fbpx

The 43 Best Fragrance-Free Skin-Care Products, According to Dermatologists

By ·
The 43 Best Fragrance-Free Skin-Care Products, According to Dermatologists featured image

Have you ever smelled a skin-care product that says “fragrance-free” on the label, but it still has a scent? This is where things can get tricky. Oftentimes a product will be marketed as having no fragrance, when in fact, the company is referring to no synthetic fragrance and there is actually natural fragrance from essential oils or other ingredient extracts.

To this point, Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD says it’s important to remember that “unscented” and “fragrance-free” are different. “Unscented means the product often has a masking fragrance to hide an offensive odor. Many skin-care products have an offensive odor from their constituent ingredients. For example urea, sulfur/sulfa, hydrolyzed collagen, or other animal extracts can be considered offensive by some noses.”

Fragrance-free, on the other hand, means no synthetic fragrance ingredients, but it doesn’t always mean the product won’t have a smell. Many products (especially those made with essential oils) are naturally fragrant thanks to their ingredient lineup, so it’s important to know the difference between the two. “I tell my patients that skin irritation is not always from fragrance, and fragrance-free doesn’t always mean no odor. I know this is seemingly complicated, but unfortunately that’s the reality. If someone wants fragrance-free, they need to read labels for ‘no added fragrance’ and then try it and see what their noses or skin tell them!”

If you’re in search of skin- and body-care essentials that are free of synthetic fragrance (fragrance-free), these 42 products also come with the endorsement of a leading dermatologist, and in some cases, several!

1 / 35

SkinMedica TNS A+ Serum ($295)

“As far as unscented or odorless products, I love the TNS A+ Serum by SkinMedica. This dynamic, multipurpose serum is full of antioxidants and collagen-boosting ingredients. It’s also super tolerable and produces an immediate plumping effect, as well as lasting effects that change your skin in the long-run.”

—Chico, CA dermatologist Kafele Hodari, MD 

2 / 35

Covey Skincare ($29–$59)

“Fragrance is a very common allergen for a lot of patients. Many products have masking fragrance, where you might not even know there’s a fragrance by its smell, but it can exacerbate skin irritation.

Covey makes a great line of straight-to-the-point, fragrance-free products. In addition to being fragrance-free, they are also free of sulfates, silicones, phthalates, synthetic dyes and essential oils, and they are hypoallergenic, suitable for all skin types, vegan and cruelty-free.”

—New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD

 

3 / 35

Maei MD Serum 6 ($140)

As a dermatologist, one of the very first things I tell my patients about skin care is that fragrance is a no-no: it is a frequent cause of irritation, and does not belong in skin care. In order for skin care to work, we have to be able to use it regularly, so of course it needs to be tolerable in addition to being effective. I am always surprised when I see fragrance added to a skin care product—it should not be there!

This is an all-in-one, super active serum that includes six categories of derm-approved skin essentials, and is of course fragrance-free. Compatible ingredients are combined in their ideal proportions to create a serum with an overall power that is greater than the sum of its parts. Functioning as a daily antioxidant, collagen and elastin builder, and intense hydrator, Serum 6 delivers superior results in one streamlined step.”

—Dallas dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD

4 / 35

Vanicream Products ($13, $12 and $18)

“Note that even ‘fragrance free’ products often contain ‘masking fragrance’, an undetectable fragrance that masks the smell of the underlying ingredients, and many patients with a true fragrance allergy can’t tolerate a masking fragrance. The Vanicream line of products is my go-to for those patients. It has cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos and conditioners.” —Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD

“The Vanicream Facial Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a lightweight mineral sunscreen that provides SPF 30 broad-spectrum coverage and is a great option for those with sensitive skin, as it is fragrance-free and paraben-free. It also contains ceramides to support the skin barrier and moisturize the skin.” —New York dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick, MD

“Vanicream! I love all of them, from their moisturizer to washes, and even their deodorants! Their products are free of common irritants, dyes and fragrances. Super affordable and can find it at any drugstore or on Amazon. Great for sensitive skin patients. I use it on my toddler who has eczema, too.” —Washington, D.C. dermatologist Sarika Snell, MD

Vanicream Gentle Body Wash is great for patients with dry skin or eczema on their body.” —Glenn Dale, MD dermatologist Valerie Callender, MD

“There are so many fragrance-free products available now that it is much easier to find a regime without dye or fragrance. Among the ones I like are Vanicream’s moisturizer and sunscreen.” —West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD

 

5 / 35

Doctor Rogers Restore Face Wash ($42)

“This cleanser provides the perfect balance of getting skin completely clean without stripping it of what it needs to stay healthy. Gentle surfactants thoroughly remove makeup, dirt and sunscreen, while glycerin hydrates and supports the skin barrier. It’s fantastic for sensitive skin, and of course fragrance-free!”

—Dr. Marcus

6 / 35

Dove Irritation Care Body Wash ($9)

“This fragrance-free body wash is good for sensitive skin, as the creamy formula works to nourish the skin while also cleansing. It’s sulfate-free and has the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, making it a good option for those with eczema-prone skin, too.”

