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Dr. Alpana Mohta Ranka, MD, DNB, IFAAD, is a dual-board-certified dermatologist with over 90 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Fragrance Free Body Wash for Sensitive Skin: Dermatologist Recommended

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Fragrance free body washes have emerged as a top choice for those looking to cleanse their skin without irritation. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the benefits, recommendations, and key factors to consider when choosing a fragrance-free body wash.

Fragrance Free Body Wash: Dermatologist Recommended

  • CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash: This is easily the best fragrance free body wash out there. Packed with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this body wash will pamper your skin with hydration.

CeraVe Hydrating Fragrance Free Body Wash

Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free Body Wash

  • Vanicream Gentle Body Wash: This product is free of any "natural" ingredients, thereby making it truly fragrance-free and pH-balanced.

Vanicream Fragrance Free Body Wash

Benefits of Fragrance Free Body Wash:

  1. Suitable for Sensitive Skin: Fragrance-free body washes are ideal for individuals with sensitive skin. The absence of synthetic fragrances reduces the risk of skin irritation, redness, and allergies.

  2. Hypoallergenic: These products are often hypoallergenic, making them less likely to cause allergic reactions. This makes them a safe option for all skin types, including those with eczema or dermatitis.

  3. Moisturizing Properties: Many fragrance-free body washes are formulated with moisturizing ingredients that hydrate the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

  4. Non-Comedogenic: These body washes are typically non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores, which is crucial for maintaining clear skin.

Key Ingredients to Look For

Ingredients to look for or avoid in fragrance free body washes

When shopping for a fragrance-free body wash, it’s essential to pay attention to the ingredient list:

Ceramides: These help maintain the skin’s natural barrier and retain moisture.

Hyaluronic Acid: Known for its hydrating properties, it helps moisturize the skin.

Oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal is renowned for its soothing properties and is often used to alleviate itchiness and irritation associated with sensitive skin.

XEssential Oils: While natural, some essential oils can be potent and irritating to sensitive skin. It’s best to do a patch test before using products containing essential oils.

XSulfates: Ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) create lather but can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

XParabens: Used as preservatives, parabens can cause skin irritation and have been linked to potential health concerns. Look for paraben-free products.

Tips for Using Fragrance-Free Body Wash

  1. Patch Test: Always perform a patch test before using a new body wash to ensure your skin doesn’t react negatively.

  2. Lukewarm Water: Use lukewarm water when showering, as hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils.

  3. Pat Dry: After showering, gently pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing to prevent irritation.

While these body washes will generally hydrate your skin, they will still not be enough to moisturize your skin throughout the day. So, after a nice warm bath, you would need to moisturize your skin.

Now, I will assume that since you're reading about fragrance-free body washes, you have sensitive skin or maybe some skin condition like eczema. So, I would recommend that you opt for a fragrance-free moisturizer and fragrance free sunscreen too. If you haven't yet found an option that works for you, or even if you have, you should read my article on fragrance free moisturizers.


Are fragrance-free body washes completely scent-free?

Fragrance-free body washes do not contain added synthetic fragrances. However, they may have a slight scent due to the natural ingredients used.

Can I use fragrance-free body wash if I have eczema?

Yes, fragrance-free body washes are often recommended for individuals with eczema as they are less likely to irritate the skin.

Are there fragrance-free body washes available for babies?

Yes, there are specially formulated fragrance-free body washes available for babies’ delicate skin. Brands like Cetaphil and Aveeno offer such products.

Is it necessary to use a moisturizer after a fragrance-free body wash?

While many fragrance-free body washes have moisturizing properties, it’s still beneficial to apply a fragrance-free moisturizer post-shower to lock in hydration.


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