Face creams for men in the test: how do Nivea, Weleda & Co?


test procedure

We bought 19 face creams for men, 10 of which are certified natural cosmetics. We preferred to use creams with “sensitive” or “sensitive” skin claims and moisturizers. Specialist laboratories have tested the creams on our behalf for questionable odors, halogenated organic compounds and formaldehyde/formaldehyde releasers.

We checked the ingredient lists for other questionable substances: Are potentially hormone-active chemical UV filters or synthetic polymers declared? Do they contain paraffins that may be contaminated with cancer-causing mineral oil components?

When it comes to anti-aging promises like “helps improve…skin firmness” or “protects against skin aging,” we asked suppliers to provide product-specific research that convincingly backs up that promise. With suppliers using recycled plastic in tubes and cans, we wanted to see the evidence in the batch of cream we tested.

rating legend

Products with the same overall rating are listed in alphabetical order. Unless otherwise stated, the devaluation limits mentioned here are not legal, but determined by ÖKO-TEST. The underestimation limits were determined by ÖKO-TEST, taking into account the measurement uncertainty arising from the specific tests and the method-specific variances.

Test result ingredients: Below the test result, the ingredients are devalued by two degrees: Declared odors that can cause allergies (here: oak moss [INCI: Evernia prunastri extract]).

Other defects: According to the test results Other disadvantages lead to a four-degree understatement: the product’s anti-aging claim (Brooklyn Soap Company: “protects against skin aging”) was not fully tested. Two classes each are depreciated: a) silicones and/or synthetic polymers as other plastic compounds (here: ammonium polyacryloyldimethyltaurate, carbomer, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate); b) A product with an anti-aging promise (syn.: “helps to improve … skin firmness”; GRN: “firming care face cream”) has an advantage over a conventional care product that is not conclusively proven. Decreasing by one degree: (a) an outer box that does not protect the glass; b) the proportion of recycled materials (post-consumer recycling, PCR) is less than 30 percent compared to the total weight of the plastic packaging and/or there is no information about this and/or there is insufficient evidence at our request.

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This Overall rating based on the ingredients of the test result. A “Further Defects” test result of “inadequate” or “inadequate” reduces the overall rating by two points. A score of “satisfactory” or “adequate” on the “Further Defects” test reduces the overall rating by one point. A “good” test result does not affect the overall rating. For legal reasons, we would like to point out that we did not test the effects of the products promised by the manufacturers – apart from certain anti-aging promises in the relevant surveys.

Test method

Test methods (depending on the composition of the products):
Fragrance to be declared/diethyl phthalate/polycyclic musk and nitromusk compounds/cashmere: extraction with TBME, GC-MS.
Halogen-organic compounds: a) Extraction with hot water with subsequent centrifugation and membrane filtration, attachment of organic halogens to activated carbon, combustion of activated carbon in an oxygen stream, microcoulometric determination of halogen content; b) Extraction with ethyl acetate, combustion of the extract with a stream of oxygen, microcoulometric determination of halogen content.
Formaldehyde/formaldehyde partition: acid steam distillation, derivatization with acetylacetone, extraction with n-butanol and determination by photometry.
Silicones/paraffins/petroleum products: LC-RI after extraction (possibly GC-MS).
Other ingredients: as declared.
PVC/PVDC/chlorinated compounds in packaging: X-ray fluorescence analysis.

Purchase of trial products: 2022 March

We last published this test in ÖKO-TEST Magazine 8/2022. Update of 2023 Cosmetic Yearbook test results/information if suppliers have announced product changes or defect assessment has changed due to new scientific findings or we have conducted new/additional research.

The tests and their results are protected by copyright. Without the written permission of the publisher…

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