitalized stability automation lab. This allows the pH value, viscosity, and consistency of our formulations to be checked automatically. What started as a pilot project in Shanghai may be introduced to other innovation centers in future. In March 2023, our Chinese colleagues relaunched a local product innovation – the amino acid, pump-operated foaming facial cleansing range. The range stands for gentle cleansing products with plant essence and amino acids and comes in “Hydra,” “Pure Fresh,” and “Radiance” versions. The products were switched to a new, even more nourishing formula with pure amino acid, soap-free surfactants. The fresh, modern design comes with reduced plastic consumption: the new bottle is made from 50% recycled plastic and uses up to 16.7% less plastic than the predecessor model. This has enabled a 23% reduction in CO2e emissions. We achieved further progress on sustainability in the reporting year with the Chinese hairstyling brand Maestro, which launched the first sustainable formulation on the Chinese hairstyling market based on a biodegradable styling polymer.

Our innovation center in Florham Park, New Jersey, USA, which opened in 2022, continued its successful work in 2023. The focus was on clinical research and developing local product innovations for the dermocosmetic ranges of Eucerin and Aquaphor, as well as for the over-the-counter sun protection brands Coppertone and Eucerin Sun (OTC=non-prescription drugs according to US regulations). The cross-functional teams in New Jersey also stepped up their close collaboration on sun and skin care innovations with our skin research center in Hamburg and development lab in Mumbai, India. To support our Medical Management Team, the researchers developed special training programs and scientific publications dealing with clinical and scientific topics so as to better present the strong science behind our dermatology and sun care range.

Digitalization and artificial intelligence

Beiersdorf has been using digitalization and forward-looking technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) for many years aiming to drive faster and more efficient development of innovations. Increasing digitalization helps us to better manage the growing complexity confronting us in development labs.

Our “Future Testing” in the reporting year worked on replacing our current digital systems. In 2024, we want to achieve the milestone we set in our digital roadmap for R&D and replace our current Teamcenter software system – another important step in making us fit for the future. In addition, we continued our collaboration on robotics systems with the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau in fiscal year 2023. Together, we implemented a first robotics system for automated in vivo measurements – an important step toward future efficacy tests on test subjects. We aim to expand the use of these systems in fiscal year 2024 to achieve maximum efficiency.

The full introduction of the AI-based development platform from our partner Uncountable was an important milestone in the reporting year. Under the “Future Lab” banner, artificial intelligence continues to find its way into the global formula development and optimization process. The platform allows faster processing of complex data volumes, resulting in greater efficiency and more rapid development of new formulas, which are optimized using fewer but more relevant tests in multiple dimensions (including various sustainability components). IT integration took place following successful completion of the testing phase. The AI tool is now available to up to 300 formula developers worldwide.

Another proven example for the use of modern technologies for us is our AI-based skin study SKINLY, which we continued in 2023. Launched at the end of 2019, this project is still one of the world’s largest skin care studies involving consumers. The special feature of this study is that consumers are actively involved through digital tools – a special measurement device (including a moisture sensor and three different light sources) and a complementary app – and send updates on more than 80 parameters up to twice a day. These include individual skin properties (e.g., skin age, wrinkle depth, skin tone, complexion, and impurities) as well as information about the individual’s lifestyle (e.g., sleep, nutrition, special skin features, menstrual cycle, and climatic conditions), the skin care products used, and environmental influences. The results help us understand our consumers and their skin as well as the variables that influence them, and to draw lessons for our product development. The more high-quality data is available, the better our data scientists will be able to translate this into relevant, actionable new knowledge for our research, development, and marketing. With machine learning based on artificial intelligence, the ecosystem created for the study learns something new with every measurement. More than 17,000 participants aged between 18 and 80+ from over 50 countries have already taken part in the SKINLY study to date. Over 800 million data points and more than 100 million high-quality skin images have been measured and generated. To generate important insights particularly in our primary research areas, our study specially includes certain target groups, including people with a high level of UV and environmental exposure, enabling us to more closely examine how these factors affect skin aging.

Product highlights1

Developing innovations is our core competency and a key building block for our business success. Our strong culture of innovation, which has always been a part of R&D at Beiersdorf, ensures that our innovation pipeline is well filled year after year – with innovations that respond to our consumers’ needs and wishes as closely as possible and offer them added value. This not only includes developing new cosmetic formulas; a significant part of our research and development work also involves developing innovative, sustainable product packaging.

