When it comes to my beauty regimen, I’m a sucker for a good no-fuss moisturizer. I have naturally dry, acne-prone skin, so having a strong moisturizer that can keep my skin hydrated 24/7 without causing a breakout is always a priority in my skincare routine. the skin. But I need a fragrance-free moisturizer, and it’s weirdly hard to find a really good fragrance-free moisturizer. For those with dry skin like me, know that going the scent route is also a hassle.
Companies often add fragrances to products to mask the smell of formulas that have a naturally unpleasant odor. However, these added fragrances can irritate your skin. “The skin can react negatively to fragrances in several ways,” says Dr. Allison Leer, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “One of them is going through contact dermatitis, a type of skin rash caused by exposure to certain allergens, including fragrances. Fragrances can also cause excessive dryness or a greasy appearance, leading to breakouts in people with acne-prone skin.”
That’s why you might want to find yourself a fragrance-free moisturizer (and a general fragrance-free skincare routine). Fragrance-free products are classified as those that contain no additional ingredients to mask an odor and are therefore less likely to cause irritation. “To be truly fragrance-free, a product must have no added fragrance, whether natural or synthetic,” says Dr. Leer.
“Fragrance Free” vs “Fragrance Free”
When looking for a moisturizer, note that “fragrance-free” and “fragrance-free” not means the same thing. “Unscented is a term used with cosmetic products to inform the consumer that the product has no perceptible fragrance,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Beth Goldstein MD. This is because a small amount of fragrance is added to mask and neutralize the smell of base chemicals in the moisturizer formula. However, this means that the product may still contain ingredients. and perfumes that can irritate your skin.
Is fragrance-free better?
With moisturizers, it really depends on how sensitive your skin is. “Fragrance-free beauty products, especially moisturizers, are recommended for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin. They are most prone to allergic reactions,” says specialist Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD. of regenerative medicine.
For expert-approved solutions to add to your beauty wardrobe, check out the moisturizers below to help keep your skin hydrated 24/7.
The best fragrance-free moisturizers
CeraVe AM Hydrating Face Lotion — $17.00
If your skin is prone to dryness and redness all year round, this moisturizer belongs in your beauty closet, ASAP. “It’s a lightweight cream that has a long-lasting effect,” says Dr. Barrios. “The niacinamide (a compound with anti-inflammatory properties) it contains reinforces the protective functions of the skin, making [the skin] less sensitive and dry. The formula also contains SPF 30 to give you extra protection.
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intense Hydration Serum — $48.00
What makes this serum a derm favorite is the versatility of its formula. “It’s suitable for all skin types, especially dry and dehydrated skin,” says Dr. Barrios. “Wheat amino acids and lactate boost the activity of natural moisturizing factors and restore skin’s moisture levels. [And] as if that were not enough, this cream even illuminates, reduces wrinkles and unifies the rest of the skin.
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream (16 oz) — $14.00
Itchy skin? Vanicream skin moisturizer to the rescue! Its super thick formula acts like a balm for dry, flaky and irritated skin, without the greasy residue. Simply rub it on the areas you need it most and let it do its magic.
Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Repair Cream — $36.00
You know the times when you put on an exfoliating mask or a chemical peel and your skin gets super sensitive afterwards? It’s called “sensitized skin” and it can happen when you overuse a product, or even if you subject your skin to an environment it’s not used to (or even if it’s particularly dry where you live). This cream is the perfect solution for times like these, but honestly, you can apply it anytime you feel your skin’s barrier needs a little more nourishment.
The formula uses a blend of fresh hot spring water and an anti-irritant ingredient called D-sensinose to help boost hydration and reduce feelings of tightness and tingling.
DML Forte Skin Care Moisturizer – $13.50
Once the cold season arrives and cool, cool temperatures dry out your skin, this DML Forte Skin Care Daily Moisturizer will be your new go-to (trust me or Dr. Goldstein). It gets its moisturizing powers from panthenol, a form of vitamin B5 that acts as a hand and body balm. The formula is also super gentle and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores).
Cutemol moisturizing lotion — $16.50
For board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Goldstein, this Cutemol moisturizing lotion is the best choice for dehydrated skin. The formula contains two remarkable ingredients to protect the skin barrier, including petroleum jelly (a jelly-like substance that retains moisture) and glycerin (a compound that helps draw moisture to the skin).
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion — $19.00
For those who love a five-step skincare routine or less, this moisturizing solution from Cetaphil is a skiminimalist’s dream. It functions both as a body and moisturizer for the face and provides 24 hour hydration from the moment you apply it. The formula is also incredibly lightweight and contains nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, vitamins E and B3, and pre-vitamin B5 to soothe your skin’s texture.
Kiehl’s Squalane Ultra Facial Cream — $64.00
The reason why this Kiehl’s Ultra face cream continues to be one of the brand’s best sellers is due to its careful selection of ingredients. It contains a high dose of squalane and glycerin, two moisturizing agents that help build the protective layer of the skin. Ultimately, it helps keep your skin soft, luminous and supple all at once.
B5 Skinceuticals Hydrating Gel — $86.00
There’s a reason dermists and beauty lovers can’t get enough of Skinceuticals products, and this B5 Moisturizing Gel is no different. A beautician W+G spoke to in July even called it a “one-of-a-kind serum” because of its moisturizing powers like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 that protect the skin barrier.
Olay Collagen Peptide 24 Facial Moisturizer — $30.00
If you want to give your skin a total reset and look alive on an early morning Zoom call, consider adding this Olay Collagen Peptide 24 Facial Moisturizer to your daily regimen. Its key ingredient is collagen peptides, which help increase your skin’s cell renewal process so it looks smoother and brighter.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 — $31.00
We love a multitasking product. This fragrance-free moisturizer from Paula’s Choice also contains SPF 30, making it a great everyday cream. It’s a creamy formula that contains antioxidants, ceramides, and “anti-aging peptides” to help smooth fine lines and add dewyness to your skin.
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