The 36 Best Fragrance-Free Skin-Care Products, According to Dermatologists

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The 36 Best Fragrance-Free Skin-Care Products, According to Dermatologists featured image

The world of fragrances in skin-care products can be puzzling. Oftentimes a product will be marketed as having no fragrance, but in fact, the company is referring to no synthetic fragrance and there is actually natural fragrance from essential oils. Additionally, 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” says Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD. “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.”

On the other hand, fragrance-free means no synthetic fragrance ingredients, but it doesn’t usually 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. “Fragrance-free in the classic sense means no added fragrance to add a pleasant—or sometimes medicinal—odor,” adds Dr. Werschler. “I tell 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 tell them!”

Each of the products mentioned below is free of synthetic fragrances or “fragrance-free,” and has the added bonus of being endorsed by a leading dermatologist, if not two (or more!).

1 / 30

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14)

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

—Dr. Callender

2 / 30

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

3 / 30

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

“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


4 / 30

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

5 / 30

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
6 / 30

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

7 / 30

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

8 / 30

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

9 / 30

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

10 / 30

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

11 / 30

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

12 / 30

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

13 / 30

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.”

—New York dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick, MD

14 / 30

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

15 / 30

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

16 / 30

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

17 / 30

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

18 / 30

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

19 / 30

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream ($11)

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

—Dr. Callender

20 / 30

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

21 / 30

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

22 / 30

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

23 / 30

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

24 / 30

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

25 / 30

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

26 / 30

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

27 / 30

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

28 / 30

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

29 / 30

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

30 / 30

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

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