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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 Sunscreen: Dermatologist Recommended for Sensitive Skin

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Many sunscreens on the market contain fragrances that can lead to skin sensitivities and allergies. In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the benefits of using fragrance free sunscreen and why you should incorporate it into your skincare.

Some ingredients to avoid in a sunscreen for sensitive skin

Fragrance Free Sunscreen: Dermatologist Recommended

After examining the ingredients of the most popular sunscreen products for sensitive skin, these are the ones that I recommend. There are quite a few factors I looked into while making my decision, some of which are mentioned in the Choosing the Right Fragrance-Free Sunscreen section.

Elta MD sunscreen for sensitive skin

This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It contains zinc oxide and octinoxate, offering a combination of hypoallergenic physical and chemical sunscreen filters. It also contains niacinamide and vitamin E, two powerful antioxidants and skin-brightening ingredients. This powerhouse sunscreen is one of the best fragrance-free sunscreens out there.

Blue Lizard Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

It's a pure mineral-based physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It also has vitamin E to calm inflamed and sensitive skin.

This sunscreen is very effective yet very cheap. It also had one of the coolest packaging ever! The bottle changes its color to blur when exposed to high UV radiation.

Neutrogena sunscreen for sensitive skin

Neutrogena's offering is an excellent choice for sensitive skin with high SPF protection and without fragrances. This mineral sunscreen contains a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It is also loaded with powerful brightening and anti-aging agents like vitamin C, vitamin E, and retinyl palmitate.

Application Tips

Proper application of fragrance-free sunscreen is essential for adequate protection. Follow these steps:

  • Apply Generously: Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin areas. Use the two-finger rule: apply sunscreen equivalent to two fingers' length on your face, neck, and ears for effective protection.

  • Reapply Regularly: Reapply every two to three hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

  • Don't Forget Sensitive Areas: Pay attention to often-neglected areas like your eyelids, lips, ears, neck, hands, and the tops of your feet.

Choosing the Right Fragrance-Free Sunscreen

Selecting the right fragrance-free sunscreen is essential for adequate sun protection. The criteria for the sun-protective features of sunscreen should remain the same, irrespective of the type of sunscreen, and you can refer to them here if you'd like.

However, when choosing a sunscreen for sensitive skin, the following are some points you should keep in mind:

  1. The sunscreen should be fragrance-free. Fragrances in sunscreen often contain allergens and irritants that can trigger adverse reactions, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin. Fragrance-free options are formulated to minimize these risks.

  2. Avoid common allergens like Oxybenzone or Benzophenone-3.

  3. Other low-prevalence allergens in sunscreen that can be avoided include avobenzone, octocrylene, and Tinosorb M® (containing decyl glucoside).

If you want to explore more fragrance-free skincare options, check out our articles on fragrance free moisturizers and fragrance free body washes. These articles provide valuable insights into selecting the best fragrance-free products for your skincare routine, ensuring your skin remains healthy and irritation-free.

Remember, your skin deserves the best protection, and with the right fragrance-free products, you can enjoy the outdoors while maintaining your skin's health and beauty. Stay informed and keep your skincare routine free from unnecessary irritants – your skin will thank you for it.


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