Cosmetics & Personal Care

Nivea Men wins challenge over 0% alcohol claim

Nivea Men has been confronted by the UK advertising watchdog ASA following consumer complaints relating to an advert for Nivea Men Sensitive Moisturiser (on, where an image  displayed the claim “0% alcohol – no burning”. However, the product includes cetearyl alcohol.

Nivea’s parent company Beiersdorf has explained that the 0% alcohol claim relates to an absence of ethyl alcohol or ethanol, both of which can cause a stinging feeling on the skin. It is the company’s view that the claim, when used in relation to cosmetics, is usually understood to mean the absence of ethyl alcohol. It further explained that the “0% alcohol” claim in fact allows for the inclusion of other alcohols such as cetearyl, benzyl or lanolin alcohol, as endorsed by the CTPA and the US FDA.

The ASA ultimately sided with Beiersdorf and explained: “We understood that cetearyl alcohol, whilst also an alcohol compound, had different properties to ethyl alcohol and different effects on the skin. We considered that those to whom the ad was directed would interpret the ‘0% alcohol’ claim, in the context in which it appeared, to mean the product did not contain the type of alcohol that they would associate with causing a reaction or burning feeling in sensitive or easily irritated skin (ie ethyl alcohol).”

The association concluded that the advert was not misleading.