15 Dove Body Wash - Greenwashing Extraordinare

I'm sure you have seen the Dove Body Wash commercial where they do a little science experiment to show that other products are stripping your skin of moisture. They claim that their Dove product does not do this. Unfortunately, I have seen this experiment in person. Last fall I was at a Blog Conference where Dove was a main sponsor. As we ate our breakfast we were subjected to an in person demo of their body wash vs other unnamed body washes. The demo was the same as in the commercial. Take 1 glass container filled with water, add something that Dove says mimics skin and add body wash. Then shake shake shake your way to greenwashing.

At my table I think people were curious as to why I was enraged at the lies that were being thrown around the room. You see Dove claims that their product does not strip your skin of essential oils. Their little experiment results in the little discs placed in each container showing that it has been "stripped". Except for the container with the Dove product in it. It comes out looking very similar to what it looked like going in.  What they don't talk about is what is really in their product. Because what is in there is are classic toxic ingredients that do in fact strip your skin of nutrients and moisture. That begs the question of what has Dove added back into their product to mimic the skins natural moisture and thereby allowing their product come out differently than all the others in their experiment? And how on earth can they claim that their product does not strip skin of its natural moisture?

I asked Dove that. I asked several times. Others at the conference (and at other conferences going on at the same time) RT'd me and tweeted Dove themselves. We did get a response asking for our emails so they could ask the chemist for an answer. That chemist was 20 meters from me yet I had to wait for an email from the company to find out what exactly is in their product to counteract the toxin that strips your skin. That email never came. It still hasn't come. Even after asking again for an answer.  

Here is the list of ingredients in Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash. This is the product in the demo in the commercial and used at the conference I attended.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate - this creates foam which dissolves the oils on your skin and the water then washes away. In doing soil it strips your skin of its natural oils. 

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate - a synthetic detergent that is used for degreasing, cleansing and emulsification. It is known to dry out your skin and can cause irritation. 

BHT - used as a preservative and can cause allergic reactions in the skin.Classified as a possible carcinogen.

Tetrasodium EDTA - helps you get a better lather but at what cost? It is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. 

Cocamidopropyl Betaine - a surfactant that dries out your skin

DM Hydantoin - a preservative that releases formaldehyde to kill off microorganisms

Methylisothiazolinone - a preservative that is a known irritant with links to neurotoxicity

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate - a preservative (holy crap how many more do we need???) that is acutely toxic.

Stearic Acid, Tallow Acid - Vegan's beware....there are animal parts in Dove products

Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate - skin conditioning agent

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride - a skin conditioning agent that is on the Canada Designated Substances List

Guys, I'm tired. So very tired of companies pretending to be something they are not. Just be honest.

"Hey guys, our new product is full of things you probably can't pronounce and aren't really needed anyways. But don't worry, we added some other stuff too to make your skin super soft. Just as soft as it would be if you didn't use our product and used something completely natural"

So I will ask again. Dove - what is in your product that is counteracting all the ingredients that dry out your skin?  Do you really stand behind this product as your "best proven care"?

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  1. I love you! You are awesome. I hate Dove! End of story.

  2. :) Steph!

    Think of what that company could be if they combined their empowering women campaign with natural products!

  3. Thank you so much for this post ... we all need to expose these guys who claim to be so good when, in fact, they are so bad! Buyer beware ... do the homework & the research (rather than be seduced by an ad) ... and then vote with your dollar.

  4. I am on the last bit of my Dove body wash. I was already planning on switching to a natural product or using soap. This seals the deal for me. This product sounds just evil! Now, would you recommend using bar soap, is it less toxic? What natural product would you recommend? I recently switched to rock crystal deodorant but haven't looked into body washes or soap yet.

  5. You have made my day!!!

    I switched from body wash to bar soap last year because it reduces the amount of plastic waste I am producing. I use Dr. Bronners bar soap and really like it. There are lots of different scents available but peppermint and citrus are my favourites. The almond is good too.

    If you wanted to stick with a body wash Dr. Bronners has one as well in all the same scents.

    You can find Dr. Bronners at major retailers and also online. (I get mine from well.ca --> affiliate link in the left hand side bar.

  6. We're so lucky to have a health food store in town that stocks Dr. Bronner's liquid soap in bulk! Just the peppermint, but I don't complain. I fill my mason jar and am happy. Especially in winter my skin balks at solid soaps.

  7. I love the peppermint scent!

  8. You know it's bad when it smells, feels, and looks like plastickey chemical sludge. Never liked or used Dove. There is nothing gentle about it.

  9. So true Karen. It is so thick!

  10. As with most television commercials you can't believe a word that is said.

  11. Love this. We need more people to call them out, especially because they do seem to get it it with their campaigns, just not with their ingredients.

  12. That is so true Brenna! They have fantastic girl empowerment campaigns. I just wish they had the products to stand behind those campaigns. I also just saw they came out with another version of this ad for their bar soap :(

  13. I think we were at the same conference - I was disgusted by it too.

  14. Dove really does make my skin softer, but I will not buy it again! Looks like I'll have to put up with drier skin, I've tried all the health store soaps. I'd rather be dry than pouring on the liquid cancer!

    1. Have you tried Dr. Bronners soaps? If your skin is still dry then you could try using coconut oil as a lotion.