Dona bath foam - bath and shower gel by System JO - review by K101

Dona bath foam

Bath and shower gel by System JO

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Partially natural, no aphrodisiac effects, but damnit, I'm clean!

I love a good, thick shower gel that really gets me clean. Make it all-natural and you bet your sweet behind I'll pay $10 for it. Unfortunately, I find the bath foam to be little more than your average shower gel. If you're looking for a luxury bath, look elsewhere. Most importantly, don't expect to get what you pay for. If you can handle shelling out more than it's worth and not ending up horny, you won't be unhappy with this.
Doesn't smell yucky.
Not 100% natural.
No aphrodisiac effects.
Too pricey for what you get.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review


Bath products can be used by anybody, any gender as long as you aren't allergic/sensitive to the ingredients or scent. Dona's Mangosteen Bath Foam is a simple soap that can be used in the shower by male or female. The bath foam can be used as a shower gel or for a bubble bath.

Purified Water (Aqua), Sodium C 14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) berry, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí) Fruit, Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Pericarp Extracts, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazone, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

A little about the ingredients:

Notice that this contains glycerin, which is known to cause yeast infection and/or UTI's in some women. Also, see the ingredient "fragrance," which can really be anything. If you're sensitive to this type of ingredients, stay away from the Bath Foam. Another important note: Do not use this bath foam in children's baths! Fragrance, as well as glycerin is highly irritating to a child's skin as theirs is more sensitive than an adults.

-Sodium C-14-16 Olefin Sulfonate can be derived from petroleum or coconut oil. It's a surfectant.

-Sodium Cocoamphoacetate is also made from coconut oil, the fatty acids of coconut oil to be exact. It too is a surfectant.
I'm a coconut oil fanatic. I eat it, moisturize with it and more. It's great for the skin, but I don't think there's enough of those ingredients listed above to really make an impact. It is at least natural and safe though.

-Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is similar to Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It's a synthetic detergent.

-Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a chemical, according to my research. It is from coconut oil and said to be fairly safe--unless you've got a skin condition in which case this ingredient can cause irritation such as burning--but also still a chemical. The manufacturer claims this soap is "all natural."

-Noni Fruit could be effective in fighting signs of aging and same goes for acai.

-Punica Granatum (pomegranate) is another antioxidant rich fruit, which may help fight signs of aging as well as repair damaged skin.

-Green Tea leaf is also high in antioxidants. Studies have shown that using green tea topically can reduce damage caused by the sun. While green tea may not correct wrinkles, it's possible that it can slow signs of aging.

-Mangosteen extract is said to fight free radicals caused by toxins. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

-Propanediol is natural and causes the product to take on a gel form.

-Xanthan gum and Guar gum are both natural thickeners. Xanthum gum is usually derived from corn and Guar gum extracted from the guar bean.

-Methylchloroisothiazolinone: these lengthy, scary looking words are listed nearly last on the ingredient list and for good reason. They're harmful. This is where I get to the part that upsets me. A manufacturer can label their product as natural, even if it is not close to natural. While this bath foam has some lovely ingredients, they also failed to mention that they decided to throw in some chemicals as well. Chemicals that in fact, are not natural as the product claims. Perhaps they had a change of heart *after* putting "natural" on the label? Either way, Methychloroisothiazolinone is a preservative and strong allergen. In order for System JO to proudly label their product "paraben free," they had to throw in a chemical. This ingredient is an alternative to parabens. Not much of a trade to me. This ingredient rates the SAME score(6) that parabens do! So really, parabens were switched out for the same level of harmful ingredient. Some parabens even rate a score of 5 and yet this and one other ingredient in this product is a 6. This is according to The Cosmetic Database.

Also important to note: Methylchloroisothiazolinone is said to have been linked to cancer, breathing problems such as asthma and immune system neurotoxicity and toxicity. They are also linked to reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity and endocrine disruption.

-Benzyl Alcohol is naturally produced by various plants. It's unknown what plant this was taken from for the bath foam. Either way, it is a scented ingredient. The scents vary depending on what plant the Benzyl Alcohol was derived from. Usually used as an alternative to parabens.

-Methylisothiazone: same hazards as Methylchloroisothiazolinone. If you have very sensitive skin or dermatitis, you should stay away from products containing these ingredients. Studies have shown they are high irritants to those with skin conditions.