—Dr. Garshick

7 / 35

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($19)

“CeraVe Cream is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free and contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid. As someone who has both acne and eczema, these are favorites of mine, as they are also noncomedogenic.”

—New York dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD

8 / 35

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($37)

“It’s my daily go-to that provides quality sun and skin care without the concern of added fragrance.”

—Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD

9 / 35

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Moisturizer ($130)

“I love this moisturizer because it provides the perfect level of hydration and protects the skin, without being heavy or clogging pores. The balance of fatty acids is what makes it unique.”

—Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD

 

NB47 Awards FastFixes SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
10 / 35

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser ($15)

“I love this cleanser because it’s so gentle, but cleans the skin effectively. It’s a milky, non-foaming cleanser that can easily be wiped off instead of rinsed off without leaving any residue. Great for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.”

—Warwick, RI dermatologist Caroline Chang, MD

11 / 35

Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream ($34)

“I love this cream. It’s fragrance-free, preservative-free, dye-free, and noncomedogenic! It’s particularly great for people who are prone to eczema flare-ups, but it’s a wonderful moisturizer for the entire family!”

—Harrison, NY dermatologist Jennifer Silverman Kitchin, MD

12 / 35

Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream ($125)

“My favorite fragrance-free product is as one of the most effective and well-tolerated hero skincare products that combines a retinoid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, peptides, and vitamin C, in an advanced formulation, for little to no irritation.”

—New York dermatologist Melissa Levin, MD

13 / 35

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14)

“I recommend this for my patients with normal or dry sensitive skin on their face.”

—Dr. Callender

14 / 35

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gentle Cleansing Lotion Fragrance-Free ($10) and Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra-Dry Skin ($21.50)

“They’re elegant, cost-effective products that complement dermatologists’ anti-aging treatments and work well with acne medications.”

—Vienna, VA dermatologist Brenda Dintiman, MD

15 / 35

A Method C Antioxidant Gel 20% ($118)

“It’s the most popular product in my office. Not only do I use it every morning myself, but I prescribe it for nearly every patient I treat. Its formulation is just the right weight—not too greasy—and provides enough hydration that an additional layer of moisturizer is often unnecessary. A real time-saver! Lastly, the airless pump dispenses just the right amount of product to cover the entire face and keeps the product from turning yellow over time, thus keeping it fresh and effective. And, it’s also now available on Amazon.”

—Washington, D.C. dermatologist Tina Alster, MD

16 / 35

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($3.50 for two)

“For those who prefer a cleansing bar option, this fragrance-free bar won’t dry out the skin or strip it of its natural oils, as it is also formulated with one-fourth moisturizing cream to help restore moisture.”

—Dr. Garshick

17 / 35

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Line ($10–$15)

“Burt’s Bees has a great lineup for sensitive skin. This includes the facial cleanser, daily moisturizer and night cream. All have been accepted by the National Eczema Association. These products have soothing aloe, as well as cotton extract, which helps to guard skin against potential irritants. But the biggest reason I like them is that they’re sulfate- and propylene glycol–free, which is NOT easy to find these days.”

—Rutherford, NJ dermatologist Aanand Geria, MD

18 / 35

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm ($15.50)

“It contains ceramides, but has the added benefit of colloidal oatmeal to help with itching and inflammation. I use this when my skin needs extra barrier protection overnight with intense moisturization.”

—Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD

19 / 35

Alastin Products

“I also love Alastin products for daily skin care. From their Gentle Cleanser, Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and Hydratint, which are elegant and great for all skin types, to their anti-aging line with TriHex peptide technology, Alastin has an amazing lineup of effective, gentle skin care for even the most sensitive skin types.”

—Dr. Honet

20 / 35

Avène Thermal Spring Water ($18.50) and Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream ($42)

“I love Avène Thermal Water in the a.m. and p.m. and my moisturizer after, which is great for hydration. I also love their Cicalfate+, which is also fragrance-free. I use it on my face, hands, neck! Very good for very dry, sensitive skin without being too greasy, and it’s safe to use on children.”

—Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD

21 / 35

Cover FX Luminous Tinted Moisturizer ($39)

“I love to blend this with my sunscreen for an immediate glow. I particularly appreciate that this product is not only fragrance-free—an excellent choice for my sensitive skin patients—but also mineral oil–free, phthalate-free, and talc-free. I also love that it supports our skin’s healthy microbiome by incorporating prebiotic and probiotic complexes.”

—New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD

22 / 35

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ($8)

“It’s a hydrating, nongreasy option for dryness that layers well with serums. It contains plant-based NMFs (natural moisturizing factors) such as amino acids, dermal lipids, saccharides and hyaluronic acid, which provide lightweight moisturization.”

