“I’ve tried everything and I continue to get Acne”
When you struggle with acne you want the quickest and easiest route to clear skin, yet it’s not always simple to achieve. We tend to focus on products and cleansing routines and even the foods we eat to get rid of our blemishes. You may feel like you’ve tried everything, searched every possible trigger, and yet still your skin is still breaking out. Have you considered that environmental factors like laundry products may be a source of your acne?
Are fabrics that are coming into contact with your skin, a trigger?
Many people might not consider the fabric their skin comes in contact with, such as wash cloths or sheets as triggers for acne. It isn’t the fabrics themselves, but the products you cleanse them with that may be contributing to your skin problems.
Are fragrances making your skin breakout ?
Detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain a host of chemicals, waxes, and fragrances that affect your skin? In fact, the term ‘fragrance’ could be a combination of any hundreds of chemicals, because laundry product manufacturers are not required to list all their ingredients.
So how do these products actually cause break outs?
Laundry soap and fabric softener, whether liquid or dry, leave residue on your fabrics. That residue then transfers to your skin when it comes in contact with you. Even in residual amounts, these substances could be a culprit for acne especially if you struggle with it in places besides your face like your back and shoulders or chest. Contact with the elements used in laundry products causes inflammation, especially with the pores of your skin. Simply put, no matter how minute, the chemicals left on your fabrics after washing can clog your pores.
Here are a few of the most typical offenders in your laundry care products.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (a foaming agent) is known to clog pores. Check out my blog about SLS in shampoos and conditioners here. All laundry soaps contain surfactants because they reduce the surface tension of liquids increasing its spreading and wetting property which is great for getting your clothes clean. However most commercial laundry detergents use synthetic surfactants which, you guessed it- clogs pores. Perhaps worse than detergent, fabric softeners and dryer sheets coat your laundry with fat derivatives, waxes, fragrances and chemicals that quite likely keep you from experiencing clear skin if you are prone to acne. Unfortunately, there are many more ingredients in your laundry products that are not healthy for your skin, or the environment for that matter, but we’ll keep it simple and leave it with the few I listed for this post
What are those unpronounceable names on my laundry products?
If you’ve ever looked at the list of ingredients on laundry products, most of them contain unpronounceable names that only a chemist would understand! Generally, the more recognizable the name and natural ingredients as well as a shorter list of ingredients, the more likely the product may be safe. However, don’t assume all natural and organic substances are non-pore clogging. Even natural ingredients can be comedogenic- pore clogging. Fortunately, nowadays there are more and more chemical and fragrance free soaps and detergents available and not just in special health shops.
So, what do you do…
You may enjoy the fresh smell and softness laundry products provide, but your skin will benefit if you switch to safe laundry cleansing brands, and you won’t have to sacrifice great scent or softness. If you are leery about making hard core changes you can start by trying some widely available safer laundry products that many major brands now make.
Here is a short list of non-pore clogging, safer detergents available in most grocery stores:
+ All: Free & Clear
+ Tide: Free & Gentle
+ Purex: Free & Clear
+ Seventh Generation: Free & Clear
+ Molly Suds
Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your local Natural Grocer about laundry products they offer that are free from fragrance, chemicals, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and such.
I can’t live without my fabric softener!
As for fabric softener, if you just can’t help yourself, try Downy: Free and Gentle Liquid Fabric Conditioner. However, there are natural methods for softening laundry like using wool dryer balls in your dryer or even tennis balls. You can add a drop of 100% essential oil of your choice to the wool balls to add fragrance, it won’t clog your pores. Try adding White Distilled Vinegar during the rinse cycle or in the fabric softener slot to keep laundry plush. A cup of Baking Soda added to the water in the washer before adding clothes is also known to soften fabric.
If you want to go even more hard core and switch your stain remover out for a more skin friendly product try Clorox: Free & Clear Stain Remover and Color Booster. Ecos: Oxobright Multipurpose Free & Clear does not contain poor clogging ingredients either.
Fighting Acne can be frustrating, but in this post we have covered a topic fairly easy to implement as you work to improve your skin and identify your triggers. If you have found a difference in changing your laundry products leave a comment below.
As always, here at Topeka Acne Skin Care and Spa I am available for any and all of your skin care needs. Take a look around my website and checkout my Facebook page. Call for a consultation today 913-702-4769. topekaacneskincare.com
It’s time to finally feel good about your skin.
For more information on acne check out other blog posts:
+ THE FOOD & ACNE CONNECTION
+ GETTING YOUR ACNE UNDER CONTROL
+ HAIR PRODUCTS CAN CAUSE ACNE