Got sensitive skin? Love animals? These cruelty free & vegan unscented skincare brands are meant for you!
By Chiara Gabardi Spagnoli
Here’s a shocking fact: allergies are becoming more frequent in the western world. Around one in three people will develop allergies at some time in their life. And one thing people are commonly allergic to is fragrance.
There are several reasons why allergies are increasing, especially in the Western world.
One is decreased exposure to infections and/or microbes in early life. And the hysteria around Covid just made that even worse! Research shows that children who grow up with pets or livestock or come from larger families are less likely to develop allergies, thanks to more contact with icky microbes, dirt and viruses. This is commonly referred to as the hygiene hypothesis.
Another possible reason for increasing allergies is a lack of Vitamin D. Several studies show that the further away you live from the equator (hence your lower level of sunlight exposure, which is needed to make Vitamin D) – or low vitamin D blood levels increase your risk of developing allergies.
A third reason points to altered gut bacterial species due to chemicals in food, like glyphosate, and widespread antibiotic usage. This may alter the body’s immune function and create an allergy.
Whatever the case may be, the reality is that more and more of us are having reactions to the stuff we put on our skin. The result? We’re going for cruelty free & vegan unscented skincare and cosmetics brands in an attempt to soothe itchy, sore or rashy skin.
Why Use Unscented Cosmetics?
But even if you don’t have allergies, there are lots of reasons why fragrance free skin care is a good idea.
For one, the truth is, not all scents in cosmetics are welcome to all people.
Fragrance is a rather personal thing. While your mom may adore rose-scented products, you may associate them with elderly folks. Your boyfriend my love ‘borrowing’ your facial cream, but he might loathe the heavy floral scent that accompanies it. That’s why we’d say fragrance-free cosmetics are not only gender inclusive, but are also allergy-and age-inclusive, too.
Some Fragrances Could Lead To Health Issues
Here’s a big reason to use unscented skincare products: perfumed products can do more than irritate your skin. In fact, they could lead to serious health issues.
The reason for this is that many synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These can commonly cause a plethora of health concerns. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), some hazardous chemicals found in scent, such as diethyl phthalate, have been found in the bloodstreams of 97 percent of Americans. Diethyl phthalate has been linked to fertility issues in human epidemiological studies. And musk ketone, a synthetic musk perfume found in a plethora of cosmetics, concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk – thus, even harming babies.
Those are just two of many, many examples. Unfortunately, there are plenty more harsh chemicals used in fragrances. And the worst part? The FDA doesn’t require brands to list the ingredients of their ‘parfum’ because it’s considered a ‘trade secret’! So even if you don’t see these nasties on the label, they could still be there. Unless you’re buying from vegan unscented skincare brands, of course!
You Won’t Annoy People
Almost 30 percent of people surveyed in a study from the University of West Georgia said that they find fragranced products irritating. They claimed they could get headaches, a runny nose, sneezing, and more symptoms by just being around people who are using scented cosmetics. Fragrance is an irritant that you don’t need to have, and not having it in skincare products makes them more user friendly.
We’re not saying all perfumes are bad. There are plenty of lovely, all natural scents around. And if you want to use your own healthy, signature scent, go for it! But your skincare should be focused on delivering clear, glowing benefits – without scented distractions.
Why Use Cruelty Free & Vegan Unscented Skincare?
Unfortunately, the beauty industry can be cruel. If companies aren’t testing the safety of new chemicals by dripping them onto the skin of mice or into the eyes of rabbits, they’re often using dead animal parts, such as collagen, in their cosmetics.
We here at Eluxe believe this is barbaric and unnecessary. For that reason, we feel it’s essential to shop at cruelty-free and vegan unscented skincare companies, rather than traditional brands.
Cruelty free brands will be certified not to have tested on animals. However, they may use animal products, such as milk or honey, in their cosmetics. Vegan brands are both cruelty free, and free from any animal products.
Here below, I’ve found a few organic, cruelty free and vegan unscented skincare brands that are super gentle for anyone of any age, gender, or skin type.
10 Cruelty Free & Vegan Unscented Skincare Brands
The Amelierote brand encapsulates its entire philosophy in its name. It strives to improve the well-being of your skin through natural ingredients.
All of its fragrance free body lotions are lightweight, and include natural active ingredients such as Alpha Hydroxy Therapy, Sweet Almond Oil and their unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex.
Their Transforming Body Lotion, below, was specifically designed to smooth the look and feel of dry, bumpy skin.
Best for: Anyone who experiences tiny bumps on the skin
It’s well known by her fans that Alicia Keys struggled for years with skin issues. So it’s not a big surprise that she launched her own range of clean skincare!
