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When it comes to effectively washing your clothes without irritating your skin, you’ll want to be wary of dyes, fragrances, and other harsh chemicals because “people with psoriasis have an impaired skin barrier and they will be more susceptible to these chemicals,” Angie Seelal, PA-C at Advanced Dermatology PC and member of the National Psoriasis Foundation tells Mic. According to Seelal, the best laundry detergents for psoriasis will be free from unnecessary irritants and in liquid form.
Seelal is a “huge fan of ‘free and clear’ brands” for all patients — not just those with psoriasis. Look for “free and clear” and other detergents that, in addition to skipping fragrance and dyes, also avoid other common irritants like “alcohol, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS),” Seelal writes.
Be sure to pay attention to the consistency, as well. For those with psoriasis, “liquid detergents may be preferable to solid ones, as they dissolve better and detergent particles may be less likely to stick to clothing,” Seelal writes. (Seelal also points out that the type of fabrics you’re wearing will also make a difference — because they’re heavy and cause friction, wool and synthetic materials may worsen psoriasis, while “cotton is less likely to irritate the skin or cause overheating.”)
Scroll on for four liquid detergents that actually get your clothes clean but are gentle enough for those with psoriasis.
1. The fan favorite
Tide is one of the most popular detergents for all types of laundry needs, and this Tide Free & Gentle liquid detergent is a popular option for those with sensitive skin. (It’s free of perfumes, alcohol, and phosphates, as per most of Seelal’s recommendations.) It’s earned more than 13,000 positive reviews on Amazon, and for one reviewer with psoriasis, this was the “first laundry detergent that didn’t aggravate it.” In addition to being hypoallergenic, using biodegradable cleaners, and being dermatologist-tested, it’s also compatible with high-efficiency washers. And it’s EPA Safer Choice certified. (While it’s the most affordable option on this list, keep in mind that this bottle will only last for 64 loads.)
One reviewer wrote: “I bought this laundry detergent because I have psoriasis and it is the first laundry detergent that didn’t aggravate it.
2. The value one
With more than 1,500 reviews on Amazon a 4.8-star overall rating, All’s Free Clear Pure liquid laundry detergent is unscented, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and 99% bio-based. Plus, it skips dyes and perfumes, so it’s safe for sensitive skin — all while remaining plenty powerful enough to remove stains and odors from fabrics. This concentrated formula will get you through 84 loads, and it works with high-efficiency washers, too. (While it doesn’t have fragrances, it does contain alcohol and sulfates, so if your skin is extra-sensitive, opt for the detergent below.)
One reviewer wrote: “This is intended for sensitive skin. We've been using baby detergent since my kids were little because it cleared up most of my husband's psoriasis issues. This is a good substitute, which has produced no skin irritations, doesn't have much of a smell, and seems to clean clothes adequately.”
3. The one with just 4 ingredients
There are plenty of reasons why Charlie’s Soap laundry liquid is great for both your skin and the environment: The large recyclable pump bottle and concentrated formula will last you for up to 160 loads, and the formula is biodegradable and EPA Safer Choice certified. Better yet, it’s also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and gentle on sensitive skin, even though it’ll remove odors, stains, and residue from all types of fabrics and washable items. Most importantly, it only contains four ingredients — and fragrances, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate are not on the list.
One reviewer wrote: “Love, love Charlie’s Soap! Have used Charlie’s soap for a few years now. I like the natural ingredients and that it is cost-effective because so little is needed. Find that I prefer the liquid since it immediately dissolved.”
4. The one for tough stains
Typically people don’t associate Clorox with “skin-friendly,” but this Clorox 2 H.E. stain remover and color booster is a direct recommendation from Seelal because it’s free of fragrances, alcohol, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, and it’s dermatologist tested. Since it skips the fragrances and dyes, it’s a great option for sensitive skin or those with psoriasis — but it’s still specifically designed to brighten colors and remove especially tough stains from fabrics. While it’s not the most natural option here, it strikes a great balance between powerful and gentle.
One reviewer wrote: “Anyone that gets stains on [clothes] like I do, this is the product for you. Pretreat the stain and add it to the wash. Bam the stains are gone. It has saved a lot of my [clothes] that I thought were goners. I love the fact that it is free of fragrance and dyes which I like. I would recommend this product to anyone.”
Angie Seelal, PA-C at Advanced Dermatology PC