Test winner at Stiftung Warentest: The best face cream

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Test winner at Stiftung Warentest: The best face cream
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Stiftung Warentest tested face creams for the September 2020 issue of “Test” magazine. These included both conventional and natural cosmetic products.

Only eight of the 14 presented creams were rated "good". Two others even only received the grade "poor".

Which (surprisingly cheap) face cream is the best* and which products should you stay away from? Here you can find the results of the face cream test by Stiftung Warentest.


The cosmetics industry is booming. According to a press release from the Industry Association for Personal Care and Detergents e. V. (IKW) in Germany alone, sales of 14.1 billion euros were generated with beauty care products in 2019 - an increase of almost two percent compared to the previous year. The top-selling products were skin and face care products, which alone achieved sales of 3.3 billion euros. So the Germans are happy to spend money on their care. But which products are really worth it?

Face creams tested by Stiftung Warentest

Stiftung Warentest is now providing the answer. For the September issue of "Test" magazine, the consumer organization tested various face creams together with 20 test subjects. These included both conventional and natural cosmetics products, with prices between EUR 5.70 and EUR 96.00 (per 100 milliliters). The 14 creams tested were evaluated based on the following criteria: moisture enrichment, application and skin feel, critical fragrances, microbiological quality, declaration and advertising claims, and user-friendliness of the packaging. Eight products received the grade "good", four others were rated "satisfactory" and two even failed the test with the grade "poor".

Test winner at Stiftung Warentest: This is the best face cream

Nivea Natural Balance moisturizing day care – 5.76 euros (50 milliliters) at Amazon *

Which cream was chosen as the test winner by Stiftung Warentest and the test persons? Surprisingly, it was not a premium natural cosmetics cream that did best, but an inexpensive product from Nivea. With an overall grade of 1.9 (corresponds to a grade of "good"), the Nivea Natural Balance moisturizing day care* received the best quality rating overall - just ahead of the Alviana Moisture Fluid Bio-Aloe-Vera*, the Alverde Aqua 24h Hyaluron Hydro Cream Gel Seaweed and the Alterra Hydro Day Cream Organic Grape and Organic White Tea, each rated 2.0.

Why did Nivea's face cream become the test winner at Stiftung Warentest?

The Nivea Creme* received good ratings in every category. It received the first grade for its harmless fragrances, microbiological quality and user-friendly packaging. In terms of moisture enrichment for the skin, application and compliance with their advertising claims, it was still enough for a grade of two. The conclusion of the Stiftung Warentest is therefore: “The conventional cream advertises with 'valuable ingredients from nature'. The analysis confirms: apart from water, almost only natural substances. According to the declaration, the cream also contains synthetic substances. Transparent. The origin of the only biological substance, according to the declaration, aloe vera can be traced back seamlessly with the documents provided by Nivea – from the product to cultivation.”

Which face creams you should rather keep your hands off

Not all creams were able to convince in the test by Stiftung Warentest. Two high-priced creams from Lush and Provida failed. The skin drink face cream from Lush failed the test due to its poor microbiological quality, as it could not cope with added germs. And with Provida's Sensitive Care Jeunesse Day Cream, the lack of protection against contamination was also the reason for the poor quality rating.

Disclaimer: We're looking for products that we think you'll like. The selection is subjective but editorially independent. We have affiliate partnerships, which means if you make a purchase through a link marked with an asterisk, we get a small commission. Our recommendations and the selection of the products are not influenced by this. The content is also independent of our advertising marketing. You can find our guidelines for journalistic independence here: www.axelspringer.com/de/leitlinien-der-journalistic-independence

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