Dubbed ‘Keys Soulcare’, this is one of those fragrance free skin care brands that does more than just care for your skin. There’s a spiritual element here, too. Honouring the connection between skin and soul, every offering is infused with intention. From symbolic icons and affirming mantras to recommended rituals, the range was designed to transform the time we spend caring for our skin into a moment of personal ceremony.
Choose from serums, cleansers, facial creams, eye creams and more.
Best for: Nourishing the body and the soul
This is one of the few vegan unscented skincare brands that ONLY creates products with no scent!
Choose from a wide range of products, including serums, day creams, face washes and eye creams.
Our pick? Their Night Cream. It actually creates a unique climate for your skin! The brand knows that when you’re asleep, your skin isn’t. That’s the time it’s working its hardest to rejuvenate. This French-made, vegan cream aims to work in synergy with your body to create more youthful, healthy skin.
Best for: Anti-ageing; a wide range of scentless products
Vegan and Cruelty Free
Farmacy is a New York-based clean skincare brand that combines science with locally grown, often organic, ingredients. They deliver farm-to-face skincare with effective results. Their vision is to share the power of plant-based ingredients, support small farmers, and be 100% waste-free.
Most of their range is fragrance-free, so you don’t have to worry about skin irritation, redness, or dryness.
Some of their best-sellers include the Honeymoon Glow, a night serum with hydrating properties; the Green Defense, a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and our favourite, the Green Clean, a makeup removing cleansing balm.
Best for: Farm-to-face beauty products that really produce results!
Vegan and Cruelty Free
Although they’re best known for their vegan makeup, e.l.f. also makes a few skin care products, too. They’re much appreciated by those with sensitive skin, since their formulas are so gentle, and 100% vegan.
Amongst their facial care collections, you’ll find their fragrance free Holy Hydration Face Cream. This features vega Hyaluronic Acid to lock in moisture, Niacinamide to shrink pores, and Vitamin B5 to soothe and hydrate your skin.
Best for: At under $15, this is one of the best cruelty free & vegan unscented skincare brands for those on a budget
Vegan and Cruelty Free
We love when science confirms the power of nature! And in 2015, MIT scientists realised that a bacteria, Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB), has the ability to balance the skin microbiome. Though this bacteria should naturally live on most skins, modern cosmetics have scrubbed, peeled and stripped it away. The result? Redness, acne and other skin disorders.
Thankfully, Mother Dirt uses this good bacteria – as well as other natural, vegan ingredients – to restore your skin. They produce skin sprays, creams and serums, as well as shampoos and conditioners. All are designed to put back what nature intended, and to leave your skin smooth, soft and glowing.
Best for: This is the best vegan unscented skincare brand for giving your skin a new lease on life
Price: $99 for a three-piece starter kit
Vegan and Cruelty Free
Another of our top organic, fragrance free skincare brands is Coola. Best known for their sunscreens, the brand also produces BB creams, facial mists and body lotions. Everything is clean, natural, reef-safe, and mainly derived from organic farming.
Best for: Summertime fun!
Organic & Cruelty Free
Nordic beauty brand Urtekram is one of our new faves! The sustainable and organic company has come up with a new Find Balance fragrance free body and hair care range. It’s aimed for sensitive skin and scalps, with carefully selected gentle and natural ingredients.
Botanical blends of moisturising and caring ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter and natural oils allow both your skin and hair to be left nourished, hydrated and cared for.
But our favourite product? Their hand cream, which is aimed at hydrating and soothing hands that are prone to conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.
Best for: Overworked hands that suffer from redness, dryness or a skin condition
Organic Vegan Cruelty Free
A leader in clean beauty, Boscia offers a wide range of products that nourish the skin without leaving any scent. There’s plenty to choose from here: serums, eye creams, cleansers, toners and more.
Our hero product? Their Clear Complexion Cleanser! It aids your daily beauty routine by ridding your skin from all makeup and impurities through the power of nature. No wonder this is one of the best fragrance free skin care brands for blemish-prone skin.
Best for: Those prone to acne
Prices: Start at $22
Vegan and Cruelty Free
For almost 150 years, Dr Bronner’s soaps have been helping families -and their houses – stay super clean. Why did I mention ‘houses’ here? Well, that’s because their soaps are so gentle, effective and multi-functional, they work on your hair, skin, and even on the surfaces of your home!
While some products do have scent, such as naturally derived rose, lemon or green tea, we love their Pure Castile Bar Soap, which is totally unscented. Perfect for sensitive skin, newborns…or even your kitchen counter! Plus, you can choose liquid or bar form.
Best for: The entire family’s body and household needs
Price: From $4.29
Vegan and Cruelty Free
Do you know of any other cruelty free & vegan unscented skincare brands? Let us know in the comments, below!