Saturday, March 07, 2009
Have you seen the Dove beauty bar commercial? Not the real beauty campaign. That’s actually refreshing, where they feature normal, natural, healthy body types instead of Hollywood waifs.
No, this is different. The image above, captured from their television ad, appears to be a woman under a black light or special lens of some sort that can highlight a horrible skin ailment caused by soap. But the caption says it’s actually an artistic dramatization. Of what? Cooties? No, it's "soap scum" left by ordinary soap, while Dove leaves nothing.
So you just painted it on to illustrate? Wow. I guess I could just use Photoshop demonstrating my new miracle tanning product and just pop up an "artistic dramatization...results may vary" caption and I'm golden.
Seriously, if you can only demonstrate this through art and not an actual picture, you’re kind of full of crap and really leaning towards false advertising.
I was intrigued, and of course skeptical, so I spent some time on their web site reviewing the science. You can too: Video Gallery
You can see a lovely demonstration of the science behind soap scum with Dr. Christine Lee, who introduces herself as a PhD chemist who works in product development for the Dove brand. So it’s not independent research, but at least they’re up front about it.
The scientific demonstration: soapy Dove is smeared on a mirror and soapy soap is smeared on another mirror. Then each is spritzed with ordinary tap water from a spray bottle, and the soap leaves more "residue" then Dove.
So if I shower and don’t use my hands to wipe off the lather, I may be left with more residue than if I use Dove.
Dr. Lee even describes soap scum as the combination of soap materials from a “normal” cleansing bar with the calcium ions found in hard water.
So was that normal tap water hard? They didn't say.
I looked up hard water on wikipedia. Hard water doesn’t produce lather when used with soap but can produce white precipitate (scum). So it’s not a total BS claim, but it is "stretchy."
If you have hard water problems, perhaps Dove will do you well. I have no hard water problems, or issues with any of my soaps. I actually use Lever 2000 for all my 2000 body parts, made by Lever Brothers, the same company that makes Dove. I’ve also used Caress, also made by Lever Brothers. They also make Lifebuoy. So how could they in good conscience produce these other products that leave a disgusting film? Probably because the whole campaign really is BS.
I’ve used Dove and it’s quite nice, except I’ve found it dissolves down to nothing much quicker than regular soap. Perhaps Lifebuoy can use that in their campaign.
Me? I’m cheap. I’ll risk the scum.