Free & Clear ($9.99) touts itself as an anti-dandruff shampoo without the chemical irritants, formulated for even sensitive skin. We looked into the ingredients to see how it might fare.

The interesting thing about Free & Clear shampoo is that it’s made up of very common ingredients, which are basically suds-producing agents. These days, even the most humble shampoo will boast at least one botanical ingredient, but not this one. We just couldn’t figure out what’s so special about this shampoo.

The first main ingredient is disodium cocoamphodiacetate – a moisturizing foaming agent highly regarded for cleansing skin and hair without stripping it of its oils. Next up is disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, another ingredient thrown into almost any cleaning agent that foams. Said to be low irritation, some sources still claim that it is carcinogenic in higher doses. But for low doses as with in beauty products, it probably has a low risk or cause for concern.

Sodium chloride and PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate are both added as a thickeners, which are relatively benign. Another PEG ingredient, which we had reported earlier, either act as emollients (which help soften and lubricate the skin), as emulsifiers (which help water-based and oil-based ingredients mix properly), or as a means to deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin, is PEG-12 Dimethicone, a silicone-based polymer used to give formulas a smooth feel.

We took a look at the reviews at, and saw of the 48 reviews at the time, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with many people mentioning this being a amazing solution for those with sensitive skin, as well as allergy and eczema sufferers. Many of them were happy without all the “extras” – including fragrance, or essential oils.

Overall, it’s a very basic, minimalist shampoo that doesn’t promise hair full of volume or bounce, but is gentle enough for those who suffer with an irritable or itchy scalp since it does have moisturizing properties. May not be a miracle worker for all, but it can at least be a go-to for those with fewer options.


Purified Water, Disodium Cocamphodiacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Citric Acid, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate.