Best Washing Powders for Sensitive Skin (UK 2017)

If you suffer from sensitive skin or eczema it can be difficult to find a washing powder that is right for you. You don’t want your skin conditions to get in the way of a good quality washing powder, but you certainly don’t want to choose a washing powder that could cause irritation or allergic reactions.

We’ve researched and found six of the best washing powders for sensitive skin currently available in the UK, including inexpensive own-brand washing powders as well as more expensive eco-friendly products.

Best washing powders for sensitive skin

  1. Boots Sensitive Skin Concentrated Automatic Washing Powder

    Particularly good for: Those with scent-sensitivity
    Affordability: Cheap
    Buy online: See on

  2. Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder

    Particularly good for: Keeping clothing soft and smelling fresh, whilst being kind to skin
    Affordability: Mid-priced
    Buy online: See on

  1. Surcare Non-Biological Washing Powder

    Particularly good for: Keeping whites white, although you may have to use a larger amount than stated on the label
    Affordability: Mid-priced
    Buy online: See on

  1. Persil Non-Bio Laundry Powder

    Particularly good for: Its citrus scent and being gentle on skin with eczema
    Affordability: Cheap
    Buy online: See on

  1. Ecover ZERO

    Particularly good for: Cleaning on a low temperature. It also doesn’t have scent at all.
    Affordability: Mid-priced
    Buy online:
    See on

  1. Bio D Washing Powder

    Particularly good for: Those who are ecologically conscious, as it comes in a paper bag and is not tested on animals. It’s non-toxic and kind on the skin.
    Affordability: Expensive
    Buy online: See on

Here are some useful tips for choosing a washing powder that’s right for you:

Tips for choosing washing powder for sensitive skin

  1. Always read the label! If you have a skin condition you are probably used to checking the label on anything your skin will come into contact in – anything to avoid irritation! When checking the label on washing powders look for the words hypoallergenic or non-bio.
    The word ‘hypoallergenic’ refers to products that cause less allergic reactions that average so it’s certainly a positive if this is printed on the label.
    Non-bio products do not contain enzymes. Enzymes can irritate the skin, so avoiding products with them should help to keep irritation at bay.
  1. Go for fragrance free. Although non-bio products have been proven to prevent irritation, studies have shown that more importantly, your products should be fragrance free. Dyes and fragrances are the main causes of allergic reactions, so staying away from them is a must.
  2. Know what your sensitivities are. Brighteners, bleach, petrochemicals and phosphates – all of these could cause skin irritation. If you see a doctor about your skin condition, ask them which particular ingredients you’re sensitive too and stay away from these at all costs. Alternatively, a trial and improvement method can work too – if a product doesn’t work for you, try a new one! Keep testing different products until you find the right one for you.
  3. Look at the other products you use. If you use other skincare products that work well for you, take a look at their label. Your sensitive-skin moisturiser or sun cream might give you a clue as to what you should look out for when finding the perfect washing powder for you.
  4. Powder over liquid. Tests have shown that powders are preferred by far over liquid washing detergent. This could be down to the fact that liquids can cause scum to build up in your washing machine, and excess detergent on your clothing increases the risk of irritation. If you’re using a liquid and it’s not kind to your skin, switch to powder.
  5. Avoid fabric softeners. Most softeners contain chemicals and fragrances that could be harmful to sensitive and allergy prone skin. The best thing to do if you do have sensitivity is to avoid fabric softeners all together, though some hypoallergenic variants can be found.
    Top tip: Substitute fabric softener for white vinegar which can help remove traces of hard water residue and soften your clothes without affecting your skin.

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