As anyone with sensitive skin likely knows, artificial (and even natural) fragrances are some of most common irritants found in skin-care products. Because your body is often just as sensitive as your face, using a scented body wash can cause dry skin, redness, itchiness, and even rashes. But unfortunately, beauty brands use marketing terms that can be confusing, which is why it's so important to do your research when shopping for a new product — especially if you have sensitive skin. If you're searching for the best fragrance-free body wash, you've come to the right place.
Since products that smell good are largely preferred, it can be hard to find something even as simple as a body wash that doesn't contain any added fragrance — especially since labels can be misleading. For example, there's a major difference between the terms "fragrance-free" and "unscented." While a body wash that claims to be unscented might not contain any additional fragrance in its formula, it can still contain essential oils and other naturally fragrant ingredients that can cause irritation.
To be completely safe, you want a body wash that says it's fragrance-free, which means it's not only free of all of the chemical combinations used to create a scent, but also natural fragrances that can still cause irritation. When in doubt, you can also scan the ingredients list and keep an eye out for common identifiers, from the obvious fragrance or parfum/perfume to sneaky essential oils like lavender and peppermint. (You can check out a more comprehensive list of hidden fragrances, here.)
You can also help avoid irritation by limiting your time in the shower and keeping the temperature on the cooler side, since scalding hot water can aggravate sensitive skin.
Ahead, find a fragrance-free body wash for everyone from organic beauty enthusiasts to babies.
1. Best Budget Pick
Dove's bar soaps have long been known for being gentle and moisturizing, and the brand's Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Tip To Toe Wash is its mildest formula yet. The tear-free wash can be used by the whole family thanks to its hypoallergenic formula that's pH-neutral, but it still contains Dove's signature moisturizing cream to keep skin healthy and soft.
Since it was developed for babies, the body wash is also dermatologist-, ophthalmologist-, and pediatrician-tested to ensure it's as gentle as possible. But buying beauty products made for babies is also one of the smartest tips for people with sensitive skin, since they're formulated to be extra delicate, which is why adults love this stuff, too.
2. Best For Highly Sensitive Skin
While all of the body washes on this list are designed with sensitive skin in mind, Vanicream Gentle Body Wash takes things to the next level. Obviously, it's free of both synthetic and natural fragrance, but it also has the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance. A favorite of people with eczema, dermatitis, and body acne, the pH-balanced formula contains ingredients like purified water and glycerin to gently remove dirt and oil while keeping your skin moisturized. Other common irritants you won't find on Vanicream's ingredients list include sulfates, dyes, parabens, lanolin, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers, and even botanical extracts.
This body wash is also an Amazon-user favorite, with more than 1,000 five-star reviews. One fan wrote, "I was diagnosed with sensitive skin and [a] perfume allergy and this is the only product that does not make me itch ... I was also impressed with the silky smoothness of this body wash and the fact that it didn’t completely dry out my skin. This has been a total game changer for me."
3. Best Organic Body Wash
If you try to only buy organic beauty products, Dr. Bronner's Baby Unscented Pure Castile Liquid Soap is for you. This unscented formula, which is vegan and cruelty-free, was specifically developed for babies (although it isn't tear-free), so you can trust that it's extra gentle. Like the brand's other products, it uses USDA certified-organic ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil, which leave your skin moisturized and soft. Even the bottle is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Plus, this set comes with two huge 32-ounce bottles, so you'll be set for ages.
While Dr. Bronner's is a multipurpose wash that can be used on your hands, face, hair, and even as a general cleaning product, Amazon users say that it makes for the perfect unscented body wash. "I have multiple chemical sensitivity, asthma, allergies and COPD," one reviewer wrote. "Anything with a fragrance makes me very ill. I have been using Dr. Bronners unscented for about 15 years. I purchased many foaming dispensers to use this soap in my bathrooms and kitchen as hand soap. I cannot tolerate the smell of anything else. I also use it in my laundry."
4. A Three-Pack For The Whole Family
You can stock up for every bathroom in your house with this three-pack of Eucerin's Skin Calming Body Wash. In addition to being free of fragrance, the body wash is dye- and soap-free, creating a barely-there lather that rinses away without stripping skin of moisture or leaving behind a greasy film. It even helps soothe dry, itchy skin thanks to omega-rich ingredients and lipids like soybean oil and castor seed oil, making it another great pick for eczema-prone skin.
Amazon users confirm that this is the best when it comes to dry skin, even though it doesn't lather up like a traditional body wash. "There is literally nothing else I can use without severe drying and skin irritation," wrote one user. Another reviewer noted, "It goes on like oil, but it really does clean and moisturize."
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