Natural Tone Lotion SPF 4
13.5 fl. oz. for $7.49
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
Last Updated:12.04.2014
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

Natural Tone Lotion has an embarrassingly low SPF rating, though its active ingredients include avobenzone for reliable UVA protection. Still, SPF 4 is nearly useless for sun protection, especially given the current recommendations to apply at least SPF 15, preferably SPF 30. What was Nivea thinking?

This body lotion with sunscreen is supposed to even your skin tone, and to that end it contains an intriguing ingredient known as octadecenedioic acid. Derived from a fatty acid known as oleic acid, some research has demonstrated the lightening ability of this ingredient, though it doesn’t seem to work in the same manner as other lightening agents such as hydroquinone or niacinamide. Instead, it seems to interrupt inflammatory pathways that can “fuel” discolorations (Sources: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2006, pages 263-267 and April 2005, pages 123–132). Nivea appears to be using potentially effective amount of this ingredient, though the low SPF rating isn’t going to be a big help toward fading discolorations (ideally you’d want to apply a mineral-based sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater).


Rediscover your natural skin tone. NIVEA Natural Tone moisturizer with SPF 4 . Enriched with naturally derived tone-evening complex and UVA/UVB sun-protection, NIVEA Natural Tone gradually evens out skin tone and helps to prevent future discolorations while keeping skin soft and moisturized.


Active Ingredients: Octinoxate, Avobenzone. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Cetyl Palmitate, Octadecenedioic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Silica, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT.

Brand Overview

Nivea At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly; good makeup removers; a gentle scrub; some worthwhile lip balms.

Weaknesses: Several boring formulas; no products to treat breakouts or lighten skin discolorations; problematic toners; disappointing self-tanners; the anti-cellulite products are a joke.

Nivea is a globally known brand owned by Beiersdorf, the same company behind department-store brand La Prairie and drugstore mainstay Eucerin. Among those three brands, Nivea's product selection is the weakest (which isn't saying much, because none of these lines have much of anything to offer skin). For Nivea, uninspired formulas abound, presenting limited options unless you have normal to dry skin, and even those have exceptionally inelegant formulas. The enduring popularity of this line has more to do with advertising and perhaps tradition (it has been around a long time) than with what any researcher would consider state-of-the-art.

In mid-2010 Nivea re-launched most of their Visage (facial care) products on the web site drugstore.com. These products present a few well formulated, inexpensive options that are worth your attention.For more information about Nivea, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 227-4703 or visit www.nivea.com.

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The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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