Our contribution to beauty and well-being

Hygiene and beauty are fundamental human needs and are important for a sense of personal well-being. Our cosmetics and toiletries, which are used daily by millions of people worldwide, make a valuable contribution to this.

The success of our cosmetics and toiletries owes much to our insistence on offering consumer-relevant products with high levels of efficacy and compatibility. The safety and performance of our products are always demonstrated on the basis of scientific findings. At the heart of our innovation process is our endeavor to achieve an ever better understanding of the needs of our consumers in different regions. This includes the trend toward environmentally aware and health conscious lifestyles.

The development of sustainable products offers us many opportunities for innovation. We constantly seek formulations that will be more effective and more compatible, yet more efficient – achieving better performance while using less raw and packaging materials. This also means providing products with especially long-lasting action and products which reduce the consumption of water and energy during their production and use.

Product and consumer safety

Only cosmetic products that are well tolerated and safe to use can win the long-term trust of our consumers. Health compatibility is therefore a top priority for us from the earliest stage of product development. All cosmetic products and their individual ingredients are subjected to an extensive program of assessment and evaluation in order to ensure their compatibility. This includes consideration of the needs of people with allergies or sensitive skin. All the care products of our Diadermine brand have by now been certified by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) and thus satisfy the highest demands for skin compatibility. We are also increasingly applying our expertise in skin compatibility to other product categories. In 2011, for example, we introduced two products for people with sensitive scalps: Taft Sensitive hair spray and styling mousse.

Extra safety through professional advice and training

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. In Europe alone, this results in about 180,000 consumer contacts each year. Most queries are about the effects our products achieve and how to use them. All product-related feedback is documented in our quality assurance system and channeled into our ongoing product development processes.

On the internet – for example, at About Cosmetics, under the heading of “Safe Coloring for you” – we provide help for our consumers regarding the proper and safe use of hair colorants. Here we explain what they need to remember before, during and after coloring their hair. In a video, we take them step by step through the skin sensitivity test that must be performed before every hair coloring application and also say when a hair coloring product should not be used. We give answers to frequently asked questions on this site as well, providing information about allergy risks, for example, and product safety in general. We also support our professional hairdressing customers with training courses and information. Through the international Schwarzkopf Academy (ASK), we offer an advanced vocational training program to support our hairdressers in various ways, including instruction on the proper use of our products. Schwarzkopf Professional/education

Our alignment to sustainability also includes the obligation to advertise responsibly. We ensure that our advertising claims are based on proven properties of the products and scientific data on product performance, and that the information we make available is clear and readily understandable for consumers.

The resource calculator for energy-conscious consumer behavior

Bild Duschrechner

Consumers have a decisive influence on how much energy is consumed and how much carbon is emitted whenever they step into the shower. The interactive resource calculator provided by Dial and Schauma gives every consumer an opportunity to find out online how energy consumption varies depending on the temperature of the water and the time spent in the shower. Consumers can thus quickly see how they themselves can influence the carbon footprint of a product.

Systematic assessment of our products

We assess the environmental impact of our products throughout their life cycle in order to systematically improve our complete product portfolio. In an initial step, we have calculated the carbon footprint for our various cosmetic products. This covers all the climate-relevant greenhouse gas emissions along the value chain of a product – that is, from purchasing the raw materials to manufacture and use to disposal.

The results allow us to define areas for improvement per category. For example, the manufacture of aluminum cans for our hair sprays and deodorants is relatively energy-intensive. We therefore investigate whether alternative materials, such as recycled aluminum or packaging steel, could reduce the carbon footprint in these categories.

Often, it is during the use phase of our products’ life cycle that the most energy is consumed – for example, when taking a shower or washing the hair. We develop tools to educate consumers about this.

Applying the insights gained from life cycle analyses

Bild Dial Naturals

Choosing a Schauma shampoo to represent the shampoo product category, we already calculated its product carbon footprint in 2009 as part of the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) project in Germany. The results showed that 94 percent of the carbon footprint occurs during the use phase, when water is heated for washing the hair. It is therefore consumers who have the greatest influence on the amount of energy consumed. In order to give our consumers an idea of the environmental impact their behavior can have when doing such everyday things as showering or washing their hair, we have developed a resource calculator.

We are working continuously to reduce the remaining percentage. Among the biggest factors influencing this part of the carbon footprint are the formulations of our cosmetics products. Our new shampoo platform formula, for example, stands out for its innovative combination of washing active substances (surfactants). By reducing the overall proportion of washing active substances while delivering the same product performance, this formula fulfills our aim of improving resource efficiency. Depending on the specific shampoo variety, the new platform formula has a carbon footprint that is between 8 and 21 percent smaller than its predecessor. Considering the annual tonnage in the year 2011, this results in a reduction of about 2,500 metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions.

Overall improvement in eco-performance

In addition to energy consumption, other sustainability factors frequently play a key role when it comes to improving our products overall. These might be the compatibility of the ingredients, the origin of the renewable ingredients, biodegradability, or packaging.

Over a period of many years, we have thus formulated those of our products that pass into wastewater after use for optimal biodegradability. In 2011, the proportion of readily biodegradable ingredients in our soaps, shampoos and shower gels was 80 percent. By the end of 2012, we aim to increase this figure to 90 percent. In the case of washing active substances – surfactants – the amount of readily biodegradable substances even exceeds 90 percent. When using ingredients based on renewable raw materials, we pay close attention to their origin and the cultivation and production conditions. In our packaging as well, we optimize material usage and carefully consider the types of materials employed.

Brand engagement: Henkel does its part for society

Logos „Look Good…Feel Better“ and „Shaping Futures“

Through our brands and our employees, we engage in charitable projects all over the world. Our Cosmetics/Toiletries business sector, for example, has been supporting the international "Look Good...Feel Better" program as a partner company since 2006. Under the umbrella of this initiative, and working with non-profit associations like the German "DKMS life" or the "Schweizer Verein für Frauen nach Brustkrebs" (Swiss association for life after breast cancer), it offers free cosmetics seminars for female cancer patients. Schwarzkopf Professional has also been partnering with hairdressers in the "Shaping Futures" initiative to provide training for young people in SOS Children's Villages.

Look good feel better
Schwarzkopf Professional – Shaping Futures

“When developing the formulas for new hair care products, my team and I always keep the six Henkel focal areas in mind.”

Photo Dr. Elisabeth Poppe
Dr. Elisabeth Poppe
Responsible for international research and development of hair care products.
Screenshot website About-Cosmetics
Photo Dial Naturals bottle

94 percent of the ingredients in the soaps and body washes of our Dial Naturals line in the USA are derived from renewable raw materials, and they are readily biodegradable.

Last updated: March 8, 2012