Clean & Fragrance-Free Face Cream For Sensitive Skin
Put an end to redness and irritation with clean & fragrance-free face cream that’s designed for sensitive skin. I’ve found 7 brands of face cream, lotion and moisturizer that are free from fragrance and other harsh and irritating ingredients. If you suffer from sensitive skin, try one of these soothing and hydrating face cream picks for your sensitive skincare routine.
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I’ve had sensitive skin for as long as I can remember. Sensitive skin can be uncomfortable and itchy when exposed to a face cream with irritating ingredients. After much experimenting and suffering from red, uncomfortable skin on my face, I do everything I can to avoid certain ingredients and soothe my skin with a calming and hydrating moisturizer.
WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?
Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated. The protective skin barrier is weakened and thin, allowing irritants to pass through the outer barrier and cause inflammation. When the skin barrier is compromised, skin care ingredients can more easily pass through the barrier and reach deeper layers of skin, causing redness, stinging or itching. A weakened skin barrier also allows water to escape, usually resulting in dry skin.
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN
If you have sensitive skin, there are certain ingredients you’ll want to avoid or watch closely and look for a reaction. Not everyone will have a reaction to everything on the list of ingredients below, but I would definitely avoid fragrance altogether if you have very sensitive skin. I also recommend performing a patch test and using your best judgement with the other ingredients below.
- Fragrance– Fragrance can react with your skin, causing redness, irritation and inflammation. Fragrance can be used as a blanket term for thousands of chemicals, and it may contain irritating and harsh ingredients that can inflame your skin. Watch out for “unscented” moisturizer- it typically has an ingredient added to mask the smell of the product.
- Certain Essential Oils– Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin. Anyone can react to a specific essential oil, so it’s important to do a spot test first. Some common essential oils that can cause allergic reactions are: citrus (lemon, orange, etc.), Ylang-Ylang, mint, tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, cinnamon bark, jasmine absolute, balsam of Peru, clover, and sandalwood.
- Liquid paraffin, petroleum and mineral oil These ingredients create a layer on the skin that traps moisture, and in the process block pores and cause a build-up of bacteria.
- Methylisothiazolinone– This common preservative causes an allergic reaction in 10% of people who use it.
- Phenoxyethanol and lanolin oil– Both of these ingredients are preservatives that can cause allergic reactions.
- Artificial colors and dyes– Synthetic colorants in lotion can cause irritation and skin sensitivity.
- A few more ingredients to look out for if you have sensitive skin– Isoeugenol, Farnesol, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzoyl benzoate, Limonene, Hexyl cinnamal, and Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CREAM OR MOISTURIZER IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN
- Fragrance-Free Formula– A fragrance-free cream or moisturizer typically has no scent/fragrance/parfum added to the product.
- Skin Soothing Ingredients– Choose creams and moisturizers with ingredients that improve hydration and soothe irritation, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera, chamomile, Centella asiatica and/or colloidal oatmeal. Some people may have a reaction to one or more of the ingredients listed (I know someone who can’t tolerate aloe vera on their skin), so perform a patch test if any of these ingredients are new to you.
HOW TO PERFORM A SKIN PATCH TEST
- Introduce one product at a time.
- Start with freshly cleansed skin.
- Gently rub in a dime-sized amount of product into the skin of your inner arm, the side of your neck, or behind your ear.
- A reaction can happen fairly quickly or can develop over a longer period of time, like more than 4 days.
- Use your best judgement as to how long you want to do a patch test before using on your face.
Whether your skin is sensitive and dry or sensitive and oily, or a combo of both, I found 7 clean moisturizers that provide calming hydration to your face with no harsh or irritating ingredients.
If your skin is on the sensitive side, the moisturizers below are sure to soothe and hydrate your skin without causing irritation.
Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream
- Cost: $72 for 1.7 oz ($42.35 per ounce)
- My Thoughts: This is hands-down my favorite face cream for sensitive skin. The only downside is that it’s pricey. I like the thick consistency, yet it’s fairly easy to rub in and leaves no greasiness. I highly recommend this cream for sensitive, dry and mature skin! It gets five stars from me!
- From the Doctor Rogers website: Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream contains hypoallergenic plant-derived ingredients that work to calm and nourish the skin. This lush and hydrating moisturizer helps to soften skin and delivers intense hydration and restoration to dry skin types. This sustainably formulated facial cream is made with ingredients known to revive dull and dry skin for a healthy, natural glow. A luxurious and hydrating daily facial cream that’s good for all skin types, especially dry skin and sensitive skin.
- Shop: Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream
Peet Rivko Daily Moisturizer
- Cost: $48 for 3 oz ($16 per ounce)
- From the Peet Rivko website: A lightweight daily moisturizer that’s good for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. The Peet Rivko Daily Moisturizer provides lightweight, long-lasting hydration and helps to soothe the skin with natural ingredients derived from shea butter, aloe, and jojoba. It leaves skin soft and smooth with a matte finish, perfectly primed for the rest of the day. This ultra-gentle, clean formulation is free from fragrance, essentials oils and harsh actives.
- Shop: Peet Rivko Daily Moisturizer
Honest Beauty The Daily Calm Moisturizer
- Cost: $24 for 1.7 oz ($14.12 per ounce)
- From the Honest website: Designed for sensitive skin, this soothing, lightweight moisturizer that hydrates and helps strengthens the skin barrier. Made with Calming Phyto-Blend™ + Liquid Crystal Technology. Works for all skin types. Free From: Parabens, Phthalates, PEGs, Dyes, Mineral Oil, and Synthetic Fragrances.
- Shop: Honest Beauty The Daily Calm Moisturizer
Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream
- Cost: $15.83 (ounces not listed)
- From the Pyunkang Yul website: This nutrient-rich, soft formula provides long-lasting, deep hydration and radiance to the skin. Carefully harvested natural ingredients deeply moisturize the skin and make it healthy. Jojoba Seed oil gives natural moisturizing and controls the excessive sebum. Shea Butter forms strong skin barrier and has a full natural moisture. Fragrance-free and all ingredients score low on EWG rating scale.
- Shop: Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream
Bybi Beauty Face Base Moisturizer
- Cost: $16 for 2 oz ($8 per ounce)
- From the Bybi website: A daily calming facial moisturizer that’s good for all skin types, especially dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin. BYBI Face Base Moisturizer is a lightweight facial moisturizer that helps lock in moisture for hydrated skin all day long. This calming moisturizer absorbs quickly and has a lotion texture that works as a base for blending with BYBI boosters for a personalized routine.
- Shop: Bybi Beauty Face Base Moisturizer
Graydon Super Sensitive Skin Stuff
- Cost: $49 for 1.7 oz ($28.82 per ounce)
- From the Graydon website: Light and invisible texture helps support the renewal of the skin’s protective layer, while protecting against moisture loss. Formulated without essential oils or fragrance. Skin Stuff helps to improve your skin barrier function, calm inflammation and help visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Shop: Graydon Super Sensitive Skin Stuff
CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture
- Cost: $49 for 2 oz ($24.50 per ounce)
- From the CV Skinlabs website: CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture leaves skin soft, moist and glowing. This super moisturizer is lightweight, glides easily on skin and is rich in antioxidants to deeply hydrate for a healthy glow. Additionally, this moisturizer works to restore skin’s barrier function while calming skin and reducing the appearance of redness. All ingredients are toxicology-screened for carcinogens, xenoestrogens and other potentially harmful ingredients. Clinically proven results. Every CV Skinlabs product containstheir proprietary tri-rescue complex, a blend of turmeric, bisabolol.
- Shop: CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture
SHOP FACE CREAM FOR SENSITIVE SKIN