Is Synthetic Clothing Bad for your Skin?

Is Synthetic Clothing Bad for your Skin?

Though people have worn natural fabrics for centuries, the comforts of the society of the 20th century brought with it a number of chemical compounds that were added to clothes for different purposes such as dying, preventing the appearance of parasites and fungi, as well as giving them the ability to avoid creasing and shrinking.

With time, it has been proven that some of these chemicals used in the process can not only be bad for the environment, but can also have serious effects on our skin and overall health. So, if you're wondering what the effect of these are, at OneHowTo we want to let you know if synthetic clothing is bad for your skin.

How can synthetic clothes affect us?

Nowadays, the process of creating clothing involves certain treatments like the use of dyes, the addition of anti-fungal and mildew chemicals and anti-shrinkage properties so they reach their final destinations in optimal conditions.

So what happens when we wear these synthetic clothes? Though the fabrics undergo treatments to get rid of the chemicals before they reach shops they are not completely removed, making them a source of toxins. These toxins penetrate our skins, especially when worn in areas with high temperatures and high levels of humidity, as the skin opens its pores, thus creating a higher absorption. As these chemicals are directly absorbed by the skin, they cannot be removed by the body and obstruct the elimination of toxins even further by blocking the skin.

Synthetic materials that can be dangerous

The chemicals

As we've mentioned, there are several chemicals used during the production of clothes that can affect our bodies. Next, we give you some of chemicals that are used the most:

  • Formaldehyde: This chemical is used to prevent clothes from shrinking and to avoid creases and wrinkles in clothes.
  • Fluoropolymers: These are usually used to prevent oil and water soaking in clothes. In can be found in Teflon articles, for example.
  • Brominated flame retardants: As the name suggests, these make the fabric less flammable.
  • Triclosan: This chemical is used to avoid bacteria and fungi in clothes.

Types of material

Now that you know the chemicals that are added to the clothes, it's time to know what fabrics we should be searching for when reading labels on synthetic clothes:

  • Polyester
  • Spandex
  • Acetate
  • Acrylic
  • Nylon
  • Rayon

What are the risks of wearing clothes with these materials?

Though there are people who are more sensitive than others to these chemicals, some of the most common symptoms that synthetic materials can produce are the following:

  • Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Itchiness
  • Headache
  • Breathing difficulties

Apart from these, the chemicals in synthetic clothes have also been linked to cause dermatitis. Formaldehyde has even been proven to increase the risk of lung cancer by 30%.

What fabrics are non-toxic

So how can we avoid these chemicals in synthetic clothes? By going back to basics and making sure we purchase clothes that have natural fibers and that haven't been chemically treated, especially if you have noticed any of the symptoms above or have sensitive skin. These include:

  • Cotton
  • Flax
  • Hemp
  • Organic wool
  • Silk

Make sure the materials are 100% natural, as many clothes include natural fabric but mix it with synthetics.


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