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Norwegian Formula’s 50th Anniversary
Norwegian Formula’s 50th Anniversary


Norwegian Formula’s 50th Anniversary – Over 50 Years of Hand and Body Expertise


Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula product range has been delivering hand and body care for over 50 years. With inspiration taken from genuine relationships with skin experts, dermatologists and consumers, Norwegian Formula has been proven to make a real difference to people’s lives. It offers innovative and insightful solutions to protect, heal and provide comfort to all types of dry skin.

Here, we’ll explore the unique ingredients and formulation behind Norwegian Formula, as well as taking a deep dive into the heritage, history, and values of the brand.

The History and Heritage of Norwegian Formula

Throughout its long history, Neutrogena has been on a quest for pioneering skin-friendly products, with a passion for innovation and new ideas. The Norwegian Formula range has a global reputation for providing instant, long-lasting relief from dry skin, accelerating healing, and providing effective, immediate hydration.

How Norwegian Formula Began

Norwegian Formula was developed as a solution to the extreme weather conditions of Norway. For generations, the people of Norway have been pulling herring, cod, and mackerel from the ocean in some of the world’s harshest, coldest conditions. This naturally results in dryness and chapped skin on the hands.

Neutrogena created a glycerin-rich recipe for hand cream that would help to counter the effects of the icy ocean water. It’s powerfully concentrated and based on the traditional salves and balms used by Norwegian fishermen. The unique recipe heals and protects even under the harshest of conditions.

Our Heritage

Since that first hand cream, the Norwegian Formula product range has been expanded to include care for the whole body.

  • 1954: The founder of Neutrogena, Manny Stolaroff, started the company after discovering a translucent amber cleansing bar. This bar offered a cleanse that was effective, yet also so gentle that skin returned to its natural pH level straight after use. Since the launch of this iconic amber bar, Neutrogena has partnered with some of the world’s best dermatology experts to develop a wide range of high-quality, ingenious skincare products based on the principles of skin friendliness.
  • 1969: Lloyd Cotsen, President of Neutrogena in 1969, was given a sample of a traditional recipe for hand healing as used by Arctic fishermen. After using some chemicals to clean soap vats, Cotsen found his hands were left dry and cracked. Deciding to give the sample product a try, Cotsen found immediate relief with just a small dab of the highly concentrated formula – the inspiration for another Neutrogena classic.
  • 1972: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula was launched in 1972. Since then, the brand has become renowned for its unparalleled relief for dry and chapped hands. The range has since expanded to include a variety of hand and body products recommended by respected pharmacists and dermatologists around the world.
  • 2022: This year saw Norwegian Formula celebrating its 50th anniversary since being launched – half a century of healing and protection.

Highlights from the Past 50 Years

Over the past half a century, Norwegian Formula has received many accolades – both from the industry and from consumers – and has strived to make a difference to hands all over the world. Here are some of the highlights from the past 50 years:

  • A favourite: Norwegian Formula is currently ranked number one in the hand category*.
  • Popular around the world: At the 40 year anniversary in 2012, Norwegian Formula was readily available in more than 25 countries around the world.
  • Proven results: In clinical trials, after four weeks of applying Norwegian Formula, 100% of subjects stated thier hands were more nourished. 93% experienced immediate relief from the effects of dry, chapped skin, while 90% experienced lasting relief – proof that the formula works.
  • A commitment to sustainability: Our new hand cream packaging (launching soon) is not only recyclable but made with 50% recylced plastics**.

Here’s what some of our customers have said about Norwegian Formula:

  • “It actually works! Unlike other creams! My hands feel smooth and soft!" (Kboult40)
  • "Finally, soft hands!... I would certainly buy this again." (EmNix1)
  • "Wow what amazing hand cream, just a little is needed to give immediate relief to dry hands." (Diane9587)
  • "This lotion has really made my hands look and feel so much better!... A great hand cream to use daily to keep my hands moisturized. Highly recommend!" (Dan2)
  • "In nearly two weeks my hands have changed and are smoother than they have been in a long time." (Anonymous)

*Source ©2022 NielsenIQ data, Value Sales, Hand Moisturising Category (client defined) 52 w/e 17.09.22 (GB Total Coverage). For verification contact

**excluding the cap

Glycerin and The Science Behind Norwegian Formula

There are many factors that can cause hands to become dry, chapped, and sore. Some can be avoided, while others cannot. Frequent hand washing can cause the skin to dry out, as can extreme temperatures. Contact with a variety of chemicals or even perfumes can also cause a reaction, leading to dryness.

Environmental factors, such as contact with pollution or smoke, or endogenous factors such as age, diet, general health, and stress can also have an effect. People who work in healthcare or industrial settings may have to wear protective gloves, which can cause hands to become dry.

When skin becomes dry, this can lead to tightness, irritation, chapping and cracking, which can become painful if not treated. Norwegian Formula was created specifically to help protect and heal even the driest or most chapped hands, providing immediate relief.

Glycerin: A Key Ingredient for Dry Hands

Norwegian Formula uses a high concentration of glycerin, which helps to repair and hydrate dry, damaged skin. This is formulated along with emollients such as paraffinum liquidum and cetearyl alcohol, which help retain moisture and soften the skin. These are combined within a special base and dermatologically tested.

The glycerin works by penetrating the stratum corneum, or upper layers of the epidermis, while the emollients lock moisture at the surface of the skin by creating a film. The concentrated glycerin in Norwegian Formula increases moisture levels in the skin by as much as 30% and retains this for up to 34 hours after use.

Norwegian Formula 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Celebrating Being ‘Hands On’

We use our hands constantly throughout each day – for working, playing, taking care of ourselves and others. At the Hands-On Hub, you can discover stories from people who use their hands for their hobbies and pursue their “hands-on" passion.

What’s Next for Norwegian Formula?

Project Cranberries is the latest upgrade for the Norwegian Formula range, featuring:

  • New look sustainable packaging that’s recyclable* and made from 50% recycled plastics**
  • New formula with 40% glycerin, enriched with vitamin E.
  • Paraben-free and hypoallergenic products, with no mineral oils or phenoxyethanol.

*where recycling facilities are available

**excluding the cap