The following overview shows a selection of our innovations during the reporting year:

  • With the new NIVEA CELLULAR LUMINOUS 630® Anti-Age & Spot Serum and the new NIVEA CELLULAR LUMINOUS 630® Post-Acne Marks Serum, NIVEA further built on the success story of the patented and highly effective ingredient against anti-pigment spots – LUMINOUS 630® – with a product that takes into account the skin’s different needs. NIVEA CELLULAR LUMINOUS 630® Anti-Age & Spot Serum with natural soy extract, hyaluronic acid, and a collagen booster visibly reduces existing age spots in just two weeks. It firms the skin and visibly reduces wrinkles. The new NIVEA CELLULAR LUMINOUS 630® Post-Acne Marks Serum with hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and green tea extract was specially developed for the needs of oily and combination skin. It visibly lightens post-acne dark marks, smooths the skin to leave it feeling soft and refined, and helps to balance the skin’s oil production for a mattified and even skin tone.
  • Marking the 25th anniversary of NIVEA Q10, we successfully introduced the NIVEA Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Specialist Targeted Wrinkle Filler in the reporting year. The fast-absorbing formula consists of a unique combination of light-diffusing pigments and skin-smoothing elastomers that have an immediately visible anti-wrinkle effect. It also contains skin-identical coenzyme Q10 in combination with Bioxifill® peptides for lasting, targeted wrinkle treatment.
  • With our new NIVEA Micellar Water, we introduced our first micellar water with amino acid complex to the market in 2023. This complex helps to effectively remove make-up without rubbing. It is therefore gentler on the skin and suitable even for sensitive skin. The microplastic-free formulas are suited to different skin types and, in addition to thorough cleansing, provide a soothing, refreshing, nourishing or energizing effect.
  • The successful launch of LUMINOUS 630® in various face care categories was followed in 2023 by the first body care products based on the innovative ingredient and the benefits of the Even Skin Tone range. Both products are aimed at the problem of stretch marks. The NIVEA LUMINOUS 630® Anti Stretch Marks Body Oil-Serum significantly reduces the appearance of stretch marks, with the first visible results after two weeks. The NIVEA LUMINOUS 630® Anti Stretch Marks & Spots Body Cream offers a 48-hour moisturizing formula, gives the skin a cared-for feel, and reduces the visibility of stretch marks, sun spots, and dark spots within four weeks if applied regularly. The products do not completely remove stretch marks; instead, the molecule number 630 balances the skin tone, reducing the contrast between the stretch marks (or sun spots and dark spots) and the surrounding skin. This makes them less visible.
  • The new deodorant range NIVEA Deo Derma Dry Control promises maximum effectiveness against sweat and odor. The innovative and sustainable formulas are silicon-free and contain a new range of aluminum salts. With the Derma Dry Technology, the range, which consists of aerosols and roll-ons, offers 96-hour protection against heavy sweating, moisture, and odor while ensuring pleasant skin feel.
  • With the NIVEA Hydration Hyaluron Moisturizing Shampoo, we launched a shampoo, that provides long-lasting moisture on the market in the reporting year. This shampoo provides natural shine and improves the hair’s elasticity without weighing it down. The formula contains hyaluronic acid and natural cucumber extract and supplies dry hair with long-lasting moisture. Alongside this new product, we also completely updated the entire NIVEA hair care range (consisting of shampoos, conditioners, and sprays) in 2023 – from the formula to the design and packaging. At the heart of the relaunch was the skinification trend, in which a highly effective ingredient is combined with a natural one, depending on the hair’s needs. The result was 16 combinations for eight shampoos and eight conditioners, which also come in new and more sustainable packaging. An example from this revised range is the NIVEA Hydration Hyaluron Moisturizing Shampoo, which combines hair care and protecting the environment. The 99% biodegradable, vegan formula is silicon- and microplastic-free. The bottle is made from 96% recycled material.
  • Launched in the reporting year, the new NIVEA MEN Anti-Age 2in1 Power Serum was our first anti-aging innovation for men and the first NIVEA MEN product to contain the active ingredient LUMINOUS 630®. Thanks to the high concentration of patented LUMINOUS 630® and moisturizing hyaluronic acid, the formula reduces wrinkles, diminishes dark spots, and helps prevent new ones emerging – for younger-looking skin in just two weeks. Ultra-light and fast absorbing, the formula is non-greasy, non-sticky, and easy to apply with just a few drops. Another new product, NIVEA MEN Anti-Age 2in1 Power Moisturizer SPF30, additionally offers factor 30 sun protection. It also keeps the skin moisturized for 24 hours.
  • NIVEA Lip and Labello completely relaunched their range in 2023 under the banner “effective meets natural.” The improved formulas contain up to 100% natural ingredients, moisturize the lips for 24 hours after application, and protect against cold, wind, and dry air. With the new, fully recyclable packaging, Labello is taking a more sustainable approach and substantially reducing plastic consumption.
  • Where hyaluron meets lip care – this is the idea behind Labello Hyaluron Lip Moisture Plus. The lip care stick is based on a technology with a higher water content to activate the hyaluronic acid. The result is an ultra-light, dewy texture and a formula that is absorbed deep into the lips, providing a moisturizing effect that lasts for up to 24 hours. Labello Hyaluron Lip Moisture Plus comes in two versions: one clear moisturizer with no color for everyday lip care and one with added menthol and soft color pigments to enhance the natural red color of the lips. Both products contain naturally derived ingredients with vegan, mineral oil-free formulas.
