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Dove Ingredients Explained

Dear Alabu! Not only have you made a huge difference in my daughter's life and clearing up her skin for the first time in her life, but my grandmother and her cousin also. They are both eighty years old and believe in washing dishes by hands. Both have always had problems with cracked and bleeding hands most of the winter. My grandmother always said her skin was so dry, so this year I gave her the Tea Tree Soap Bar for her kitchen and the Baby Me for her bathtub and her face for her birthday the beginning of this month. It is amazing, neither my grandmother or her cousin's hands bleed anymore. This is the first time in their life. And my grandmother loves the way her skin feels too! She has used Dove her whole life and it took a lot to get her to switch and now she loves it and says she's hooked. Thank you for allowing me to give them such great products. You guys are incredible people around here and we sincerely do not know what our family would do without you. WE LOVE ALABU! Many Thanks Forever... (Laurie)

Thank you so much Alabu Skin Care for working with the non-profit Feingold Association to get your products listed in the Foodlist & Shopping Guide. Many people that have ADHD, PDD, Autism, Asthma & food allergies will be helped. You can learn more about the Feingold Program at www.feingold.org (Lisa)

We get a lot of questions about the Dove ingredients in Dove soap. On this page you will find all of the ingredients contained in Dove's Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar and a brief analysis of each ingredient. Keep in mind that just because some Dove ingredients are listed as "potentially irritating" or "may dry your skin out" doesn't mean they will. Skin irritation depends heavily on a lot of variables like your own unique skin, and the concentration of that ingredient on your skin. Many people can tolerate Dove ingredients, some can not.

If you are interested in cosmetic ingredients you may want to consider picking up a copy of A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, M.S. (I will refer to this book as DCI from now on). This book is a great resource and has helped me in my journey as a soapmaker.

~ Hal

Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar Ingredients:

  • Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate
    • Uses: According to DCI it is used as a detergent, wetting agent, and emulsifier
    • About This Ingredient: This is a synthetic detergent. It may dry the skin out because if it's degreasing properties. Depending on where you look, this detergent may be listed as a mild skin irritant.
    • How It's Made: This detergent is chemically synthesized in a lab.
    • Summary: This Dove soap ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin (aside from cleaning it), and may dry it out.

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  • Stearic Acid
    • Uses: Used as a hardener in soap. According to DCI, it also gives liquid soap a pearly appearance.
    • About This Ingredient: According to DCI and Cosmetics Info it is deemed safe by the FDA and CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) expert panel. DCI states that it is a possible sensitizer for allergic people. Stearic acid is a constituent in some vegetable oils.
    • How It's Made: According to wikipedia, Stearic acid is prepared by treating animal fat with water at a high pressure and temperature, leading to the hydrolysis of triglycerides.
    • Summary: This Dove ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin, and may sensitize you to allergens.

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  • Sodium Tallowate
    • Uses: Used for cleansing.
    • About This Ingredient: Sodium tallowate is a salt of Tallow (according to Cosmetic Cop's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients it is a substance extracted from the fatty deposits of animals, especially from suet (the fat of cattle and sheep). Tallow is often used to make soap and candles. In soap, because of its fat content, it can be a problem for breakouts). According to The Soapmakers Companion (Susan Miller Cavitch) "Quite a bit of controversy surrounds the use of tallow in soap making. It is thought to clog pores, cause blackheads, and increase the incidence of eczema for individuals with sensitive skin."
    • How It's Made: Sodium tallowate is made my mixing Tallow with Lye (a solution containing water and an alkali).
    • Summary: This inexpensive and readily available Dove soap ingredient cleanses and moisturizes your skin, but may worsen or cause acne.

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  • Sodium Palmitate
    • Uses: Used for cleansing and creating lather.
    • About This Ingredient: Sodium Palmitate is a salt of Palmitic Acid (according to Cosmetic Cop's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Palmitic Acid can be drying to the skin).
    • How It's Made: Sodium Palmitate is made my mixing Palmitic Acid with Lye (a solution containing water and an alkali).
    • Summary: This Dove soap ingredient cleanses your skin, but may dry it out.

