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Choosing washing powder for sensitive skin and tips to relieve itchy skin too

From dyes to perfumes in detergents, there are many causes of itchy clothes after washing. If you need help choosing something new to relieve the itch, read on for our guide to help you choose a suitable washing powder for sensitive skin.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

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Itchy skin is often a symptom of skin irritation and the last thing you want is to irritate it further by using a heavily fragranced laundry detergent or placing rough clothes against it. Read on to discover a simple guide to itchy skin, causes of itchy clothes and how to choose the best washing powder for sensitive skin.

Itchy skin and itchy clothes: the causes

Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of factors. There are four common causes below.

  • Dry skin – often the result of environmental changes

  • Irritation or allergic reaction – e.g. from foods, fabrics, or chemicals

  • Skin conditions such as eczema or hives

  • Pregnancy

Itchy skin and itchy clothes: the symptoms

You may also have itchy skin and no rash or noticeable change to the skin, and itchy skin can be widespread or localised to a specific area. However, some people may face some of the following symptoms.

  • Rash

  • Redness

  • Dry, cracked skin

  • Flaky skin

  • Bumps or spots

Top tip: Speak to your doctor if you have severe itching that is preventing you from getting on with your everyday life and that has lasted for more than two weeks.

There are many causes of itchy clothes and skin. One contributing factor could be your laundry detergent. If you are prone to sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to switch to an unscented sensitive washing powder to reduce the risk of irritation.
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How to deal with itchy clothes after washing

We know that dyes, perfumes, and other chemicals found in some laundry detergents can be a common cause of washing powder allergies and itchy skin, so how can you avoid this? We have some top tips to help you avoid itchy clothes below.

  1. Use a mild laundry detergent for sensitive skin.

    For sensitive skin it’s best to use a gentle washing powder that’s specially developed for sensitive skin and people who suffer from skin allergic reactions.

    Top tip: Persil Non-Bio & Persil Ultimate Non-Bio are great options. By choosing Persil, you can be assured that your detergent will be gentle next to sensitive skin. It's formulation has been specifically designed to be kind to sensitive skin which has been dermatologically tested and is recognised by the British Skin Care Foundation"

  2. Opt for an extra rinse.

    This will help to ensure that all soap residue is removed from your clothes and reduce the risk of skin being irritated by any leftover residue.

  3. Wash clothes before first wear.

    Clothes can contain residual chemicals as a result of the production process, so we recommend that you always wash new clothes before you wear them. This way you can reduce the risk of itchy skin irritations from these potential irritants. Always check the care label before washing and follow the advice provided.

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How to choose the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin

Wondering how to choose the best washing powder for sensitive skin? There are two key things you should consider.

  1. Is the detergent free from perfumes and colourings? ‘Free from’ detergents are formulated without the unnecessary additives that may cause skin irritation, like fragrance or colour. These are known allergens that could cause you to have an allergic skin reaction if you have sensitive skin.

  2. Is it specially designed for sensitive skin? A detergent like this will have a mild formula that’s gentle to skin and fabrics and is likely to have been dermatologically tested to ensure it’s suitable for sensitive skin.

Top tip: Always consult your doctor if you have persistent skin irritations after trying a range of laundry detergents. A medical professional can help determine the root of your irritation, run allergy tests, and identify whether you may have a skin condition, like eczema.

So there you go. If you have itchy clothes after washing you now know what to look out for and how to prevent the itching and choose the right detergent for your family. For more laundry care advice, check out our guide for how to do laundry like a pro.

Frequently asked questions on choosing washing powder for sensitive skin

Is my detergent making me itch?

If you have itchy clothes, and are wondering, "can laundry detergent cause itchy skin?" the answer is yes - but it's the ingredients not the product itself. Chemicals in perfumes and colourings found in some cleaning products can irritate the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Should I use a baby detergent for sensitive skin?

We all know that babies have the most delicate skin of all, however there’s no need to go out and buy a specific baby detergent. A gentle washing powder that doesn’t contain colours or perfumes is gentle enough for both you and your baby’s skin and can help reduce the risk of skin irritation for the whole family.

What causes itchy skin?

If you have itchy skin, washing powder is only one of the culprits which could be to blame. Dry skin as a result of environmental changes, allergic reactions, conditions like eczema and even pregnancy could be a cause of itchy skin. If you have itchy clothes after washing however, it may be worth swapping to a gentle washing powder to see if this resolves the issue.

Originally published