Until further notice, I must withdraw my recommendation for Dove bar products. (I have never recommended the liquid products.)
For general use, and especially for “the washing test” on the solveeczema.org web site, I no longer recommend using Dove or any bar products with the same surfactant formula as Dove’s current unscented Sensitive Skin product, the formula of which was changed as of January 2007. See previous posts on this blog for more information.
Initially, there were several products with the same surfactant formula as the OLD unscented Dove formula with sodium cocoyl isethionate (give or take a few fragrances and colors), but they, too, seem to be changing over to the new surfactant formula with sodium lauroyl isethionate.
Here’s the problem:
I can recommend that people use any soap product, because soaps are a very narrowly defined surfactant. Thus, I can say that all soaps, provided they are relatively non-drying (and there are MANY non-drying soaps) should be fine for people with detergent-reactive eczema (also provided there are no individual ingredient allergies).
Without getting into a detailed discussion about Dove, empirically, unscented Dove, a combination of mild detergents, soaps, and fatty acids, was also fine. It was more than fine, actually, it worked especially beautifully to remove existing detergents on the skin that are a problem for people with detergent-reactive eczema.
Unfortunately, I have no such empirical information about the new formula. In fact, the majority of visits to my blog these days appear to be from people trying to figure out what happened to the old unscented Dove formula. I have received several reports of problems, though I cannot draw conclusions until I know much, much more.
The old unscented Dove product had lots and lots of empirical support, not just from those who successfully used my site, but from dermatologists’ experiences over many years. I have no idea why Dove’s maker would want to monkey with this successful product line.
Until further notice, instead of unscented Dove for the “washing test” on the solveeczema.org web site, use Cal Ben’s liquid dish glow from a foaming dispenser. (Do not use it straight as it is quite concentrated.) Rinse especially well. As always, spot test it first to determine personal sensitivity to the ingredients.