Top 10 Irritant and SLS free shampoos for eczema skin – an update

At the beginning of this year I started my search for the perfect shampoo for my eczema scalp and sensitive skin. It seemed that this was no easy task. Read “10 shampoos for dry scalps, sensitive skin and eczema” here and you’ll discover that buying products recommended for eczema skin doesn’t always mean that it will be suitable.

Many of these, recommended in health food shops and found in supermarkets and pharmacies turned out to be anything but soothing, caring, gentle and healing for my scalp. From my last research the best shampoos were BareFoot SOS and Green People. Both products were natural and didn’t irritate my scalp. I still use both of these and alternate depending on my mood. So fickle… and at the moment, not loyal at all. I change shampoo like I change my underwear but I will hone in on a few firm favourites by the end.

With the help of my friends at Skins Matter and the FreeFrom SkinCare Awards team I have narrowed down my search to some truly lovely products. Special thanks to Sarah at SugarPuffish who knows a lot about shampoo!

The FreeFrom Skincare Awards did not award a winner to the hair care category this year however so I didn’t find any new shampoos. Perhaps some of the products below will enter next year. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

This blog shares a collection of shampoos that leave my scalp feeling refreshed and normal, not tight, itchy and sore. Some are recommendations from readers that I have not tried but which sound worth a go if they take your fancy. These shampoos may not be found in your local chemist but with a bit of internet searching you can find them.

  1. Organic babies shampoo and shower gel
  2. Organic Babies body wash and shampoo  by Green People

    Organic Babies body wash and shampoo by Green People


    Organic Babies body wash and shampoo is definitely one of my favourites so far. I love the small bottle and the fact it’s a shampoo and a shower gel. It fits nicely into my wash bag for when I’m traveling and means I only need to take one bottle instead of two. I am a big fan of Green People skincare products.

    Organic Babies Scent Free Baby Wash is made without SLS, parabens, lanolin, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants to bring you the purest wash that nature can offer.

    Ingredients: AQUA (SPRING WATER), SODIUM COCO-SULFATE (FROM COCONUT), COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (DERIVED FROM COCONUT), DECYL GLUCOSIDE (DERIVED FROM CORN), CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (CHAMOMILE) FLOWER EXTRACT*, LEVULINIC ACID (PLANT DERIVED), ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF JUICE POWDER*, YUCCA SCHIDIGERA (YUCCA) STEM EXTRACT, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID. *83.0% ORGANIC

  3. Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo
  4. Natural Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo

    Natural Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo


    Odylique Gentle Herb shampoo is very gentle on the scalp and didn’t leave my scalp feeling at all tight or dry. My skin doesn’t itch after washing with this and it also has a lovely mild smell and my hair feels very clean and shiny after washing.

    Actives ingredients: Strengthening horsetail, Conditioning coconut oil, Soothing chamomile, Biodynamic nettle for scalp health, Shine-promoting rosemary and Moisture-locking aloe vera juice.

    Is is also 100% natural, 70% organic and Free from wheat, dairy, soy, common allergen nut oils and is suitable for vegans

    It also won the SkinsMatter FreeFrom SkinCare Awards for best shampoo in 2014 so definitely worth a try.

  5. De Bronner’s castille soap
  6. Dr Bronner's Castille soap

    Dr Bronner’s Castille soap


    This is a recommendation from a reader and I’ve yet to try this one out but I love the concept. Simply shampoo with your favorite Dr. Bronner’s soap. True soaps clean hair well but can leave a tangly look & feel. Dr Bronners recommend you then rinse hair one of their conditioning rinse products. This should leave hair looking great and tangle free. Just stir 1- 2 capfuls of this rinse into a cup of water, close eyes and slowly pour while massaging into hair. Keep hand combing hair until hair feels entirely sleek (~30 seconds). Rinse out well. Repeat if necessary in extra hard water conditions or with longer hair.

    They have natural castille soaps so check out their website and see which you prefer. Go to the Baby and Sensitive section for the simple soap product.

    Ingredients: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.

