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 top of my skincare routine. of the skin. But I need a fragrance-free moisturizer, and it’s weirdly hard to find a really good fragrance-free moisturizer. For those of you who have dry skin like me, you know that going the scent route is also a problem.
Companies often add fragrances to products to mask the odor of formulas that have a naturally unpleasant odor. However, these added scents can irritate the skin. “The skin can react negatively to fragrances in a number of ways,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Allison Leer, MD. “One way is through contact dermatitis, a type of skin rash caused by exposure to certain allergens, including fragrances. Fragrances can also cause excessive dryness or oiliness, leading to breakouts in people with acne-prone skin.” “.
That’s why you may want to find a fragrance-free moisturizer (and an overall skincare routine that’s fragrance-free). 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 not have any added fragrance, whether natural or synthetic,” says Dr. Leer.
“Unscented” vs “Fragrance Free”
When looking for a moisturizer, keep in mind that “unscented” and “fragrance-free” No mean the same. “Fragrance-free is a term used with cosmetic products to inform the consumer that the product has no discernible fragrance,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Beth Goldstein MD. That’s because a small amount of fragrance is added to hide and neutralize the odor of the base chemicals in the moisturizer formula. However , this means that the product may still contain ingredients and fragrances that can irritate the skin.
Is it better without perfume?
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 the most prone to allergic reactions,” says regenerative medicine specialist Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD.
For some expert-backed solutions to add to your beauty cabinet, check out the moisturizers below to help keep your skin hydrated 24/7.
The best fragrance-free moisturizers
CeraVe AM Moisturizing Facial Lotion — $17.00
If your skin is prone to dryness and redness year-round, this moisturizer belongs in your beauty cabinet, ASAP. “It’s a light cream that has a long-lasting effect,” says Dr. Barrios. “The niacinamide (a compound with anti-inflammatory properties) that it contains strengthens 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 Intensive Hydration Serum — $48.00
What makes this serum a demi-favorite is how versatile the formula is. “It is suitable for all skin types, especially dry and dehydrated skin,” says Dr. Barrios. “Wheat amino acids and lactate strengthen the activity of natural moisturizing factors and restore moisture levels in the skin. [And] As if that were not enough, this cream even brightens, reduces wrinkles and evens out the rest of the skin.”
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream (16 oz.) — $14.00
Skin itch? Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream to the rescue! Its super thick formula acts as a balm for dry, flaky and irritated skin, without a greasy residue. Just rub it into the areas you need it most and let it work its magic.
Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream — $36.00
Do you know the times you put on an exfoliating mask or chemical peel and your skin feels super sensitive afterwards? This is called “sensitized skin,” and it can happen when you overuse a product, or even if you expose 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 whenever you feel like your skin barrier needs a little extra nourishment.
The formula uses a blend of cool thermal spring water and an anti-irritant ingredient called D-sensinose to help increase hydration and reduce any tight, tingling sensations.
DML Forte Skincare Moisturizer — $13.50
Once the cold weather season rolls around and cool air temperatures dry out your skin, this DML Forte Daily Skincare 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 block pores).
Cutemol Moisturizing Lotion — $16.50
For Dr. Goldstein, a board-certified dermatologist, this Cutemol moisturizing lotion is the best option for dehydrated skin. The formula contains two notable ingredients to protect the skin’s barrier, including Vaseline (a gel-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 skincare routine of five steps or less, this moisturizing solution from Cetaphil is a minimalist’s dream. works like a body Y facial moisturizer and provides 24-hour hydration from the moment you put it on. The formula is also incredibly lightweight and packed with nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, vitamins E and B3, and pre-vitamin B5 to smooth skin’s texture.
Kiehl’s Squalane Ultra Facial Cream — $64.00
The reason this Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream continues to be one of the brand’s best sellers is due to its careful selection of ingredients. Contains a high dose of squalane and glycerin, two moisturizing agents that help build the skin’s protective layer. Ultimately, this helps keep skin smooth, glowing, and supple all at once.
Skinceuticals B5 Moisturizing Gel — $86.00
There’s a reason dermis and beauty lovers can’t get enough of Skinceuticals products, and this B5 Moisturizing Gel is no different. An esthetician W+G spoke with in July even called it a “unique serum” due to the hydrating powers of it like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 that protect the skin’s barrier.
Olay Collagen Peptide 24 Face 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 Face Moisturizer to your daily regimen. Its key ingredient is collagen peptides, which help speed up the skin’s cell renewal process to make it look smoother and more luminous.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 — $31.00
We love a multitasking product. This fragrance-free moisturizing solution from Paula’s Choice also contains SPF 30, making it a great everyday cream. It’s a creamy formula packed with antioxidants, ceramides, and “anti-aging peptides” to help smooth fine lines and add freshness to skin.
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