How does Dove Nutrium actually work?
September 18, 2012 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Beyond blue beads bypassing animated skin layers: how does Dove Nutrium actually work?

I bought some bodywash with Dove Nutrium about 6 months ago, and have noticed that my skin is much softer and smoother after I've been using it for a while. This is awesome (less lotion usage on my part) but also kind of confusing. Does anyone know what makes this work?

Also: in trying to answer this question for myself, I looked it up on GoodGuide and it looks like it has Butylated Hydroxytoluene in it. I can't tell for myself how sketchy that ingredient is for daily use. What are the real-life risks I should be aware of? I'm reaching the end of my bottle and am considering rebuying, but its efficacy in making my skin soft is also making me question whether it can be totally on the up and up.

I know this probably sounds kind of Pepsi Blue-ish, but I'm legitimately curious.
posted by c'mon sea legs to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sunflower oil and topical E are highly moisturizing substances, if I recall correctly.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:48 PM on September 18, 2012

I use beautypedia & the associated cosmetic ingredient dictionary for these sorts of questions.

Looks like the BHT is a meh ingredient: Butylated hydroxytoluene, a potent synthetic antioxidant that also has carcinogenic properties when consumed orally (Sources: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, May 2002, pages 1203–1210; and Free Radical Biology and Medicine, February 2000, pages 330–336). The amount of BHT uses in cosmetic products is typically 0.01-0.1%, and does not pose a cancer risk to skin, nor does it penetrate skin far enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream (Source: 2008 CIR Compendium, Cosmetic Ingredient Review, 2008, pages 43-44).

The Dove Nutrium Body wash gets a good review with only a few points off for having tallow acid, but itseems to be good for only those with dry skin.
posted by Kronur at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2012

This doesn't answer your question directly, but this comment has some fantastic information about how skin moisturization works. To be honest, I think most body wash has ingredients that serve the same purposes, though perhaps in different proportion.
posted by R a c h e l at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fragrance is generally added to cosmetics at about 1-3% of ingredients. Because ingredient labels are listed from high amounts to low, you know that anything that comes after "fragrance" is in very small amounts. If your cleanser has a lotion-like consistency it's probably at least 70% water, possibly more. So the ingredients that are most likely to be making your skin smooth are the two oils which come right after, as well as the water swelling the outer layer of your skin. Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine are surfactants (soaps); Lauric Acid, and Stearic Acid are fatty acids which are used as emollients and surfactants (if they have been saponified); glycerin is a humectant (draws water from the atmosphere) and conditioner.

I'm always amused by Paula Begoun's editorializing: she highlights the tallow acid even though it is probably only a few percentage points worth of ingredient, and ignores the other fatty acids which are listed higher up and play the same roles (stearic acid is even sometimes made from tallow acid), and the other surfactants (soaps). Of course, she uses those other fatty acids and surfactants in her own products, so she doesn't call them out. ;)
posted by oneirodynia at 10:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm reaching the end of my bottle and am considering rebuying, but its efficacy in making my skin soft is also making me question whether it can be totally on the up and up.

As a data point, I have been using Dove body wash for yeeeaarrs. I don't know how long ago they started making a big deal out of the "nutrium" branding, but I know that at some point (maybe 2 years ago?) they started sticking the extra label on there. (I haven't noticed that the product has changed much, if any.)

Anyway, I have extremely super dry skin, and whenever I'm somewhere weird and have to shower with out my Dove, I feel like I'm dying. DYING. So, for 99.9% of my showers, I use the stuff.

I haven't grown an extra nipple or green fur yet. YMMV. But If I were you, I'd go ahead and rebuy. (Costco's got it in a 3 pack for as much as one bottle costs at Target, FYI.)
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 AM on September 19, 2012

« Older tehloki and the angry inch   |   How do you spot an amateur? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.