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What Makes The Best Fragrance Free Face Moisturizer?

When you're trying to find the best facial moisturizer out there, you want one that's fragrance-free. We know, this can be disappointing, because nice-smelling things smell, well… nice. But the truth is, the term "fragrance" can be a catchall for a lot of weird ingredients, and many fragrances cause allergic reactions, are often generally irritating — and are just plain unnecessary. If you tend to have a bad reaction to fragrances, then you'll especially want to go with a fragrance-free face moisturizer option, but even if you don't… why not make the switch? We don't understand the appeal of adding a bunch of stuff into skin care products that aren't really doing anything. It seems like a better bet to just keep it clean and simple.

So when it comes to finding the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin (or even just the best facial moisturizer for a regular skin type) you're going to want to find a fragrance free face moisturizer. However, it's not just what's not in a product that matters — the best fragrance free face moisturizer should also be packed with ingredients that keep your skin healthy, balanced, and strong.

What to Look for in the Best Fragrance Free Face Moisturizer:

1. Probiotics

You already know that probiotics are great for your gut. Whenever you take antibiotics, you may take a probiotic pill, or just make sure you eat a bunch of yogurt or kimchi. This way, our gut microbiome has a chance of keeping its balance up. Well, it turns out that your skin needs some microbiome maintenance, as well. The human skin micriobiome actually contains around 1,000 species of bacteria. It's a pristine little ecosystem, and just like your gut microbiome, it needs to be kept happy. If you use harsh soaps or poorly-made moisturizers, you can end up with a skin microbiome that's way off, which can cause issues like acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin. So when you use a fragrance free moisturizer that contains probiotics, you're investing in helping your skin stay balanced, healthy, and hydrated.

2. Niacinamide

One of two primary forms of Vitamin B3, niacinamide has been demonstrated to help our skin a number of pretty critical ways. It can reduce hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, improve skin elasticity — which is great for aging skin — and even minimize fine lines and wrinkles. This makes niacinamide pretty remarkably multipurpose as a skin care ingredient, and a great addition to a fragrance free face moisturizer.

3. Panthenol

Panthenol, known as pro-vitamin B5, contributes a number of great services as a skin care ingredient. Panthenol is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture from the air and draws it into the skin, where it can be absorbed — this ultra-hydrating effect makes it an especially important ingredient in the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin. It also helps promote new cell growth, stimulates collagen production, and can be excellent for acne, too, because it's so good at fighting inflammation.

Next Up: The Best Skincare Routine (and Products) for Oily Skin