Keeping your skin safe during laundry

Why is it important to take care of your skin during laundry

Anyone suffering from atopic dermatitis or sensitive skin knows how important it is when using cosmetics to choose products that are specially formulated to minimise the risk of allergies or irritation.

But not everyone realises the same thing applies to washing clothes and, especially, when choosing a detergent. Clothes which come into direct contact with your skin, such as underwear and pillowcases, must be washed with great care.

Pharmacies and supermarkets stock many clothes detergents which claim to be dermatologically tested and safe for the skin.  But what does that mean?


How to recognize a detergent that is safe for skin

Sometimes detergents can leave residue in clothes after washing. This happens for two reasons:

  1. Too much detergent is used;

  2. Inadequate rinsing.

The risk is even greater when the detergent contains contaminants such as fragrances, optical brighteners or heavy metals.

This residue can irritate the skin, especially if you suffer from atopic dermatitis, and can also lead to contact dermatitis

Ingredients at risk

The main ingredients which can lead to contact dermatitis are:

  • Fragrance allergens;
  • Colorants;
  • Preservatives;
  • Optical brighteners;
  • Enzymes added to remove stains.

So if you suffer from a skin condition, you must choose products which are formulated to reduce skin reactions caused by residual detergent. Detergents of this kind are:

  • free from fragrances;
  • free from colorants;
  • with preservatives with low risk of sensitisation.


Skin and laundry: some tips

If you suffer from atopic dermatitis or sensitive skin, always take care when doing laundry. Here are some tips for skin-friendly washing:

  1. Use a mild detergent;
  2. Always use the amount recommended on the packaging;
  3. Avoid fabric softeners and fragrances: they tend to be deposited in fabrics;
  4. Don’t overload your washing machine: there must be the right balance between the amount of water to rinse your clothes and the number of items you put in.


Hand washing tips

Hand washing your clothes requires more care if you have sensitive skin. First, you should always wear gloves. The surfactants in detergents can damage your skin, causing dryness and abrasions.


How to wash reusable face masks

If face masks in reusable fabric are not washed properly, they can cause problems. So it is important to:

  1. Make sure they are properly washed;
  2. Rinse thoroughly.


Last but not least, if you think you may be suffering from contact dermatitis or any other skin condition, seek medical advice from your doctor or dermatologist who will make a full diagnosis and prescribe the most suitable treatment.


The above information is not medical advice. It is given purely as an indication and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.