How to Fix Strong-Smelling Hand Lotion

Close-up of a woman's hand applying lotion to her shoulder

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Some hand lotions and face creams that smell lovely in the store are stronger than expected when you get them home. You can mitigate a strong scent by diluting with other products while maintaining the original product’s benefits. If the fragrance is not your favorite, you can also repurpose your lotion rather than diluting or wasting it.

Add Unscented Lotion

If you love the general scent and feel of your new lotion, but it’s just too overpowering for your tastes, the simplest solution is to mix in some unscented lotion. Mix equal parts of the scented and unscented lotions in a measuring cup or bowl. Add more of the unscented or scented lotion until you achieve a level of fragrance that suits your tastes. Have an empty container, such as from your original product, at the ready to hold your finished mixture.

Maintain Your Lotion’s Benefits

Every lotion comes with specific benefits, including moisturization, sun protection or skin calming. When mixing in an unscented product, take care to find a similar formula to that of your scented product, from the same brand and product line if possible. Do not, for example, add a plain, unscented moisturizer to a scented sunblock, or you will dilute the important protections offered by the sunblock.

Cleanse Your Sense of Smell

When diluting your scent, you may experience olfactory fatigue or an inability to properly assess the strength or quality of the scent. Take a moment to leave the room, or even smell some coffee like the pros do, to cleanse your olfactory palette. When you return to your mixture, try a dab on your hand and let it mix with your own scent before making any changes or rebottling.

Repurpose Your Lotion

Rather than mixing your lotion to mitigate its strong scent, consider repurposing it. Moisturizing lotion can be used in place of shaving cream and rinsed off, leaving a lighter scent than the full-strength lotion. Just a dab of lotion can also be smoothed over hair to tame static and frizz or used as an emollient for leather products. Finally, you can get the moisturizing effects of your strong lotion without smelling it by wearing work gloves. Your hands will stay smooth and blister-free after completing garden tasks and other work around the house.