Your Thoughts on Stonybrook Shampoo and Conditioner Unscented?

by Melody
(Rochester, NY, USA)


I was wondering what your thoughts were on the safety of a shampoo and conditioner I recently found?

The product is: Stonybrook Shampoo Unscented and Stonybrook Conditioner Unscented. I have listed the ingredients below also.

Ingredients: Purified water; ammonium myreth sulfate; lauryl glucoside (corn); cocamidopropyl betaine (coconut); organic extracts of chamomile, red clover, comfrey, Canadian balsam; biotin; polysorbate-20; sorbitol; citric acid; sodium chloride; phenoxytol (green tea) grapefruit seed extract (preservative).

Ingredients: Purified water, cetearyl alcohol, stearalkonium chloride, PEG 40, cetyl alcohol, organic extracts of chamomile, comfrey, red clover, canadian balsam, biotin, phenoxytol (green tea) , grapefruit seed extract(preservative), dimethicone.

I have very sensitive acne prone skin (including my scalp & back) and am trying to find a good shampoo and conditioner. I like the
***z-cleure-shampoo.shtml*** and conditioner, but I have very long hair and the cost is to high for me to use their shampoo/conditioner.

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you have. I have been very happy to have found your site and the information has been extremely helpful. Thank you for all of your hard work.


Our reply

Hi Melody, thanks so much for your message and your warm words about our site! There is a simple way you can check the ingredients of any products yourself by going to and entering any ingredient into the search form. You'll receive some information there that will help you decide if you think this is an ingredient that will be safe and minimally irritating for your sensitive skin.

Ingredients in Stonybrook Shampoo

I took a quick look at the ingredients of the Stonybrook shampoo, and many of them are very mild, with some exceptions. It is great that this is an affordable product and that it contains no added fragrances. It is not hypoallergenic as it contains a number of plant extracts that could create an allergic reaction in some people, so I recommend that you do a skin test first before using the products.

There are no highly hazardous ingredients in these products, however some could cause moderate irritation, or are considered a moderate health risk by the Environmental Working Group.

One such ingredient that could be irritating, based on the research we've seen is cocamidopropyl betaine which is derived from coconuts. Some people are allergic to coconuts, and also this ingredient has been shown to create irritation and contact dermatitis in some people. There is more detail on this at the Cosmetics Database and also you can look at
some of the recent research on allergies to cocamidopropyl betaine.

Coamidopropyl betaine is used to cleanse the skin, condition hair, reduce static in products, and to boost the foaming power of a product.

Another ingredient of some moderate concern is polysorbate-20 which is an emulsifier and surfectant. The main concerns about this are about possible contamination with ethylene oxide or 1,4-dioxane which are highly toxic.

Another ingredient that is considered moderately hazardous is phenoxytol, also known as Phenoxyethanol which is a preservative, and also used in some fragrance products.

The main concern with this ingredient is skin irritation, and other concerns are related to organ toxicity. For example, in the European union this ingredient is not allowed in products used on the lips or around the mouth, and workers are not allowed to be exposed to larger doses of phenoxytol. In Japan phenoxytol restricts its use to lower concentrations.

Certainly the Stonyfield products have a lot of positive qualities and are affordable and easily available, and are certainly better than most mainstream shampoos and conditioners, however if you tend towards sensitive skin, I would recommend that you educate yourself about the ingredients so you can make an informed choice about whether you'd like to use them on a longterm basis.

Better Choices for Budget Fragrance Free Shampoo

You may find that Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo
works about the same, and has about the same price range, however it is free of many of the irritants you fill find in Stonybrook shampoo.

Here is the ingredients list I found:

Water, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Wheat Germamidopropyl Betaine, Chamomile Extract, Jojoba Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Lactic Acid.

For my type of hair (very thin and fine) the Earth Science Shampoo creates a thin, flat look, but it may work better for you.

I am always researching this as it is difficult to find affordable, safe fragrance free shampoos. The reason I like the ***z-cleure-shampoo.shtml*** is that it works so well and creates shiny and manageable hair. Yes, it is more expensive than some other brands, however it is also possible to extend their shampoo by adding a little water. It is a very low foam shampoo but it will still work if you add a little water.

Another thing you could try to see if you can extend your ***z-cleure-shampoo.shtml*** is to mix it with the Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo. I haven't tried this personally, but perhaps would bring you the benefits of both!

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Jul 30, 2012
You are so welcome!
by: My Sensitive Skin Care

Hi Melody, I am so glad I could be helpful! I do have quite a bit of experience looking at shampoo ingredients, and trying all kinds of brands! I hope you find something that works well for you! I did go into some detail about my experience, including some photos, at this page on hypoallergenic hair care and shampoo.

Jul 30, 2012
Thank you
by: Melody

Thank you so much for your posting and comments on my question!!! I really appreciate it. I will look into the cosmetics database and try your suggestions. Thank you so much! :)

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