  7. Moo Goo Milk shampoo
  8. Moo Goo milk shampoo

    Moo Goo milk shampoo


    This was first made for a family member who had a scalp so itchy they went to bed with olive oil and cling wrap around their head. It took 6 months of trialling until we banished the cling wrap to the kitchen for good.
    Our Scalp Friendly Milk Shampoo has now become one of our best selling products. Read our ‘We got mail” page to see how much it has helped people with scalp problems. We use natural ingredients combined with ingredients to control the micro-flora of the scalp that can cause scalp problems for many adults and children. Fragrance Free. pH BAlanced. Natural Cleansers. Bottle size is 500ml.
    http://moogoo.com.au/milk-shampoo.html/?SID=78bd30b106d26f3dcabee526cb846122

    Ingredients: Aqua, Decyl Glucoside (Glucose Derived Cleanser), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Derived Cleanser), Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate (Coconut Derived Cleanser), Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (Coconut Derived Cleanser), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Canola Derived De-Tangler), Lauryl Glucoside (Glucose Derived Cleanser), Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Based Emulsifying Wax), Glyceryl Oleate (Natural Ester), Coco Glucoside (Glucose Derived Cleanser), Piroctone Olamine, Allantoin, Hydrolysed Milk Protein, Fragrant Oil (Phthalate free).

    Nb: Not suitable for anyone with a dairy allergy

  9. Green People sensitive skin shampoo
  10. Green People sensitive skin shampoo

    Green People sensitive skin shampoo

    I love Green People sensitive skin shampoo and am currently using the sensitive skin shower gel too. Both are gentle on my skin and don’t irritate me at all.

    Green People Neutral/Scent Free Shampoo is made without SLS/SLES, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), parabens, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, artificial colourants and artificial fragrances to bring you the purest shampoo that nature can offer.

    Ingredients: AQUA (SPRING WATER), SODIUM COCO-SULFATE (FROM COCONUT), COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (DERIVED FROM COCONUT), DECYL GLUCOSIDE (DERIVED FROM CORN), ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF JUICE POWDER*, CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) LEAF EXTRACT*, ANANAS SATIVUS (PINEAPPLE) FRUIT EXTRACT, YUCCA SCHIDIGERA (YUCCA) STEM EXTRACT, MARIS SAL (SEA SALT), CITRIC ACID, BENZYL ALCOHOL, SORBIC ACID, SALICYLIC ACID, GLYCERIN. *83.3% ORGANIC

    Green people also do an Irritated scalp shampoo. I haven’t tried this one but I’m sure it’s as good as the sensitive scalp one. This is one of my favourite brands. All their products seem to suit my skin.

  11. Pure Earth Hair Wash
  12. Clay based natural hair care

    Clay based natural hair care

    Thanks Heath for this recommendation for Pure Earth Hair Wash.

    This is what they say:

    Our Pure Earth Hair Wash is simple, pure and effective. How, exactly, does our Hair Wash work? Our Pure Earth Hair Wash cleans ever-so-gently by absorbing excess dirt and oil and never strips your hair. It is a super-natural clay-based cleanser, created by Mother Earth herself, that our small team of artisan crafters humbly blends with certified organic soothing, hydrating aloe vera juice, certified organic nourishing herbals and organic essential oils. Sweet!

    Ingredients: Organic aloe vera juice (from concentrate)°, bentonite clay, organic extracts° of organic linden flower°, organic nettle°, organic chamomile° and organic shavegrass°.

    I haven’t tried this product yet myself but it’s on my list of shampoos or source one day because the ingredients sound so simple and clean. Having also tried out rhassoul clay to wash my hair I know clay is a really gentle cleanser.

