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Silver particles, molecules, ions?

01 August 2010 - Deodorant marketing

nivea_zilver_moleculen3.jpg Some time last year cosmetics company Nivea introduced a deodorant based on silver technology. The antimicrobial properties of silver are well-known see for example medical uses of silver so the idea has merit. But what kind of silver is Nivea actually using?

In the Nivea ads (see pic top) the deodorant bottle is invariably accompanied by what looks like shiny silver-colored polymers or clusters (?) One possibility is that is silver is in the form of colloidal silver as in silver nanoparticles. Yet the ads of a year ago speak of silver molecules (...) not particles. Of course in Europe anything to do with nanotechnology is suspect just like genetic engineering so the Nivea marketing people could have opted for the innocent sounding molecule over the ominous sounding nanoparticle. The Nivea website even assures the consumer that its silver technology should not be confused with nanotechnology.

In any event, in a brand new advertising campaign launched June 2010 the molecules have been replaced by ions! (see pic bottom) From now on not silver molecules but silver ions battle it out with the bacteria. The bottle states silver citrate as the silver ingredient (a salt) so it appears that in this respect the marketing people have come to their senses. The funny looking silvery molecule issue remains to be solved.