  • The eye cream Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Care, launched on the market in the reporting year, combines powerful active ingredients that work in different ways to reduce hyperpigmentation around the eyes and promote the skin’s natural radiance. The formula contains the patented anti-pigment ingredient Thiamidol and light-reflecting pigments, which brighten the under-eye area for an instant fresh and awake look. The hyaluronic acid reduces puffiness and smooths fine lines, while oligopeptides stimulate the skin’s collagen network for a firmer skin structure. The eye cream can be applied easily and precisely to small areas of hyperpigmentation below the eyes with a cooling metal applicator. Optimal effects are achieved in just two weeks.
  • The new Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity Day Rosé SPF30 was added to the range in the reporting year and has been developed to reduce advanced signs of skin aging. The formula containing patented Thiamidol effectively reduces age spots. Hyaluronic acid visibly plumps even deep wrinkles. The high sun protection factor additionally protects against UV-induced skin aging. Rosé-colored pigments in the day cream provide an immediate rosy, radiant complexion and counteract pale and tired-looking skin in the morning. The collagen-elastin complex, a powerful combination of arctiin and creatine, stimulates collagen production and visibly improves the skin’s elasticity.
  • Another product with Thiamidol® introduced in 2023 was the Eucerin Anti-Pigment Targeted Areas Body Cream from the new Eucerin Anti-Pigment body range. The product reduces dark spots and thickened skin on friction zones such as knees, elbows, and small areas of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Lactic acid and dexpanthenol gently exfoliate and regenerate the skin, while hyaluronic acid provides long-lasting skin hydration.
  • The new Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity Anti-Age Body Cream has been specially developed to counteract advanced signs of skin aging on the body: Long- and short-chain hyaluronic acid provides moisture and visibly softens even deep wrinkles. Clinically proven Thiamidol® softens age spots and prevents their recurrence, while the collagen-elastin complex stimulates collagen production and improves the skin’s elasticity. The product was introduced to a number of markets in the reporting year and is due to launch in Germany in spring 2024.
  • The design relaunch of the Sensitive Plaster range from Hansaplast, Elastoplast, and Curitas did not include new innovations but was intended to better guide customers and reduce purchase barriers. The new messaging reassures consumers that the plasters are suitable for sensitive skin yet also offer dependable wound protection and stay firmly in place. The change was initiated based on findings from consumer research – the packaging contains the product claims “Extra skin friendly for optimal healing” and “24h adhesion.” We also achieved a major success with the range in the reporting year: the sensitive plasters are the first plaster range worldwide to be accredited by the Skin Health Alliance. This is a professional dermatological accreditation for brands whose products have been scientifically verified as skin safe by an independent body of skin experts.
  • The Hansaplast / Elastoplast Protective Supports range was overhauled in the reporting year to provide optimal support for injured or weak joints. The products use high-quality materials and surfaces to provide moderate support for everyday activities. With the integrated Dynamic Pain Guard, the range offers protection and relief, and the level of compression can be individually adapted using the adjustable straps. The year also saw the new launch of the Hansaplast / Elastoplast Performance Supports. The integrated Dynamic Guard Technology promotes active recovery and offers advanced flexibility and stabilizing support for sport or everyday activities. Both product ranges are recommended by an international panel of physiotherapists and sports doctors.
  • Based on new research findings, the 8X4 team added a new scientifically founded product claim in the reporting year centering on the emotional benefits of 8X4 deodorants. Initially for two new product launches, this was later expanded to the entire product portfolio. The Fresh Mind Effect® advertised on all packaging is unleashed by the power of scents. Based on a psychophysiological study, 8X4 is now able to claim that the various deodorant fragrances lead to a proven mood uplift, leaving consumers feeling physically and emotionally refreshed.
  • With its White Caviar Pearl Infusion, La Prairie added a powerful serum to the successful White Caviar range in the reporting year. This targets the three most common forms of uneven skin tone – dark spots, redness, and sallow complexion – and supports the skin’s elasticity. Thanks to double encapsulation technology, the active ingredient Lumidose is optimally delivered to the skin, where it inhibits melanin production. The patented Exclusive Cellular Complex™ tackles the first signs of skin aging by activating the skin’s natural renewal process.
  • To mark 36 years of the product, the La Prairie team reinterpreted the successful Skin Caviar Luxe Cream in the reporting year. The iconic product has always embodied the essence of luxury skin care. The newly developed Skin Caviar Luxe Cream fuses the newly developed Caviar Micro-Nutrients with Caviar Premier for the first time. The product is designed to support the skin’s metabolism and restore its youthful structure. Enhanced with La Prairie’s patented Exclusive Cellular Complex™, which augments the power of caviar, the new cream delivers visible results: The skin is lifted, firmed, smoothed, and infused with new life thanks to the nutrients contained in the product. The familiar jar has been redesigned as a lighter vessel using recycled and recyclable glass – for more sustainable luxury.
  • The new Chantecaille 24K Gold Serum Intense uses an innovative formula of peptides, vitamin C, gold, enzymes, and hyaluronic acid for radiant, softer, and visibly renewed skin. The luxurious anti-aging reduces the look of wrinkles, visibly improves firmness, and moisturizes.
  • We have also launched another new product in the Chantecaille range: Chantecaille Bio Lifting Eye Cream. The next generation in botanical eye treatments renews and revitalizes the area around the eyes with a rich, microplastic-free formula made from 95% natural origin materials. Along with innovative new ingredients, the cream contains effective ingredients from Chantecaille’s award-winning Bio Lifting Collection. Together, they ensure optimal care for the under-eye area, leaving a visibly smoother, more youthful, refreshed, and lifted appearance.