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  • Lauric Acid
    • Uses: According to Cosmetic Info it is a surfactant and cleansing agent.
    • About This Ingredient: Lauric Acid occurs naturally in some vegetable oils like palm oil. It can be irritating to super-sensitive individuals at high concentrations.
    • How It's Made: Occurs naturally.
    • Summary: This ingredient cleanses your skin. It may irritate very sensitive skin.

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  • Sodium Isethionate
    • Uses: It's generally used as a surfactant.
    • About This Ingredient: This ingredient is a type of detergent surfactant. It's pretty mild and produces a lot of dense lather. Sodium isethionate works equally well in soft or hard water.
    • How It's Made: This ingredient is normally chemically synthesized in a lab.
    • Summary: This ingredient is mild on the skin and non-drying.

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  • Water
    • Uses: Typically used in soap as a solvent for dissolving the oxidizer.
    • About This Ingredient: A solvent is always needed to dissolve the oxidizer. It can be water, milk, or any other liquid containing water.
    • How It's Made: Occurs naturally.
    • Summary: Water is used as a means of dissolving the oxidizer (the thing that combines with the oils to make soap).

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  • Sodium Stearate
    • Uses: The Stearate salts are generally used for their lubricating properties. They also help to keep emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components, according to Cosmetic Info.
    • About This Ingredient: According to DCI, this ingredient is about 98% Stearic Acid, and carries the same risks.
    • How It's Made: Made by reacting sodium with stearic acid to create the salt, sodium stearate, according to wikipedia.
    • Summary: This Dove soap ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin.

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  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
    • Uses: Used as a surfactant, according to Cosmetic Info.
    • About This Ingredient: This is generally regarded as one of the more gentle surfactants, although some studies indicate it may be an allergen, according to wikipedia.
    • How It's Made: I wasn't able to pin this down definitively, but I gather that it is synthesized in a lab.
    • Summary: This ingredient cleanses your skin. It may also be an allergen.

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  • Sodium Cocoate
    • Uses: Used as a surfactant.
    • About This Ingredient: This is a gentle surfactant.
    • How It's Made: Sodium cocoate is produced by hydrolysis of the ester linkages in coconut oil with sodium hydroxide (same as Sodium Isethionate), a strong base, according to wikipedia.
    • Summary: This ingredient cleanses your skin.

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  • Sodium Palm Kernelate
    • Uses: Used as a surfactant.
    • About This Ingredient: This is a gentle surfactant.
    • How It's Made: Sodium Palm Kernelate is formed by combining Palm Kernel oil with an oxidizer (such as Sodium Hydroxide).
    • Summary: This ingredient cleanses your skin.

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  • Sodium Chloride
    • Uses: Used as a thickening agent.
    • About This Ingredient: Sodium Chloride is the same as ordinary table salt.
    • How It's Made: Occurs naturally. Can be mined or taken from seawater by evaporating it.
    • Summary: This ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin.

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  • Tetrasodium EDTA
    • Uses: Used as a preservative and chelating agent, according to wikipedia.
    • About This Ingredient: No known toxicity to the skin.
    • How It's Made: Synthesized in a lab.
    • Summary: This ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin.

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  • Tetrasodium Etidronate
    • Uses: Used as a preservative and chelating agent (DCI lists this as a synonym for Tetrasodium EDTA, I'm not sure why Dove lists this twice).
    • About This Ingredient: No known toxicity to the skin.
    • How It's Made: Synthesized in a lab.
    • Summary: This ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin.

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  • Maltol
    • Uses: Used as a flavoring agent, according to wikipedia.
    • About This Ingredient: I wasn't able to find any information on the use of Maltol in soap. It occurs naturally in some types of plants. It does have a fragrance.
    • How It's Made: I can't say definitively, but I would propose that it is probably harvested from plant material.
    • Summary: This ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin. It might be used as a fragrance, but maybe not considering Dove claims this bar to be unscented.

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  • Titanium Dioxide
    • Uses: Used as a whitening agent.
    • About This Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide is thought to have no negative side effects when used externally. However, I have read that people can be sensitive to it.
    • How It's Made: Crude titanium dioxide is purified via titanium tetrachloride in the chloride process, according to wikipedia.
    • Summary: This ingredient does not appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin. It may cause skin irritation.

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