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Olay vs Dove (The Definitive Guide)

We're positive you've heard of Olay and Dove before. But which is best? And which brand should you choose?

Come with us as we compare their best-sellers side-by-side to help you decide which is best for you and your skincare routine.

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Olay Sensitive Moisture Body Wash vs Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

For those with sensitive skin, finding body washes that won’t upset your dermis can be such a shot in the dark. Even when a soap is unscented, it might still have other ingredients that cause irritation. Or, if it uses natural fragrances, there might be harsh chemicals that can cause (or worsen) rashes, hives, dryness, or make your skin break out. Yeesh.

Allow us to help you take the guesswork out of your search, highlighting the Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash and Beauty Bar as well as the Olay Sensitive Moisture Body Wash and Beauty Bar. Whether you fancy yourself a body wash or bar soap type, let’s see which brand is best for you.

Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic formulas lend to the intended effectiveness of Dove’s body wash and beauty bar. Made with their sulfate- and paraben-free Microbiome Nutrient Serum (which is a blend of prebiotics), glycerin, and soybean oil, the body wash nourishes while strengthening skin’s natural moisture barrier. The beauty bar, on the other hand, highlights its ¼ moisturizing cream formulation as making it suitable for daily use on your face, body, and hands.

Olay’s Vitamin B3 Complex (AKA niacinamide) is the superstar ingredient in their body wash, which hydrates skin and locks in that moisture. Glycerin takes center stage as the beauty bar’s nourishing agent, which helps the skin to retain moisture and gives it a more plump, youthful appearance.

After personally testing both body washes, I found that the results far exceeded their budget price tags. With Dove's body wash, the immediate effect was its gentleness. It had a noticeably soft feel, which was particularly soothing for my typically splotchy & red post-shower sensitive skin. On the other hand, Olay’s body wash offered a luxurious lathering experience that made my skin feel pampered. The difference in hydration was palpable, especially in areas prone to dryness such as my shoulders.

Dove is certified cruelty-free by none other than PETA—but they aren’t vegan. Additionally, their body wash has a 98% biodegradable formula and are packaged in 100% recyclable packaging. Moreover, their initiative to use 100% recycled plastic bottles began in 2020, and they intentionally made the beauty bar’s packaging completely plastic-free. Cleansers aside, they’re also experimenting with new refillable deodorant in an effort to continue reducing their plastic use.

Olay does not appear to be cruelty-free or 100% vegan. Evidently, they allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law (including when selling in stores in mainland China). Their parent company, Procter & Gamble, also does not explicitly claim to be cruelty-free. However, Olay claims to support the Humane Society’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign to ban animal testing by 2023. Moreover, their philanthropic efforts are quite impressive. They’ve committed $5 million to #TakeOnRace, which supports organizations fighting systemic bias and inequality.

Their stances on clean beauty are obviously a deciding factor, but what ultimately sets these products apart for me are their subtle yet impactful experiences – Dove with its all-around gentleness, and Olay with its luxurious feel.

This article was originally published on December 14th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 21st 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.

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