Dove Men ‘Plant-Based Care’

March 25th, 2021

In an ad campaign for a new line of men’s deodorants and antiperspirants, Dove claims to offer “plant-based care.” But upon closer inspection of a YouTube video that is part of the campaign, it’s not so much the overall care that is plant-based but rather specific moisturizing ingredients (see screenshot below; Dove is running the same ad on TV).

Which is to say, there are likely ingredients in the products that have nothing to do with its moisturizing effect that are not made from plants.

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In the ingredients list on the product page for the Eucalyptus + Birch 48h Antiperspirant Stick (pictured far right in the screenshot at the top of this article), Dove only distinguishes between active and inactive ingredients, as opposed to ingredients that moisturize and those that have other properties. Here’s the full ingredients list:

Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (15.2%) Inactive Ingredients: Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Palmitate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-8, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Silica, Polyethylene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Steareth100, BHT, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

You might ask, where is eucalyptus and birch?

Also of note, one of the ingredients is fragrance. The ingredients list on Dove’s website doesn’t specify natural fragrance or synthetic fragrance, though as we’ve noted before the two substances may be more alike than you think. Moreover, trade secrets enable companies to list any number of ingredients simply as “fragrance,” making it a black box for potentially hundreds of chemicals, which may not fit your definition of “plant-based.”

TINA.org reached out to Dove, which is owned by consumer goods giant Unilever, for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on greenwashing here.

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