  13. Dr Essence
  14. Thanks to one reader Mary for recommending Desert Essence shampoo. She finds the coconut shampoo the best but not so much the conditioner. I haven’t tried this one yet but thanks Mary for the suggestion

    Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract *, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract*, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract *, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract*, Sambucus Nigra (Black Elderberry) Flower Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract *, Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Coconut Derived), Decyl Glucoside (Coconut and Corn Derived), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut Derived), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil *, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides (Coconut Derived), Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate (Fruit Derived), Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Citric Acid, Stearyl Citrate (Vegetable Derived), Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum) *Certified Organic – See more at: https://www.desertessence.com/store/coconut-shampoo#ingredients

  15. A’Kin Unscented natural shampoo
  16. A'Kin Natural Unscented shampoo

    A’Kin Natural Unscented shampoo


    A’kin Unscented Shampoo is a pH neutral & hypo-allergenic formula in a moisturising base especially created for people with sensitivities. Pure and non-fragranced it combines the gentlest and purest botanical cleansers to ensure your hair and scalp will be soothed and refreshed. Also available in 500ml pump pack. WINNER Best Eczema Range, Natural Health & Beauty Awards 2010 WINNER Best New Non Food Product, Natural Product Tradeshow 2006.

    Itchy scalp and dandruff can be caused by ingredients common in some shampoo and conditioner. If you suffer with itchy scalp or dandruff it is well worth trying a product like this, if you see an improvement it points to your condition being caused by a sensitivity to the ingredients in your old shampoo and conditioner. If you see no improvement then a therapeutic shampoo and conditioner should be tried instead – we suggest the Barefoot Botanicals SOS shampoo and conditioner.

    Ingredients: Aqua (water), sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, lauryl glucoside, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, sodium chloride, glycerin, glyceryl laurate, sorbitol, sucrose cocoate, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium gluconate, sodium hydroxy methylglycinate, tetrasodium EDTA.

    All shampoo sold at mypure.co.uk is free from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) & Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES).

  17. Lavea green clay shampoo
  18. Lavea Green Clay purifying shampoo

    Lavea Green Clay purifying shampoo


    Lovea Bio Purifying Shampoo enriched with absorbent Green Clay, deeply cleanses and restores balance to the scalp. Light, purified and easy to style, your hair is restored to its natural softness.

    All shampoo sold at mypure.co.uk is free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) & ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES).

    Ingredients: All shampoo sold at mypure.co.uk is free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) & ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES). For more information on the different types of sulfates and the sulfates which are safe to use in organic shampoo please click here

    AQUA (WATER), AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, BENTONITE, ILLITE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE POWDER*, THYMUS VULGARIS EXTRACT*, VITIS VINIFERA LEAF EXTRACT*, COMMIPHORA MYRRHA RESIN EXTRACT, LAMIUM ALBUM FLOWER EXTRACT*, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, SODIUM USNATE, DEHYDROACETIC ACID, BENZYL ALCOHOL, SODIUM CHLORIDE.

    * Ingredients from Organic Farming 98.9% of total ingredients are natural

    I haven’t tried this one either but the ingredients look quite good. Worth noting it does contain wheat protein and perfume/fragrance.

  19. Madara Eco Baby mild baby shampoo
  20. Madara Eco Baby mild shampoo

    Madara Eco Baby mild shampoo


    Madara Eco Baby Mild Baby Shampoo is a gentle and soothing shampoo for delicate baby hair and scalp. Mild to eyes. Leaves hair soft and easy to comb.

    Ingredients: Aqua Sodium, Coco Sulfate, Rosa Damascena, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Cocamphoacetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Citric Acid, Avena Sativa, Tillia Cordata, Sodium Chloride, Aroma, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene

    Again, not tried this one either but it sounds good.

Other brands you might like to look at include Jason, Faith in Nature and Skin Blossom.

You’ll find many of the shampoos featured above on the So Organic website, a one stop show for people living an organic life.

Have I missed any?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Hi Ruth,
    I simply use a saponified organic coconut oil and water bar soap. I wash my hair and body with it. For the driest areas of my skin, I use a saponified organic olive oil and water bar soap. These two soaps have two ingredients each.

    I keep a bar of a shampoo soap by my kitchen sink for washing my hands. I’ve got oily hair so I don’t need the shampoo bar’s extra oils.

