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These Fragrance-Free Beauty Products Never Trigger My Super Sensitive Skin

Nothing suspicious to smell here.
By Hana Hong
March 10, 2021
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You know what sucks? Having sensitive skin that gets offended by just about everything (mine even freaks out at hard water). If you suffer with hypersensitive skin like me—or you just prefer not to smell like you bathed in piña colada—then you're probably leery of added fragrances in your skincare. It's pretty self-explanatory, but fragrance is added to beauty products to help the formula smell nice (no one wants to rub a cream all over their face that smells terrible, right?). Though slathering your skin in a gorgeously scented cream might feel luxe, it can also be incredibly sensitizing. The wrong fragrance—artificial or natural—can leave your face stinging, itching, or burning, making the sensorial point of fragranced skincare completely moot.

Not to say you need to go all KonMari and purge your products if you haven't experienced an adverse reaction. But if you've been through the trial and error process and have yet to find anything but error, it may be time to filter your routine to strictly fragrance-free beauty products. 

Now, here's where things get confusing. The term "fragrance-free" is unregulated, meaning a brand can inject a boatload of essential oils, but since they aren't technically fragrances, they don't need to be labeled as such. And I hate to make it even more complicated, but just because something is unscented doesn't mean it is fragrance-free. While fragrance-free means that no fragrance materials are used in the product, unscented just means that it doesn't have an obvious fragrance—but may contain other "substances" that neutralize or mask other odors.

I know, this just makes filtering your beauty routine that much harder. The only way to know if a product is truly fragrance-free is by sticking to brands that stand by ingredient transparency, and combing through the ingredients label yourself. To make the research part a bit easier for you, I've compiled some of the best fragrance-free cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and more that won't trigger sensitive skin.

fragrance-free-beauty-products-La Roche-Posay Body & Face Wash for Extra Dry Skin

1
La Roche-Posay Body & Face Wash for Extra Dry Skin

$15, amazon.com

This foaming cleanser contains prebiotic thermal water that moisturizes as it cleanses, appeasing sensitive skin that’s been stripped by water. It’s safe for babies and eczema-sufferers to use (the National Eczema Association approves), and you can even use the multi-purpose superproduct as a body wash.

fragrance-free-beauty-products-Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

2
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

$23, amazon.com

Sunscreen can be irritating for a lot of people, but Cetaphil’s sunscreen-moisturizer fusion can be used daily on ultra-sensitive skin types. It’s also non-greasy and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores if you’re acne-prone. 

fragrance-free-beauty-products-CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

3
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

$16, amazon.com

For people craving something a bit thicker (i.e., your skin is cracked and flaky), this cream is loaded with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, making it a total dream for anyone with dry, sensitive skin.

best-fragrance-free-beauty-products-Eucerin Original Healing Lotion

4
Eucerin Original Healing Lotion

$9, target.com

I love this formula so much that I use it on both face and body. The texture is really emollient, so I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face unless you have really dry skin, but it’s a godsend for anyone with eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea

no-fragrance-beauty-products-The Ordinary Buffet

5
The Ordinary Buffet

$15, ulta.com

While it’s often ill-advised to be gluttonous with skincare, consider this buffet a skincare multivitamin. The pH-optimized, gel formula carries an indulgent smorgasbord of peptides, amino acids, probiotics, and hyaluronic acid that targets multiple signs of aging.

no-fragrance-beauty-products-Honest Beauty Calm & Porefect Serum

6
Honest Beauty Calm & Porefect Serum

$30, ulta.com

Get dewy, hydrated skin in a pinch with this skin-plumping serum. The dermatologist-approved blend is formulated with niacinamide (a marine-derived amino acid) and a calming phyto-blend that helps improve skin texture without over-drying it. 

fragrance-free-beauty-products-Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

7
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

$25, paulaschoice.com

This anti-aging, leave-on exfoliant contains just enough salicylic acid (a powerful BHA) to smooth wrinkles, but is still gentle enough to apply daily. The formula works by mimicking the natural exfoliation process of younger skin, helping it shed extra layers while flushing out your pores.