I had an email the other night asking me about what unscented lotion was. They said that they thought they knew the difference but they were confused.

The email said they thought unscented and fragrance-free meant the same thing.


Unscented lotion is just like regular lotion only the product is unscented. This means that when you apply the product, it won’t smell like anything. This type of lotion will be almost the same as regular lotion ingredient-wise. Usually, an unscented lotion will have a few extra ingredients that help mask the smell.


This type of lotion will also apply the same and absorb the same as a regular scented lotion.

Unscented lotion generally uses specific ingredients to help mask the natural smell of the lotion.


It’s really hard to describe what it really smells like. I would say it smell like nothing, but, what does nothing really smell like?

It does have a very light scent to it. Most unscented lotion does a really good job of masking the smell. It’s really impossible to smell any scent after you have applied the lotion.

This is perfect for people who want to use lotion without leaving any scent behind.


If you are looking for a lotion that is scent-free you should look into an unscented lotion. If you want a lotion that has a natural smell to it without masking ingredients, you should look into fragrance-free lotion.


I have found that people who have sensitive skin benefit more from fragrance-free lotion than unscented lotion. This is probably due to unscented lotion having extra ingredients that may irritate the skin.

This mostly happens in people who have or are known to get irritated skin.


How Do You Know If A Lotion Is Unscented:

Telling if a lotion is unscented can be really easy or very difficult. Sometimes you will know right away and other times you will be left scratching your head wondering.

I put together a few tips for you to follow to make sure that a lotion is really unscented.


Check the Label:

The easiest and fast way to tell if a lotion is unscented is to look at the container. Most companies are pretty good about writing unscented somewhere on the container.

Sometimes you will have to check by the label and other times it will be in large print on the front.

Each company is different and there is no requirement on where a company has to put the label.


Do the Smell Test:

The next trick is to do the smell test to see if it’s unscented.

You’re not smelling for anything specific when you do this test. In some cases, it’s all about what you don’t smell. You shouldn’t smell any fragrances, it should really just smell like nothing.

The scent is kind of hard to describe but you will know.

This is an accurate test that works really well on lotion bottles that you already purchased.


Ask for Advice:

If you’re still unsure about the lotion you can always ask for advice. This is probably the second easiest way depending on where you are purchasing the lotion.

You can ask the store clerk or you could try a live chat if you’re purchasing the lotion online.

I always like to ask my friends for advice before purchasing any kind of lotion or beauty products. You can see how they like it and ask them if the lotion is unscented.

They may even give you a little sample to try out before you purchase it.

You could always call or email the company that is selling the lotion. Sometimes a company will send you a coupon through your email when they answer your question. It really depends on the brand though.


Overall, telling if a lotion is unscented or not really isn’t that difficult. The problem comes in where companies don’t write it on the container whether it’s unscented or not.


Is There A Difference Between Unscented And Fragrance-Free:

Many people think that unscented is the same as fragrance-free. After doing some research, I found that there is a huge difference between the two.

It’s always a good idea to check the labels carefully to make sure that you get the right kind you’re looking for.

I put together a guide that explains the difference between the two:



I found that unscented lotion can still have ingredients to help mask the smell of the lotion.

These ingredients could cause some skin irritation to people with sensitive skin. The lotion won’t have a scent to it, it will smell plain. But, ingredients could be used to mask the smell.

Basically an unscented lotion will use some kind of ingredients to help block the natural smell of the ingredients.

Fragrance-free lotion means that no products are used to create or mask a scent.

The smell of the lotion will be more natural without any ingredients interfering with it. This is the kind of lotion that most people look for when they say they don’t want any added synthetic ingredients.

But, lotions can have some synthetic ingredients even if they are labeled fragrance-free.

It’s always a good idea to check the label to see what you’re really getting.



Unscented and fragrance-free lotion will apply the same to the skin. You shouldn’t notice any difference between the two in the way that they feel either. Both of them will also absorb the same way and even moisturize the same way as well.

The science behind how they moisturize is also the same.

The only thing that is different is the ingredients in them.

Many people who have acne-prone skin, tattoos, or sensitive skin will look for a fragrance-free lotion. The reason is that sometimes the masking ingredients scent-free lotion use can interfere with their skin.

Sometimes this can cause stinging, burning, or even irritation.


Is Unscented Lotion Better Than Scented:

After speaking with several dermatologists, I found that most said unscented lotion is no better than scented lotion.

Both of the lotions have ingredients that pretty much makes them the same.

The only factor that changes is that one of the lotions will have a fragrance to it.

This can be both good and bad, so I’ll explain below:


Ingredients in The Lotion:

Both kinds of lotion will have almost the same kind of ingredients. They will normally have oils, water, and other ingredients mixed together for your skin.

The only difference is that unscented lotion probably won’t have a fragrance added to it. It will, however, have some kind of ingredients that help mask the scent.

According to dermatologists, sometimes these ingredients can be just as bad for the skin as a fragrance would be.

It really depends on the ingredients the company uses.

Sometimes they can use over 100 different ingredients and it’s hard to go through each ingredient.


Application of Unscented and Scented Lotion:

Unscented and scented lotion will apply the same way to the skin as you would expect.

They both will have the same moisturizing properties and absorb into the skin the same way.

It would be very difficult to tell them apart when applying them to the skin. The only difference would be if one of the lotions had a different formula that made it absorb differently.

I have personally used both kinds of lotion and I could never tell any difference that one of them was better than the other.

Many people love to use both scented and unscented lotion.

Make sure you watch out and don’t just assume that one of them is better for your skin.

According to the experts, both of them are around the same.


Can I Use Unscented Lotion On My Face:

Using unscented lotion on your face is fine as long as the lotion is labeled for use on your face.

Another thing is to check over the ingredients list to make sure you’re not allergic to any kind of ingredients.

I put together a guide and went more into detail below:


Unscented Lotion Labeled For Use On Face:

I always like to read the packaging of any kind of lotion before I purchase it. Some lotions are strictly meant for use on your body while others are fine to use all over your face and body.

It has to do with the different formulas that the manufacturer uses for the lotion.

Sometimes unscented lotions are made with comedogenic ingredients and they shouldn’t be applied to your face. Comedogenic ingredients are ingredients that are likely to clog your pores and cause acne breakouts.

Generally speaking, if an unscented lotion is just meant for your body, the concentration of oil is probably too high for your face.

It’s never a good idea to apply unscented lotion to your face that isn’t labeled to do so.


Not Allergic To Unscented Lotion Ingredients:

You can use an unscented lotion on your face as long as the directions say so and your not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Sometimes people can be allergic to ingredients in unscented lotion and not even know it. When this happens, you’re most likely to get redness, inflamed, or irritated skin.

I got in a habit of checking the label of every product I buy.

It seems like it’s becoming harder and harder to find a company that you can trust. It seems like companies are switching over to more synthetic ingredients to help cut costs.

Whenever I see a lot of synthetic ingredients, I look for another brand.

A synthetic fragrance can have over 100 different kinds of ingredients added to it.

Most dermatologists say that people are more likely to be allergic to alcohol, parabens, and fragrances.


Is Unscented Lotion Good For Tattoos:

Unscented lotion isn’t the best kind of lotion that you can use for your tattoos. I have talked with many tattoo artists and the reason is that the lotion can still contain ingredients that can harm your tattoo. They said that most of the ingredients are the alcohols, fragrances, and parabens.


All of these ingredients could cause problems for both new and older tattoos.

They said some of the people who used unscented lotion experienced irritation, stinging, burning, and even some redness. This is not always the case for every person.

It really depends on the skin type you have and how the ingredients react with it. They still recommend avoiding this kind of lotion for a new tattoo that isn’t fully healed.

Unscented Lotion isn’t as bad on tattoos that are older.

This is because they are most likely fully healed and that would minimize and stinging, burning or redness that you could receive otherwise.

However, some of the ingredients still could make your tattoo to fade a little. The main ingredient that would cause this would be alcohol. The tattoo artists say the alcohol can start to eat away at the color and make it fade.

It would take a lot of applications to make your tattoo fade though.

You would have to keep applying unscented lotion over and over for weeks for this to occur. Using unscented lotion every now and then should be fine for your tattoo. Most tattoo artists don’t have a problem with this as long as you do it in moderation and on a tattoo that is fully healed.

If you have a skin type where you need to keep applying lotion every day, I would recommend trying a different kind of lotion.

I did a full blog post on using a lotion with tattoos and you can click here to check it out!