    I get all my products from Soap For Goodness Sake dot com. The soaps I use have less than five ingredients.

  2. Also have a problem with coconut makes my scalp itch, all of the above have it bar one. Just bought a QV nourishing shampoo & conditioner from the chemist used it for the second time today my scalp feels better already

    • Thanks Maree, I just checked out that QV shampoo. For those reading comments here the ingredients are: Aqua (water), TEA-lauryl sulphate, Glycerin, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Glycol Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, Glycolic Acid, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA. I don’t know what some of these ingredients are but it does contain parabens which are not great. I’m glad it is helping your scalp but perhaps try the Pure Earth Hair wash listed above which has much better ingredients. Also I think A’kin one doesn’t have coconut… or is anything that says coco that you have a problem with? There are some coco somethings in the A’kin one. Skin Blossom which I didn’t feature here might also be free from coconut and is quite cheap, and I’ve seen it in chemists and supermarkets so look out for it. I have some to test so might blog about it soon if it’s good. I lost the will to live and just had to share this one before it turned into top 20 shampoos and took me 10 years to write ;o)

      • Thanks Ruth I will try the Pure Earth Hair Wash. After doing more research I found QV does have coconut in it.
        These ingredients, commonly found in soaps and shampoos, come from coconut in some way, shape, or form:
        1,2 Octanediol
        2 Phenoxyethanol
        Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate
        Capryl Glycol
        Caprylic Acid
        Caprylic Glycol
        Caprylic/Capric
        Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides
        Caprylyl Glycol
        Ceteareth-20
        Cetearyl Alcohol
        Cetearyl Glucoside
        Ceteth-20 Phosphate
        Cetyl Alcohol
        Cetyl Esters
        Cocamide MEA
        Cocamidopropyl Betaine
        Cococaprylate/Caprate
        Coco Glucoside
        Cocomide DEA
        Coconut diethanolamide (CDFA)
        Cocos nucifera (another name for coconut oil)
        Coconut Oil
        Decyl Glucoside
        Disodium Cocamphodiprop
        Disodium cocoamphodiacetate
        Emusifying Wax
        Glyceryl Caprylate
        Glyceryl cocoate
        Hexyl Laurate
        Isopropyl Myristate
        Laureth-3
        Lauric Acid
        Lauryl Glucoside
        Lauryl Alcohol
        Lauramide DEA
        Myristic Acid
        Olefin Sulfonate
        Organic Sodium Cocoate
        PEG – 7 Glyceryl Cocoate
        PEG -100
        PEG – 100 Stearate
        Phenoxyethanol
        Polysorbate 20
        Sodium Cocoate
        Sodium Coco-Sulfate
        Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
        Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
        Sucrose Stearate
        Sodium Lauroamphoacetate
        Sodium Laureth Sulfate
        Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinat
        Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
        Sodium Stearate
        Sorbitan Stearate
        Stearyl Alcohol
        Stearalkonium chloride
        Sucrose Cocoate
        TEA-Laureth Sulfate
        Vegetable Cetearyl Glucose
        Vegetable Glycerine

        • WOWZERS that is some list! I am on a mission now to find coconut free washing stuff. Watch this space.

          • It sure is, no wonder I couldn’t find a shampoo. I thought it might be helpful for those with a coconut allergy. Just ordered Pure Earth Hair Wash online, I will let you know what it’s like.

  3. Hi Ruth

    Thanks for the article – I have very dry skin and a dry, sometimes itchy scalp and after an article you did over a year ago, switched to Barefoot SOS shampoo, face and body wash and the face cream. When I use the products consistently I do not have any problems.

    Chris

    • Hi Chris, I’m so glad you find their products helpful. I love them too, but have turned into a bit of a swapper and a changer, partly so I can try out some of these new shampoos I’m finding I guess but that brand is good. I’m using Skin Blossom at the moment which seems to be quite good

Trackbacks

  1. […] And when you’ve read the label and wondered where on earth to start when replacing your shampoo with something more kind to your scalp, read my run down on some chemical free shampoos. […]

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