Dove body wash is advertised as a product that soothes, nourishes, hydrates and cleans your skin at the same time. The product purports to have “100 percent natural moisturizers.” Dove body wash has several active ingredients, from those that help hydrate your skin to those that help to clean it.
Soybean oil and sunflower seed oil are used as emollients in this product. Emollients help prevent water loss in your skin and also soften and soothe your skin, according to Paul Begoun, author of “The Original Beauty Bible.” Lauric and stearic acids are fatty acids that also are used in Dove as emollients.
Sodium lauroyl isethionate, lauryl alcohol, tallow acid and palmitic acid are used as surfactants in Dove body wash. Surfactant stands for surface active agent. Surfactants are cleansing agents that suspend soil and emulsify oils, which allows you to wash them away, advises Begoun. These are used in most forms of cleansers. The sodium laureth sulfate in Dove is another surfactant that can be derived from coconuts. One of the gentlest surfactants used in skin care products --cocamidopropyl betaine—is featured in Dove as well.
The glycerin in Dove acts as a humectant. Glycerin is present in all natural lipids, or fats. Humectants absorb water from other sources. Glycerin attracts water from both the environment and your skin’s lower layers, which helps to increase the amount of water in your skin’s surface layer, Begoun advises. Glycerin also is found naturally in your own skin, so it is what is known as a “skin identical” ingredient. Such ingredients can help you maintain your skin’s outer barrier and also prevent dryness, Begoun says.
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Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.