Review :: Barefoot SOS Dry Scalp Treatment Shampoo

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  • Ingredients
  • Wash
  • Scent
  • Price


It looks like honey, it smells like honey and the wash is luxurious. Unfortunately that’s where the good times end. The long list of perfumes mean I could never recommend this to anyone with dry sensitive skin

User Review
3.5 (2 votes)

buy now on Amazon Barefoot SOS are a company I’ve had my eye on for a while.

The company is growing in popularity in the UK, not least because they sell “natural” remedies to a wide variety of skin conditions.

Dry scalp included!

I ordered their dry scalp treatment and the first thing I noticed when the package arrived was the smell. I could smell the shampoo through the packaging it was posted in!  This stuff is pungent.  I mean, really really pungent. The smell was nice enough which is just as well as my bathroom is now overpowered with this scent.

My spider-sense started tingling almost immediately, fragrances and sensitive skin normally don’t mix too well.

In fact, they rarely mix at all so unless the manufacturers are absolute geniuses or the marketing doesn’t quite match with the reality.

I was prepared to give them the chance.

The box and packaging of this shampoo are extremely attractive with a very striking spa-like design.

The box blurb informed me that the company is named after an ancient Chinese tradition of traveling from village to village dispensing natural remedies.

I read the ingredients with great interest and was amazed initially at the sheer quantity of ingredients that make up the shampoo.  The list is huge!  There are over 40 of them.  I’ve seen nothing like this in a dry skin shampoo.  The list contained quite an unbelievable list of fragrances, many of them absolutely notorious for contact dermatitis.

You can see in the ingredients table just how many there are. The list just seemed to go on and on.    I have never before reviewed a shampoo with 11 known contact allergens in there.  It wasn’t just the fragrances either, the preservatives are pretty shocking too.  I had hoped that even the most cynical of manufacturers had stopped using Kathon CG.  It’s not even sulfate free!

I couldn’t recommend this shampoo to anyone, never mind an audience who have scalp problems!

For the sake of this audience, however, I tried the shampoo.

It looks and smells like honey.  Medicated honey, but honey all the same.  It foamed really well too and afterward my hair felt and smelt clean.  Without an awareness of the ingredients, I can understand why so many people would buy this given the clinical yet organic packaging and labeling.  I can understand why people would use it again given the smell, the look, and the quality of the wash.

This is an extremely well-marketed shampoo made by people who either:

  • have never heard of/considered contact dermatitis
  • are cynical enough to not care

I hope it’s the former and not the latter.  Either way, it’s a disgrace and, I can’t stress this highly enough, there are far gentler options out there.


  • The site owner. I founded, and have ran this site for too many years now. I have extremely sensitive skin, have suffered from seb derm for all my adult life and this site is my way of doing something about it. Check out my sister site at

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3 thoughts on “Review :: Barefoot SOS Dry Scalp Treatment Shampoo”

  1. I have just read your review of Barefoot Botanicals and feel very disappointed. Having tried many products for my dry sensitive skin plus psoriasis and dry scalp with psoriasis this is the only one that works. So many shampoos make my skin feel tight, this doesn’t. My hair stays reasonably clean for a week. I use the unscented variety and don’t smell it the way you do. I have used every coal tar shampoo over the years and they don’t work. What do you recommend ?

    • Hi there

      If you use the shampoo and it helps your scalp then I would use this one. You obviously aren’t particularly sensitive to perfumes which this shampoo is chockablock with. That’s the trouble with reviews, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I try to be as generic as possible with my reviews, but my overriding advice is, if the shampoo works for you then use it. Every one of us has different tolerances to different substances. I felt it was my duty to warn folk that there are an awful lot of perfumes in this shampoo, and many of us (me included) are sensitive to perfumes.

      It it works there’s no need to change. It gave me a beetroot red face so there was no way I was going to continue, but I’m very sensitive to perfumes.

      If you do want to change however, have you used the search tool? Just click the type of dandruff you want to treat, what ingredients you wish to avoid, and there you go!

  2. Thank you just ready your reply. Also want to be ethically correct. does this product contain palm oils do you know ? I suspect the answer is yes but it can be so well hidden.Thanks once again


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