As a result of our regional research activities, we also launched a series of local innovations on the market in the reporting year:

  • With no fewer than six different NIVEA Skin Tone deodorant products, we expanded the NIVEA brand’s already successful Skin Tone range in the Northeast Asian market. The new sustainable formulas not only supply the skin with delicate fragrances and effective protection against sweat and odor; they also deliver the technology for an even skin tone.
  • We brought our new NIVEA Extra Bright 10 Super Vitamins & Skin Foods Body Serum to the shelves of Southeast Asia in the reporting year. This is a lightweight serum with ten super vitamins and essential skin nutrients from the “golden fruit.” The formula gives the skin a natural radiance lasting seven days and visibly reduces dark spots. The product comes in three different sizes.
  • We also developed the new NIVEA Extra Bright Deep Serum for the Southeast Asian market. This is the first body serum with a premium, long-lasting fragrance. The product is available in two fragrances – Velvet Romance and Miracle Sweet – and is aimed at women in the 18–34 age group. The lightweight formula is rapidly absorbed and provides natural radiance.
  • In the USA, we continued the expansion path at Eucerin Sun and introduced two new products. These included Eucerin Sun Sensitive Mineral Face Lotion SPF 35. The tinted Sun protect lotion with an advanced antioxidant complex 5AOX Shield™ adapts seamlessly to all skin tones and offers daily mineral sun protection for the face. Eucerin Advanced Hydration After Sun was the other new addition. This antioxidant-enriched formula helps to soothe and moisturize dry, sun-stressed skin. The ultra-light formula leaves skin feeling fresh and cool. It is suitable for use on the face and body.