While the fruits in this body wash do have amazing properties for your skin, it's tough to know if this product contains enough of each ingredient to actually benefit, and judging by the claims the System JO makes, some of which aren't true, I have to doubt that there actually is enough to benefit your skin, if any at all. When a manufacturer claims their product is all natural and it isn't, it causes doubts in other areas as well. However, the product is still of very good quality.

Most people recommend the Dona bath products for nice, "sensual" baths before sex to put you in the mood. I have a hard time recommending that, so I'll just be honest here. To me, the bath foam is a bath foam. I highly doubt it will put you in the mood or relax you with its scent. It will, however, clean you, foam up and smell nice. Adding a palm full to your warm bath water will create bubbles, and as with most hot baths, you probably will be relaxed. Warm water relaxes your body, not soap. It is possible that certain scents have the ability to relax you, such as with lavendar extract, but Dona's Bath Foam does not have properties like that as far as I know. If you're looking for a bath product that induces relaxation, check ingredient lists for things such as lavendar extract. Otherwise, expect a nice bubble bath that cleanses your skin when considering the Dona Bath Foam. That's not to say the bubbles, scent and lather of this soap isn't nice. It is, but for the price and empty claims, I'm not going to rave about it.

It's hard to write a neutral review so please bear with me. I'll explain in as much detail as possible.

Texture / Consistency / Thickness / Viscosity

The closest thing I can compare the texture of this to is Mistral Soap's bath gel and Dawn dish detergent. It's really thick, which was something I was pleased about. The thicker the gel, the more lather and bubbles. Also, when it's thick like this, you tend to need smaller amounts to create enough lather and bubbles. I would describe this as thick, gel-like soap. It's sticky heavy rather than light and airy. This is what makes a good bubble bath, in my opinion. However, I can't say it beats the old Avon bubble bath I used to use as a kid. It's thicker and stickier than your average drugstore bubble baths, but comparing it to Avon's popular bubble bath, you get less bubbles. Not that that's a huge deal, but noteworthy.

I like a lot of bubbles so I use a palm full of the soap. Doing so makes a lot of bubbles, but not so much that they'll stand taller than the water in the bath.

The thickness doesn't make pouring any harder. I don't have to squeeze the bottle, it comes out just fine. It pours straight from the bottle. It can be done with one hand.

In the photo, you can see it being poured from the bottle. It's stringy. With a blob in my hand, I can press both hands together and it sticks and strings when I pull them apart. If I squirt a blob onto my hand, it'll stay rather than slipping right off like water.

The gel is clear with a yellow tint to it.

There's nothing greasy about the Bath Foam. No matter how much you use, the bath foam won't leave your tub grimey or greasy. There isn't any noticeable residue left on my skin after using.

Taste / Aroma

The scent of this bath foam is very similar to a dish detergent. When it's in my bath, I'm able to smell it, but it's really light. It doesn't smell very fruity to me. I find it hard to point out any one note of fragrance within it, only dish detergent comes to mind. I know that's vague, but I absolutely smell nothing, but "soapy."

As you may have come to learn, Dona by JO is infused with mangosteen rather than being mangosteen scented. The name of each bath product is the "aphrodisiac" that it's infused with, not the scent. Although this has been mentioned many times, it never fails to confuse me when choosing a scent. Most of us will be more concerned about what scent we're buying rather than what "aphrodisiac" it's infused with. I think they should have made this easier by either listing it as the scent or also listing something like "Mangosteen infused, pomegranate scented." Maybe that's just me though. I couldn't find any information on what scent this was on the bottle or online! Maybe I missed something, but I ended up having to ask. Apparently, the Mangosteen Bath Foam is pomegranate scented. I remember ordering it and when asked what scent, I clicked pomegranate, but I also ordered other scents as well. I couldn't remember which was which!

The strength of this mysterious scent is minimal. I'm sensitive to strong scented products and am migraine prone. This scent doesn't bother me in the least and neither did the other DONA products I've used. They all smell extremely synthetic, but light and plain soapy so it doesn't irritate me. After bathing with a tub full of the bubbles, I am able to smell it linger in the bathroom, but it quickly fades. My skin is left with virtually no smell afterward. If I smell my arms soon after bathing, I can get the smell of soap. It smells just like most leftover soap scents. After a few minutes, it's not even detectable. This may be a pro or a con for different people. Since the scent smells like dish detergent, I wasn't bothered that it did not linger on my skin!


