Beauty & Personal Care
Our cosmetics and toiletries contribute daily to hygiene and personal well-being in many countries. Consumer-relevance, efficacy and excellent compatibility are the main prerequisites for the long-term success of our products. In addition, ecological and social criteria are playing an ever more important role in influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. With our innovations, we offer effective cosmetic products that simultaneously support the trend toward environment- and health-conscious lifestyles. From the very beginning, our developers make use of the results of product life cycle analyses. This enables us to link innovative ideas with contributions to our focal areas.
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).
Overall improvement in eco performance
Our products that pass into wastewater after use are formulated for optimal biodegradability. Our aim is to increase the proportion of readily biodegradable ingredients in our soaps, shampoos and shower gels to 80 percent by 2012. In 2009, we introduced new software to monitor our progress. This tool automatically calculates the proportion of readily biodegradable substances in the finished products. Moreover, as an in-process control measure, it helps to optimize new formulations or to assess the differences to a predecessor formulation. The proportion of readily biodegradable substances in our formulations is currently about 65 percent. Other key factors in improving our eco performance are carbon dioxide emissions and packaging material. We plan to calculate the carbon footprint of representative products for each relevant product category by 2012. These calculations will, above all, increase the transparency of our processes and reveal starting points for achieving reductions in emissions. 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 120,000 customer contacts each year, half of them in Germany. Most queries are about the effects our products achieve and how to use them.
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 52 countries. In 2009, we provided support to 325,000 hairdressers worldwide through our 34 Schwarzkopf Academies.
The following list provides a variety of product examples, which can be sorted according to their contributions to our focal areas. The brands referred to have been selected on the basis of their innovativeness, their relevance, and the way in which they reflect the work of the business unit Beauty and Personal Care:
Please select a focal area: