How Do I Choose the Best Fragrance-Free Moisturizer?

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  • Written By: J. Finnegan
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Individual skin type will determine the best fragrance-free moisturizer. It can take some time to find the right one, so a willingness to experiment is a must. Don't limit your searches to expensive products only, because a high price doesn't always translate to a better moisturizer.

Many dermatologists recommend petrolatum-based moisturizers for very dry skin. Petrolatum is derived from crude oil. When applied to skin, it forms a barrier between itself and outside elements, allowing the skin to retain moisture. People who have environmental concerns might want to use an alternative skin product, such as something derived from plant matter.

Beeswax, which is harvested from beehives, and carnauba wax, which is derived from the South American carnauba palm tree, are common ingredients in natural cosmetic products, particularly in lip moisturizers and hair styling products. Both perform a function that is similar to that of petrolatum. Other plant-derived moisturizers include olive oil, sweet almond oil and coconut oil, among others. These can be used alone or as an ingredient in a fragrance-free moisturizer.

An oil-based moisturizer is the best choice for mature skin. Older skin tends to be drier because the glands that produce oil become less active with age. A petrolatum-based or oil-based moisturizer will help mature skin retain moisture.


People who have oily skin should avoid using heavy creams and oil- or petrolatum-based moisturizers. Oily skin is prone to breakouts, so a fragrance-free moisturizer that doesn't clog pores is best. Look for the term “noncomedogenic” on the label. It's a common misconception that people who have oily skin don't need to use a moisturizer. Daily cleansers that are used to remove excess dirt and oil can over-dry skin, causing irritation and breakouts.

Acne-prone skin needs a light, noncomedogenic and fragrance-free moisturizer. Aloe vera gel is a popular acne moisturizer. It's lightweight, reduces inflammation and helps reduce visible scar tissue. People who are prone to acne should avoid petrolatum- and oil-based moisturizers as well as heavy creams.

Those who have sensitive skin should look for a fragrance-free moisturizer that is hypoallergenic. Avoid products that contain acids or dyes, because they can irritate the skin. People who have normal skin should easily find an appealing, fragrance-free moisturizer. Virtually any light moisturizer will suffice. Avoid using heavy creams, because they can clog pores and cause skin to become excessively oily.

“Fragrance-free” means that there are no added perfumes or other scents in the product. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that a moisturizer will have no scent at all. Individual ingredients can impart their own natural fragrances, which usually are mild and will dissipate quickly.



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