you and I go back a long way. When I was a teenager on a very tight budget just starting to wander through the realms of beauty, it was to you that I turned to for all my skincare needs. I was happy to be able to get all the products I needed at such inexpensive prices and, at the time, I thought your products weren’t that bad at all.
How naive I was.
You see, back then, I didn’t know anything about cosmetic ingredients and I believed that none of the substances used in beauty products could possibly harm skin. After all, they’re there to provide benefits, right?
It was only in my early twenties that I started doing my research and found out that some of the ingredients used in products do more harm than good. While they provide some benefits, the cons surpass them and so I don’t want those anywhere near my skin.
And no, I’m not talking about mineral oil, silicones or parabens, all ingredients that can be found in your products anyway. I don’t believe these ingredients are bad for the skin. No, I’m talking about ingredients like Alcohol Denat, Isopropyl Palmitate and Myristyl Myristate. Most of your products contain these ingredients in high concentrations.
What’s so wrong with them? Well Alcohol Denat is an astringent and I used to think it would be good to keep my oily t-zone under control, but little did I know that it is also very drying, irritating, can worsen acne and cause free radical damage, which is one of the main causes of wrinkles.
So, all the while I was applying my moisturizer thinking it would hydrate my skin and keep wrinkles at bay, the sneaky little cream was actually contributing to create them! Needless to say, I stopped using products that list this ingredient at the top of the list straight away.
And what about Isopropyl Palmitate (emollient) and Myristyl Myristate (it slows down water loss)? Well, they are very comedogenic and every time I use a product that contains them in high doses, my skin breaks out horribly! Most of your cleansers and moisturizers are full of them and in fact, when I used them in high school, I would often get pimples and breakouts.
Of course, at the time I didn’t realise it was your fault. I thought it was just hormonal. After all, teenagers have hormones all over the place and it’s normal for them to have pimples, breakouts and even acne. But no, it wasn’t hormones, it was those two nasty pair of ingredients!
When I stopped using products with them, my skin cleared out and stayed in good condition, but if I start using them again, they create havoc on my skin and those sneaky pimples raise their ugly heads again!
And the harmful ingredients aren’t the only problem with the formulas of your products. Most of your sunscreens, doesn’t matter what the labels say, don’t offer sufficient UVA protection and leave skin exposed to sun damage.
In addition, all your products have very basic and simple formulas. The main ingredients in your famous Nivea creme for example, are mineral oil, vaseline, glycerin and wax. No antioxidants, no peptides, no retinoids or ingredients effective to treat breakouts or provide anti-aging benefits.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with being basic if the product works, but from such an old and established skincare brand I expected more. I expect you to keep up with current research and include new ingredients which have been proven to be beneficial in scientific studies in your products.
I expect you to constantly improve your formulas instead of being stuck with those that were already old 10 years ago. And if that means that your prices will be slightly raised so be it. I’d gladly pay a couple (or four or five) more bucks for better formulated products. Well, actually I’m already doing that since I’ve abandoned your products for those of other brands, which may be more expensive but provide greater benefits than yours.
Of course, not all your products are bad, or average. If one cares to look, they will find some real gems among your range (but then what brand doesn’t have at least a couple of amazing products?). I’d still use your lip balms (I adore them) and maybe some body lotions but that’s it.
So, Nivea, bye bye. We used to be best friends in high school, but like it often happens in life, people move on. And just like old school friends, even if we lose touch with each other, every now and then we’ll meet up again and have a great time together.
Arrivederci, my old friend,