Dove Body Wash not so Gentle to the Skin…

Over the past few weeks, I had been having some allergic skin reaction for which I blamed the use of some products from the Body Shop.  Well, to be fair, it did seem highly suggestive that the cause was the shea butter I bought from the Body Shop because my rashes were only appearing on my limbs – the only areas I had been applying the shea butter.  The fact that the rest of my body was unscathed seemed only to confirm that observation.

Whenever sensitisation occurs, it can take up to a week after elimination of the causative agent before the rash symptoms completely disappear so I wasn’t particularly alarmed when I was still itching a few days later.  And just to avoid aggravation, I had also stopped using body wash when I showered because soap dries the skin which further irritates it.  By the end of the week, I was still getting hives and I was, at times, so itchy it was driving me insane.

I went to the doctor who prescribed me with anti-histamines and calamine lotion.  They helped to soothe the itch but after I stopped using them, the rashes and hives returned in full force.  It wasn’t until I switched to my son’s Johnson’s “top-to-toe” baby wash (I used it top-to-toe – for washing my hair as well as my body) before the problem seemed to alleviate itself.

I now suspect that the real cause of my allergy was because of the Dove body wash I had been using.  Although I stopped using it for a period, I was still washing my hair with Dove shampoo and since the suds would wash down over my arms and legs, it was still sensitising my skin.

I mentioned my suspicions to the hubby who then replied that he thought Dove body wash was one of the worst body washes around because he felt it was rather harsh on the skin, despite it being 1/4 moisturising.  Hubby has very sensitive skin and can’t use a lot of the body washes on the market because of it.  According to him, after one wash with Dove body wash, he started itching all over.

But that’s the thing…  Dove first entered the market with their bar of soap with the unique selling point of being “1/4 moisturiser” so it didn’t dry your skin.  They did such a marvellous job marketing that tagline that soon everyone associated Dove with its moisturising properties.  When Dove launch their body wash product line, they dropped the “1/4 moisturiser” advertising because the body wash didn’t have the same moisturising properties as their bar of soap.  Because they had done such a thorough marketing job with the bar of soap, consumers just naturally assumed the 1/4 moisturiser applied to all their products.

Anyway, that’s the insider scoop I remember hearing from one of the competitor product managers…  If you’ve heard differently or if you’re from Dove, feel free to enlighten us in the comments section below if this message was misrepresented.

As for the Body Shop shea butter, I might start using a bit of it on a small part of my skin to see if it’s safe to start using it again.  I’ll let you know in a week’s time…

Update: I have switched from J&J Top to Toe to Sebamed which appears to be more hypoallergenic. I stopped using J&J because hubby and the kids were still sensitive to it. Sebamed seems to work fine for all of us.

Update 15 July 2014

There is a scam going around about Dove shampoo causing some hideous skin lesions on a video that looks something like this:

Source: Urban Legends

The image is really just a photoshopped image of the Water Lotus Seed Pod:

Source: Pinterest

You can read all about it on Urban Legends.

Body Shop Products Not Hypoallergenic

The Body Shop recently had a huge sale with up to 70% off all their merchandise.  Taking advantage of the sale, I discovered some really affordable shea butter creams for the skin condition I have, called Keratosis Pilaris.  Having been told a long time ago by the dermatologist that there is no cure for this condition, I have long given up the hope of having flawless skin.  When I discovered I could reduce the effects by applying an emollient such as shea butter, I was naturally quite agreeable to giving it a go.

Recently, I started developing hives on my arms and legs.  I strongly suspect my skin has sensitised to something present in the shea butter by the Body Shop – I’ve been using the Pomegranate variant.  I have since stopped using the Body Shop Shea Butter to test my theory and have yet to come to a conclusion on the cause of my hives.

To be fair to the Body Shop, I’m not entirely certain it is due to the Shea Butter I’ve been applying.  It could also just be an ingredient unique to the Pomegranate variant that is causing my hives, in which case, using the plain shea butter variant should correct the problem.  The best way to test is to do a patch test on a small part of my skin – I’ve read that the under arm is a good area to test because the skin there is a little more sensitive being less exposed and keratinised.

It comes as a bit of a surprise if my hives are indeed due to the Body Shop Shea Butter.  I don’t know why but I’ve always thought that if there were any skin product that would be extra gentle to the skin, it would be Body Shop products.  Perhaps I’ve made the mistake of construing that kind to the animals and environment would kind to all human skin.

Looks like I’m going to have to find another emollient for my skin.  Anyone got any recommendations on what I can use instead?