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Could Your Laundry Methods Be Sabotaging Your Skin?

by Emily Linehan on October 20, 2020

You probably have never considered this, but just think about it…towels, sheets and clothes have contact with your bare skin everyday. And with the rise of skin sensitivities, rashes, pimples and breakouts, it might be time to make some of these simple changes to your laundry methods. (see my laundry tips in the comments below!) 

1. Opt for fragrance-free laundry detergents 
Fragrances in skin care products can be quite irritating to the skin…the same is true for laundry detergents. That “freshly washed” smell that we are accustomed to in our laundry detergent is a huge culprit for skin rashes, irritations and breakouts. Look for the words “free & clear” or “free of perfumes and dyes”. My tops picks for skin-friendly laundry detergent are:
2. Choose Non-Chlorine Bleach 
Chlorine causes major acne flare ups and should be avoided if you are acne prone. (On a side note, if you are a swimmer who is acne prone, it is important to rinse off immediately after swimming to help minimize the risk of having a breakout.) My favorite bleach alternatives:
3. Avoid Fabric Softeners 
Fabric Softeners, including dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener, give your laundry that softness because it leaves a waxy residue behind to soften the fibers. Unfortunately, that wax residue is incredibly pore clogging and irritating to the skin. Also, wool balls naturally contain lanolin which is a very pore clogging ingredient. It is especially important to avoid fabric softeners on towels and sheets as you wipe or rest your face on them. If you have body acne, be sure to avoid using fabric softeners with your clothes too.If static cling is an issue, you can use Anti-Wrinkle and Anti-Static Dryer Balls which are chemical free, good for the environment and help eliminate static cling!)
4. Use less detergent and wash in smaller loads.
With the advances in laundry technology, we need much less laundry detergent per load than we used to…however, many people are still heavy handed when dispensing the laundry detergent. Be sure to use the proper amount (or even a little less than you need) to make sure the detergent will rinse away completely. Also, if you are extra sensitive, you may want to consider an extra rinse cycle to ensure the clothes are free of detergent residue.
5. Always wash new clothes before wearing.
Imported clothes are sprayed with harmful and irritating chemicals (pesticides, fungicides…even formaldehyde). If you are a sensitive, delicate flower (like me) you will want to make sure you wash those irritants away before wearing.
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