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Lotions/ Creams - Nivea - Nivea Creme

rated 4.2(1102 reviews)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/18/2010 6:22:00 PM More reviews by Aerislanne

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Note: click "continued" for pictures.


The original Nivea Creme was made in Germany, and even now, the "German-made" version is considered the best in both ingredients and overall quality. The reviews on MakeupAlley swear up and down that there is a difference between "German Nivea" and "Mexican Nivea". I plan to solve this for once and for all, by posting all the various formulations of Nivea Creme available on the market.



Since I don't own the original German Nivea, I've copied/pasted the list of ingredients from Smallflower.com, where it's possible to buy the original German Nivea. We will consider as our ur-Nivea, the basis to which all others shall be compared:


Aqua, paraffinum liquidum, cera microcristalline, glycerin, lanolin alcohol, paraffin, panthenol, decyl oleate, octyldodecanol, aluminum stearate, citric acid, magnesium sulfate, magnesium stearate, parfum, limonene, geraniol, hydroxycitronellol, linalool, citronellol, benzyl benzoate, cinnamyl alcohol.


*Note: aqua = water; parafinum liquidum = mineral oil; cera microcristalline = microcrystalline wax. Limonene, geraniol, hydroxycitronellol, linalool, citronellol are all extracts of essential oils that are primarily used for scent, as is cinnamyl alcohol. Benzyl benzoate is used as an anti-irritant and preservative.



First, we will start with our "different" Nivea, which I recently bought at RiteAid. This is a "Mexican Nivea", though we'll call it "Mexican version 1", since you will soon see that there are TWO versions of Mexican Nivea! It's priced at a whopping 99 cents for 30mL... god, I love this stuff. Ingredients that are different will be bolded; ingredients that are the same but in a different order will be underlined.



Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerine, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylchloroisothiazoline, Methylisothiazolinone


Next, is my Big Daddy Jar (400mL) of Nivea, which I bought in a Latino supermarket for like $7 or something. It is also made in Mexico. You will be surprised to find that the list of ingredients is quite a bit shorter than any of the other versions of Nivea!



Water, Mineral Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Glycerin, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Octyldodecanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Aluminum and Magnesium Stearates, Perfume, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Citric Acid


*Note: Ceresin is basically a catch-all term for any hydrocarbon that is solid at room temperature and insoluble in water. Spanish isn't one of "my" languages, so it could very well be petroleum, but I don't actually know.



Finally, is my 60mL tin of Nivea that was produced in Thailand. I bought this at an Asian supermarket, so I assume that it was imported from an Asian country.



Water, Mineral Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Glycerin, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Panthenol, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Citric Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Stearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance



Ultimately, these are all pretty similar. The version closest to the original German formulation is the Thai version. The main biggest difference between German Nivea and Mexican Niveas is the addition of petrolatum (petroleum jelly) to the formulation. Somewhere along the way, the Thai and Mexican Niveas lost the essential oil fragrance ingredients, along with the benzoyl benzoate and cinnamyl alcohol ingredients. All versions contain mineral oil, which is also a byproduct of petroleum refining. (I say this because lots of people are wary about mineral oil and petroleum products in their skincare - I'm not.)



I really doubt there is any conspiracy by Nivea to keep "the good stuff" to their home market - the German version is sold all over Europe, and the ingredients are pretty much the same - water, glycerin and some rather inert hydrocarbons held in an emulsion with lanolin alcohol. Everything else is just embellishment. Rather, I think the formulations for each of these locales have been "tweaked" to be more effective, either for skincare or for storage in each of the markets, as the weather conditions in Thailand and Mexican are quite different from Germany. Since it's generally a bit warmer in Mexico and Thailand, it's possible that they had to add additional preservatives to make sure that the product wouldn't spoil. I don't know why they added petroleum to the Mexican versions and not the Thai versions though - I can't explain everything. Hope this was helpful! continued >>

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/18/2010 11:47:00 AM More reviews by maliceinwonderland

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I use this as a "deep conditioner" of sorts for my face, so I don't use it every night. I usually use it about 3x a week in colder months and I loooove how silky soft it makes my skin in the morning. Keeps flakes and dry patches at bay!

