The range of shampoos manufactured by Dove contain everything from sodium laureth sulfate to DMDM Hydantoin and the mysterious-sounding Ppg-9 . Some of the shampoo's ingredients are intended to have a direct effect on your hair. Inactive or inert ingredients are included to stabilize or preserve the shampoo, or to change the appearance of the shampoo.
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Glycol distearate is added to Dove shampoos in order to give it a pearly visual effect. Glycol distearate does not affect the functioning of the shampoo; it only alters how the liquid looks. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel assessed glycol distearate in 2001, and declared it to be safe as a cosmetic ingredient at the concentration levels presently used by Dove shampoo.
Dove shampoo contains citric acid as a preservative. A preservative keeps the shampoo fresh and protects the liquid from mold or fungal growth. Citric acid is used as a preservative in both toiletries and food products, and is generally recognized as safe by the United States Food & Drug Administration. DMDM hydantoin, also known as Glydant, is also present in Dove shampoos as a preservative.
Sodium Hydroxide is present in Dove shampoos to balance the pH of the liquid so that the shampoo is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. The FDA includes sodium hydroxide on the list of substances classified as Generally Recognized as Safe in food or cosmetics.
Dove shampoo contains TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate, which functions as a surfactant. Surfactants work to lower the surface tension of the water used while bathing, and this allows for easier spreading and lathering of the shampoo. The TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate in Dove shampoo improves the ability of water to mix with dirt and oil in the hair, thereby improving the cleaning action of the shampoo. The CIR Expert Panel found TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate to be safe for cosmetic use in currently-practiced concentrations.
Dove shampoos list parfum as one of the lesser ingredients; ingredients in shampoos must be listed on the label in order from greatest to smallest concentration. Parfum the French word for perfume, and shampoo manufacturers are not obligated to disclose exactly what substance is used. Parfum does not affect the cleansing action of the shampoo, but provides a pleasant scent for the user which is often associated with cleanliness. Fragrance or parfum ingredients in cosmetics must meet the safety requirements of the International Fragrance Association.