—Washington, D.C. dermatologist Farhaad Riyaz, MD

23 / 35

Skinbetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum ($140)

“This serum is a non-hydroquinone and non-retinol formula; instead it contains their patented bioactivated ingredient diglucosyl gallic acid to help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.”

—New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD

24 / 35

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream ($11)

“This moisturizing cream is rich and goes onto skin so smoothly. I love it as a body moisturizer and recommend applying it within three minutes after getting out of the shower for best results. It absorbs quickly and hydrates completely!” —Dr. Marcus

“This is a great option for patients who have dry skin all over their body.” —Dr. Callender

25 / 35

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray Moisturizer ($13)

“I use this right after the shower as an allover body moisturizer. I like this because it’s easier than applying cream to my whole body.”

—Portland, OR dermatologist Dr. Stephanie Campbell

26 / 35

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer ($20)

“As a dermatologist who also struggles with sensitive eczema skin, I’m constantly on the look out for moisturizers that provide good hydration and must be fragrance-free. One of my favorites for the face is La Roche-Posay Double Repair. It contains ceramide-3, niacinamide and prebiotic thermal water, which has a unique prebiotic action on the skin microbiome, helping to replenish moisture up to 48 hours, as well as restoring skin’s natural barrier. It’s also oil-free and noncomedogenic, so it’s a great product for my acne-prone patients, as it doesn’t clog the pores and will not cause breakouts.” —Flushing, NY dermatologist Dr. Winifred Chu

“It’s one of my favorite non-fragranced facial moisturizers that does the trick on a crisp, winter day on patients with sensitive skin!” —Austin, TX dermatologist Sarah Gee, MD

“This moisturizer is one of my favorite creams. It contains ceramides and niacinamide to counteract inflammation and support the skin barrier. It absorbs without a trace and is non-comedogenic.” —Dr. Marcus 

27 / 35

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166)

“This vitamin serum is super potent and long-lasting in the skin, and it not only lightens brown spots and brightens the complexion, but it can also stimulate collagen production to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and firm and tone skin.”

—Dr. Papantoniou

28 / 35

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin ($17.50)

“I have very sensitive skin, and I am always very cautious what I recommend. Many over-the-counter and prescription products make my face fall off. My go-to everyday sunblock is Olay Moisturizer SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin. You won’t find it with the other sunscreens—it’s found in the anti-aging aisle. I love it. I can use it all over my face, including my eyelids. It rubs in quickly and does not have a pasty look. It also does not feel or smell like sunscreen. Of course, you would want to use caution not to get it in your eyes.”

—Wilmington, NC dermtologist Kendall Egan, MD

29 / 35

Skinfix Remedy+ 911 Ointment ($32)

“This is great for babies who have a bad diaper rash, great for eyelids that get eczema and hands that get cracked from all the hand washing we are doing lately.”

—West Islip, NY Kavita Mariwalla, MD

30 / 35

Skintensive Bruise & Scar Cream ($25) and Siberian Silk Daily Moisturizing Cream ($20)

“The Bruise Cream contains arnica and vitamin K, and is a great option for bruising that is fragrance-free. The Siberian Silk Daily Moisturizing Cream is a a fragrance-free moisturizer made with natural and organic ingredients. It has ceramides that also help with eczema. I helped develop both products and have received great feedback about them from patients and customers nationally.”

—Beverly, MA dermatologist Vlad Ratushny, MD

31 / 35

Cetaphil Restoraderm Products

“I usually recommend the Cetaphil Restoraderm line. I do a lot of patch testing in the office, and although not perfect, these products don’t have a lot of the common preservatives that cause sensitivity in a lot of patients. It’s also paraben free which many patients want, although that doesn’t concern me.”

—Bay Harbor Islands, FL dermatologist Melissa Chesler Lazarus, MD

32 / 35

Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser ($38)

“I like this cleanser because it removes dirt and grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils, which will cause oil production to go into overdrive.”

—Dr. Engelman

33 / 35

DefenAge 24/7 Barrier Balance Age Repair Fragrance-Free Cream ($127) and 8-in-1 BioSerum Anti-Aging Cream ($220)

“I am always on the lookout for the most cutting-edge and scientifically proven active ingredients to help each one of us reach our healthy skin goals. Fragrance-free products I love to rotate into my personal skin-care regimen are the DefenAge Barrier Cream and BioSerum—a powerful duo with the key ingredient of defensins. Research shows that defensin molecules can reprogram dormant cells to promote healthy and more youthful-looking new skin in a short period of time, resulting in improvement of pigmentation, pores, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as enhancing hydration.”

—Dallas dermatologist Flora Kim, MD

34 / 35

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra

“This is a great fragrance-free no-rinse cleanser for sensitive skin that also removes makeup.”

—Miami dermatologist Debra Price, MD

35 / 35

Avène Tolérance Extrême

“Avène has an amazing line that has been extensively tested to minimize allergic reactions. It is my go-to for patients who come in and say they have very sensitive skin and have failed with other products.”

—Ontario, Canada dermatologist Dusan Sajic, MD

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.