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/18/2010 9:12:00 AM More reviews by chayaNY

Age: Unknown Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

Ah this stuff reminds me so much of my beloved Grandma! She always had the big blue tin around and I can just picture her applying Nivea to her face. The scent just brings me back; its so comforting in that way. I have not ever tried this on my face. I have highly reactive skin and allergies to almost everything I put on it. I have used it on my body, especially hands and feet. I have very dry skin due to a med condition that actually kills off my moisture glands. I have very soft heels nonetheless due to diligent care. If I even skip applying cream just once though, my skin will feel and look much drier than others would under similar circumstancdes. I recently did just that but later applied Nivea to my heels, some thick socks and hrs later they felt soft and smooth again.

This is a thick, white cream. Its a little harder to spread if your hands and body are too wet, but damp skin is best as others have said. this leaves a nice sheen on at first then sinks in and does absorb. It feels luxurious, more high end than it is. The scent, this type anyway, is also reminiscent of other body creams and soaps of its era, and is meant to convey femininity.

I like this on my hands too, and carry a mini in my purse because it makes beat up hands look prettier, healthier, smoother, in seconds.
UPDATED 9/2011
I do love the stuff! Its desert island worthy. Can use on my whole face, even under eyes. When my skin is reacting badly to something I slather this on and next day my skin has regained its sanity.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/18/2010 8:29:00 AM More reviews by LovelyNo5

Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I've used only natural skin care and makeup for the last five years, but no other moisturizer has ever been able to help me get rid of dryness, redness and flaking the way Nivea does. I know all there is to know about the mineral oil scares and the "natural vs. chemical" discussions out there. I think both sides have some excellent points, and it seems my skin needs the best of both worlds to be happy. I cleanse with my homemade cold cream made from only natural ingredients and I moisturize with Nivea in the blue tin. This combination has made a huge difference in the way my skin looks and feels. I no longer suffer from flaking, red skin.
We get the German version where I live (Sweden) and it's dirt cheap. I love the beautiful tins they make! I have one with snowflakes right now and it's just gorgeous.
Nivea is very thick, so it's easiest to warm it up between your fingers before you pat it on (preferably on damp skin, as it locks in the moisture). It sinks into my dry skin within minutes and keeps my skin soft and moisturized throughout the day or night. Some people dislike the smell, I personally love it and find it very comforting. There are no preservatives in the German version, which is good.
Nivea works well for my daughters too. One is a teenager with breakout prone skin, yet she doesn't get any breakouts at all from Nivea. The other is 11 with very dry skin affected by eczema. She loves Nivea because it never stings and it relieves the itching very well. Also it doesn't encourage fungal growth, which is often a problem in eczema skin and for which natural oils and creams can be a disaster (many kinds of skin fungus feed on natural oils).
We always have 2-3 tins of this little gem in the house and I would recommend it to anyone as a good, basic moisturizer.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/16/2010 9:39:00 PM More reviews by hurricanenika

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I live in Texas, and THANKFULLY there's a German restaurant in town that sells a load of German gifts and knick-knacks, and the German version of Nivea is right up on the counter. So, I use the German version, and not the Mexican one.
The German one is awesome. It's so moisturizing, and it's exactly what my skin needs during the winter. I only use it at night, because I can't imagine going around during the day with it shining on my face. But it's smoothing, hydrating, and it smells nice, too. Not to mention it's apparently a dirt-cheap dupe of La Mer, which I have NO intention of shelling out a crapload of money for. No way. This is very nice for the nighttime, and Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid during the day! :)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/10/2010 1:41:00 AM More reviews by raynie

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

This is my hundredth reviewed product and i decided to give it to nivea creme. its very moisturizing and crazily cheap. the reason why i gave it a try is because its only $1 and you wont be hurt if just give it a chance to try it.
i have combonation skin so i didnt put it on my face. what i do is to use it as a neck cream. i was using the body shop's vitamin E intense moisture cream b4 and it was pretty good, but the price is not that cute. its $18 for 50ml. very pricy for neck cream. so im always hunting for a good replacement. this nivea creme, only $1 for 30ml and has the exactly same effect. sooo greatful. the only thing need to be aware is you need spend a little more time to totally massage it into your skin, because its very creamy and not that easy to be absorbed if you dont massage it patiently. but overall its a very great product, especially it has an unbeaten price.

