What do you mean Dove isn't soap?

I know, I know... for some that's a tough pill to swallow, that your beloved Dove is not actually a soap but really a commercial detergent.

Did you know that there are very few true soaps (liquid & solid) on the market? What we mostly see in places like your local grocery store, Target, Walmart and others are synthetic detergents masquerading as soaps.

Many of us do not give it a second thought when throwing our favorite brand of body wash into the shopping cart, and what it is that we are actually buying.

According to the FDA a true soap is:

  1. Composed mainly of "alkali salts of fatty acids". Simply put, combining oils (ex. coconut, olive or almond) with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  2. Those alkali salts of fatty acids must be the only material that results in the product's cleaning action.

Let's take a look at the very popular "soap" brand Dove.

The bar contains several ingredients but let's just take a look at the first which is also the most abundant.

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate - according to the DCI this is a synthetic detergent used as a cleaning and wetting agent, emulsifier and to impart lather. Hmmm doesn’t sound like a killer but does sound like it can do some major degreasing and stripping your skin of its natural oils, and since this ingredient cleanses this product is not a true soap.

Full ingredient list for Dove's White beauty Bar - sodium lauroyl isethionate, stearic acid, sodium tallowate or sodium palmitate, lauric acid, sodium isethionate, water, sodium stearate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, fragrance, sodium chloride, tetrasodium EDTA, tetrasodium etidronate, titanium dioxide (CI 77891).

****FYI to my vegan peeps sodium tallowate is saponified animal fat (most likely beef, but could be sheep or pigs).

A big give away in identifying detergent bars is the avoidance of the word "soap" on the packaging. I typically come across "beauty bars", "cleansing bars", "bath bars", "facial bars" and "body bars" when browsing in the stores.

 Just check the soap section the next time you are out shopping.

Stay beautifully polished.



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