The bath foam is a great cleanser since it lathers so well and leaves behind no residue. Most of the qualities this bath foam has didn't impress me, including the scent. That's not to say I'm unhappy with the performance or scent, but I'm more indifferent about it. It's fine. Nothing special. Just a shower gel. It rinses away just like any shower gel does. Use water and it's gone. The thickness and nice lather make me happy, but it's not something I'm able to get excited about, not for the price.

I feel that shower gels clean better than bar soaps, but I often use 100% natural bar soap when showering. When I say 100% natural, I mean the product is actually 100% natural, it doesn't just claim to be. However, I do prefer shower gel over bar soap. With gel, there's less chance of leaving a "film" or residue behind like non-natural bar soaps do. The bath foam leaves me feeling truly clean, but so does a lot of natural shower gels.

It seems that some of the soap absorbs into my skin, but only a very small amount if any. I noticed my legs feeling smoother when I used it to shave with. It doesn't leave me moisturized or help with my dry skin. That's really the thing that gets me about the bath foam, it doesn't do anything that your average dollar store shower gel won't do. I just can't be 100% satisfied with this for the price I paid for it. Had this actually been truly natural, moisturizing or have some kind of benefit that justifies the price, I would have felt differently. When you're paying higher for a product, you expect it to exceed your cheaper options. I keep getting disappointed with the DONA line because they don't. They're simply overpriced products with empty claims, such as the natural claim. It's mostly natural, but it is not natural. "Aphrodisiac" is another thing it claims to contain, when you see that there is nothing in this that could be considered an aprhodisiac. I pay near the same price ($10) for a fully natural body wash that contains firming and anti-aging ingredients. They also have proof to back their claims up, so this bath foam doesn't live up to my closely priced others.


The 9.5 oz bottle of bath foam comes wrapped in a plastic baggy, and with a safety seal over the container opening. That's nice and something that I do appreciate. The bottle is red with the lacey detail on it that you've come to know with the DONA line. It may be brighter colored than your other shower products, but it'll fit in just fine. The label says "DONA," "Mangosteen," and the word "aphrodisiac." Unless someone seeing the word "aphrodisiac" would embarrass you, the bottle is perfectly discreet.

There was no instructions or extras included with the bottle. I wouldn't deem this suitable for travel since it is large and could easily leak. If you must though, you can collect small containers to transfer the gel into--that way if it does spill out, you won't have 9.5 oz running around in your bag! In my photo, you can see the tiny container I was transferring the soap into. Use something like that and put it in a Zip-Loc bag to ensure it won't ruin your other belongings. If you're still worried about it, don't travel with it.

Looks-wise, this would make a nice gift. That's actually what I bought the DONA products for. I bought the bath foams and 2 others both for me and as a gift to my mother. If the high price, no aphrodisiac effect and not natural parts don't bother you, then you will be happy with this. Heck, I'd have been pretty excited about it had those few things not been true. I still enjoy it as a soap, but am somewhat reluctant to squirt it into my bath when the all-natural wash is staring me in the face.
    • Would make a nice gift

Special Features

"Every DONA product is created with natural and naturally derived ingredients such as ginseng, Dead Sea salts, hemp seed and beeswax that are all obtained from renewable resources, making them eco-friendly and biodegradable."


“...We’ve made sure to price each DONA product so that consumers really can purchase and experience the full ritual," said Ashley Sandau, of System JO Dona consumer affairs. I however, feel that the Dona line was created with the hype of the "aphrodisiac" in mind, and most definitely not fairly priced. I think the price plays a big role in my objectivity towards the line. Had they been priced a bit lower, I think I would feel better about spending the money on them. It's simply your average dish detergent, nothing else. It's not realistic that the average mom or college student is going to spend the somewhat high price, plus shipping on this when they need soap. It's not luxurious and therefore, in my opinion, should not be priced as such. The aphrodisiac claim is kind of a ploy to make the price seem more reasonable when in reality, there's nothing about this that will create an aphrodisiac effect.
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  • MissCandyland
    Great, thorough review! Thanks Kendra!
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