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rated 2 of 5 on 1/5/2010 6:47:00 PM More reviews by Velvettt

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Like all products, some people love this and others hate it. What is interesting is the location of the reviewer. The Nivea we get in the U.S. is NOT the same product that the Europeans get. Ours is made in Mexico and has many ingredients that are not present in the European (German made) version.

I want to get some of the European stuff. I suspect that I might feel very differently about it.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/3/2010 12:40:00 PM More reviews by kharlah

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

This review is for the German Nivea AND for the Mexican made Nivea that is most widely available in the United States.

First, for the Mexican Made, USA Nivea. I bought the product to try it as a moisturizer and also to try it on the winter dry skin that I get on my arms, legs, hands, etc. As a facial moisturizer, it was HORRIBLE! It made all of my pores look much larger than they normally do and led to break-outs. It was okay on my arms, legs, hands, etc to deal with winter dry skin. It went on very nicely, and didn't leave a lasting greasy feeling.

Then I found out that a friend of mine was heading to Germany, so I asked him to bring me back some of the German Nivea so I could try it and see if it lived up to all of the good things that I had heard about it. OMG. The stuff is amazing! He brought me back a small tin, a large tin, and a tube. All 3 with the same ingredients. It is the BEST moisturizer that I have ever used! I have acne prone skin and it does not break me out at all, in fact, I think it's been helping to heal blemishes and keep my skin clear. My skin has never been so soft before. I've even been using it as an under eye cream for fine lines and it works great for that too. Yes, it's very thick, but you don't rub it in to your face, you put some on your fingertips and then pat it on your face (similar to how you apply the Creme De La Mer). It is absorbed beautifully and you don't wake up looking greasy or anything.

I've also been using it on the dry itchy winter skin on my arms and legs and I'm in love with it for that purpose also. Have not touched any of my other lotions since using this German Nivea. And my hands are not red, rough, or cracked like they usually are in the winter. I can't wait until he goes back to Germany and I can get more!

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/2/2010 4:14:00 PM More reviews by lushieluver

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is a really thick and greasy moisturizer, not that i moisturizes very well, I put it on my elbows before bed and they feel soft in the morning but they still get a little dry later in the day. It also has a weird smell to it, I wouldn't say it is a chemical smell though.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/1/2010 5:45:00 PM More reviews by Ponchy

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

**This review is for the Nivea Cream from GERMANY which I received as a gift from a dear friend in Europe. I have tried both German and Mexican brands and I can guarantee you they are NOT the same.** (FYI - You can order the German-made version from this reputable seller: http://www.germandeli.com/niveacreme75ml.html .) I am currently using this as a night eye cream for my 40+ plus very dry eye area. Described by many on MUA as the "Poor Man's La Mer" I have to say that it certainly lives up to its hype as an intense & effective moisturizer. Unable to use La Mer due to a seaweed/"sea broth" allergy I have found the German-made Nivea to deeply moisturize my poor winter-impacted (and let's face it: age-impacted as well!) eye area. It doesn't take much product either to do the job! When I apply this rose-scented cream to my eye area at night (about an hour or so before bed) I awake with moisturized/smooth/plumper-looking skin. No milea to report...and no stinging either. I have no problem with it migrating into eye area. My smile lines are less noticible too:-)

Now, it is a bit greasy if over-applied (*which I sometimes do at nite if I have a few hours to let it all soak in before bed...due to feeling our PA winter weather get particularly cold/blustery/dry at times) but no more than the La Mer or many other nite eye treatments. I do not use it on the rest of my face as of now as I do not need intense moisture on whole face (I use CeraVe Cream on face in winter) but I would not hesitate to if I felt I needed to. Bottom Line: Love, love, love this stuff!

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