znivea90309.jpgSurprise, surprise! That’s what a group of Canadian journalists felt at Jungfernstieg 51 in Hamburg, Germany, the headquarters of NIVEA Haus. This oasis of calm opened in April 2006, on the cusp of the company’s 125th anniversary. In keeping with the brand’s democratic philosophy of beauty care, the treatments are top-notch but the costs are kept low. NIVEA Haus is only one part of a company-wide program to re-energize the world’s largest personal-care brand. Judging by the number of visitors to the spa (the staff doubled within the first year), clearly the strategy is working.

Launched in 1911 with the medical discovery of the first long-lasting moisturizer made of a water-in-oil emulsion, the pure white cream was named NIVEA after the Latin nix/nivis, meaning "snow." Still one of the best all-purpose creams on the market, the brand now offers hair-care, cosmetics and skin- and body-care systems for men and women. With a scientific team made up of more than 650 people and a strict policy against testing on animals, Beiersdorf – the company that owns NIVEA, as well as Eucerin and La Prairie – has enjoyed some big hits in the marketplace, with product launches like La Prairie Anti-Aging Complex, NIVEA Visage Q10 and Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler.

One of NIVEA’s most important product innovations debuts in Canada this month: DNAge is an anti-aging skin-care system that protects DNA (the cell-building material in our bodies) from external stress factors such as ultraviolet (UV) light and pollution. Its two key active ingredients are folic acid (a B vitamin that is found in leafy green vegetables, cereals and fortified foods such as flour) and creatine (a form of energy that is stored in muscle tissue and needed in DNA synthesis). When DNA absorbs UV light,there is an uptake of folic acid to help repair cell damage. Unfortunately, because folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, it can’t be stored in the body for long. When cells don’t have enough of this vitamin to maintain healthy cell turnover, errors in the DNA code occur. Eventually, these weaknesses reveal themselves as wrinkles and loss of firmness. DNAge delivers both folic acid and creatine to the skin to help the body’s DNA increase healthy cell turnover, thus decreasing existing wrinkles and preventing the formation of new ones. Ideally suited to women in their 40s and over, the face and body line has already found a devoted following in Europe.


Nivea Hand DNAge Zone Action Anti-Age Hand Care ($7.45)


Nivea Visage DNAge Night Creme ($23)


Nivea Visage DNAge Zone Action Specific Zone Action Care ($23)


Nivea Visage DNAge Eye Creme ($23)