I love drugstore beauty products, I really do. But I hate it when I open up a brand new lipstick or a fresh package of face wipes only to be confronted with a migraine-inducing fragrance. It's not that I dislike fragrance--a lot of my favorite beauty products are favorites partly because of their scent--it's just that I don’t like to have my face (or my armpits) strongly perfumed.
There are a few beauty products that I simply need to be fragrance-free: facial moisturizer, face wipes, deodorant, and lipstick. With some trial and error, and some luck, I’ve found my favorite non-stinky essentials--on a budget, of course,
I have two drugstore moisturizers that I really like: CeraVe and Olay. CeraVe has an AM moisturizer with SPF 30, as well as a slightly stronger PM version. I like that they both have pumps and, of course, that the AM has SPF. I’m more likely to remember to use the AM version than the PM solely for that reason.
I’m also a fan of Olay products for sensitive skin like mine. I’ve been using Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes for ages now (on rotation with cheaper baby wipes, as you’ll see below). I also use Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15 for Sensitive Skin for a fragrance-free daily moisturizer.
I keep this one at work and the CeraVe AM Moisturizer at home--that way I’m never without moisturizer that has SPF and zero stink (well, besides the subtle sunscreen smell).
As I’ve mentioned, my favorite facial wipes are Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes, but sometimes, to save money, I switch them out with generic baby wipes instead. Target has a great fragrance-free version of baby wipes: Up & Up Baby Wipes Unscented.
I think I got them for a dollar or two. They’re not quite as nice as the Olay version, but they are fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and contain aloe. Besides, I figure if it’s gentle enough for, erm, a baby’s “cushy tushy” then it’s gentle enough for my face.
The hardest out of all of these is probably deodorant. Women’s deodorant is always some nauseating scent like “Tropical Waterfall” or “Pink Grapefruit” that smells like air freshener, while men’s deodorant is equally overpowering in a way that’s only slightly better. So far the best fragrance-free deodorant that I’ve found is Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant.
It’s made with “natural deodorizers” (meaning mostly baking soda and plant extracts instead of aluminum or parabens) and says “Unscented” on the package. But it does have a slight scent to it; you don't have to worry about it competing with your perfume/lotion, though. And it won't leave the underarms of your shirts smelling like some weird mixture of sweat and rotten fruit.
Over-perfumed lipsticks have become the bane of my existence. I used to be all “Hey, no big deal, this smells kind of nice.” Then, after wearing a million different lipsticks over the past year or two, I’ve morphed into a lipstick-wearing Hulk who wants to smash things when a lipstick smells like a melon on steroids. It’s RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE, so can we not? That’s why I’m so glad that two of my favorite drugstore brands make fragrance-free lipstick: NYX Matte Lipstick and Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color. They have zero scent and seriously long-lasting matte pigments.
- What are your favorite fragrance-free products on a budget?
- Can we all agree that it sucks when an otherwise awesome product gives you a massive headache?