Soaps just ain't Soaps!!!!

All Soaps Aren’t the Same

“I can only use Dove” – this is something we soap makers hear sometimes. Someone will walk up to our site at a market, smell some of the soaps then say something like, “I’m allergic to everything! I can only use Dove.”

Is this really true? How does handmade soap compare side-by-side with Dove? You may be surprised!

Please note, this is purely my own opinion and I am not saying Dove is bad. I am biased towards handmade soap (we make it, use it and have for done for going on 13years) and am presenting this so you can make your own informed decision.

Getting back on point…………. “I can only use Dove”!!!!!

This line can really make someone (like me) who makes handmade soap wince.

It’s like walking up to a Steve (My Twin Loaves) who has the most delicious Sourdough breads, and telling him your stomach is so delicate you can only eat White breads – please don’t.   Not only are you wasting our time and your time, it’s dismissing our hard work and years of training and putting it side-by-side with something mass produced by a factory machine in a matter of seconds.

The first time I heard someone say that to me (yep, and I kept a straight face) I decided to find out what Dove has that I don’t.   And like so many other soapmakers before me that’s not at all an easy task, their site doesn’t list ingredients…I had to get them from a site years ago and am so glad I copied and filed them away. Site:

The most important thing about any recipe is going be to how well-balanced it is. No matter what we here at Serendipity put in our soap, we make sure it’s a balanced recipe and that there’s always something called a “superfat,” which means balancing the lye used with an excess of oils/fats to ensure there is no lye remaining in the final product. The percentage of superfat in a soap is what’s going to make it feel more or less moisturizing. The slight excess of oils/fats allows the soap to clean your skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

Dove beauty bar for sensitive skin

  1. Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate – a mild synthetic detergent, used for cleansing. It adds to emulsification and degreasing, and may dry or irritate skin, especially sensitive skin.
  2. Stearic Acid – a hardening agent.
  3. Sodium Tallowate – another way to say tallow or beef fat, which has been saponified. This is done by combining it with water and an alkali. You’re left with a salt, which is the “sodium” and “-ate” part of this ingredient. Tallow, which is fat from around the loins and/or kidneys of a cow, contributes to a hard bar with creamy lather. It’s not exceptionally cleansing, but when combined with other ingredients can add to a balanced bar. Lye is a strong alkaline which is used in many different processes. Food-grade lye is used in the preparation of certain foods, including green olives, mandarin oranges and pretzels. Lower grades which are unsuitable for food are used in various cleaners, such as drain cleaner and oven cleaner. When used in soap, it is essential to create a well-balanced recipe to ensure there is no lye remaining in the final product. We use food-grade lye in our products. Lower grades may contain unknown impurities which can affect the final result. There’s no way to know from this list which grade lye is used in this product.
  4. Sodium Palmitate – palm oil + lye. Palm oil contributes to hardness and lather, but unlike the Palm Serendipity use which is Certified RSPO and Certificated – Dove does not list this.
  5. Lauric Acid – otherwise known as SLS, this is a foaming agent and synthetic detergent, commonly used as a degreaser in shampoos. It dissolves the oils on your skin so the water can rinse them away. An unfortunate side effect of stripping your skin’s natural oils can be irritation and drying of the skin.
  6. Sodium Isethionate – a mild synthetic detergent which creates dense lather and is non-drying. It is also used in shampoo as an anti-static agent.
  7. Water – is wet (LOL)
  8. Sodium Stearate – Stearic Acid + lye. A surfactant, which basically means it clings to dirt and helps water rinse it off.
  9. Cocamidopropyl Betaine – a synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil and Dimethylaminopropylamine.
  10. Sodium Cocoate – Coconut oil + lye. Coconut oil contributes greatly to the hardness and lather of the bar. It is also high in cleansing properties. It’s best to balance this oil with other ingredients, making sure not to use too high a percentage, as it can be drying when used in excess.
  11. Sodium Palm Kernelate – Palm Kernel oil + lye. Palm Kernel oil is used to add hardness and bubbly lather.
  12. Sodium Chloride – salt, used after the saponification process to draw out water and glycerine for a harder bar. (And then they can sell the glycerine or add it to other products.)
  13. Tetrasodium EDTA – used in place of parabens, this is a water softener and preservative made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. It also reduces soap scum and improves lather. There are mixed studies out there about this, ifcan be absorbed by the skin or not.
  14. Tetrasodium Etidronate – another water softener. It helps to prevent the magnesium and calcium in your water stick to the bathtub and create soap scum.
  15. Maltol – used as a flavour enhancer, this is also used to create a sweet fragrance in some products. There’s been a study (on mice) that showed this helped them absorb aluminium.
  16. Titanium Dioxide – a whitening agent (bleach), makes the bars “whiter than white”.
  17. Still want to use DOVE????