Finding comfortable, non-irritating clothing can feel like a nightmare if you have sensitive skin – much less clothing that’s comfortable, non-irritating and stylish.
Whether you struggle with a skin condition (like eczema or psoriasis) or can’t seem to find anything comfortable enough for all-day wear, all is not lost! Several skin-friendly fabrics prevent irritation, blemishes and flare-ups and leave you feeling relaxed and confident around the clock.
Here are six of the best fabrics for sensitive skin (as well as some things to avoid).
Cotton is one of the most popular clothing materials in the world – and, luckily, it’s a fantastic option for people with sensitive skin! It’s natural, hypoallergenic, breathable and durable, and it’s an easy find on any rack.
However, not all cotton is created equal. Did you know conventional cotton, often called the world’s dirtiest crop, accounts for 16% of the world’s insecticides and requires approximately 2,700 liters of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt? Not only that, but its quality is questionable compared to more eco-friendly alternatives. Protect the environment (and your skin) by purchasing clothing made of organic cotton or recycled cotton – not conventional cotton.
Certified organic cotton is a much more eco-friendly alternative to conventional cotton, as it doesn’t use harmful pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or genetically modified crops. And not only is it more sustainable, but it’s much gentler on the skin due to its all-natural origins.
As the name implies, recycled cotton is salvaged cotton that otherwise would have been tossed in a landfill. Recycled cotton is yet another more sustainable option than conventional cotton, as it reduces the environmental impact of cotton production.
However, there may be better choices than recycled cotton for those with ultra-sensitive skin. Because it’s impossible to retrace the origins of where it came from, there’s no guarantee that recycled cotton will be organic or high-quality. Furthermore, recycling cotton tends to negatively affect the cotton fibers’ length, resistance and appearance. It must often be mixed with other fibers (like polyester) to create a quality product.
All of this considered it’s still a good option for sensitive skin. However, we’d recommend looking for a product made of organic cotton before choosing recycled cotton.
Bamboo fabric is quickly becoming a popular choice in the clothing industry. Because bamboo is fast-growing and abundant, it requires far less fertilizer, pesticides and water than other materials (like cotton).
Bamboo fabric is sensitive skin-friendly because of its ability to absorb moisture quickly. It’s also soft, hypoallergenic, non-irritating and affordable!
Silk is one of the best skin-friendly fabrics on the market. Due to its unique protein structure, it’s naturally hypoallergenic. It also helps the skin retain moisture, leaving it hydrated, plump and healthy. Although an all-silk wardrobe might break the bank, silk sleepwear, sheets, pillowcases and hair wraps are a worthwhile investment.
Hemp is a natural, biodegradable plant fiber that has countless benefits. It’s breathable and resists bacterial growth, which prevents body odor and promotes a healthy skin microbiome – not to mention it’s four times stronger than cotton. It also filters out harmful UV light, making this an ideal choice for those with skin that’s particularly sensitive to the sun.
Hemp is one of the most sustainable fabrics on the market. One acre of hemp can yield two to three times more fiber than cotton, producing more while requiring less.
Like hemp, linen fabric is hypoallergenic and antibacterial. It’s also ultra-soft, comfortable, quick-drying and highly absorbent – but its breathability is unique. It’s one of the most breathable fabrics, making it a fantastic choice for warm weather. Furthermore, linen has tiny breaks in its material that gently massage the skin, stimulating blood flow and resulting in a healthier-looking complexion.
Lyocell is a plant-based fabric made from wood cellulose fiber. These natural fibers are often derived from fast-growing eucalyptus trees, making lyocell one of the most environmentally friendly cellulosic fibers.
Lyocell has several benefits, from its antibacterial properties to its rapid moisture absorption. In addition, it’s soft to the touch, which lowers itching and reduces skin irritations, and its moisture-wicking ability regulates body temperature.
What to Avoid
If a garment made of any of the above materials causes discomfort, it’s probably not the fabric that’s the issue. Here are some common skin irritants that may be to blame:
Clothing tags can be a real annoyance – especially those rough to the touch. They rub against the skin as you move about your day, which can cause rashes and redness. Furthermore, most clothing labels are made of synthetic fibers, like polyester or rayon, which cause itching and irritation.
Because clothing tags contain important information about your clothes and how to care for them, we wouldn’t recommend mindlessly cutting off your labels and discarding them. Instead, take note of the care instructions by saving the tag or taking a photo of it before carefully removing it with fabric scissors or a seam ripper.
Uneven hems may also be to blame for irritated skin. Threads and stitching patterns vary from one clothing piece to another; some may bother your skin more than others. To avoid buying clothing with rough hems, we recommend shopping in-store so that you can try it before you buy it.
Artificial dyes frequently lead to or worsen skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. To avoid skin irritation from dyes, wash your clothing before wearing it. Also, remember that it may take a few washes before the excess dye fades.
Many detergents use additives and chemicals – like preservatives, parabens, artificial colors, and fragrances – that can cause allergic reactions and worsen pre-existing skin conditions. We recommend looking for sensitive skin formulas or natural detergents (like Meyer’s or Puracy).
Meet Softies: Your Sensitive Skin’s New BFF
Now that you know what to look for (and what to avoid), it’s time to find comfortable clothing that soothes your skin and compliments your style.
Treat your skin to Softies’ luxurious loungewear, sleepwear and robes! Our buttery-soft, high-quality fabrics are suitable for all skin types. They are guaranteed to boost relaxation around the clock – and you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for style.
Try one of our timeless styles and experience the Softies difference today!