If you have a fragrance allergy, suffer from skin issues (rosacea, dry skin, eczema, irritation, you name it) — or perhaps you're just leery of added chemicals, or prefer not to smell like you bathed in piña colada — then you probably opt for fragrance-free or unscented products.
But did you know that there is actually a huge
difference between the two? And that most products that are good for those with sensitive skin may have a hint of odor? "'Fragrance-free' means no fragrance is added," explains dermatologist Doris Day, MD
. Some of the ingredients in the formula — like an oil or an extract — may smell, but there are no extraneous
scents in the mix.
Unscented products, on the other hand, may have a fragrance added to make them absent of smell or to mask an unpleasant scent. "Unscented products are not without fragrance," says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD
. "They may contain a small amount of fragrance to diminish the fragrance of certain materials and therefore neutralize them."
So, it's important to be wary of products that have no scent at all or are labeled as "unscented," as they may in fact include exactly what you are trying to avoid — even without the headache-inducing fruit-bomb aroma. To make your next product haul a little easier, we've rounded up the 10 best fragrance-free (not unscented) picks out there — and, luckily, you can find most of them at your local drugstore.