sustainable palm oil at nivea



Many naturally derived ingredients in skincare products are derived from palm (kernel) oil. Due to the high yield of palm crops and unique properties as a raw material for cosmetic ingredients, demand is steadily increasing. Unfortunately, palm cultivation is often connected to deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural practices. As forests store CO2 naturally and effectively, their steady destruction contributes greatly to climate change – a problem we take seriously. NIVEA strives to respect nature. We are convinced that palm (kernel) oil must be obtained sustainably to protect rainforests from deforestation.

What is sustainable palm oil?

Sourcing Sustainable palm oil is a responsible choice that protects the environment and often supports local communities. 
NIVEA uses palm oil from sustainably certified sources in all our products worldwide. It is produced in compliance with certain standards to  prevent further deforestation, habitat destruction, and exploitation. By supporting the rights of local communities and preserving natural habitats, sourcing sustainable palm oil plays a crucial role in promoting environmental protection and sustainable development in the palm oil economy.


Materials made from palm (kernel) oil are plant-based, and therefore renewable, and can be classified as naturally derived. Therefore, working with these materials can be an important step away from a fossil fuel-based economy and towards a more sustainable future.

 Despite the valid controversy around cultivating palm oil, experts and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) agree that replacing palm (kernel) oil with another vegetable oil is not a reasonable solution. Other crops would require significantly more land for cultivation – and overall, this approach would be less sustainable.

palm oil kernels

 NIVEA is involved in the sustainable transformation of the palm oil industry, which denounces deforestation, promotes ecological agricultural practices, respects biodiversity, and secures the livelihood of smallholder farmers.

NIVEA does not use palm oil directly, but palm (kernel) oil based ingredients (i.e. palm derivatives) that are made on the basis of palm oil or palm kernel oil. For the sake of simplicity, however, we refer only to palm oil in the following.

How Does NIVEA Support the Production of Sustainable Palm Oil?

First, the good news: since the end of 2020, 100 percent of the palm (kernel) oil-based ingredients used by NIVEA have been sustainably certified. We only use sustainably sourced palm (kernel) oil-based materials, based on the mass-balance model as defined by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf, is an active member of the RSPO and helped initiate further national and international cross-industry associations. The shared objectives of these groups are to increase transparency within the palm oil industry and promote its sustainable transformation.

Transparency is the key to an effective and sustainable palm oil roadmap. That is why we work closely with our suppliers to trace the raw materials we use back to their sources. We have significantly increased the transparency of our palm oil supply chain, meaning we are aware of the origin of 92 percent of our purchasing volume for palm (kernel) oil-based raw materials.

Together with local partners, NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf, works with smallholders on the ground, promotes cultivation without further deforestation, and contributes to improving the living standard and economic situation of local communities. With our commitment in the Indonesian region of West Kalimantan, not only do we support 240 smallholders directly, but an additional three local villages with around 4,500 inhabitants benefit from our project as well.

What are the benefits of sourcing sustainable palm oil?

The benefits of sustainable palm oil are vast and multifaceted.

 One of the main benefits of is that it helps to protect the environment and preserve natural habitats, reducing negative impacts such as deforestation and habitat destruction. These negative impacts can lead to a loss of biodiversity and other environmental problems, making sustainable palm oil an important solution.

In addition, sustainable palm oil production has the potential to provide a more sustainable source of income and employment for local communities, supporting economic development and improving living conditions. This is especially important/beneficial for smallholder farmers as it promotes social and economic inclusion.


What is the difference between sustainable palm oil and unsustainable palm oil?
Conventional culitivation of oil palms endangers species-rich landscapes and important ecosystems such as the rainforst due to deforestation and exploitation of nature and the local community. It often lacks transparency and accountability, and may not adhere to international standards and regulations on sustainable palm oil cultivation. In contrast, sustainable palm oil production minimises negative impacts on the environment and local communities, and is produced in compliance with standards and criteria designed to prevent deforestation, habitat destruction, and exploitation.

Is sustainable palm oil safe for skin?
Palm oil based raw materials are an indispensable ingredient in our skincare products. In general, palm oil based ingredients are considered safe to use on the skin. However, as with any ingredient, it is possible for some people to have an allergic reaction or sensitivities to certain ingredients, including palm oil based raw materials . If you are concerned about using products   on your skin containing palm oil derivatives, it is always a good idea to patch test a small amount of the product on a small area of skin before using it more extensively. If you experience any irritation or other adverse reactions after using a product containing palm oil based ingredients, you should stop using the product immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

What are the benefits of sustainable palm oil based raw materials in products on the skin?
Sustainable palm oil is a type of oil that is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products, such as cleansers, lotions, and shampoos. It is an excellent source of fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamin E and A, as well as emollient properties that can help to moisturise and soften the skin. When used on the skin, palm oil can help to:
- Moisturise and soften the skin
- Protect the skin from drying out
- Improve the skin's elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Provide a rich, nourishing feeling to the skin

Overall, sustainable palm oil can help to improve the overall appearance of the skin and its health. It can also help to reduce inflammation and irritation, and has anti-aging effects.

Is sustainable palm oil vegan?

Palm oil can be considered vegan, as it is derived from a plant source. However, some vegans may choose to avoid palm oil due to concerns about the environmental and social impacts of its production. Hence, sustainable palm oil is a more vegan friendly option as it helps in the conservation of natural resources, and biodiversity. This means that sustainable palm oil production methods are unlikely to harm the environment or animals.


Our efforts have already been recognized: NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf, participates annually in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The international non-profit organization recognizes strong performance in managing and reporting on key environmental topics, including forest stewardship.

Building on our holistic contributions to a sustainable palm oil industry, we managed to secure an “A-” score in 2020.

fingers intertwined holding hands


We want to be 100 percent transparent and answer all your questions about sustainability at NIVEA. If you could not find all the answers you were looking for on this website, or are looking for more detailed information, please visit the sustainability website of NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf.