Olay vs Dove (The Definitive Guide)

By Calum Torrington

14 December 2022

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.

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Olay vs. Dove

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 sensitive skincare search. Two beauty giants that you can find at your local drug store might be just what you’re looking for. See: Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash and Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar as well as Olay Sensitive Moisture Body Wash and Sensitive Beauty Bar.

So, 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.

On Dove’s site, the body wash earned a 4.6-star rating with 1,869 reviews to back it. However, the beauty bar scored much lower with a 1.2-star rating and 21 reviews. If you’re curious, most reviewers cited an evident formula change that they claim has had a negative impact on their sensitive skin, so proceed with caution.

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. The body wash has a 4.5-star rating on Olay’s website, but the beauty bar doesn’t yet have a rating. Thus, we outsourced to Walmart, where it has 4.3 stars.

Pricewise, Target lists Dove’s body wash at $6.99 for a 22oz bottle, and the beauty bar at $10.99 for eight bars. Olay’s body wash (22oz) and beauty bar (6-pack) are both $7.99 on their site.

Given that the prices for all four items are similar enough, that’s hardly a factor here. But it is hard to ignore the Dove beauty bar’s rating and complaints. Though our minds are basically made up, we still like to know more about which brands we’re purchasing from.

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.

According to Ethical Elephant, 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 say they are 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.

While Dove’s business ethics are something we can get behind, Olay’s products appear to be more effective. So, perhaps this is an opportunity to choose an item from both brands instead of just one!

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