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Best Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin: No Harsh Chemicals, No Synthetic Fragrances

August 15, 2019

Best Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin: No Harsh Chemicals, No Synthetic Fragrances

Switching to natural laundry detergent could keep your skin calm and breakout-free.

Between the sheets we sleep on at night to the clothes we wear during the day, our laundry detergent stays with us all the time. Many of the laundry detergents that line store shelves are loaded with synthetic fragrances and chemicals that most of us couldn’t pronounce or describe, and for those who struggle with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies, or redness, finding the right laundry detergent can be a serious challenge. Finding the right detergent is also important for parents with babies or young children, as their skin tends to be far more delicate and sensitive.

Those highly fragranced laundry detergents can be drying and irritating, the harsh chemicals making anything from sleeping to everyday living uncomfortable. Learning how to decode the laundry aisle and make the switch to natural laundry detergent can help keep your skin healthy and happy.

Skin irritation with conventional laundry detergent

In the world of fresh laundry, there seem to be a million detergent options to pick from. Some promote long-lasting scents, some boast stain-fighting powers, and some promise to brighten dingy clothes. It’s hard to pick which formula to go with, especially with so many on the market.

Most laundry detergents all work in roughly the same manner. They clean fabrics by combining water, surfactants, and water softeners, or rinse agents. Some also use enzymes for extra stain and odor-fighting, since they target the source of each stain and odor, rather than blanketing the fabric with oxygen bleach. (Our 10X concentrated Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent uses enzymes.)

A study done by doctors Charles Crawford, PhD and Matthew J. Zirwas, MD shows that, “on average, 2.5% of detergent remains on fabric after washing and 2 rinse cycles.” They go on to explain the different types of surfactants – surface-active agents that interact with stains – and the ways that certain formulations of surfactants can irritate skin and cause reactions in people. When harsh chemicals and fragrance sit on the surface layer of the skin they can create a perfect storm for allergies and skin issues, especially for those with sensitive skin.

In addition to skin issues and sensitivity, the chemicals in conventional laundry detergents aren’t great for the environment or for general public health. A study of top-selling laundry products and air fresheners done by the University of Washington showed that “the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. All six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals were listed on the product labels.”

A separate UW study also showed that air coming from dryer vents of machines used with scented detergents and laundry products was toxic. A canister placed in a dryer vent opening 15 minutes into the cycle found more than 25 volatile compounds. The lead author of both studies, Anne Steinemann, said that “these products can affect not only personal health, but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

Why switch to natural laundry detergent?

By switching to a natural alternative like Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent, you can avoid harsh chemicals and strong fragrances that irritate skin and emit toxic gases. In addition to being safer, natural laundry detergent is also better for maintaining the original color and luster of your clothes and sheets.

The following are several factors that differ between traditional and natural laundry detergents:

  • The base component of the ingredients is the main difference. All of Puracy’s ingredients are plant- or mineral-based. By contrast, many traditional detergents use petrochemical-based ingredients, primarily due to their cheaper cost.
  • On top of that, traditional detergents are not biodegradable. Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent biodegrades 100 percent within 30 days and poses no toxicity risk to aquatic life. 
  • Varying qualities of enzymes also exist. Traditional detergents lack transparency in the enzymes they use, so we don’t know exactly which ones are in their formulas. We clearly list all enzymes (and ingredients, in general) on our label.
  • Traditional detergents often use optical brighteners, which are synthetic ingredients that make your whites whiter and colors brighter. They’re unnecessary and do not make clothes cleaner.
  • Traditional detergents also use perfumes made of synthetic fragrances, and there’s no telling what ingredients are used to make them.
  • Traditional detergents also commonly use dyes and don’t disclose the ingredients that go into those dyes. As a result, we have no way of knowing whether they do or do not cause skin irritation.
  • Traditional detergents are purposely less concentrated. They are focused on maximizing in-store shelf real estate, not sustainability or carbon footprint. They are highly diluted with water and are packaged in giant plastic jugs. This gives consumers the false impression that they are “getting more for their money.” By contrast, our award-winning 10x formula washes 96 loads of laundry with a tiny 24-ounce bottle, reducing unnecessary plastic, water and energy waste. Even though we launched this breakthrough formula nearly six years ago, to this day it still remains the most concentrated laundry detergent sold in the United States.
  • The preservatives vary in both natural and traditional laundry detergents. MCT and MIT are pretty harsh, but they are cheap. BIT is the safest and most expensive of the preservatives used in liquid detergent, and it is what we use.

Whether you’re a workout clothes maven or you prefer snuggling in your warm sheets, having a laundry detergent that is safe and non-irritating is a must for every home, especially those with babies or young children with sensitive skin. Try Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent for a load of clothes that you can trust are clean – the natural way.  And for those times when you need a little boost for tough spots, Puracy Natural Stain Remover works great and is also made of natural, safe ingredients.