If you aren't distracted by getting a popcorn refill, you may notice an ad for the new Dove's Men+Care line on Super Bowl night. If, like me, you associate Dove with the real women campaign, you'll be bracing yourself for hairy backs and beer guts. Fear not, I've had a sneak preview and it follows the journey from boyhood to manhood and all the unsung achievements in a typical bloke's life en route to finding comfort (and Dove as part of their regimen).

The Dove Men+Care range takes the cautious view that guys don't do much more than wash. Hence there is a face and body wash and a soap bar and that's about it. Oh, I mustn't forget the Shower Tool, a dual sided scrubbing brush thingy ($3.89).

The Deep Clean Body and Face Wash ($5.99) is... Well, I am uncharacteristically lost for words. It is beyond mediocre. The tagline "comfort has arrived" is ironic given the number of irritants here starting with an SLS (albeit the gentler of the notoriously irritating sulfates). Acrylates polymer have been found in animal studies to be harmful if it comes in direct contact with skin and eyes. DMDM hydantoin is a preservative that is an irritant and allergan and may also contain formaldehyde.

Granted, Dove had kept its prices keen, but it certainly hasn't spent much on sourcing the ingredients, which include cheap emollients and fillers such as microcrystalline wax, produced by de-oiling petroleum. It is used in cosmetics and beauty products as a viscosity agent, binder and emollient, and is often considered an alternative to paraffin wax.

And let's not overlook polyethelene, which is used to bind other ingredients. There is moderate evidence that Polyethylene is an immune system toxicant as well, according to the National Library of Medicine’s study entitled “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.” However, no evidence of systemic toxicity occurred in studies with intact skin. So just don't nick yourself shaving and all will be well.

As this product rinses down the drain, spare a thought for fish, tretrasodium EDTA, a controversial ingredient at best, is an environmental toxin.

The other tagline for Dove Men+Care is "because a fresh start feels great". Dove's formulators should take note and go back to the drawing board.


Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance, Cocamide MEA, PPG-9, Microcrystalline Wax, Polyethylene, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Iron Oxides, Red 30 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5 Lake.