Fashion and modern advertising are constantly trying to impose the cult of beauty and perfection. This made us hate every bit of imperfection, even the slightest one, whether it’s a wrinkle, or a blemish, or a little hunch on the nose. First we wanted to hide our thick thighs, now we Photoshop them to actually look larger. We often straighten the curly hair and curl our straight hair, all of this just so we can be closer to that image of perfection that is pushed onto us.
In this sea of perfect images, Dove decided to do the exact opposite – they started a campaign that encourages people to embrace their imperfections by using average everyday women in their advertisements. These people talk about their insecurities about their looks and the way they accepted their natural beauty.
Now, this is an excellent marketing strategy. All of us would rather buy products that say that we are already beautiful than cosmetics that say we must use them to become pretty. And this marketing is positive and empowering, BUT are their ingredients as natural as the company wants us to feel?
First, let’s make a little throwback:
Dove was founded in 1957 when the Lever Brothers produced an original ‘beauty bar.’ Even back then, the company reassured that their products were ‘much better for your skin’ than other soaps and that it contained ‘one-quarter cleansing cream.’ And their logo, the bird silhouette we see today, dates since then. Up until the ‘60s, their ads featured models typical for that time, girly, with red lips. But, when the sixties came, they started featuring real everyday women, who testified in front of a supposedly hidden camera about the moisturizing effects of the soap.
Twenty years later, the company started promoting inner beauty, and the marketing focused on one woman ‘Jean Shy’ who reflects on a compliment given to her about her skin after using Dove.
When the ‘Litmus tests’ started in 1991, the soap was advertised as low alkaline. ‘Dove is mildest. Bar none.’ The company started producing body lotions, shampoo, cleansers, deodorants, hand and face care.
They launched the official campaign for real beauty in 2004.
In 2005, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund was founded to fight eating disorders, by releasing videos which showed the unrealistic portrayal of beauty from the media, and the pressure from the press which makes girls insecure and unconfident.
Today, Dove is having sales of over $2.5 billion U.S. a year, in over 80 countries.
But, research has discovered that the brand uses various toxic ingredients in their products.
Deep Moisture Body Wash
The company claims that this product is:
- Dermatologist recommended
- Excellent for everyday use
- Nourishes deep into the surface layers of the skin
- NutriumMoisture™ technology provides natural nutrients to the skin
- Mild, gentle formula that soothes the skin
- Softer, smoother skin after just one shower
- Maintains the moisture of the skin during cleanse
Here’s what’s inside it:
Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Lauryl Glycinate, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Glycine Soya (Soybean) Oil Or Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Fragrance (Perfume), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dmdm Hydantoin, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Bht, Tetrasodium Edta, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.
Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo
The product supposedly provides the following benefits:
- It is suitable for everyday use
- Formulated with Pro-Moisture Complex
- Makes the hair silky and manageable
- Nourishes the hair and makes it healthier
- Protects it from daily wear and tear
- Makes the hair softer and 5X smoother than non-conditioning shampoo
Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycol Distearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Amodimethicone, Dmdm Hydantoin, Peg-45M, Tea-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Cocamide Mea, Lysine HCl, Arginine, Peg-9M, Cetrimonium Chloride, Ppg-9, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Mica (Ci 77019), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Red 33 (Ci 17200).
The original Dove product has not been changed over the years, and the company claims that it is:
- Dermatologically tested and recommended
- Excellent for everyday use on the body, face, and hands
- Does not dry the skin
- Contains ¼ moisturizing cream and mild cleansers which moisten the skin
- Classic moisturizing formula
- Makes the skin softer, smoother and radiant
Here’s the list of its ingredients:
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).
Here are more detailed explanations of their ingredients:
It’s been scientifically confirmed that fragrance/perfume causes irritation of the skin and is the leading cause of dermatitis from cosmetic use.
Methylisothiazolinone – it’s been found that it leads to neurodegenerative disorders and seizures.
Sodium Tallowate – derived from the fatty tissue of cattle, so vegans should avoid it.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – More than 16,000 studies have been evaluating the cumulative effect and long-term exposure of SLS and have found that it is related to:
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Irritation of the skin and eyes
- Possible mutations and cancer
- Organ toxicity
- Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes.
Tetrasodium Edta – derived from formaldehyde, which is a well-known carcinogen. It is a penetration enhancer, so it dissolves the protective skin barrier, opening the way for other toxins to enter the tissue and the bloodstream.