Dove bar soap ingredients include sodium lauroyl isethionate, stearic acid, lauric acid, sodium stearate, sodium cocate, fragrance, palm oil, water and sodium chloride. These bars also have sodium palmitate, cocamidopropyl betaine, tetrasodium EDTA, tetrasodium etidronate and titanium dioxide. As with many cosmetics, the ingredients in Dove soap bars perform diverse, but important and complementary functions, such as giving soaps shape, scent and color.
Soaps require three main ingredients to form properly, which are water, lye and oil. They use different types of oil for different effects, with the exception of petroleum-based oils. Soap oils derive from plant and animal sources, and create varying results. In commercial bath soaps, like those from Dove, palm oil is a common ingredient. Palm oil gives soap bars a hard texture and creates rich lather. Other oils used in soaps are coconut oil, olive oil and soy-based oil. These oils are all derived from plants, while other soap oils, called tallow oils, come from animals.
In addition to oil, Dove soaps contain alkali metals derived from sodium, which also create a firm texture. The sodium base gives Dove soap bars the rigid texture they need to turn into solids rather than liquids. Lastly, Dove soap bars contain fragrance, derived either from plants or essential oils.