Surfactants are used a lot in body washes and shampoos to make them foamy, and to cleanse dirt and oil from your skin and hair. At Dove we use alternative cleansing ingredients (some of which come from naturally occurring amino acids) that still provide a foam but are proven to be milder to the skin than surfactants. We work this way because we're continually striving to give you the best Dove products to take care of your skin. In our hair products, we only use sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) because we know they have the most effective cleansing and emulsifying properties. They are proven to be safe by health experts around the world and effectively cleanses under all water conditions. Although too much contact with large quantities of this ingredient might cause irritation, we only use very low quantities in Dove hair care products.
Ingredients we do use
For us, choosing the right ingredients takes time. We only pick ingredients that do a job like no other and that we have individually assessed to be safe. We find natural ingredients that offer the levels of care for skin and hair which you expect from a Dove product. If we can’t source the quantities we need in a sustainable, ethically sourced way (or if the natural sources contain too many impurities, along with the good stuff) we can use nature-identical versions synthesised in laboratories for maximum purity and safety. We’re always looking to the future. By combining these approaches in sourcing Dove ingredients, we can offer you the care your skin and hair loves.
We have to think about the planet too. We always look at the impact of our ingredient choices on the environment, and strive to find the most sustainably sourced options. When it comes to material sourcing, we make our decisions on a case-by-case basis and we never compromise on the quality or the care of Dove products. To help you understand more about the ingredients we use and why we use them, read on!
Our products contain mineral oils (also sometimes called paraffinum liquidium), which deeply moisturise* and provide safe skin care, locking in moisture and creating a protective layer just below the skin’s surface. Some people have raised questions about impurities in certain mineral oils. It’s why Dove only uses pharmaceutical-grade high-purity mineral oils — those that are also used in hospitals — and have been proven safe to use on a regular basis. *Within the stratum corneum
All personal care products sold in shops need preservatives so that when you buy them, you know they are still fresh, haven’t spoiled and are safe to use. Dove only ever uses preservatives when they’re needed, however, and we ensure the ones we use are safe and effective. Phenoxyethanol is one of the most commonly used preservatives. In line with European Union regulations, we choose to use it in our products as it’s much more suitable for mild or gentle formulations than many other preservatives. And we only use it at very low concentrations (less than 1%).
Silicones are derived from a natural element called silicon that makes up more than a quarter of the Earth’s crust. They're used in many shampoos and conditioners to make your hair look thicker, easy to comb and less frizzy. We test our silicones extensively to make sure they are safe to use in Dove products and have a low environmental impact — always a consideration in the Dove mission. Dimethicone, one of the most widely used silicones, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, we know that some people prefer hair products without silicones as it suits their hair type more and avoids them feeling like their hair is ‘weighed down’. So, we have a number of silicone-free hair care products too.
Our caring antiperspirant deodorants are made with aluminium salts to help control sweat (and odour). Aluminium salts work by forming a temporary gel barrier near the top of your sweat gland. This keeps you dry by reducing the amount of sweat that can get to the skin’s surface. We've been testing the safety of aluminium salts extensively since we launched our first antiperspirant deodorant, and we’re always reviewing the latest research to make sure there have been no changes in its safety and that we are using the best ingredients we can. We choose to use these salts because they’re continually proven to be safe to use. This is supported by a number of cancer experts, health charities and health authorities such as Cancer Research UK, the US Breast Cancer Alliance and the National Cancer Institute. We know that some of you prefer to use a deodorant without aluminium, which is why we also offer our 0% aluminium range in a number of countries.