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Reclaim American Jobs - Buy American Moisturizing Lotions Creams Anti Aging

Updated on April 9, 2015

This research was surprising. What I thought was an old American favorite in moisturizing lotions is no longer. What I thought was foreign wasn't. Moisturizing lotions have been big business for centuries. Now that the baby boomers in the United States are aging, the market potential is even larger. Look at the extensive product lines developed by the major competitors. And now the lotions for men are coming of age.

Journey with me as we explore together the ownership and history of each major company. Household name brands such as Oil of Olay (now just Olay), Vaseline, Aveeno and Jergens..... and more. Learn which moisturizers are headquartered in the United States. Who is paying corporate taxes - their full rate here in the US. Who is now headquartered on other shores. We will include the company's annual revenue and number of employees and year started as usual as provided by Wikipedia. The size doesn't matter necessarily - we as a consumer can change that - that is the power of the American consumer.

We will explore:

  • Olay (Proctor and Gamble)
  • Aveeno (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Pond's (Unilever)
  • Vaseline (Uniliver)
  • Dove (Uniliver)
  • L'Oreal
  • Jergens (Kao Corporation)

Olay Moisturizing Creams Lotions

Oil of Olay
Oil of Olay | Source

Olay has an interesting history. The original name "Oil of Olay" which I grew up with was chosen by the inventor, an ex-Unilever chemist by the name of Graham Wulff (1916-2008) as a play on words from the key ingredient in Olay - "lanolin". Oil of Olay first started in South Africa.

It was different, very different from "creams" as it was a pink liquid. Yes, we know it well today but consider the revolution in its day! 1949 to be precise!

Olay's Unique Marketing Strategy

Olay's marketing was also unique, since it was never described as a moisturizer, nor even as beauty fluid.

"Nowhere on the packaging did it say what the product actually did.

Print adverts used copy such as 'Share the secret of a younger looking you” and talked about the ‘beauty secret’ of oil of Olay. Other adverts were written as personal messages to the reader from a fictitious advice columnist named Margaret Merril. They ran in Readers’ Digest and newspapers and often looked like editorials.'"

Interesting strategy, Wulff and Lowe, who ran the company under the banner of Adams National Industries (ANI), did not sell the product to the trade, but waited for pharmacies to ask for it based on consumer requests.

Olay Corporate Summary - Proctor and Gamble

Publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol: PG

Founded 1837

Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.

See List of Procter & Gamble brands Revenue US$78.9 billion (2010)[1]

Operating income $16.13 billion (2009)[1]

Employees 127,000 (2010)


Proctor & Gamble P&G

Proctor & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of this writing, P&G are fully American with NO complicate tax strategies such as the double Irish. Kudos to P&G!

In 2010, P&G was the 6th most admired companies on the Fortune's Most Admired Companies listing.

Many household products in America and around the world have P&G behind them.

P&G may be one of the world's top exporters.

Johnson and Johnson Corporate Summary

Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under JNJ

Founded 1886

Founder(s) Robert Wood Johnson I  James Wood Johnson  Edward Mead Johnson Headquarters New Brunswick, NJ, U.S.

Medical devices and soaps and toiletries

Revenue US$61.9 Billion (FY 2009)[1]Operating income US$15.7 Billion (FY 2009)[1]

Employees 118,700 (2009)[3]

Website also

Aveeno is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Founded in 1945 and best known for "active natural" ingredients".

Similar to Olay, the name Aveeno is from the scientific name for an ingredient, a common oat, Avena sativa.

The confusing part of Aveeno's history is was started by S.C.Johnson and then purchased by Johnson & Johnson in 1999.

You might remember Aveeno with the name of Rydelle which was subsequently dropped.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of Aveeno. Johnson & Johnson is not be confused with S.C. Johnson. Johnson & Johnson is traded under the New York Stock Exchange under JNJ. They are a global company involved in pharmaceutical, medical devices and many consumer packages goods such as Aveeno. The company was founded in 1886 and is a staple of American culture and long respected.

In 2010 the U.S. State Department filed suit for alleging that Johnson & Johnson illegally marketed drugs to nursing homes.

Headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey with the consumer division in Skillman, New Jersey. They have operations in 57 countries and their products extend to over 175 countries worldwide.

They also have the product Neutrogena.

Ponds Moisturizing Lotions

Ponds Moisturizing Lotions
Ponds Moisturizing Lotions | Source

Pond's - An Unilever Company

Pond's Cream is the oldest in our listing here - started in 1846 by a scientist by the name of Theron T. Pond (1800-1852). After Pond's death, the cream that healed small cuts was named "Pond's Extract". The healing part is derived from the witch hazel which serves to fight bacteria. Up until 1910, the product was advertised under the trade name "Pond's Healing".

During Teron's lifetime, the product was known as the "Golden Treasure".

Later the cold cream as we know it today was introduced and it now sold around the world including Asia.

Pond's is owned and operated by Unilever.

