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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Nivea?

Nivea is a brand of soap and shower products which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Soap & Shower Gel Ratings Table. Although Nivea has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Nivea if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Ethical Soap & Shower Gel sector.

What does Nivea do?

Nivea is a German personal care brand which began in 1911 with Nivea Creme and now has over 5000 products sold worldwide.

In which areas does Nivea perform poorly?

Nivea was marked down under our criteria for Organic and Vegetarian due to a lack of certification (it does have a vegan range but this is not certified), and for Animal Welfare, as its parent company, Beiersdorf, confirms that its products are tested on animals when required by law.

Nivea also gets a bottom rating for Irresponsible Marketing as its parent company recently paid $2.3m to resolve claims that one of its products contained benzene, a known carcinogen.

Past Criticisms of Nivea’s record

Nivea’s parent company, Beiersdorf, has been criticised in the past for selling skin-lightening products, perpetuating colourism within the beauty industry. It is also facing legal action by a German NGO which claims that the company has misled consumers regarding carbon neutral products.

In which areas does Nivea score well for its ethics?

Nivea scores well for its Environmental Report, as Beiersdorf has a Sustainability Report 2022 containing lots of targets as well as evidence of progress made by the brand.

We found no criticisms of Nivea relating to; GM, Nuclear Power, Fossil Fuels, Political Donations or Armaments, so it scores well for these criteria. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

How can Nivea improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Nivea is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Soap & Shower Gel Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Nivea has some issues to resolve, including its lack of certification for Organic and Vegetarian products. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Nivea some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our ethical mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating