Care Chemicals

BASF’s Care Chemicals division is a globally leading supplier to the cosmetics, detergents and cleaner industries. We also offer solutions for technical applications, crop protection and plant nutrition. Together with our customers, we create innovative solutions to meet the current and future needs of society more sustainably. We contribute to the long-term success of our customers’ brands with a broad range of products and concepts via our global network of production and development sites.

Sales by region 2022 (location of customer)


Sales by direct customer industry 2022


Home care and industrial & institutional cleaning
We develop, produce and market a wide range of ingredients for detergents and cleaning solutions worldwide. As the innovation leader in this market, we offer choices to our customers and provide the best-possible solutions to successfully cater to today’s and tomorrow’s market needs and changing regulatory requirements. Our strong R&D base and in-depth market and application expertise set us apart from the competition and make us the partner of choice for formulators of efficient, convenient, sustainable and safe-to-use detergents and other cleaning products. Our portfolio, which is constantly being further developed, includes surfactants, enzymes, water-soluble polymers, chelating agents, biocides, optical effect products, stabilizers and methanesulfonic acid.

Industrial formulators
We develop and commercialize a broad portfolio of processing aids, differentiating additives and surface-active building blocks for a wide range of industrial applications and further downstream processing. With our formulation know-how and understanding of the physicochemical properties of our products, we enable customer-specific solutions. In addition, we market an extensive portfolio of performance enhancers to crop protection and plant nutrition companies. Our product portfolio includes dispersants, emulsifiers, surface modifiers, solvents, chelating agents, biocides, micronutrients and methanesulfonic acid.

Personal care
We offer high-quality, value-adding and sustainable ingredients for the personal care industry. Our focus on consumer trends and our ability to innovate and bring new products rapidly to market contribute strongly to the success of our customers. We take into consideration the entire value chain to develop sustainable solutions. The personal care product range includes surfactants and emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, cosmetic active ingredients and UV filters.

Our business approach draws its inspiration for products and concepts from consumers and society. We strive to make BASF’s personal care business a valued partner for the industry in terms of scientific excellence, market knowledge and agility.

The Care Chemicals division holds one of the top three market positions in all strategic business areas in which it is active.

The main competitors (alphabetical order) include Clariant, Croda, Dow, Evonik, Sasol, Solvay, Stepan and Zanyu.

We are committed to delivering innovative and sustainable products and solutions in close collaboration with customers in our core markets, with a strong focus on bio-based and biodegradable ingredients. With process innovation in our core technologies, we target continuous capacity and yield improvement to ensure competitiveness and reduce carbon footprints. We systematically identify and establish new technologies to best support our customers in driving innovation for end consumers.

(from 2020 onward)

Product group Description            Year
Alkoxylates Gradual capacity expansion in Antwerp, Belgium 2018–2022
Capacity expansion in Jinshan, China 2020
Pearlizers and opacifiers Capacity expansion in Mauldin, South Carolina 2020
Methanesulfonic acid

Capacity expansion in Ludwigshafen, Germany

Optical brighteners Capacity expansion in Monthey, Switzerland 2022
UV filters New plant in Jinshan, China 2023
Enzymes Investment in production setup for bacterial enzymes and biotechnology products, Kundl/Schaftenau, Austria1 2024

1 Joint investment with Nutrition & Health division

(from 2020 onward)

Product group Description Year
Surfactants Divestiture of anionic surfactants business in Kankakee, Illinois 2021

(thousand metric tons per year)

Product group Location Capacity
Chelating agents Europe, North America, South America 170
Methanesulfonic acid Europe 30
Non-ionic surfactants Europe, North America, Asia Pacific 650
Anionic surfactants Europe, North America, South America, Asia Pacific 550

1 All capacities are included 100%, including plants belonging to joint operations and joint ventures.

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Biotic rejuvenation support

Two new biotic ingredients from BASF support healthful and graceful skin aging. Probiolift and Postbiolift are the first biotics on the cosmetics market to use a bacterium that is found naturally in the skin: Lactobacillus crispatus (L. crispatus) has been found to decrease with age. Probiolift is composed of dormant L. crispatus bacteria that awaken on contact with water on the skin. The ingredient makes skin appear fuller and improves the appearance of forehead wrinkles. Postbiolift contains metabolites secreted by L. crispatus. Eye wrinkles appear smoothed as a result; the complexion appears more even.

Last Update May 26, 2023