A great texture, fascinating scent, velvety feeling on the skin – and confirmed effectiveness. Sounds like a perfect skincare product. But have you ever asked yourself which steps are actually necessary behind the scenes until you see your favorite cream on the shelf? We let you peek behind the scenes of our product development and tell you how a new product is created.

At the beginning, there’s only an idea: a new trend, an exciting raw material or the wish to expand a product range mostly trigger a new process for a product development. Afterwards, we create a wish list which contains all characteristics which the final product is supposed to have. The first ingredients are also already collected at this point. Dr. Mader, head of the Birkenstock Cosmetics education center tells us, how it all works:

“We for example got the idea for our Regenerating Oil Face & Body because our customers and our team members were completely enthusiastic about our Nourishing Leg and Foot Oil. We wanted to create a high-quality oil for the face and body to expand our product range and to provide more care products for dry skin – a product which intensively nourishes with natural lipids and is absorbed very quickly at the same time. That was a real challenge.“

This is where the specific development assignment is issued to our laboratory – most of the time with a specific target as to when the new product is supposed to be introduced to the market. Several months pass during which our laboratory works meticulously until first samples with a very good stability enter a first round of tests. It goes without saying that BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE products are not tested on animals. We actually have quite a few volunteers who are excited to critically test new developments and fill out corresponding questionnaires:

“Our team of cosmetics experts and our beauty enthusiasts, among them many colleagues and friends who simply cannot wait to test a new product, assess the products after several days of application as regards application, feeling on the skin and scent“, explains Dr. Mader.

Product development
[Photo by Hagen Brede]
After this first test phase, the formulations are adjusted on the basis of the results and then enter a second round of tests. Up to this point, several months have passed and excitement is rising. Then it’s finally time for the fine-tuning and different qualitative tests, including the so-called bacterial contamination test, in order to guarantee a safe product. Of course, dermatological and ophthalmological tests are also carried out. And then there are our effectiveness tests:

“For every newly developed product, we carry out scientific and clinical effectiveness studies. During this step, our products are tested by independent dermatological institutes as regards their skin compatibility and effectiveness“, explains Dr. Mader.

All BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE products have high skin compatibility, their effectiveness was confirmed in clinical studies and they were assessed by internal as well as external users of cosmetic products.

“This procedure enables us to obtain internal feedback on the product, for example on the application and scent, as well as an independent scientific assessment of the effectiveness. If it says on our product that it “moisturizes intensively“, this was confirmed in clinical effectiveness studies“, Dr. Mader proudly explains. “Our Moisturizing Eye Contour Balm, our intensive eye care, was also subjected to ophthalmological tests. This means that an ophthalmologist conducted a clinical test of our eye care after a large group of test persons regularly applied our product. This confirms that our Moisturizing Eye Contour Balm is particularly suitable for the sensitive area around the eyes and can also be used by customers wearing contact lenses or customers with allergies.“

Product development
[Photo by Hagen Brede]

Once there’s a final decision on the content, we concentrate on the packaging: we only select packaging material which has been tested for suitability, just like our products. And it’s not all about looks! Our packaging also needs to be functional and environmentally friendly. Dr. Mader has some details for us:

“For the facial care of our Natural Moisture series we looked for packaging which protects our product and which is sustainable and innovative at the same time. We only found the ideal solution after months of research and finally decided to use a refill system with airless dispensers. It is a great advantage of the airless dispensers that our products are contained in airtight containers and thereby protected against drying out, against germs and any other influences exercised by the users. As a result, we only require minimum preservation and 99% of the innovative dispenser can be emptied. When the product has been used up, the airless cartridge can be exchanged with another dispenser. With this refill system, we can save packaging and are flexible while traveling.“


Product development
[Photo by BNSC]
As a final step, there’s some paper work: the dossier must be prepared, and the final formulation must be forwarded to COSMOS for certification. Moreover, we have to decide on a final design with layouts for the packaging and the labels and we have to prepare text manuscripts.

And now the band begins to play: our new product is introduced into the production plan and the employees are trained accordingly before production and bottling start in earnest. And then? Then it’s finally time to stock the shelves and it’s your turn.

Any maybe next time you hold one of our products in your hands you’ll think about its long journey before it finally found its way into your bathroom…



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