4 Best Paraben And Sulphate Free Shampoos For Eczema 2023?


Ok before we start, pop quiz time. 

You’ve just had another flare up (the 2nd this month) - what right now matters most? 

Is it: 

a) Breathing

b) Focusing on your day job

c) Checking what the hell is inside that new skincare product you just bought and Googling every ingredient before complaining on Facebook

Yup, you guessed it! (We know you all chose c)

When it comes to eczema and skincare - it matters what we put on our skin. 

And you know what? Shampoo is no exception! 

That horrible itchy scalp that stops you from sleeping could well be a reaction from the ingredients inside your favourite big name hair washing product. 

And surprise surprise, some of the biggest culprits around are parabens and sulphates. 

You want to soothe and replenish your scalp as you wash your hair, not irritate it with harsh ingredients that could contribute to a flare up. 

In this article, you’ll find: 

1) What are parabens and sulphates?

2) Why are they considered bad?

3) 4 top picks

4) Other tips for an itchy scalp

So, what are parabens and sulphates? 

Parabens are a very much disliked group of chemicals that have been used since the 1950’s in a range of products as a preserving agent and to prevent bacteria growth. 

Sulphates are another kind of preservative, they just differ slightly from parabens in what they do. They’re a type of surfactant - basically, they are what gives your shampoo suds! 

Why are they considered bad? 

From one perspective, parabens and sulphates work to prevent the formation of bacteria and mould - loving your work you might say. 

However! Further studies have shown parabens specifically mirror the behaviour and activity of estrogen. 

Whilst you might think - but estrogen occurs naturally in the body? And you’re right! 

But too much of the stuff is where problems arise. It can trigger an increase in breast cell division and tumour growth, which has led to parabens being linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues in mice. 

However don’t jump to conclusions too quickly - there’s no hard scientific evidence that 100% proves the connection between parabens and cancer exists. 

But if you can afford to look elsewhere and make the jump to a more natural product - why not? (No smoke without fire as the saying goes).  

With sulphates - they’re actually very effective at removing dirt and oil from your scalp. The problem is, maybe too effective! 

They can also strip away essential, natural oils that your scalp needs to function healthily. And if your scalp is particularly sensitive, it can cause irritation, dryness and itching. 

Our 4 top picks

1. Aveeno Scalp Soothing Oat Milk Blend Shampoo

It’s 2022 - and oats aren’t just for your breakfast or morning latte any more - they’re for your hair now too.

A soothing, natural formula and free of all the nasty stuff, this is a cost effective solution that works well to calm the skin on the scalp and not strip it of any vital minerals. 

2. Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo

This one is for ultra-sensitive dry scalps, so if you’re really suffering this product from Odylique could be a great choice. 

Bursting with soothing organic herbs and coconut oil, it won’t leave your scalp feeling tight or irritated. 

The main active ingredients are: horsetail, coconut oil, chamomile, nettle, rosemary and aloe vera juice.

3. Green People scent-free shampoo

A great natural option for leaving the hair feeling smooth and silky and promoting a healthy scalp. 

No SLS, parabens, silicone or gluten - this is a great all round product that we’ve personally used and would strongly recommend.

4. Avena PSO Shampoo

Developed for those suffering from psoriasis, this is a great option for all you eczema warriors too. 

Blended together with essential natural oils, this shampoo can help to reduce flaky and irritated patches of skin on the scalp. 

Other tips for an itchy, eczema-prone scalp: 

1) Check out our calming spray!

Enriched with a precise blend of 3 Traditional Chinese herbs known for their soothing and nourishing effect onto allergy prone skin, as well as ceramides and probiotics, our calming spray is a great option for eczema anywhere on the body. And guess what, the scalp being no exception! 

Effective at stopping the itch and repairing the skin barrier, it might quickly become your new best friend. 

2) Never go to bed with a wet head. 

Hey we know it’s tempting when you’re feeling lazy - but it’s best to avoid. 

A wet pillow is a breeding ground for bacteria and when going to bed with a wet head you’re upping your chances of contracting a fungal infection. 

This in turn could then lead to seborrheic dermatitis - something you really want to avoid. 

3) Don’t go to bed with product in your hair. 

This one is self explanatory - leaving greasy hair product in place overnight and rubbing it all over your pillow can lead to an excessive buildup of oil. 

The result: an inflamed scalp. 

4) Don’t wash your hair with hot water!

This is a great tip for eczema in general, but also applies specifically to the scalp. 

Really hot water can inflame and irritate the skin - try lukewarm instead and you’ll have an easier time keeping calm and in control. 

Final word

So there we go - a quick fire roundup of our favourite paraben/sulphate free shampoos. 

Of course there are so many options out there so the best advice is to double check the ingredients before you buy a product. 

If you have a sensitive scalp you want to be extra careful on what you expose it to - so play cautious and prioritise your skin care routine. 

What’s your favourite product we’ve missed? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! 

With care, 

The yan-yee team


- Parabens. What are parabens? (n.d.) Link

- Everything you need to know about sulphates. (n.d.) Link

Seorrheic Dermatitis. (n.d.) Link

Suggested Product