The 10 Best Unscented Grooming Products

These products let your cologne shine and keep your skin irritation-free.

March 22, 2024 6:17 am
From Kiehls to Malin+Goetz these are the 10 best unscented grooming products.
From Kiehls to Malin+Goetz these are the 10 best unscented grooming products.
Kiehls, Malin+Goetz, Baxter of California, The Art of Shaving

I am a “scentsman.” My passion for colognes, candles and incense, and admiring the varying olfactory pyramids when you spritz a fragrance or burn wax, will likely never fade. In the grooming department, however, I sometimes feel differently. While I appreciate the aromas of artisanal deodorants, soap, shampoos and even hair products, I often desire grooming products that remain neutral and devoid of any added synthetic fragrance.

Now’s the Perfect Time to Refresh Your Grooming Routine
Your medicine cabinet could use a makeover

Imagine this scenario: You’ve showered and shaved, looking your best. You apply some cologne, and suddenly, you smell like everything. Your deodorant, aftershave and every other scented product have clashed, creating an olfactory murk. This defeats the purpose of wearing cologne and does not allow your chosen personal fragrance to shine through. Unscented grooming products won’t undermine your cologne; they simply serve their intended purpose, whether that’s keeping your skin clean and hydrated or ensuring your underarms remain neutral.

Secondly, unscented products are often devoid of skin irritants and filler ingredients that come with the addition of synthetic fragrances. They are generally gentler on sensitive skin and reduce the risk of allergic reactions, as no chemicals are included solely to create an aroma. While some fragrance-free products may contain natural scents, such as essential oils and botanical extracts derived from plants, trees and flowers, this is usually very subtle and from an aromatherapy perspective.

This should not imply that I don’t appreciate scented grooming products here and there. A great-smelling soap or shampoo can make a shower more enjoyable while a lightly scented deodorant will keep your underarms smelling nice without overpowering your chosen cologne. But if you want your personal fragrance to truly shine and want the most bare-bones irritation-free options available, here are 10 products that will keep the peace in your medicine cabinet.

If you truly want your cologne to shine, opting for an unscented deodorant is the way to go. This deo from Oar+Alps works with your skin’s microbiome, leveraging prebiotics to discourage the growth of bacteria that cause body odor. Moreover, it is aluminum-free and an excellent option for those with sensitive underarm skin.

Blu Atlas’s unscented face cleanser utilizes fine volcanic ash particles, renowned for their high absorbency, to effectively remove excess oil and impurities from the skin. Enriched with bentonite, it not only removes grime but also balances your skin’s pH and the exfoliating formula caters to all skin types, from oily to dry.

Baxter of California emphasizes fragrance-free formulations in nearly all their skincare products. This lightweight, highly absorbent moisturizer uses aloe vera and chamomile extracts to soothe inflammation, while green tea extract actively combats and eliminates free radicals, promoting healthy and hydrated skin.

A great shave cream should protect the skin from irritation and produce a close shave — not be overly fragrant. This TAOS cream is dermatologically tested for those with heightened skin sensitivities. It provides a rich lather, protects against irritation and ensures a close shave without any added fragrance.

Too often an aftershave smells like, well, aftershave. And while that has its time and place, I prefer to let my cologne do the speaking (or smelling). This Post Shave Soother from Clinique soothes razor burn and dryness with aloe vera, calming inflamed skin. It leaves a refreshing, cooling tingle, leaving your face feeling invigorated.

While I love thoughtfully scented soap, sometimes the simplicity of a pure glycerin bar offers a no-frills clean, and no lingering scent. The Unscented Company’s fragrance-free soap bar, crafted from pure vegetable glycerin, lathers well, is paraben-free and is made from naturally derived ingredients.

Necessaire’s shampoo and conditioner are infused with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B5 to hydrate, clean and promote follicle health for dry hair and a sensitive scalp. Free from sulfates, phthalates, parabens, PEGs and silicones, these award-winning shampoos are also, obviously, fragrance-free.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps body cream has a devoted fan base for good reason. It’s my go-to remedy for winter-dry hands, but this non-greasy, unscented lotion effectively moisturizes all skin areas. An unchanged formula since the 1980s, it is enriched with cocoa butter, shea butter and squalane, leaving the skin hydrated and smooth.

At a certain age (sometime around high school) one hopefully graduates beyond scented ChapSticks. This hydrating lip gel replenishes dry lips with a blend of fatty acids that provide nourishing protection all day and night. With quick absorption and no need for constant reapplication, it is both fragrance and flavor-free.

Finding unscented hair styling products can be surprisingly challenging given that hair is notorious for trapping odors. Hanz De Fuko’s best-selling Claymation has no added fragrance, allowing your hair to simply smell like hair. Its unique clay-wax texture offers amazing pliability, delivering a semi-matte finish suitable for various hairstyles.

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