There are two reasons that fragrance-free products are essential. The first is that fragrance is a common irritant for sensitive skin, and most of us have sensitive skin at one time or another. Perfume is particularly problematic for people with conditions like psoriasis, eczema or rosacea.
The second reason to champion unscented products is that strong fragrances in cosmetics can clash with perfume, and nobody wants to spend $100 on an Hermes scent, only to end up smelling like Dove.
Some brands would have you believe that there’s a difference between synthetic and natural fragrances, but the truth is that both can irritate, and both can be a bit whiffy.
Here’s our pick of unscented products, from shampoo to facial serum. If you don’t fancy any of these, but want to learn how to find fragrance-free cosmetics, take a look at this guide from besthealthmag.ca.
Fragrance-free hair products are actually surprisingly difficult to find. Local brand Escents’s Shampoo and Conditioner have ingredients like pro-vitamin B5, coconut oil and chamomile extract, and are free from irritants like sodium lauryl sulphates and parabens. You can add essential oils to customise the scent, or just keep things simple. They are packed with moisturizing ingredients, so probably best for those who have drier hair.
Fuss-free, no-mucking-about body-care is what this brand does best. This moisturizer is rich enough to deal with extremely flakiness and itching and provides hydration for up to 24 hours. An absolute must for central heating-parched skin.
Scented deodorants are the pits. They always smell hideous – like some cheapo not-quite-floral perfume – and the fragrance lasts forever. I mean, I know they’re meant to mask the smell of stale sweat, but some of them are only slightly better than B.O. A better option is this roll-on, which uses liquid mineral salts to neutralize the bacteria that make sweat stink, is non-sticky and doesn’t stain clothes. If you’re a heavy sweater, it might not be for you because it doesn’t actually reduce the volume of perspiration – in that case, try the Consonant Dealkalizing Deodorant, which has moisture-absorbing ingredients.
Thick and creamy, this gives enough moisture for even chapped and peeling hands, thanks to 40 per cent glycerin, a humectant (it absorbs water from the atmosphere). It takes time to sink in (the brand also makes a fast-absorbing cream), but once it’s on it keeps skin hydrated for up to 17 hours. Apply before bed, wake up to soft and smooth mitts.
This is the all-natural equivalent to petroleum jelly, made from vegetable waxes instead of mineral oil. Use it on dry lips, cuts and scrapes, raggedy cuticles, unruly eyebrows, or around your nostrils if you have a cold and your skin is sore and flaky. Like petroleum jelly, it has a greasy consistency, so bear that in mind if you want to use it on the go, as lip balm.
All of this natural brand’s skincare products are fragrance-free, but its best-loved is probably this extremely hydrating facial serum. It’s made from just two ingredients: vegetable glycerin, which is found in virtually every moisturizer, and cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharide, which is said to be a better humectant than the always popular hyaluronic acid, and supposedly has anti-inflammatory properties too. This serum is extremely light, but gives instant and lasting hydration, and has shrunk a patch of eczema that has been bothering me for weeks. It is pricey, but just one or two drops is enough to cover your whole face.
Some people are pretty much sensitive to every skincare ingredients. If that’s the case, CeraVe’s products are essential. The packaging is not pretty, but the products are effective – celebs like Dita Von Teese swear by them – and they really won’t irritate your skin. This cream is for dry skin, but the brand also makes a lotion for normal skin as well as brilliant cleansers.
Why would anyone put perfume in foundation? Dunno, but they sometimes do. This, from sensitive-skin experts Almay, is fragrance-free and has salicylic acid to fight pimples. It gives medium, matte coverage and is perfect for combination and oily skin. It comes in seven shades.