Pears Soap - Going down the Plughole?

The above illustration for Pears soap seems quite apt for this post if I am honest with you. 

I have loved Pears 200 year old soap for many years - I even remember using it at my grandparent's house when I was little.  
It was perfect for anyone with sensitive skin or wanted something simple, being Hypoallergenic and Non -Comedogenic. It also contained only 8 ingredients and was Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free, which is why I used it. Religiously. 

That was until they went and change it, that is! 
Yes, for some stupid reason the company behind the 200 year old soap decided to dramatically change the formula going from only 8 ingredients to a huge 24 ingredients. 

Resulting it in being not Hypoallergenic or Non-Comedogenic and being re-labelled as 'Gentle Care' and we all know that 'Gentle' doesn't always have to mean gentle.

Here is a little look at the original and new ingredients -

The original listed ingredients are: Sodium Palmitate, Natural Rosin, Glycerine, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Rosemary Extract, Thyme Extract, Pears Fragrance Essence. 

The listed ingredients of the new soap are: Sorbitol, Aqua, Sodium Palmate/stearate, Sodium Palmkernelate, Sodium Rosinate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PEG-4, Alcohol, Glycerin, Perfume, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Meta Bisulfite, Etidronic acid, Tetra Sodium EDTA, BHT, Cl 12490, Cl 47005, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

As for the bar itself, it is now cellophane wrapped inside the box. The lovely mild spice smell has been replaced for a strong chemical/frankincense scent. It also has a new waxy feel too it. 

It also lasts half the time that the original soap use too, I know this as I have been using the new formula for afew weeks now just thinking that they had just changed the scent. Until I started to develop them little bumps again on the backs of my arms, which is why I looked at the box and was surprised to see that it now contains SLS, which I was trying to avoid! 

But you see that is the thing...Pears are still claiming to include them all important quality skincare ingredients that are no more and that it's perfect for delicate skin as it's so gentle! 

Anyways, due to so many complaints about the new formulation Pears released a statement stating that a new formula was going to be released by March 2010 that was more similar to the original formula...however they haven't and it was recently made clear that they are just working on a better scent! So the new chemicals will be sadly staying. 

This really is a shame for such an old brand that has being going so long because of the unique and simple formula.
It has now been made into just another bar of soap.



  1. man that sucks!!!!! I hate to see things like this. My guess is its the bottom line that made them change to this chemical cocktail. I have noticed a lot of food companies have also been changing their ingredients to include sucralose (generic for splenda)to their foods. That is also a big disappointment!

  2. ooh, that IS a shame! i mean, just reading the ingredients for the new formula makes my head hurt! EDTA? CL12490? what does that even mean? i'm not sure i want that on my skin!


  3. a formula that is great for 200 years, and at the time where everyone is starting to use natural products, they change it to chemicals. logical!

  4. Ugh, the best part? Use it long enough, and all the colour seeps out of the bar -- no joke! Mine's just a soppy old mess of gooey off-white-ness now.

    I want our Pears back! :(

  5. @Rae - Really! oh thats not good...well I was actually looking at the ingredients and both Cl 12490 and Cl 47005 are colourants...the first is a cosmetic red pigment and the other is a Yellow food dye! Both weren't in the orginal soap either.

    So makes sense...still terrible though!

    Fee x

  6. This is really interesting...I too use Pears, but mostly because I belived it still contained the traditional 'mimimal' formula and not all the harsh additives many of its modern counterparts have succomed to. Especially the colourants! Thanks for shedding the light on this Fee!

    Sam x

  7. My uncle used to swear by this soap but hates the new formula.

  8. Just a 'me too'. Opened the first 'new' bar yesterday (since I had a stock of the old one) and was ... surprised by the smell. Didn't feel like the old version. It used to be special but now it's merely another soap - that smells like a household cleaning spray.

  9. Having used this for near on 50 years I was mortified when I opened a recently purchased Pears soap, having used up my stock pile and knowing nothing of the formula change. The soap smells, feels and reacts differently plus it obviously isn't aged the same way as it just melts away... as will many of the customers who knew the original

  10. That's a shame. You should try Dr Bronner's instead. You can read my review here

  11. I just bought a bar and am horrified to see the list of ingredients on the box . I cant even see the words Rosemary or Thyme .It is just a bar of chemicals with long names ! Please bring back the old simple and much loved recipe !

  12. I just bought a bar and am horrified to see the list of ingredients on the box . I cant even see the words Rosemary or Thyme .It is just a bar of chemicals with long names ! Please bring back the old simple and much loved recipe !

  13. I've jus purchased pears soap made in India.its a disgrace to the pears smells disgusting looks cheap and nasty.theres only one place it deserves to go.where the 3 bars i have just put the bin its not worth the money.

  14. I've said for a long time now that this soap isn't the same as that which I used as a child. Why change something that was renowned for being so nice to use? It's perfectly obvious that this has all the hallmarks of making more money for a company, at the expense of the customer! Sorry, but I won't be buying it again.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. I'm from the U.S. When I a kid, my mom used to get Pears Soap occasionally at a specialty store near where we lived. I always loved the look, the scent and the feel of it, more than any other cleansing product. Flash forward to 2010, the store I was shopping at had a sale on Pears Soap bundles. I was so excited that I bought a few packs. That excitement turned into disappointment as I noticed that the soap smelled and felt very harsh and synthetic, and wasn't anything like the kind I grew up with. So I stopped buying it.

    It was just a few years ago that I learned about the 2009 formula change, along with all the half-assed promises Unilever made about tweaking the formula to make it seem closer to the original (which it's still not).

    Though I've come to accept the reality that Unilever will probably never bring back the original Pears formula, it's such a shame to see another once greatly admired product (and it's reputation) get destroyed by it's parent company for the sake of profits...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


I love to hear what you think and do read all comments.
If you want to ask a question make sure to check back after afew days for a reply.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig