Often, cosmetic labels will refer to products that are either fragrance-free or unscented. When choosing between fragrance-free and unscented skin care products, it helps to understand the differences between the two terms because they have different meanings and implications and one is generally safer to use than the other.

What does Unscented Mean?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a lotion or other cosmetic product that is labeled as unscented can mean that chemical additives may have been added to mask the odors of the other chemicals used in their production. In other words,”unscented” products may still contain potentially skin-irritating fragrances, but they are formulated in a way that makes them less noticeable to the senses. This can be helpful for individuals who prefer products without a scent.

What does Fragrance-Free Mean?

When a cosmetic or skin care product is labeled "fragrance-free," this means that the product is formulated without the intentional addition of scents or fragrances. Fragrance-free means that the product does not contain any added fragrance, whether natural or synthetic. Some products labeled fragrance-free may still have a mild scent that is the result of the natural ingredients used in the formulation, even though no additional scents have been added. 

Which is Safer: Fragrance-Free or Unscented?

Some people may have sensitivities or allergies to certain fragrances, which can cause skin irritation or other reactions. In such cases, using fragrance-free skin care products can be beneficial as they minimize the risk of triggering such reactions.

It's important to note that skin care products labeled as "fragrance-free" may still contain other ingredients, such as plant-based ones that have inherent natural scents. Raw shea butter, a popular natural ingredient, is an excellent example of this as it has a very distinct earthy “scent”. Fragrance-free products are generally safer for individuals with sensitive skin, however, everyone's skin is unique, and sensitivities can vary. It's always a good idea to read the ingredient list to ensure that the product does not contain any specific ingredient that you may be sensitive to and patch test new products to ensure they are compatible with your skin. If you have specific concerns, consulting with a dermatologist is recommended.

What to Look For When Purchasing Skin Care Products

When purchasing skin care products, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you make the right choice, especially if you have sensitive skin. Here are some key points to look for:

Fragrance-free: Fragrances can be a common irritant for sensitive skin. Opt for products that are free of added fragrances or labeled as fragrance-free, such as Abby Rose Soothe-X Balm. As we pointed out, “unscented” does not mean fragrance-free. Avoid products containing perfume, cologne, or essential oil, which all indicate fragrance has been added. 

Gentle ingredients: Look for products with gentle and soothing ingredients, such as Sunflower oil, Cardiospermum, or Calendula. These ingredients are known for their skin-calming properties.

Avoid irritants: Check the product's ingredient list and avoid harsh chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, alcohol, parabens, sulfates, and artificial dyes. These ingredients can strip the skin's natural moisture barrier and cause sensitivity.

Minimal ingredients: Simplified formulations with fewer ingredients can be beneficial for sensitive skin. This reduces the likelihood of encountering potential irritants. Abby Rose Moisture Lock™ contains three simple, yet highly effective ingredients for soothing, moisturizing and protecting the skin barrier and is also fragrance-free.

Patch testing: Before applying a new product, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin, such as the underside of the forearm and wait 24-48 hours. This will help you determine if the product is compatible with your skin. 

Reviews and recommendations: Research and read reviews from other individuals who have used a product. Their experiences can give you valuable insights before making a purchase. 

Dermatologist-recommended: Look for products that have been recommended by dermatologists or have been awarded The National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™, such as the Abby Rose, Soothe-X™ Skin Care Pack . It contains three tried and true products that are made with natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients that gently nourish, soothe the skin, and provide a beneficial protective moisture barrier.




Moisture Lock™ $14          Soothe-X™ Balm $24

  Abby Rose Soap with Shea Butter  

Soothe-X™ Oil $18            Soothe-X™ Soap $8



Balancing Face Oil $34      Rescue Balm $12


June 09, 2023 — Yotpo