aveeno skin relief soothing shampoo review

How’s your scalp doing?

Hidden under layers of hair, it’s easy to completely forget all about its existence. I know I do, until it starts complaining. You know what I’m talking about, right?

That annoying itching sensation that occurs when it becomes all dry and sensitive, and that makes you scratch your scalp like a crazy chimpanzee. So irritating, in every possible sense of the word.

Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo promises to relieve the itch while cleaning your hair gently. Always ready to test multitasking products, I headed to the bathroom. Here’s what happened:

What’s In Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo?


This shampoo foams like crazy. Blame it on Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

Ammo… what?! These two are surfactants, i.e. ingredients that help water mix with oil and dirt, so they can easily be rinsed off.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate is a strange choice for a soothing shampoo. It’s pretty harsh and can irritate sensitive skin. Luckily, formula matters.

Adding Cocamidopropyl Betaine, a much gentler surfactant, tones down the harshness of ALS. Phew!

Related: Should You Avoid Sulfates In Skincare?


This is oats. Yep. oats.

Those unassuming little things (that taste amazing with chocolate chips, raisins, and mixed seeds – one of my fave breakfast treats) are amazing for sensitive skin.

A 2003 study, one of the many about oats, has shown they have anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties. Put simply, this means they can soothe skin and scalp, helping to relieve itchiness, redness, and irritations.

But, won’t they end up down the drain when you rinse off the shampoo? A big chunk probably will. That’s why Aveeno recommends you leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

That won’t make it work as well as a leave-on product so if you expect super quickly results, you’ll be disappointed. But, it improves its performance a bit.

Related: Why Oats Are A Soothing Must-Have For Sensitive Skin

Want to know what ingredients you really need to avoid in your skincare products? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet:


Clear and transparent, it has a gel-like consistency that spreads easily on the head, covering it in a big, white cloud of foam.


Clean and not too strong.

How To Use It

Massage it onto wet hair. Leave in for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Performance & Personal Opinion

The first thing I’ve noticed about Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo is how much it foams. In this age of sulfate-free shampoos that barely make a few bubbles, this baby goes the opposite way and turns your hair into a cloud.

Seriously, ladies, go easy and use a tiny amount, or you’ll spend ages rinsing it off. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I’m not sure I’m the best person to review this shampoo because my scalp is pretty good, but the shampoo did a good job at cleansing my hair without dryness or irritation.

The science about oats is solid, so if you’re dealing with an itchy scalp, it should help – as long as you leave it on for a few minutes. It may work slowly, but, at least, it’ll give you soft, clean, and lovely-smelling hair from wash one.

aveeno skin relief soothing shampoo

Who Is This For?

Sensitive, itchy scalp.

Who Is This NOT For?

Everyone can use it, unless you’re allergic to one of the ingredients.


A big yellow and blue bottle. It’ll last you for a while.

Does Aveeno Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo Live Up To Its Claims?

Its mild formula gently cleanses the hair and relieves itchy sensations related to a very dry and sensitive scalp. It’s not the gentlest shampoo, but it does help relieve an itchy scalp.
Hair is left looking soft and beautifully shiny.True.
Ideal for frequent use, even on thin and fragile hair.I wouldn’t use it too often as over-washing can dry out hair.

Price & Availability

£10.06 at Feel Unique

Do You Need It?

If you have an itchy scalp, this is a good shampoo to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Avena Sativa Kernel (Oat) Flour, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Bis(C13-15 Alkoxy) PG-Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, C14-15 Alcohols, Cocamide MEA, Isotridecyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium-39, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum