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Hand sanitizers can be useful in killing germs and reducing the spread of infection in cases where soap and water aren’t available. Unfortunately, the vast majority of hand sanitizers on the market contain fragrances or scented ingredients – even if they claim to be free of fragrances. In fact, there are only a few truly fragrance-free options available.
To find the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers in 2023, we’ve tested numerous hand sanitizers. Many of them turned out to contain fragrance even though they were marketed as fragrance-free, but we’ve checked the ingredient lists carefully and have found the best hand sanitizers that are actually free of perfume and other scented ingredients.
What Is A Good Hand Sanitizer?
A hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective per The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. That’s because alcohol is the active ingredient that helps to kill germs and bacteria. Therefore you should look for hand sanitizers that contain alcohol or ethyl alcohol and avoid non-alcohol-based alternatives.
Additionally, a good hand sanitizer should be gentle on the skin and quick-drying without leaving a sticky residue on your hands. It should, of course, also be fragrance-free. Scented hand sanitizers contain harmful fragrance chemicals that may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Unfortunately, you can’t be sure a product is fragrance-free just because it says so on the bottle.
Please note that hand sanitizers are not a substitute for proper hand washing with soap and water!
Why Choose Fragrance-Free?
If you have sensitive skin or dermatitis or want to minimize the risk of becoming allergic, you should always choose a fragrance-free hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, it is challenging to find truly fragrance-free products, and likewise, fragrance-free hand sanitizers are difficult to come by.
For instance, hand sanitizers from Purell, perhaps one of the most well-known hand sanitizer brands, often contain fragrance, even if labeled as unscented. That’s because the terms “fragrance-free” and “unscented” are not regulated by the FDA, meaning that labeled fragrance-free or unscented products may still contain natural scents such as botanical ingredients.
Take, for instance, the popular brand Babyganic’s Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer, labeled fragrance-free. However, it still contains fruit and flower extracts that can cause a reaction in some people.
We’ve tested numerous hand sanitizers and were greatly disappointed that many still contained fragrance despite claiming to be fragrance-free. That’s why it’s always important to check the ingredient list carefully.
Are Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizers As Good As Fragranced Ones?
Yes, fragrance-free hand sanitizers are just as good as fragranced hand sanitizers. Perfume isn’t necessary at all. In fact, fragrance-free hand sanitizers are better than their fragranced counterparts because they are free of harmful fragrance chemicals and don’t leave a lingering smell on your hands (which, in addition to any toxic chemicals, can also give you a false sensation of cleanliness).
Read on for the 3 best fragrance-free hand sanitizers on the market in 2023.
First on our list of the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers is this refreshing fragrance-free hand sanitizer from Dr. Talbot’s. It is free of fragrance and botanical extracts, which makes it great for those who want to avoid unnecessary fragrances.
The hand sanitizer contains 75% alcohol, exceeding the CDC requirement. Though it initially leaves a slight smell of alcohol, it disappears and dries quickly after you rub it in without leaving a sticky feeling on your hands.
It also comes at a very reasonable price point, which is why we think it is one of the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers on the market in 2023.
Next on the list of the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers is an option from one of the most well-known hand sanitizer brands. Purell’s hand sanitizing wipes contain 62% alcohol, and according to Purell, they kill 99.99% of the most illness-causing germs. In addition, each sanitizing wipe comes individually packaged, which makes them very convenient for traveling or on the go. Put a few packages in your bag, and you’re ready to go.
We like that the Purell hand sanitizing wipes are conveniently wrapped and don’t dry out your hands or leave a residue. That’s why Purell’s Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes are on our list of the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers in 2023.
Last on our list of the best fragrance-free hand sanitizers is Suave’s hand sanitizer. This fragrance-free alcohol-based hand sanitizer from Suave contains 75% alcohol and helps eliminate over 99.9% of many common harmful germs and bacteria. In addition, we like that it absorbs quickly and doesn’t dry your skin out.