"Unilever is a dual-listed company consisting of Unilever N.V. in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Unilever PLC in London, United Kingdom."[1]

1987 was a momentous year for Unilever as they purchased Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Ragú, Pond's, Aqua-Net, Cutex Nail Polish, and Vaseline.

Then In 1989 Unilever bought Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Fabergé, and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold (in 2000) to FFI Fragrances.[1]

Ponds Parent - Unilever Corporate Summary

Publicly traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols of
(NYSE: UN) (Unilever N.V.) (NYSE: UL) (Unilever PLC)

Industry Conglomerate

Founded 1930 Headquarters

Headquarters:  Unilever House, London, United Kingdom; Rotterdam, Netherlands

Revenue €39,823 million (2009)[1]Operating income €5,020 million (2009)[1]

Employees 163,000 (2010)[2]


Moisturizing Lotions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Vaseline Moisturizing Petroleum JellyVaseline Moisturizing LotionsMoisturizing Lotions
Vaseline Moisturizing Petroleum Jelly
Vaseline Moisturizing Petroleum Jelly | Source
Vaseline Moisturizing Lotions
Vaseline Moisturizing Lotions | Source
Moisturizing Lotions
Moisturizing Lotions | Source

Vaseline - Unilever

Vaseline is a brand name of petroleum jelly.  Vaseline like Pond's is owned by the Anglo-Dutch company Unilever.

Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly based products owned by Anglo-Dutch company Unilever. Products include plain petroleum jelly and a selection of skin creams, lotions, cleansers, deodorants and personal lubricants. Vaseline also has body lotion and Vaseline Intensive Care.

Dove Moisturizing Lotions

Dove Moisturizing Lotions
Dove Moisturizing Lotions | Source

Dove - Unilever

Dove manufactures throughout the world and their manufacturing sites include the Netherlands, the United States, Argentina and many other countries throughout the world.  Dove like Vaseline and Pond's is owned by Unilever.

L'Oreal Moisturizing Lotions

Loreal Moisturizing Lotions
Loreal Moisturizing Lotions | Source

L'Oréal's Marketing Slogans

"Because I'm worth it".

"Because you're worth it".

"Because we're worth it".

L'Oreal Corporate Summary

Type Société Anonyme (Euronext: OR) Industry Cosmetics

Founded 1909

Founder(s) Eugène Schueller

Headquarters Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France

Revenue €17.47 billion (2009)[1]Operating income €2.578 billion (2009)[1]

Employees 64,640 (2009)[1]

Subsidiaries The Body Shop Website

L'Oréal Group Headquartered in Paris

It should come to no surprise that L'Oréalis the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. Additionally, it comes as no surprise that they are headquartered in the city best known for beauty - Paris. L'Oréal is part of the L'Oréal Group which is headquartered out of Paris.

What is surprising is the fact that L'Oréal is the "listed company" but Nestle holds some control. Here is what wikipedia shares with us:

"L'Oréal is a listed company, but the founder's daughter Liliane Bettencourt and the Swiss food company Nestlé each control over a quarter of the shares and voting rights."

If you have been reading along with American_Choices, you will recall the comparison we did with buying American coffee and detailed the origins and history of Nestle.

Jergens Moisturizing Lotions

Jergens Moisturizing Lotions Advertising with Three Beautiful Women in White Dresses and Sexy Legs
Jergens Moisturizing Lotions Advertising with Three Beautiful Women in White Dresses and Sexy Legs | Source

Kao Corpoation - Corporate Summary

Type Public Kabushiki gaisha (TYO: 4452)

Founded Nihombashi Bakurocho, Tokyo, Japan (June 1887 (1887-06))

Founder(s) Tomiro Nagase Headquarters Chūō, Tokyo, Japan

Revenue $605.6 million USD (2006)

Employees 5,652 (direct)
29,908 (consolidated)

Website Main Corporate, US Site

Jergens - Kao Corporation

In 1988, Kao Corporation adquired the Andrew Jergens Company.

Kao began as a domestic toiletry soap manufacturing company in 1887 by Tomiro Nagase.

Until 1940, they were known as Nihon Yuki Company changing their name then to Kao Soap Company and then in 1985 to their name today - Kao Corporation.

American Moisturizing Creams Lotions Summary

While I cannot steer you away from great products, I can share with you the backstory of who is behind the products that you are buying.

Yes, we live in a world of big boxes and we are now "trained" to purchase foreign. I thought we didn't have choices but when I look around, what I thought was American - once was is no longer. While the manufacturing may still have some remnants on US soil, the fact remains, a foreign manufacturer has a different focus and the corporate profits are not going fully to the US Treasury.

I urge each and every citizen to examine where the products that they buy originate from - learn who is managing them. Learn where they are headquartered. Where do they retain administrative staff. Where do they retain marketing staff. Where are their corporate profits going?

This one had more surprises than I even imagined. Old favorites are no longer purely American. The world is changing rapidly and we as a consumer must keep up with the information.

If you found this research and background information helpful, please vote it up! And feel free to share with friends and family.

Take Our Quiz - Test Your Knowledge of American Owned and Operated Lotions and Moisturizers

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