At the Great Exhibition in 1851, A. & F. Pears Ltd. was awarded the medal for soap, because of the soap's unique and gentle qualities. According to the Pharmaceutical Journal website, by then, the transparent cleanser had already been in production for more than four decades. Pears Soap is now sold worldwide, but is especially popular in India. Pears contains mostly natural, hypoallergenic ingredients designed to cleanse and hydrate skin.
Pears Soap contains four humectants, including glycerin and sorbitol. Humectants are similar to moisturizers, but are able to attract and hold onto water molecules. Combined with other ingredients in Pears, like water and emollients, the soap is able to provide an abundance of hydration to the upper layers of skin.
Water is often used to dilute other ingredients to make them less effective—which, in most cases, is crucial. In Pears, water helps the humectants seal moisture into the skin. Water is one of the ingredients in soap that makes it good for sensitive skin because it's not as irritating as oil, which can be used in place of water to achieve a greater level of lubrication.
Sodium cocoate is a salt derived from coconut oil. This is a main ingredient found in most soap. Sodium cocoate acts as a detergent (called surfactant, or surface-acting substance) and removes dirt and oils from skin.
Glycerin in Pears Soap operates much like the humectants, according to the Pioneer Thinking website. It is used to absorb and trap moisture. Water plays a very important role with glycerin. If glycerin were not diluted with water, it would actually draw moisture from the skin. Water-diluted glycerin allows the soap to lock moisture into the skin.
Natural rosin is an extract from the pine tree. It is used in Pears Soap for coloring. It also has a fresh fragrance, often used in aromatherapy for its energizing properties.
Rosemary has many functions in soaps. It can be used as an astringent, which is used to cleanse and remove oils. It is also used as a fragrance and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.