Product and technology development1

Sustainable product and technology concepts

To manufacture repairable and recyclable products, customers need adhesive bonds that can be released if necessary, allowing the reuse of valuable individual components. Relevant EU standards on repairability and recyclability for electronic devices came into force in 2023. As part of this project, tesa has generated a set of working prototypes and supplied them to customers for testing. These are based on six new technological concepts with different release mechanisms. In the automotive sector, initial prototypes with high levels of aging and temperature stability have generated strong demand for further versions aimed at different requirements. The first product development project has successfully concluded, and further new projects have been initiated to develop removable adhesive tapes. As part of this, tesa has sent customers a host of new prototypes for diverse applications ranging from displays to electric vehicle batteries.

In its own manufacturing, too, tesa achieved important milestones in the 2023 reporting year in its efforts to further improve the environmental footprint of technologies and products. These included reducing the carbon footprint of the popular tesa® 4965 double-sided tape by 40% without compromising on the properties of this versatile high-performance product. Achieving this involved the introduction and quantitative tracing of new bio-based raw materials using the biomass balance approach. Films made from 90% recycled polyester (PCR-PET) also had to be qualified. In addition, new processes were implemented all along the development and manufacturing chain to enable calculation of key metrics such as carbon footprint at product level.

tesa continued its solvent reduction and recovery efforts in the reporting year. This meant both continuously expanding the availability of solvent-free production facilities and modifying existing ranges in technology and product development. tesa also further increased the proportion of newly developed solvent-free products.

Structural tapes

In previous reporting years, tesa presented prototypes of high-strength adhesive bonds capable of replacing conventional welding or rivets. The resulting product development projects for applications in mobile devices progressed to market readiness in 2023 and were successfully implemented for the first customers. Another focus for adhesive tapes designed to cure at room temperature was on applications in the automotive industry. Multiple customers are currently testing these product samples, which can protect vehicle wiring harnesses or the cells of traction batteries for electric cars.

Added value for customers with functional tapes

Compared with metallic joining processes, polymeric adhesives offer much greater flexibility in the choice of materials, allowing the integration of additional functions into the adhesive layers. In 2023, tesa further built on these technological possibilities to offer customers more innovative product designs incorporating functional adhesive solutions. Open innovation has systematically opened up new networks, ensuring tesa always has the necessary expertise, speed, and efficiency to develop complex new technologies and products. This is allowing tesa to work faster and access more new technologies and trends, generating a more sustainable and resilient innovative capacity.


Global innovation leaders in all markets are increasingly digitalizing their development processes. This also requires the provision of digital data on the adhesive solutions used, including digital twins for use in failure modeling. Over the past year, the strong customer appeal of certain digital services on the market has been reflected for the first time in a sharp rise in requests for digital twins and digital consulting. tesa has accelerated this development and increased customer loyalty with a concerted expansion of the digital product portfolio. The various research partnerships currently underway offer a sound basis to continue building knowledge in artificial intelligence, simulation, and digitalization.

Developments for the energy transition

The focus of product and technology development is on solutions for the energy transition, more of which were rolled out in the reporting period. Application areas here include the hydrogen sector, building energy management, and e-mobility. Last year’s report featured the first functional prototype of a window film that can be dimmed at the touch of a button. This serves as an energy-saving measure for glazing on new and existing buildings. In 2023, the technology was optimized to such an extent that it outperforms the alternative solutions available on the market. Samples have already been produced with various partners and are being piloted with a first potential customer.

For the manufacture of modern fuel cells, we have continued to develop functional films that enable the fuel cells to be assembled particularly quickly and efficiently. The latest optimized prototypes have awakened customer interest and enabled new partnerships to be agreed with selected innovation leaders.

Large customers in the automotive industry were presented with numerous new prototypes for e-mobility in the reporting period. A particular focus was on protection and adhesives for battery cells and their modules and housings. However, tesa also developed prototypes for completely new applications within the battery cell. For example, the formulas of the adhesive masses were precisely tailored to the complex and sensitive electrochemical processes during the many charging cycles. The aim of this was to guarantee a long battery life.

Further information on product and technology development at tesa can be found at

1 This section of the Combined Management Report is not subject to audit requirements.

CO₂e – (CO₂ Equivalents)
Unit of measure to compare the effect of different greenhouse gases. It converts the amount of a greenhouse gas into the corresponding amount of CO2 that causes the same warming over a given period.
In Vitro
In research, "in vitro" refers to experiments conducted in a controlled artificial environment outside a living organism, such as in a test tube.
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